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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. 1. Do you believe in applying a stain protector after cleaning the carpet?
  2. 2. Why do spots return after I have my carpets cleaned?
  3. 3. Do you need to take my area rugs away to be cleaned?
  4. 4. What is causing the dark lines in the carpet around the edge of the room and up the stairs?
  5. 5. Do my area rugs need an underlayment pad?
  6. 6. Are there things that can permanently stain my carpet?
  7. 7. Can you clean your carpets too often?
  8. 8. Should I wait until summer to have my carpets cleaned?
  9. 9. Is there anything I should avoid when shopping for a carpet spot cleaner?
  10. 10. There are zippers on the cushions on my sofa. Can I take the fabric off and wash in the washing machine?
  11. 11. Is it true that my carpets must be cleaned by a certified cleaner to keep the warranties valid?


Answers

1: Do you believe in applying a stain protector after cleaning the carpet?

Yes. Almost all new carpets have stain blockers built into the fibers. Vacuuming, foot traffic, professional cleanings, and normal wear will break down these protectors and decrease their ability to perform. The important thing is that the stain blocker is applied properly. The correct amount must be applied and raked or brushed into the carpet fibers.

2: Why do spots return after I have my carpets cleaned?

There are two kinds of returning spots. Spots that “wick up” a day or two after the cleaning, and grayish brown spots that come back several weeks or even months later. “wicking up” refers to the fact that carpet dries upward, starting down at the backing and finishing on the tips. Spills go down to the backing. . So as the carpet dries the stain “wicks up” to the tips. The second kind of spot that take longer to return is very simple. When the spill occurred someone tried to clean it up with a spotter (or worse– dish soap) that left a residue on the carpet that attracts dirt back to the area where the spot was. It is a good idea to apply the spotter to a rag, not directly to the carpet.

3: Do you need to take my area rugs away to be cleaned?

There are several reasons that I recommend having your natural fiber area rugs cleaned in a specialized rug cleaning plant. Wool, silk, sisal, sea grass are all delicate fibers that do not like a lot of moisture and heat. Wool can feel dry to the touch and still retain 60% of the moisture from the cleaning. If not dried properly, there can be damage to the wood floor and/or mold and mildew damage to the rug. The white fringes (which are typically cotton) have to be cleaned and dried very quickly to prevent browning. The dyes in area rugs are often times unstable and can bleed from over wetting and heat. I can pick up your rugs, have them cleaned and returned to you within 7 to 10 days. An inexpensive synthetic rug can often be cleaned at your home.

4: What is causing the dark lines in the carpet around the edge of the room and up the stairs?

These are called soil filtration lines. They can also form around heavy flat pieces of furniture and office chair pads. All houses breathe as the temperature between the in and outdoors changes. Dust and soil pass under the carpet. When it hits a solid object it turns upward trapping microscopic soil inside the carpet yarns. This staining is usually impossible to completely remove because filtration soil which is extremely fine and becomes physically trapped inside of the carpet yarn. Secondly, the location of the filtration lines (in corners) makes it extremely difficult to give this area the agitation and rinsing necessary to remove this soil. Once soil filtration is visible it cannot be reversed. The best thing to do is frequently use the edging tool on your vacuum to keep the edges of your carpet free of soil.

5: Do my area rugs need an underlayment pad?

Yes. Your expensive area rugs will last longer if the proper pad is used. A cushioned non-slip pad is perfect for area rugs on hardwood floors. The holes in the pad improve vacuuming. The cushion protects the fibers from crushing. A thicker pad is required for area rugs on tile and stone floors. They will help keep grout lines from forming in your rug and keep it from sliding. A thin sticky pad is best for area rugs on carpet to keep it from movement and buckling. I can provide high quality pads. I will also install them at no charge

6: Are there things that can permanently stain my carpet?

Yes. Nylon carpet has come a long way in its ability to resist stains. Carpets are advertised as being “stain-resistant” (but not bullet proof). Certain spills can contain acid dyes like food coloring, Kool-Aid and pet urine. Nylon carpets are dyed using acid dyes and when another acid dye is spilled on it, the carpet thinks it is supposed to absorb these dyes. Disperse dyes (found in mustard, herbal teas and instant soups) will also permanently stain carpets. Chlorine bleach (laundry bleach, tile cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner) will stain nylon carpets by removing the carpet color. Be cautious using these items around your nylon carpet. Even though carpet protectors go a long way in resisting acid dye stains, carpets can still be stained.

7: Can you clean your carpets too often?

No, you can’t. Assuming the carpets are cleaned properly, you could clean your carpets every day and they would love you for it. It’s dirt that damages and ages a carpet. The average frequency of cleaning recommended by carpet manufacturers is about once a year. More frequent cleaning may be necessary in your home, depending on the color and style of your carpet, the amount and type of usage your carpets receive and if you are concerned about cleaning for health reasons.

8: Should I wait until summer to have my carpets cleaned?

There is no need to wait. Don’t wait if your concern is the drying time. Believe it or not, your carpets can actually dry faster in the winter and spring. It is the relative humidity which determines the drying time. In the winter and spring the outside air is colder and holds very little moisture. When this air comes into the house and is heated to a comfortable temperature the relative humidity drops. This helps draw the moisture out of the carpet and into the air; speeding up the drying time. During the summer when the air is warm, it holds a lot more moisture. When this warm moist air is brought into the house and cooled, the relative humidity goes up resulting in a longer drying time.

9: Is there anything I should avoid when shopping for a carpet spot cleaner?

1. Do not use an all-purpose cleaner on your carpet. The spot cleaner should be intended for use on carpets only. All-purpose cleaners generally leave a trouble causing residue that is difficult to remove and causes re-soiling.

2. Do not use any spotter with the word “oxi” in it. These spotters may work great at first. The chemistry can bleach out the color after being exposed to the heat of carpet cleaning. (“Resolve” also)

10: There are zippers on the cushions on my sofa. Can I take the fabric off and wash in the washing machine?

No! The zippers on upholstered cushions are not there for our convenience. A zipper just happens to be the easiest and least expensive way for the manufacturer to put the final seam on a cushion. An indication of a more costly upholstered piece is that there are no zippers.

There are several serious concerns about removing the fabric from a cushion to launder it. 1. Many fabrics are manufactured with a latex backing to keep the fabric yarns in place and to give it strength. It is possible for washing to degrade the latex and the fabric will fall apart. 2. The cushion filling actually helps retain shape and prevents shrinkage during professional cleaning. Natural fiber fabrics are likely to shrink if they are cleaned separately from the cushion. 3. Many times the process and the cleaning solutions used in washing or dry cleaning the loose fabric can’t be used on the body of the upholstered piece and will result in a color difference.

11: Is it true that my carpets must be cleaned by a certified cleaner to keep the warranties valid?

Yes. The carpet manufacturers and fiber producers have found that there is a direct correlation between proper maintenance and a longer and better performing carpet life. There are now very good performance warranties that come with a new carpet. The manufacturers require that the carpets are “reasonably maintained”. For example, Stain Master® carpets require professional steam cleaning every 18 months to keep portions of it’s warranty intact. Scotchgard® requires the carpets it holds warranties on, to be professionally steam cleaned at least every 24 months. Modern carpets are a wonderful product that will perform extremely well for many years, provided you do your share of proper maintenance.