Does your carpet require special treatment?

Does your carpet require special treatment?

Whether you own an antique Tabriz Persian rug or modern wall-to-wall carpet, taking proper care of your rug will prolong its life and give you many more years of enjoyment.

Regular cleaning removes dirt, dust mites, mold spores, pet allergens and insects and their by-products. Regular cleaning normally involves vacuuming or shampooing to remove dust and other particles. Over time, particles become embedded and cannot be removed with a household vacuum. Built-up dust, mold and other particles require additional treatment such as application of special products or machinery that cleans deeply.

If a carpet becomes stained, special treatment is required. Before applying any cleaning agent, it is important to determine the fiber content, whether the dyes are stable, the type of stain and the condition and age of the carpet. If a stain has set, it may be more difficult to remove. Urine is among the most difficult because it not only stains, but leaves an odor; the cleaner must be able to remove both discoloration and smell without harming the carpet.

Natural fibers like wool, cotton and silk may require different cleaning solutions than man-made materials like polyester, acrylic or polypropylene. Natural fibers absorb liquids faster, so substances like urine or wine will quickly penetrate the fiber to the foundation. Polyester is more resistant to water-based stains and urine, but readily absorbs oily substances. Flurorchemical coatings and acid dye blockers used on many nylons are weakened by alkaline solutions.

To avoid damage to yarns and dyes, the cleaning agent should be as close to pH neutral as possible. Some dyes are not water-resistant and will run or bleed when wet. A patch test can be done in a corner or hidden area to see how colors react to the cleaning substance. The Carpet and Rug Institute's Seal of Approval program helps consumers identify products that perform well, minimize potential for damage and are pH neutral.

In response to consumer concern about the effects of cleaning solutions on the environment, several organizations provide lists of products that have less effect on health and the environment. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Design for the Environment Program helps consumers identify "green" products, including carpet care products.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s BioPreferred Program identifies carpet and upholstery cleaning products that are made wholly or partially from plant, animal or aquatic materials. The Responsible Purchasing Network provides overviews of agencies and their programs that evaluate or certify a product's environmental impact.

If you are unsure which cleaning product to pick, consult with a highly rated Boston carpet cleaner.


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