Care Guide – Carpets
Care for your carpets from Brookside Carpets and Curtains
with our Carpets Care Guide.
Your carpet may not be an exact colour match with the sample or an older carpet that is the same as your new one. Each separate production of the carpet will vary from batch to batch. Production is matched back to the original master sample to ensure the colour remains, within a commercial tolerance. The process is not an exact science and is subjective. Fading can be caused by exposure to ultra-violet light. Wool carpets are usually more susceptible to fading than man-made materials. Protection should be given to carpet exposed to sunlight.
Flattening will occur as a result of traffic which eventually flattens the pile particularly in the main area of use.
When a carpet is subject to a heavy point load, such as under the legs of furniture, you should expect the carpet to indent. Recovery time will vary depending on the load and the length of time it has been in place. The backing of the carpet may also distort into the indented underlay. The use of cups under furniture legs will spread the load, giving a wider, but less deeply indented carpet.
Carpet not lying flat
If the floor is uneven (due to undulating or gappy floorboards, or on solid floors, missing plastic tiles, peaks and troughs or damaged concrete), it may show through the carpet in the form of lines or shading. These affects may not have been noticeable on the previous aged carpet due to other features such as soiling, shading or flattening.
Occasionally an odd tuft can work its way to the surface and stand proud of the rest of the pile. These tufts should be scissor trimmed with the rest of the Pile. They should never be pulled out.
Soiling is usually the result of some local condition to which the carpet has been subjected. Common types of soiling are:
Spot cleaning should be attempted as soon as possible. It is advisable to have a carpet spot remover ready, that you have already tested and know how to use. See below for further information.
Points to remember
It is important never to rub the carpet, only ever blot.
Many, but not all manmade carpets are now bleach resistant. If bleach is used to spot clean, it should be diluted to one part bleach to ten parts water. Do not over wet the area.
Never use bleach on a carpet made of natural materials e.g. wool.
If you are unsure, the spillage is particularly large or likely problematic such as fizzy drinks or curry, professional help should be called as soon as possible.
If incorrectly applied, shampoo can leave sticky soap residues in the fibres which can result in the soiling reappearing.
Dust is carried on draughts can soil carpets in various ways. The edges of the room from gaps under the skirting boards or doors; Dark lines in the room from poorly fitted skirting boards; Dark spots from dust being carried on a draught under the carpet and being drawn through minute holes in the backing of the carpet.
In general, we recommend you have your carpet professionally cleaned every couple of years.
We do not recommend cleaning a carpet yourself, always use a professional.
We do not recommend steam cleaning your carpet. This can damage the carpet in several ways.
Cut pile carpets (twist, Saxony, velvet)
Cut pile carpets sometimes show a shading effect that appears as light and dark patches due to different pile direction. This effect can be exaggerated by such things as room lighting and certain types of traffic across the carpet. Shading is a natural phenomenon which cannot be totally eliminated in the production process and is therefore not considered to be a manufacturing fault. The effect is more noticeable on plainer carpets.
Like shading, this occurs when the pile or the nap of the carpet changes direction and thus reflects light at different angles showing the effects of shading which can become permanent. This can happen on any part of the carpet, not necessarily used areas. There is no commonly known manufacturing process which can cure this phenomenon. Therefore it is not a manufacturing fault.
All cut pile carpet will shed some fibre. This is most noticeable with wool carpets. The loose fibres should be vacuumed away. If they are not removed, pilling may occur. An upright vacuum cleaner with a beater bar is recommended for cut pile carpets.
Cut pile carpets (as opposed to loop carpets), should be vacuumed regularly with an upright vacuum cleaner with a beater bar. Regular vacuuming will help keep the carpet looking better for longer. It will remove dirt before it has a chance to become ingrained in the fibre, thus reducing the attraction of more dirt. This also helps with general wear as the fibres are not rubbing against tiny sharp particles.
Vacuuming will also help lift the pile and can reduce the effects of shading. Please note that wool carpets can easily fill a vacuum cleaner with loose fibres, especially when new. This is normal and the fibres need to be removed to avoid hazing of the surface and pilling.
We recommend vacuuming at least 2-3 times per week, daily in high traffic areas. Make sure to check and clean behind heavy furniture, especially if you have a wool carpet, as carpet moths like dark, quiet spaces. The moth larvae cannot survive an upright vacuum cleaner. If you notice signs of a moth infestation you should seek professional advice as soon as possible.
Loop pile carpets
Pulled loops are usually due to some local condition such as a sharp object or animal nail which has caught in the loop. Pulled loops should be trimmed level with the rest of the pile. They should not be pulled further or left as this could result in more loops being pulled, resulting in a ladder.
Loop carpets usually require a suction only vacuum cleaner which has a smooth plate with no brushes in contact with the carpet. On most loop carpets, brushes will pull out the fibres causing a coconut effect.
However, some loop pile carpets require an upright beating vacuum cleaner, while others will need regular cleaning with a suction only cleaner the periodic use of an upright cleaner.
Please ask for the correct recommendation for your carpet prior to purchase/installation.
Piling can sometimes occur on loop pile carpets. It is similar to the type of piling which can occur on a sweater. To avoid piling, vacuum with a cylinder cleaner using the suction head only and restrict the use of rubber soled shoes and pets’ claws which both act abrasively on the pile surface. In some cases a vacuum with a beater bar may be used to remove the piling for a short time, but please seek our advice first before doing this.
Spot cleaning dos and don’ts
Act quickly as fresh spills are easier to remove than dried in spills. Remove as much of the spill as possible using a blunt knife or a spoon before using any cleaning products. Always blot, never rub. Have a tried and tested carpet spot remover ready to use. Always work from the edge of the stain towards the middle to avoid spreading it. Do not use washing up liquid.
Polypropylene and polyester carpets
These are generally bleach cleanable. Many spills can just be blotted away with a clean cloth or paper towel. If the spill is a little tougher to remove use your carpet spot remover. If the mark is still not going, dilute some bleach with clean water 1 part bleach to 10 parts water and blot the solution on to the spill. Be careful not to over wet.
Remove as much of the spill as possible using a blunt knife or a spoon. Blot away as much of the spill with paper towels or a clean cloth. Use your tested spot cleaner, following its instructions, working from the outside of the spill, blotting not rubbing.
For further and spill specific advice, go to the Woolsafe web site https://www.woolsafe.org/carpet-rug-care-guide/ and look for “search for a stain”.
Follow the same guidelines as for wool.
Pick up any solids using a spoon or blunt knife. Blot up liquid gently with plain, white, absorbent paper such as kitchen towel. Keep blotting gently, change paper regularly until it comes back dry. Never rub or scrub which can ‘burst’ the pile surface causing permanent damage. Do not add water. Avoid home cleaning chemicals which may set the stain, damage the pile, or leave a sticky residue prone to re-soiling
To ensure that natural floor coverings keep their appearance it is necessary to maintain a regular cleaning routine including the immediate attention to any spillages. Due to their nature, some natural fibre floor coverings e.g. jute and sisal (particularly the lighter shades), are prone to water marking when water is spilt onto them. In the case of severe spillages the Stain Removal & Cleaning Set is recommended. The set comes complete with cleaning solutions, applicators and full instructions.
Other things to note with plant fibre carpets:
- Due to their method of manufacturing, you may find irregularity within the weave. There may be some loops tighter or looser than others, sprouting ends, broken loops, warping of lines, fibres of varying shade or undyed
- Some plant fibres readily absorb moisture, which can lead to shrinkage or mould and mildew. Care should be taken that the room does not have high humidity or dampness.
- A suction only vacuum should be used.