Carpet cleaning advice from an Atlanta expert

Carpet cleaning advice from an Atlanta expert

by Paul F. P. Pogue

Assuming regular wear and tear, how often should I have my carpet cleaned?

I would say three times a year. When carpets aren't cleaned regularly, they tend to get dingy. Stains stay on it so long, and then they become difficult to get out. When professionals clean carpets, they tend to last longer.

It's very important to vacuum the carpets as regularly as possible. Use a good vacuum that is not emitting dust back into the air. For homeowners with pets and kids, I recommend vacuuming at least twice a week, especially for the pets, who tend to shed a lot.

Food stains and pet stains have different challenges. If there's a dye in the stain, we use a dye remover, which will take it completely out. Red stains are particularly tough. We'll use heat transfer or go on all fours to get it out, and nine out of 10 times, we can get it out.

If it's a pet stain, there's three different stages, depending on the extent of the damage and how long it's been there. Sometimes, a surface cleaning will get it right out. If that doesn't work, we try injection.

If the carpet's been soaked with urine, no matter how many times you clean it, you're still going to have the odor. The best thing to do is replace the padding, wash and vacuum the carpet, wash and treat the subfloor, and clean the top surface again.

Wool carpets are always tricky to clean. If you're not careful, they tend to shrink if you are using the wrong solutions to clean. There's been cases where carpets are cleaned and the technicians didn't know it was a wool carpet, and at the end of the day you find the carpets gradually coming off the walls.

If you're a homeowner doing it yourself, make sure you use a neutral cleaner that is not going to damage the carpet.

Hiring professionals has several advantages. First of all, you're not breaking your back doing it. It might sound easy, but it might take you the whole day to get it done.

Our carpets dry in about an hour, so the carpets don't look dingy after it's clean. They tend to last longer because we don't use harsh solutions to clean it.

It might end up costing you way more if you're cleaning it yourself. Carpets are designed not to be soaked completely. Carpets are composed of glue and fibers.

If it takes all day to dry, the glue and fibers could be coming apart. When the padding gets wet and takes that long to dry, you're creating a home for mold and mildew growth.

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