Care And Maintenance - Get The Most From Your Feltex Carpet

Your new Feltex carpet is a substantial investment and like your other furnishings, requires proper care to keep it looking great for years to come. You can protect your investment, prolong the life of your carpet and enhance the quality of your indoor environment by following a regular maintenance schedule.

Carpet usually does not wear out in terms of fibre wearing away, rather its appearance can deteriorate over time to a point at which it is no longer acceptable.

Experience has shown that proper maintenance can help reduce the rate at which the appearance of a carpet changes.

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The Carpet Care Program

A comprehensive carpet care program consists of four elements:

  • Preventative measures
  • Regular vacuuming
  • Steam cleaning
  • Removal of spots and spill

Preventative Measures

  • Use new, quality underlay under your carpet, particularly on stairs. Good underlay gives better resilience underfoot and can also add to the life of your carpet. Installing carpet over carpet (i.e. using old carpet as underlay) is not recommended.
  • Try to keep your entrance ways free of excessive dirt and substances which can be tracked into the home. Outdoor mats should be used at all entrances to absorb soil and moisture. Mats should be cleaned on a regular basis so they don’t become sources of soil themselves, especially during wet weather.
  • Protective indoor mats or rugs are very useful in front of chairs, as the continual grinding of footwear can accelerate wear in these areas. This wear is usually most prevalent in front of chairs used for TV viewing, computer use and under tables.
  • Move heavy furniture occasionally to avoid excessive pile crushing. The use of coasters under the legs of tables, chairs and other furniture will help distribute the weight and prevent crushing of the pile. Use protective chair pads under chairs or appliances with rollers or castor wheels to prevent wear and damage to the carpet. When moving heavy wheeled furniture (pianos, buffets, etc), prevent damage by placing a protective barrier of heavy cardboard or similar between the wheels and the carpet.
  • Be sure to regularly remove and clean any rugs used over your carpet. Clean and restore the pile of the carpet in the underlying area. Check rugs for colourfastness before replacement, as the dyes in some rugs may bleed through to the carpet. After cleaning your carpet, remember to allow complete drying before replacing rugs.
  • Protect your carpet and furnishings from prolonged periods of sunlight with window tinting, blinds, shades and/or awnings to minimise fading and maintain durability. Move furniture periodically to expose all areas evenly.

Moths / Carpet Beetles and Wool Carpets

All Feltex wool carpets have insect resistant treatments applied during manufacture. The treatment does not stop insects from entering your home and moths / beetles can build up an immunity and in some areas, have developed a tolerance to treatments. The insect deterrent treatment is embedded in the carpet fibre and needs to be ingested by the insect to have an effect and stop further spreading – such that some fibre loss may occur and good housekeeping is essential.

Regular vacuuming along the skirting, under furniture and in corners will discourage insects and reveal any infestations at an early stage. If you believe there may be a minor infestation thoroughly vacuum the area (spraying the contents of the vacuum cleaner with insecticide prior to disposal) and treat the infested area, extending 15 cm beyond the boundaries of the activity, with an insecticidal aerosol spray or dust following manufacturer’s directions and precautions.

In the case of serious infestations or if the initial treatment is not successful, it is recommended you contact a professional pest control operator.

Regular Vacuuming

Thorough and frequent vacuuming, particularly in high traffic areas, is important for prolonging the life of your carpet and assisting to enhance its appearance.

After your carpet is laid, vacuum to remove surface lint, dust and fluff. Thereafter, continue to vacuum thoroughly at least weekly and more frequently in high traffic areas. This will remove soil and grit before it works its way below the pile surface, where it is far more difficult to remove and can abrade the carpet and dull its appearance.

Three vacuum passes for light soiled areas are recommended, with five to seven passes for heavily soiled areas. Vacuuming against the natural pile direction first lifts the pile, helping to unsettle and remove dirt and grit while reducing matting. Then, vacuum in the direction of the pile to achieve a uniform finish.

To effectively clean your carpet, use only a quality vacuum cleaner. Vacuums fitted with micro filter systems ensure fine particles (such as dust mite allergens) are removed and stay in the collection bag or canister. This is particularly important if you are dust sensitive. Consider your carpet type when selecting a vacuum. Adjustable height and suction are important features as they enable your vacuum to be used on a wide variety of carpet constructions. Luxuriously thick, soft cut pile carpets: Use a high height setting so any beater bar/rotating brush just lightly touches the carpet surface. Use a suction level that allows the vacuum to move easily whilst lifting dirt and other foreign matter.

