Learning to employ the right method of carpet cleaning is every bit as important as acquiring the right type of carpet for your space. Even with the best carpet shampooer, spaces receive high foot traffic, and here, you will want to select a more durable carpet that can retain its attractiveness over the years, as well as, continue to do its job effectively. Other spaces may not receive as much foot traffic, and you may be able here to select a lovely high-end carpet that is more delicate, but also very lovely and fine for special occasions. The key to extending the useful life and look of any carpet you choose will depend, in part, on how much foot traffic it can withstand, and on whether you match the right cleaning method with the specific type of carpet you have. Because of the durability or delicacy of certain types of carpet fibers, as well as, the length and thickness of the pile, the style of the weave, the uniformity or variance in colors, and other factors, not all carpet cleaning methods will behave the same on different types of carpet. Learn here how to match the right type of carpet cleaning with the type of carpet you have.
Berber carpet has a pile that is comprised of loops of fibers that are not cut, but rather are woven loop by loop into the underlying base weave. This creates a carpet that is very attractive, very durable and functional. Berber carpet can withstand a great deal of wear and tear, including the presence of heavy furniture, extensive foot traffic, exposure to the elements and more, and it will still maintain an attractive appearance as long as regular cleaning is conducted. For Berber carpeting, you also have more options than you will with more finicky carpet types. You can use shampooing, dry foam, dry cleaning, steam cleaning, or even bonnet cleaning, which is usually only reserved for larger rugs or carpeting in industrial type spaces. Simply vacuuming your Berber carpet regularly is a great way to cut down on the professional grade treatments you may need to perform, as vacuuming easily sucks the dirt and debris up from the uncut fiber loops and helps to retard the formation of deeper stains due to debris.
If you have Persian or Oriental carpeting, you have two main options. One option is to gently shampoo the carpet yourself, carefully working a small amount of carpet shampoo that is formulated for these delicate rugs into the pile and then through the fringes, washing away any residue with clean, fresh water and allowing the carpet to air dry in an environment that is free from humidity. Steam cleaning is another, often gentler option for your Oriental or Persian carpeting. It is also very important, if possible, to consult the maker or reseller of your carpet for recommendations before choosing a professional cleaning method for this type of carpet. On a completely different note, many carpets that are sold in major department stores and mainstream home furnishings stores are made of plush, synthetic velvet, or a polyester blend, and these are by far the easiest to clean and maintain. While they look and feel soft, they are very durable, and a combination of vacuuming and occasional steam cleaning (on a low heat setting only) will usually accomplish your goal of keeping this type of carpeting looking great.
If you have a carpet called a “cut and loop”, this type of durable, high traffic-friendly carpet can withstand even heavy duty commercial cleaning methods such as bonnet cleaning. The one caveat you will need to observe is to ensure that your carpet is able to dry thoroughly if the method you choose involves water, since the higher, thicker pile of this type of carpet can cause drying delays, and foot traffic or furniture replacement too early in the drying stage can cause unattractive depressions where the carpet pile gets compacted. Not allowing carpet to dry thoroughly can also cause staining. Finally, if you have a high end carpet such as a Saxony pile or a silken blend carpet or area rug, this type of carpeting will require a more gentle carpet cleaning method. Dry cleaning and steam cleaning can both work well depending on the composition of the fabric. If you do use a vacuum regularly, be sure that the mechanism is gentle so as not to pull at the delicate pile too much and cause distortions in the pattern.
Jack Startmouth worked as the director of sales and marketing for a major carpet cleaning company. He also enjoys his longtime hobby of learning the centuries-old art of weaving carpets, displaying his wares each year at his local Renaissance Festival.