Cleaning your carpet is easier than you think. All it takes is the right vacuum, cleaning products, and a little know-how. Here are a few tips on removing common stains the right way:
- Always treat the affected area immediately. The longer the spill sits there, the harder it will be to remove the stain. For a food spill, gently remove as much solid material as you can with a spoon or a dull knife. Add water and blot, using detergent sparingly if needed. Then, using the highest suction function, vacuum back and forth until completely clean.
- If you need a spot removal solvent, use a product approved by The Carpet and Rug Institute of America. Apply several drops to a clean white cloth and blot the carpet in an inconspicuous area. If you notice a change in the carpet color, consult a professional carpet cleaner.
- If stains remain after cleaning, moisten tufts in the stained area with 3% hydrogen peroxide and let stand for one hour. Blot and repeat until completely clean. Follow these simple tips to keep your carpet’s color and texture looking fresh.
- Vacuum your carpet regularly to prevent soil from embedding itself in the pile.
- Depending on the type of carpet you have, you’ll want to use a vacuum with a rotating brush, a beater bar, or suction only.
- Keeping traffic and other use factors in mind, consider professional cleaning every 12 months.
- Use scissors to clip sprouts and snags. Don’t pull on them, you might damage the carpet.
- If your carpet is burned, simply remove the tops of the dark, burnt fibers with curved fingernail scissors. If the burn is extensive, you may need to patch or replace it.
- Remove heavy furniture dents by stoking the dented area with the edge of a coin. You can also use a hair dryer or a steam iron, but be very careful not to touch the carpet with the iron.
- For extensive water damage, consult professional cleaners to dry your carpet from the front and back.
Tips for Vacuuming Soft Carpet
- Adjustable Height – Use the highest setting where appropriate.
- Efficient Airflow – Avoid vacuums with very concentrated or sealed suction.
- Large Wheels – A vacuum with large wheels is easier to move across soft carpeting.
Along with a hardwood floor comes the responsibility of keeping it clean. The better care you take, the longer your floor will maintain its original beauty. First, purchase a high-quality broom so that you can sweep your floor regularly of dirt, dust and other particles. The second step is to vacuum, without a beater bar, to get in between the boards and other hard to reach areas. Finally, a deeper cleaning technique is to use a damp (not wet) mop to help reach corners, under cabinets, and along baseboards. Professional cleaning products can be used to remove tough stains and spills without dulling the finish of your wood floor. Makers of “Pre-finished” floors recommend their own specific products for routine maintenance. Tiny particles, like dirt, can act like sandpaper and scratch your wood. By placing a rug at each entryway and encouraging family members and guests to wipe their feet, the majority of dirt and grime will remain on the mat. Also, put a floor mat or rug in any area where water could be splashed — like near the kitchen sink or pets water dish. This will hinder any possible water damage. Note that rubber-backed or non-ventilated floor mats or rugs can damage your floor. Instead, use floor mats or rugs made especially for hardwood floors and be sure to shake them out regularly.
Replacement hardwood floor planks may be a slightly different dye, finish, and/or texture than your original installation. With time and usage, however, the replacement hardwood will blend in with the rest of your floor. With proper care and regular maintenance, hardwood flooring will provide you and your home with many years of beauty, warmth, and durability.
Do and Don’ts
Do use cleaners that won’t leave a film or a residue.
Do use a professional hardwood floor cleaner to remove occasional scuffs and heel marks. Spray some cleaner on a cloth and rub the stained area lightly.
Do clean sticky spots with a damp towel or sponge.
Do minimize water exposure and clean spills immediately.
Don’t wax a floor with a urethane finish.
Don’t try to refinish or sand your hardwood floor.
Don’t use ammonia cleaners or oil soaps on a wood floor – they will dull the finish and affect your ability to recoat later.
