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Carpet Care Basics

Most homeowners think they’re caring for their carpets adequately if they’re hiring a professional carpet cleaner periodically and vacuuming now and again, but many don’t know that a few simple steps could help their carpets last longer.

 

“Whether it’s the wrong carpet spotter or forgetting to vacuum often enough, there are a number of steps homeowners can take to make their carpets last longer between pro cleanings,” says Eric Moe, owner of Alpine Specialty Cleaning, a family-run business that has been cleaning carpets around Seattle since 1969 and which specializes in chemical-free cleaning processes.

 

These days, when Alpine Specialty Cleaning comes to clean a home’s carpets it uses a rare chemical-free de-ionized water system from a high-suction truck to draw out impurities from carpets. But working on a carpet that has been well maintained always helps lay the foundation and maximize the results of a good professional clean.

 

Here’s a look at how to keep your carpet in good shape.

 

Use a high-quality vacuum

 

If you’ve got wall-to-wall carpet in one or more rooms of your home, you need to play a role in keeping it shipshape between professional cleanings. To do that, you’ll need a high-quality vacuum with maximum suction, preferably at least 245 AW (air watts). There are several other suction measures to know when vacuum shopping, so familiarize yourself with them and look for the higher end of the spectrum when shopping.

 

Vacuum high-traffic areas daily

 

If you’ve got carpet, you’ll need to vacuum at least weekly. But for high traffic areas – front door entries, halls leading to kitchens, family rooms – you’ll need to vacuum daily to keep your carpet from marinating in future stains and damage and to maintain fibers’ pluck and firmness.

 

Use pads beneath area rugs

 

Many homeowners use accent area rugs atop wall-to-wall carpeting. But those who choose to do so should place rug pads beneath these carpets to prevent two common problems – dye transfer, and carpet-surface erosion. Unpadded area rugs can seep dye into surfaces beneath them, and their scratchy backing can act like sandpaper and erode the wall-to-wall carpet’s pile.

 

Rearrange furniture periodically and doctor divots

 

Carpet wear and tear is often directly related to furniture positioning. Sofas and chairs in permanent locations create natural foot-traffic patterns and dirt patterns (where snacks and drinks spill, where toddlers or pets romp), and the furniture legs planted on carpet surfaces can eventually damage carpets if not moved (even a few inches) periodically. If your carpet has divots, place ice cubes in a plastic baggy and rest the baggy inside the divot. The cold from the ice will force carpet fibers to swell, restoring their resiliency and the carpet’s surface.

 

Use a proper stain spotter

 

“If you use a harsh store-bought stain spotter, it will remove the carpet’s stain resistance, allowing more stains to soak into the fibers,” Moe says. The principle is similar to overwashing hair so that it’s stripped of natural oils, and thus becomes oilier more easily. Once applied and allowed to sit, stain spotter should be thoroughly removed. Alpine offers free stain-spotting solution to its clients for between-cleaning spotting, as well as tips on how to remove common carpet stains using household remedies and products.

 

Know when it’s time to replace carpet

 

If your carpet is old and damaged, there are certain signs that cleaning alone won’t restore the carpet to its old luster – and only replacement will do. If the carpet’s pile is worn down or has “bald spots,” if the carpet is heavily soiled, or if it has begun to delaminate or separate from its backing (so it’s no longer stretched tight to the floor beneath it), it’s time to replace rather than clean the carpet.

 

Got new carpet? Get in a cleaning routine.

 

If you’ve moved into a home with new carpet or are replacing old carpet with new, that’s the perfect time to get into an established cleaning routine. How often should you clean carpets? Moe says that most homeowners need professional carpet cleaning at least annually – every six months if pets, crawling babies or toddlers, or allergies or respiratory sensitivities are present. Another tip for new carpet: Make sure to use blinds or curtains so constant direct sunlight doesn’t fade or change carpet colors.

 

Alpine Specialty Cleaning was founded in the Seattle area in 1969 by Maurice Moe. Eric Moe and his wife, Bobbie, continue the “Tradition of Quality” and “5 Star Experience” that Alpine has been known for over the years.

Show some love to your beloved furniture!

People always think of cleaning their carpets, but have you ever really thought about cleaning your furniture? I know that I never really did! My furniture gets a lot of use between movie nights, lazy days on the couch and my dog thinking the furniture is her own personal bed; so, I figured that my furniture gets a lot of use. People invest a lot into their furniture and should properly take care of it. Here are 5 ways to keep your furniture looking newer longer:

 

  • Fluff the Cushions-In order to maintain the shape and comfort of your cushions fluff the cushions regularly. There is nothing worse than a lumpy couch or chair where no matter where you sit, there is no comfortable spot. Keep your furniture feeling nicer by fluffing the cushions regularly. This will help to protect your investment.

 

 

  • Flip and Rotate your Cushions- Depending on the piece of furniture, everyone has their favorite spot. On a couch, most people prefer to sit on one side or the other, rather than in the middle. Because of this, it creates a permanent wear on the furniture. To prevent wearing of certain areas, rotate your cushions and flip them regularly. By rotating the cushions, it will make them last longer. By also flipping your couch cushions over, it will help preserve the life of the couch up to twice as long.

 

  • Vacuum your Furniture-  It is easy to forget about vacuuming your furniture because we can’t always tell that it is dusty; but just because we can’t see it, doesn’t mean the dust is not there. Vacuuming regularly helps to get rid of dust that can accumulates and helps with allergens.

 

  • Steam Clean-   It is recommended that you steam clean your furniture regularly. This process can help extend the life of your furniture. Over time your furniture picks up dust, dirt, pet hair, and food stains. Steam cleaning can give your furniture a fresh new, look and help improve the cleanliness of your home. If left alone, many pieces of your furniture can fall victim to dust and grime. Not getting these pieces cleaned can increase allergens and health issues which may pose an issue if you are sensitive to dust. Steam cleaning can help deliver health benefits and keep your furniture lasting longer.

 

  • Re-protect it with an All-Natural Stain Protectant- All in all, people invest a lot into their furniture so it may take a little investing in to upkeep it. It will be worth it in the long run when you can enjoy your favorite couch or chair for many years to come.After steam cleaning your furniture, you will want to keep it looking and feeling clean as long as possible. To help with this, you may want to invest in an all-natural stain protectant. During the steam cleaning process, it removes the natural stain protectant that is on your furniture when you buy it. So, it is recommended that you re-apply the stain protectant. That way if you spill anything or track any dirt or soil on it, it’s adhering to the stain protectant rather than the furniture itself, thus keeping your furniture cleaner longer and making it easier to clean next time.

           All in all, people invest a lot into their furniture so it may take a little investing in to upkeep it. It will be worth it in the long run when you can enjoy your favorite couch or chair for many years to come.