Preventing fading from direct sunlight
Over the years, sunlight will fade carpets – especially wool carpets. (Solution dyed synthetic carpets are the ultimate in fade resistance.) Protect your carpet from prolonged periods of direct sunlight with curtains, blinds or awnings. You may also wish to consider adding UV protection to glass windows and doors.
Dealing with fluff on your new carpet
Balls of fluff may appear on your new carpet, which are actually bits of loose fibre left in the pile from the manufacturing process. Walking in socks or pantyhose accentuates the fluffing, because they draw the loose carpet fibres to the surface. It’s safe to vacuum up any carpet fluff that appears.
Single tufts sprouting from the carpet
‘Sprouting’ is when a single tuft rises up from the pile surface of your carpet. If you have a cut pile carpet, it’s safe to trim any sprouts with scissors. However, don’t pull the tuft or it could unravel and leave a hole in your carpet. If you have a loop pile carpet, professional repair is recommended.
Crush marks will disappear over time
You might find that your new carpet has noticeable light and dark strips – especially in plush pile carpets. These are called crush marks, and are caused by the weight of the carpet in a large roll pressing down on the layers. Over the next 3 to 6 months the crushing will disappear, especially with regular vacuuming and foot traffic.
Pressure marks and dents from heavy furniture
The weight of furniture legs can create dents in your carpet. To avoid this, use furniture cups – and it’s also a good idea to occasionally move the furniture a few centimetres every so often. Use protective mats where castor chairs (e.g. office chairs) are used, and take care when moving any furniture.
Flattened carpet pile can be revived by placing a warm steam iron over a towel laid on top of the carpet. Hold the steam iron gently to the towel, and use the steam button to inject steam. However, don’t press the iron hard onto the towel, as that can leave gloss marks on your carpet.
Minimising the wear and tear from foot traffic
Place door mats at all exterior doorways and entrances, and clean these mats regularly. This will help trap the dirt and moisture from shoes, and keep it away from your carpet.
Areas that regularly have heavy foot traffic may suffer from ‘tracking’, which makes the carpet look a different colour. Regular vacuuming will help to alleviate this, or you could consider using scatter rugs in high traffic areas and in front of chairs to minimise uneven wearing.
A note about rugs
Although rugs are great at minimising wear on high foot traffic areas, check the rugs for colourfastness before placing them on your carpet. Some rugs can and do bleed through.
Also, rugs should be cleaned regularly – and that’s a great time to clean and restore the pile of the carpet underneath. After cleaning your rugs, allow both the rug and the carpet to dry completely before replacing the rugs on the floor.
Regular vacuuming is important
It’s important to vacuum your carpet thoroughly and frequently, especially in high traffic areas. Vacuuming not only prolongs the life of your carpet, but also enhances its appearance.
In lightly soiled areas, pass the vacuum cleaner over each part of the carpet 3 times. And in heavily soiled areas, 5 to 7 passes will be necessary.
First of all, vacuum against the natural pile direction: this lifts the pile, helping to unsettle and remove dirt and grit while reducing matting.
When finishing, vacuum in the direction of the pile to achieve a uniform finish.
Steam clean with caution – and don’t shampoo the carpet yourself
Depending on usage, carpet should be professionally steam cleaned every 18 to 24 months.
However, steam cleaning should only be undertaken by a professional in accordance with the Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 3733:1995.
Shampooing, do-it-yourself steam cleaning or dry cleaning is not recommended.
Chemicals and carpets don’t mix
Exercise extreme caution with all bleaches, tile cleaners, mildew removers, oven cleaners, drain openers, plant food, and so on. They are strong chemicals that could permanently discolour or dissolve carpet fibres.