This first blog of 2016 is written with the intention of helping you keep your carpets looking great for as long as possible.
Everything gets dirty eventually. Our bodies need regular washing, as do our clothes.
We wash our cars, our windows, steam or mop our hard floors, yet we often overlook the largest area in our homes or works that get walked on, stomped on and spilled on every day! Yes, I'm talking about our carpets.
Why is it that we may get our windows cleaned every month, we may mop our hard floors weekly, or more often, yet we ignore our expensive carpeting?
It's because carpets are an amazing marvel of design that traps and hides dirt so that it is not immediately visible.
Indoor environmental experts tell us that carpet acts like a filter to our indoor environment. Everything in the air settles on the carpet eventually. In addition, soils and pollutants are tracked in on our shoes, slippers and feet. And food and drink particles get accidentally spilled.
Yet we don't see it.
This is because carpet is constructed to trap pollutants and soils in the fibres, thus filtering them out of the air and keeping them unseen in the carpet fibres.
It's only when the carpet becomes saturated with soils, or gets a noticeable spill stain that we become aware that something needs to be done. Of course, by this time the carpet is absolutely filthy (but you can still only see the surface appearance, somewhat like an iceberg where 90% of it is unseen, below the surface).
And this soiling not only harms our health, but causes premature wear to your expensive carpeting too!
If you don't believe me, just look at the main walkways of your carpets and see how they look. Then look in your vacuum cleaner bag or tub, and see all the carpet fibres that have been worn off by gritty soils or broken off due to neglect. Those carpet fibres cost you a lot of money. Now they're in the refuse.
So what can you do to minimise this unseen damage?
Here's 5 simple steps that will keep your carpets in their best possible condition. Practice them in 2016 and you'll really notice a difference.
1. KEEP DIRT OUTSIDE. This seems obvious but I see it ignored every day. The less dirt that comes in, the less there will be to spoil your lovely carpets.Take off shoes. Use entry mats at doorways. And make sure the mats are big enough that people cant just step over. Clean the mats monthly.
2. VACUUM PROPERLY. Again we all know how to vacuum, right?
Yet we often do it so hurriedly that we're barely removing any soil! Vacuuming needs to be slow to be effective. Vacuum from several angles over the same area. Use an edging tool to clean along the skirting. Vacuum AT LEAST weekly, or more.
3. DEAL WITH SPILLS IMMEDIATELY. Never leave a spill until later. Blot spills, never scrub. Never use those awful spotters from retail stores. No professional would be seen dead with them. There's a reason for that. They can HARM your carpet. All that foam contains bleaches, and the stickiness attracts even more dirt. Use one that a professional uses. Make sure its eco friendly too. You don't want all those nasty chemicals in your carpets. If you use my services every year, ask me and I'll give you one of my eco pro spotters free. They're £6.99 so you're getting a good product free if you're serious about looking after your carpets.
4. PLAN YOUR CARPET CLEANING. I realise that most people don't look forward to having their carpets cleaned. There's the cost, and the disruption of having someone in your home, then waiting a couple of hours for them to dry. I liken it to going to the dentist. No one likes going. It costs money, and there might be uncomfortable treatment. But we go because we know its good for our dental health (and overall health too). Same with servicing our car. It costs money and we don't want to do it. But our cars last so much longer, and perform far more reliably that we do it anyway.
Planned carpet cleaning keeps your carpets looking great and performing well for longer. A recent study found that a well maintained carpet will last 4 times longer than a neglected one. I always say it will last at least twice as long. I've seen 25 year old carpets that look quite new. I've also seen one year old carpets that look 20 years old. Guess which one was well cared for?
Look at your carpets. Get down and really look. Are they looking flattened? Are traffic lanes starting to appear? Is there the odd spot here and there? If so get your carpet professionally clean right away. Spots can become permanent over time. The matting will become broken fibres in your vacuum, and the dull traffic lanes are actually chock full of soiling.
Plan to clean your carpets every 1 - 2 years. If your home is busy with people, kids, and pets, then you may need a clean every 6 months. If there are only one or two people and you're very careful, then every two years may be right. Most of my customers have a yearly clean. This is right for most people. It's not too often to be too expensive, yet it's often enough to keep your carpets looking great.
5. USE PROTECTION. I'm talking about Scotchgard carpet protection, of course. I regularly see stain protection as making the difference between a spill coming out, and not coming out. It's well worth the investment. Renew it every year or two because it biodegrades.
Follow these 5 simple rules and you'll maintain your carpets to the fullest extent possible. I have a commercial client who follows these steps and they still have the same carpet as when they opened over 25 years ago. I first went there in 1990, just after they opened, and discussed a maintenance plan with the manager. He agreed that it made sense, and have followed it ever since. By maintaining their carpets properly I estimate they've saved somewhere around £80,000 in replacement, based on the size of the area and replacement every 8 years (remember this is a public building with offices and gets millions of steps on it every year.)
Of course you won't likely save £80,000. But if your carpets remained lovely for twice as long, you could easily save £3,000 to £10,000 in replacement. All for the price of a good professional carpet clean!
If you want to give your carpets the best possible chance in 2016, get our Premium carpet clean at 50% off. You'll get deep thorough carpet cleaning, carpet fresh deodoriser, carpet conditioner for soft fluffy carpets, and scotchgard stain protector to prolong the life of your carpets, and repel accidental spills, and you'll get it all for half price this month. Click the button below to get started.