Did you know that nearly 80% of all the soil that accumulates on carpets consists of sand, dirt, and other dry particulates? This type of soiling is gritty and abrasive, and directly contributes to the premature wearing-out of your carpet’s fibres and producing a dull, lifeless appearance. If this soil isn’t removed through regular cleaning and maintenance, the particulates work their way down to the bottom of the carpet pile and rest against the primary backing. As people walk over the carpet, these particulates act like sandpaper and their sharp edges cut against the pile tufts. With enough traffic and time, these sharp edges act like a beaver gnawing at the base of a tree…and before you know it, your fibre tufts have fallen and have resulted in obvious wear patterns and bald patches.
But particulates aren’t the only soils that are accumulating in your carpets…that other 20% or so is made up of oils, greases, starches, and other sticky, gooey problems. This type of soil comes from a variety of sources, like smokes and steams from cooking, HVAC system byproducts, automobile exhausts, and other air pollutants. Many of these soils are acidic in nature, which is why most carpet shampoos and detergents are alkaline. Mildly alkaline cleaners help to neutralize the acids in these soils and lift them out without causing further damage to your carpet fibres.
When it comes to detergents and carpet shampoos, “more” doesn’t always mean “better”! One of the most common mistakes that non-professionals make when trying to clean their own carpets is underestimating just how important properly rinsing and removing all shampoo residue truly is at the end of a cleaning job. Using the least amount of shampoo required to lift and remove the soil in your carpet is the best method, and it’s imperative that all the shampoo introduced into the carpet is removed by the time the job is complete. Residual shampoos actually work to make your carpet re-dirty faster, as they’re designed to attract dirt – regardless of whether it’s old dirt that was already in your rug, or new dirt being tracked onto it! Shampoo once, rinse twice, and allow your carpets to fully dry before reintroducing traffic, otherwise you run the risk of premature wear-out.
Dirt and soils are more destructive to your carpets than most people realize! Remember, most carpets don’t actually wear out – they just “ugly out”! Prolong the appearance of your carpets with a proper cleaning regimen – it’s never too late to add a little life back into your rugs.