Sweeping & Mopping
Dust and dirt act as an abrasive on a laminate’s surface and seriously dull its appearance. This fact of life can be avoided by regular sweeping, dust mopping or vacuuming to remove loose dirt and grime. Either a broom or a vacuum cleaner without a beater bar will do the trick. Vacuum cleaner attachments are useful to capture dust and dirt between planks or along edges. An occasional damp mopping is also recommended. But be careful — laminate flooring can expand when it comes in contact with excessive water. After a damp mopping, a clean cloth should be used to wipe the floor dry. Placing doormats at each entryway is also a good idea to collect excessive moisture and dirt before they enter your home.
Dos and Don’ts
Do use glides or floor protectors on the bottom of furniture to prevent scratching or abrasion.
Do lift heavy furniture instead of dragging or pulling it to avoid scratching and abrasion.
Do use carpet fragments face down under heavy objects when moving them across a laminate floor.
Do your spot cleaning and occasional complete cleaning using the manufacturer’s recommended products.
Don’t use soap-based detergents or “mop-and-shine” products.
Don’t use abrasive cleaners, steel wool or scouring powder.
Don’t flood your floor with water or cleaner. Don’t try to refinish or sand your laminate floor.
Replacement laminates may be a slightly different dye lot and/or texture than your original installation. With time and usage, however, the replacement product will blend in with the rest of your floor. With proper care and regular maintenance, laminate flooring will provide you and your home with many years of beauty, warmth, and durability.
Dirt adheres easily to the surface of ceramic tile, especially styles with textured surfaces. Regular sweeping loosens and removes most dirt. A vacuum cleaner can also be used to sweep, but make sure you use one without a beater bar to avoid dulling and scratching the tiles. Vacuum cleaner attachments are great to suck up dirt along edges or in between tiles.
Use doormats to keep dirt being from coming into your home. And shake them out often. This will reduce the amount of dirt being tracked across your ceramic tile floor, and reduces the wear to the finished surface.
Ceramic tile floors should be damp-mopped using manufacturer-recommended grout and tile cleaners. For heavier soil, spot clean the floor with a sponge or clean cloth using the same recommended cleaners.
Mild scrubbing with a soft brush or electric polisher/scrubber may be required for textured tiles. After cleaning with a mild detergent, rinse thoroughly with clean, warm water to remove leftover residue. If necessary, wipe the tile dry with a clean towel to remove any film. For soft water situations, an all-purpose cleaner may be necessary. Apply it to your floor and let it stand for 3-5 minutes. Then lightly scrub with a sponge, rinse well and you’re good to go. Cleaning products available from your local grocery or hardware store can be used to remove soap scum, hard water deposits and mildew stains from ceramic tile. Be sure to consult the cleaning product’s instructions to ensure the product is recommended for your type
Do and Don’ts
Do clean up spills as quickly as possible so your grout won’t become stained.
Do remember that while ceramic tile is very durable, it’s not indestructible and may crack or chip under extreme force.
Do take the proper precautions when moving heavy objects across a ceramic tile floor.
Do cover furniture and table legs with protectors to guard your floor against scratching.
Do remember that if a repair is necessary, the replacement product may be a slightly different dye lot and/or texture than the original tile, however, with time and usage, the replacement tile will blend in with its neighbors.
Don’t use steel wool, scouring powders, or other abrasives that can scratch the finish of your ceramic tile.
Don’t use bleach or ammonia-based cleaners — these products can discolor your grout if used too often.
Caulking and Sealing
Once your tile has been laid and grouted, it’s your responsibility to caulk areas that may be exposed to water. Caulking will prevent expensive subsurface damage and keep the tiled areas looking as good as new. Depending on your lifestyle, sealing your tile and grout may also be an option. After installation, sealing the grout and tile can provide protection from dirt and spills by slowing down the staining process. Grout colorants can transform the original color of your grout and, in some cases, can act as a form of sealant. Be aware that non-epoxy grout joints should be treated with a silicone sealer. Regular care and maintenance will keep your ceramic tile floors looking their very best for years to come.
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