Avoid vacuums with very concentrated or sealed suctions. Large wheels will ensure the vacuum glides easily across the carpet.

Loop pile or long pile carpets (including cut loop and berber): Vacuum with suction only. Vacuum powerheads, beater bars and rotating brushes should never be used as they may cause excessive fuzzing of the pile surface.

Other carpet constructions: Use a vacuum with a beater bar to agitate the pile and loosen any foreign matter in the pile.

Change or empty dust collection bags frequently (vacuum cleaner efficiency can be reduced when half full). Ensure the vacuum is kept in sound mechanical condition. Replace filters as recommended by the manufacturer. Check the height of beaters (if fitted) and ensure brushes are cleaned and replaced when worn out.

Steam Cleaning

Carpet should be professionally steam cleaned regularly, approximately every twelve to eighteen months, depending upon the usage and colour. Even though both light and dark colours attract the same dirt and grit, lighter colours tend to show soiling earlier.

Steam cleaning should only be performed by a reputable professional steam cleaner. Your carpet retailer can recommend one.

Steam cleaning when carried out should be in accordance with the latest Australian/New Zealand carpet cleaning and maintenance standard AS/NZS 3733 “Textile floor coverings.

- Cleaning maintenance of residential and commercial carpeting”. Reputable carpet cleaners are aware of and abide by this standard.

Shampooing, do-it-yourself steam cleaning or dry cleaning of carpets is not recommended.

Spot Cleaning Guide

Prompt and immediate attention to any spillages or stains is paramount to avoid the penetration of a stain into the carpet fibres. Liquids (particularly hot liquids) must be attended to immediately. If allowed to cool or dry, the stain will be almost impossible to remove. Care must be taken as haphazard attempts at spot removal can cause permanent stain setting, pile distortion and loss of colour.

Basic Carpet Cleaning Steps:

  1. Immediately remove as much of the spill as possible. For solids use a blunt knife or spoon. Blot up liquids by applying pressure with white paper towels or tissues. Use a wet/dry vacuum for large spills. NEVER scrub or rub the carpet during the stain removal (or rinsing) process as a fuzzy area may result. Always work from the outside of the stain or spillage towards the middle to avoid further spreading using a blotting or dabbing motion. Never scrub or rub the carpet during the stain removal (or rinsing) process as a fuzzy area may result.
  2. Most common household food and beverage stains (not including stains containing strong dyes or substances which destroy or change the colour of carpet) need to be treated solely with warm, not hot, water immediately applied to the stained area. Repeat treatment above until no stain is evident on the cloth or towels used to press dry the area.
  3. Ensure carpet is press dried with a clean white cloth or white paper towel to remove excess moisture. Do not rub, as rubbing can alter the carpet’s texture.
  4. Should the stain remain, using a clean white cloth or sponge, treat with a mixture of 1 teaspoon of approved wool laundry detergent and one teaspoon of white vinegar in 1 litre of warm water. Rinse with warm water, repeating treatment until no stain is evident on cloth or towels.
  5. After the spill or stain has been treated, place several layers of white paper towel over the area and place a flat weight on them until dry. A hairdryer may be used to speed up the drying process but do NOT overheat the area. Do not walk on the carpet until dry.
  6. Sometimes stains will reappear due to ‘wicking’ as stains hidden in the pile resurface as the carpet dries. If so, allow the carpet to dry fully and repeat the above treatment until no stain is evident (this process may need to be repeated over several days).
  7. If stains fail to respond adequately to treatment, call a professional carpet cleaner immediately.

Stains should be differentiated from soiling. Ensure that any residue from spills or cleaning mixtures are fully removed. For example, many sugar based spills, such as soft drinks and coffee, leave a sugar residue after removal. Similarly, when spills are cleaned with a detergent solution and the area is not sufficiently rinsed, a sticky detergent residue can remain. This sticky residue attracts soil from ordinary foot traffic and the resulting discolouration appears to be a stain. If so, repeat stain removal procedures above.

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Authored date: 22/08/2022