How To Keep Your Area Rugs Looking Fresh and Clean
If you live in Tennesee the best way to protect your rugs day to day with the changes in climate, is to remove your shoes when you get home. But don’t go barefoot; your feet have natural oils that rub off on the carpet. Those oils act like a dirt magnet, so it’s a good idea to always wear slippers or socks.
If possible, vacuum your rugs every day to remove surface dirt and dust. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter and change the filter every six months so you don’t blow pollutants back into the air. And for maximum effectiveness, change your vacuum bag when it is anywhere from one-half to two-thirds full or when the outside of the bag feels firm.
Professional Rug Cleaning for those Near Memphis & Nashville
As far as deep-cleaning your carpets in Tennesee, of course you want to clean them if there are visible stains, but the Environmental Protection Agency recommends a professional cleaning one to four times a year, depending on how heavily trafficked the area is. A professional cleaning removes not only the dirt and stains you can see but also what you can’t see. Carpets are like indoor sponges, trapping all types of pollutants, including dust, mold, bacteria and mildew, that can be bad for your health.
When hiring a professional cleaner in Tennesee, choose a company that uses hot-water deep extraction — it’s the most effective way to clean your carpet. Professionals spray the carpet with a cleaning solution and then use high-powered machines that emit hot water at high pressure onto your carpet to loosen dirt. At the same time, a high-powered vacuum pulls the hot water out of the carpet, along with the dirt and soap.
There is a huge power difference between professional carpet-cleaning machines and those you can rent at home and hardware stores: Professional machines have a pressure measurement of 250 to 1,200 pounds per square inch (PSI), as compared with the machines you can rent, which have a 35 to 70 PSI. A lack of powerful pressure could leave a soapy residue, which will then dry and attract dirt.
Professional cleaners have hundreds of cleaning solutions to choose from, each formulated for different types of carpet fibers. Make sure the person you hire knows which formula is best suited for your carpet. The wrong formula could lead to shrinkage and discoloration.
Reputable companies typically give you a price per square foot in a written proposal; usually it’s anywhere from 50 cents to $1 per square foot. If you talk to a company that gives you a vague quote or a lowball price, beware that there may be extensive overcharges once they are in your home.
In the dry carpet cleaning vs. steam cleaning debate, it's important to clear up the myth that steam is actually used to clean your carpets. While home and commercial machines use hot water, which gives off steam, the steam itself does not clean carpet.
Instead, the machine sprays detergent onto your carpet. Hot water activates the detergent on the carpet fibers — alkaline for synthetic carpets and acidic for wool or natural fiber carpets. A wet-vac is then used to suck up the bulk of the water on the floor.
Some people opt for steam carpet cleaning because they have concerns about dry cleaning chemicals affecting their health and the environment. Technically speaking, the only way to clean a carpet without chemicals is to just vacuum it, since even plain water is a chemical compound.
Why You Shouldn't Clean Area Rugs Like Carpets in Tennessee
Between thorough professional cleanings, which should take place every one to five years, depending on the amount of foot traffic that your rugs get, we recommend the following for home care:
A small rug can be taken outside and shaken or gently beat on the back to knock out the dry dirt. This process is much kinder to the rug than cleaning with the rotating brush head found on most vacuums today. The “beater bar” on older model vacuum cleaners is even worse for your rugs as aggressive vacuum cleaning in general breaks down rug fibers, increasing shedding and the appearance of wear.
Once dust has fallen out of the rug, then the rug can be swept with a natural bristle broom or tidied up with the bare floor attachment of the vacuum. Using a broom on a wool rug has the added benefit of lightly agitating the yarn pile, bringing up the lanolin in the wool. Lanolin is what makes wool soft and shiny and even provides some natural stain resistance.
Larger rugs can be swept with a broom to loosen dry dirt and pet hair. Use the broom to brush all of the soil onto the floor and then vacuum the floor around the rug with the bare floor attachment. If you prefer vacuum cleaning your rugs rather than sweeping them with a broom, then just use the bare floor attachment for the gentlest cleaning.
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