VACUUMING 101 :
Your first line of defense in protecting your carpet from wear and tear is vacuuming .It does more than just clean the surface of your carpet.While surface cleaning with the vacuum is important (it keeps the soil from being ground into the pile ), vacuuming done properly also removes some debris from the base of the carpet yarn where they can abrade the fiber and lead to premature wear . Additionally , vacuuming regularly improves indoor air quality .

In order to vacuum effectively , your vacuum must be set at the right level for the pile height of your carpet . Lower is not necessarily better . If the beater bar is set too low it can do more harm than good . Set the bar at the highest setting and run it across the carpet . If you can see that it has brushed the fiber at this setting you should leave it . If it doesn't appear to have brushed the surface of the fiber , lower the bar and test again . Do this just until you see that the beater bar is brushing the fiber .You do not want the beater bar to dig down too far into the carpet pile as it can cause a problem called corn rowing and it is NOT attractive and most likely would not be covered by a warranty .

Once you have established the proper height setting , begin vacuuming using a SLOW  front-to-back motion overlapping the passes . You can make quicker passes over low traffic areas , but take extra time in the heavy to moderate traffic paths . In the areas most frequently traveled , go back across the path perpendicular to the original pass .Then vacuum from the opposite direction . Dirt particles are abrasive and lead to loss of sheen and worn fibers that more easily become matted and stained .Special attention to high traffic areas can prolong the life of your carpet . After all , you change your carpet because the traffic areas look unattractive . It always looks like new under the furniture .

Ideally , you should vacuum daily in high traffic areas , twice weekly in moderate traffic areas and once a week in low traffic areas . As busy as we all are that might seem excessive .This is a good suggestion , but not a hard and fast rule . Someone living alone might not have to vacuum as often as someone with a spouse , 2 kids , 3 dogs and a cat . You should make sure your vacuum is working properly regardless of how often you vacuum . So check for obstructions in the hose and empty the bag or dust receptacle before it gets too full .The Carpet and Rug Institute website has a list of CRI approved vacuums and carpet cleaning companies as well as other tips .

About 80% of the dirt in your carpet is carried in on your shoes ! Placing a mat at your entry doors and keeping walks and porches swept are also effective deterrents to premature wear of your carpet .

In addition to routine vacuuming , it is also important to have your carpets deep cleaned regularly . In fact in order for carpet warranties to be in tact , should you have a claim , you must provide proof that you have had your carpets professionally cleaned every 12 to 18 months .

Your carpet is an investment . Vacuuming regularly and properly can help keep your carpet looking attractive and extend it's life . Too bad that doesn't work on people .  

SPOT TREATMENTS -
The first rule of spot treatment is to act quickly . The sooner you treat the area , the less likely the spot will come back to haunt you . The first course of action is to absorb the spill . If the spill is semisolid or thick in nature , scrape it up with a spoon or knife .Blot any liquids or leftover residue with a plain white cloth or paper towel
( avoid paper towels with prints on them )  Blot from the outside toward the center .Should you need to moisten the area , begin with plain water . If you don't get results with water , you may use a spot remover . If you don't have a  spot remover handy , use a detergent solution Mix 1/4 teaspoon of clear , non bleach , non lanolin dish or laundry detergent with 32 oz of water . Follow with a clear water rinse and blot dry . For coffee or tea stains , mix one cup of white vinegar with one cup of water . Be careful when spot cleaning not to over wet the area .Avoid using brushes or scrubbing too aggressively as you can damage the fiber. Also , always test the cleaning agent in an inconspicuous area before treating the stain to make sure it doesn't bleach the dye from the carpet .

The vinegar and water method is also effective on pet stains . After cleaning with the solution , rinse with water , blot dry , then fold over cloth or paper towels to a thickness of 1/2 inch , place over the area and place a weight ( a stack of books will work ) on top  . This wicks any residue up out of the carpet and helps prevent the urine residue from crystallizing and producing odor - especially in warmer more humid months .Pet vomit is another matter . After scraping up any solid or semisolid matter , blot using a solution of one part non sudsy ammonia to 5 parts water . Again , blot and wick up residue with folded towels .




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