How to Care for your Carpet

How to Maintain Your Carpets Appearance

Vacuum Regularly
You can't vacuum too often. Use a vacuum with a beater bar or rotating brush which loosens the dirt for the vacuum to remove. Vacuums with top-loading bags are preferred over bottom-loading bags. Change the disposable bag or empty the vacuum often. Carpet with thick loop pile construction (berber) may be sensitive to brushing. rubbing. or scraping of the pile surface which may cause fuzzing and pile distortion. It is recommended that vacuums with suction action only be used on these styles. Carpet sweepers and electric brooms are useful for picking up crumbs and surface soil, but it's important to know that they will not clean deep.

Clean Spots and Spills Immediately

  • Give Prompt attention to spots and spills for best results.
  • Use a spoon or dull knife to remove solid materials.
  • Blot up liquid spills with a white towel.
  • Never rub, scrub, or use a brush. This may cause damage to the carpet fibers.
  • Use a cleaning agent and procedure appropriate for the type of stain being removed.
  • Apply all cleaning agents to the cloth rather than directly to the stained area to avoid saturating the carpet when spot cleaning. Clean the fibers, not the backing.
  • Do not rush. Deep stains might require repeat cleanings because they can "wick" back up again initial cleaning.
  • Work from the outside to the center of large stains. This prevents spreading.

Stain Removal - "Easy as 1-2-3"

Step 1: Detergent Solutions
Mix 1 teaspoon of mild laundry detergent (non-bleaching brands) with two cups of water. Stir the solution gently. Using a clean white cloth, dampen the fibers in the stained area with the detergent solution.

If necessary, use your fingertips to work the solution to the base of the stain.
Re-wet the stained carpet fibers with clear, lukewarm water.
Cover the area with an absorbent, white towel and apply pressure to blot.
Repeat the rinsing / blotting procedures until you are sure all traces of the detergent have been removed.
If the stains are removed, place white paper towels over the stained area.
Weight the towels with a heavy, color-fast object such as a plastic wastebasket with a weight inside.
Change the paper towels as stains wick up until the area dries.
If stains remain (unless they are from coffee, tea or urine) proceed to step 2. For coffee, tea and urine stains proceed directly to step 3.

Step 2: Ammonia / Water

Note: Do not use on coffee, tea or urine stains.

Mix 1 tablespoon of non-bleaching, non-sudsing household ammonia with 1 cup of lukewarm water. Apply this solution as outlined in Step 1, rinsing the area in the same manner.

Note: Even if stains disappear after using the ammonia solution, it is necessary to use Step 3 - the vinegar solution - to neutralize the ammonia solution.

Step 3: Vinegar / Water
Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water. Apply this solution as outlined in Step 1 and 2. Rinse and blot. Fold paper towels and place over the stained area. Weight towels with a heavy, colorfast object such as a plastic wastebasket with a weight inside. Continue to change paper towels until the area is almost dry. Gently brush pile to lift tufts. Allow carpet to completely dry before walking on carpet surface. Note: You must use Step 3 if you first used Step 2. It is important to neutralize the ammonia solution.

Professional Cleaning
We recommend professional cleaning every 18 months - 2 years or before the carpet becomes too unsightly. We recommend the hot water extraction system, which research indicates provides the best capability for cleaning. This system is commonly referred to as "steam cleaning" although no steam is actually generated. The process consists of pressure spraying a solution of water and detergent into the pile and recovering the water and soil with a powerful vacuum into a holding tank. This can be done from a truck-mounted unit outside the home with only the hose and sand brought inside, or where a truck-mounted unit cannot reach, by a portable, self-contained system brought into the home.

How to care for your Hardwood

For surface finishes, including urethanes:

Keep grit off the floor, dust mop or vacuum regularly and keep doormats clean. Wipe up spills promptly with a dry cloth. Use a slightly dampened cloth for sticky spills.

For general cleaning (if the manufacturer is not known) use a generic hardwood floor cleaner, available at your local retail wood flooring store. If the luster does not return to traffic areas, the floor may require recoating. Consult your wood floor professional for this process.

Do NOT wax a urethane finished floor. Waxing a urethane finished floor will cause the wood floor to be slippery, requiring continuous waxing as your maintenance, and any re-surfacing will require a full sanding process.

Acrylic impregnated floors require a spray and buff system as recommended by the manufacturer.


For waxed floors:

Keep grit off the floor, dust mop or vacuum regularly and keep doormats clean. Wipe up spills promptly with a dry cloth or dry paper towel, use a slightly dampened cloth for sticky spills and buff with a dry cloth to restore luster. When the floor looks dull, buff first to see if luster can be restored before waxing. When areas of heavy use no longer respond to buffing, wax only those areas and buff the entire floor to an even luster.

When the whole floor needs attention, clean the floor with a solvent based wood floor cleaner and then wax. Your floor should only need to be completely rewaxed once or twice a year depending on traffic.

Cleaning a waxed floor with water will leave white water marks.  For additional information on cleaning and maintenance. visit the Caring for Wood Floors Section of the National Wood Flooring Organization's website.