Carpet Maintenance Guide

hands carpets maintainence

Normal issues with a new carpet

Shedding - Some loose fibres are always present in every new cut pile carpet. The number is quite small compared to the total fibre content and so is of no importance. Regular vacuuming will remove them without harming the carpet.

Shading - All carpets are subject to a phenomenon known as 'shading,' 'pooling,' or 'watermarking'. It's natural and hence cannot be prevented. It creates a permanent change in the carpet's appearance, usually 2-6 weeks after installation. 'Shading' is not a manufacturing defect and does not affect the durability of the carpet. The appearance is created by the way light reflects off the side and tip of the yarn. Shaded areas will appear light from one direction, and dark from the other.

Loose Threads - A loose thread may occasionally appear from the pile of a carpet. This is not a defect. These threads should be cut away with a pair of scissors.

General maintenance

General maintenance

Keep in mind that carpets, compared to hard-surface floors, localise spills and prevent them from spreading quickly. It is wise to anticipate maintenance from the very first day the carpet is installed. Otherwise, abrasive dirt may build up faster than it can be handled. Stains and spills in food service areas will be very common. Hence, it is essential to plan daily preventive maintenance - which includes both regular vacuuming and spot cleaning.

Effective daily preventive maintenance:

  • Use stiff bristle walk-off mats at all building entrance and kitchen exit areas to collect dirt before it reaches the carpet.
  • Mats should be vacuumed daily and must be changed at least once a week. It's best to keep two sets of walk-off mats.

Vaccuming schedules and equipment

Use a Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner without a beater bar. Brushes should be raised away from the surface of the pile, and suction reduced to the minimum amount needed.

To avoid pushing dirt back into the fibres, vacuum in the direction of the pile. The frequency of vacuuming should match traffic and soil conditions. ‘Track-off’ areas at building and / or kitchen entrances must be vacuumed several times a day.

Traffic Nature Vacuuming Frequency
High traffic Vacuum daily
(extremely high traffic lanes may require vacuuming several times daily)
Medium traffic Vacuum two to three times weekly
Light traffic Vacuum weekly

Detergent solutions

Harsh detergents can be risky. Inappropriate cleaning agents can cause dyes to bleed or fade. Before using an untested detergent, it is wise to try it first on a small, inconspicuous section. Be careful not to spill or over-spray. Detergents may leave sticky residues that will cause rapid re-soiling. Use a detergent that dries to crisp flakes which can be vacuumed easily.

Please Note: Detergent solutions for wool, viscose, bamboo silk, and pure silk should have a neutral PH - between 5.0 and 7.5

Periodic cleaning methods

There are two common approaches:

  • Dry foam with extraction
  • Dry extraction

Please do not use spin bonnets, rotary brushes or rotary extractors. Their rotary action can severely distort the pile yarn.

Cleaning frequency

The following general guidelines have been established by IICUC (International Institute of Carpet and Upholstery Certification) based on U.S EPA letter. It is intended to serve as a guideline on recommended cleaning frequencies for carpet from a public health perspective in addition to the traditional aesthetic concern. Please assess individual needs based on usage. This chart is only an indication.

Environmental Humidity/Dust Normal Medium High
Food Service Areas 1 Month 1 Week 2 Weeks
Health Care or Beauty Saloon 1 Month 1 Month 1 Week
Commercial Areas (Ground Floor) 5-6 Months 1-4 Months 2-6 Months
Commercial Areas (Higher Floors) 6-12 Months 2-6 Months 3-9 Months
Other Commercial Areas 3-6 Months 1 Months 2 Months
e.g. corridors

Carpets adjacent to hard-surface flooring tend to soil rapidly and become difficult to clean.

Pure silk, bamboo and viscose

Silk, bamboo, and viscose carpets need extra care to keep them looking luxurious and shiny.

Most people assume that there are two kinds of fibres: natural ones like cotton, wool, and silk; and artificial ones, synthesised out of petrochemicals like nylon and polyester.

Viscose falls somewhere in between. The raw material for viscose is cellulose which is broken down either mechanically or chemically and reformed as fibres.

Silk, bamboo, and viscose fibres can be damaged by high temperatures, high pH (>7.5), and sunlight. Viscose reacts quickly with water. In case of a spill, it should be dried immediately. Otherwise, water staining (yellowish in colour) and surface hardening can become prominent. Please verify local certificates for flammability standards for viscose carpets.

Cleaning tips for immediate action

Water: Cover it with paper towels. You may need to repeat till the space is completely dry.

Powders: Bring in the vacuum cleaner.

Food: Soften the spill with 1/4 teaspoon of mild liquid detergents in a cup of lukewarm water. Use a rounded spoon to lift it off the carpet and blot dry.

Juices and other coloured liquids: Pour some salt over the spot. It will absorb the liquid like a sponge. Use a rounded spoon to remove the residue. Clean the area with a little cold water and blot dry.

Paint, oil, and grease: Remove paint, oil, and grease with nail polish remover; clean with cold water and blot dry.

Peroxide bleach and other harsh chemicals: Use cold water to clean the alected area and contact a professional rug cleaner.

If liquid spills have dried, a soft brush should be used to break up any crusted material. Vacuum thoroughly to remove loosened particles.

After the cleaning is completed, do not work on the carpet until it’s dry.

Special Note

These guidelines are to be used as a reference. Specialised carpet cleaners should be consulted for stubborn stains and specific maintenance issues.

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