Carpet Care + Maintenance
Your carpet represents a substantial investment and, like all fine furnishings, requires proper care to maintain its beauty and value.
Kinsley Carpet Mills carpets are quality engineered to provide a long, useful life and enhance the aesthetical appearance of your property. Carpet offers many advantages over other flooring systems, such as reduced fatigue, sound absorption, endless designs, and lower life cycle costs. From the start, the carpet maintenance program should be considered an integral part of the carpet buying decision. If proper care and maintenance is neglected, the carpet’s appearance and performance will suffer, shortening the carpet’s useful life and raising long term costs.
A comprehensive carpet care program consists of four elements:
✓ Reduction of soil entering the building
✓ Removal of dry soil
✓ Removal of spots and spills
✓ Cleaning by hot water extraction
THE IMPORTANCE OF PLANNING
A successful maintenance program starts with the selection of carpet that meets specific performance requirements. Attributes include construction, backing, yarn, dye type and color. Color and pattern are major factors in the perception of a successful maintenance program. The visual degree of soiling is measured as color contrast. The best soil hiding colors are usually medium to dark shades. These are best specified for known areas having severe traffic and soil.
Carpet maintenance must be established as a scheduled program, rather than being a random series of reactions to soiling conditions and infrequent cleaning. Virtually every complaint of poor appearance, rapid soiling, and many times poor performance, has been shown to be related to a lack of planning and control of the maintenance program.
The most important consideration when planning a maintenance program is the budget. Like other expensive furnishings or equipment, carpet represents a substantial investment for any facility and deserves adequate care to prolong its effective life. If the carpet maintenance budget is set unrealistically low, the carpet will need to be replaced prematurely.
Tailor the design of the program to the amount of traffic and type of soiling which vary by area. Due to higher traffic levels, entrance lobbies, elevators and hallways will need more care than offices. Food service areas and entrances will require more effort due to the more difficult soiling conditions. Consult the chart for suggested frequencies by traffic levels.
(Corridor / Public Areas)
REDUCTION OF SOILING
One of the most critical aspects of maintenance is the use of walk-off mats at building entrances. Mats are also one of the least understood and neglected parts of the maintenance program. Walk-off mats greatly reduce the amount of soil carried into a building by foot traffic. Other areas where mats are beneficial are service entrances with direct contact to the outside, from the hard surface area in a kitchen to the carpeted dining area in a restaurant, or at entrances from plant facilities into the offices.
The choice of mats is important because the cheaper mats do a poor job of trapping soil and have a short life span. Walk-off mats fall into two categories; those designed to remove and trap gritty soil and those intended to absorb water during wet weather. They should be used in combination.
Good soil removal mats have a coarse texture, are able to brush soil from shoes, and can hold large amounts of soil in their pile. The water absorbent mat is used inside to prevent tracked in moisture from getting to the carpet. A wet carpet acts like a giant shoe cleaner and soils rapidly. When both types of mats are used in combination, they should always be placed so that incoming traffic passes over the soil removal mat first, because the absorbent types have very little soil holding ability.
For mats to continue to trap soil, they should be cleaned on a regular basis, more frequently than the carpet. If accumulated soil is not removed, the mat will become overloaded and cannot prevent soil from entering the building - the mat may even become a source of soil itself. When a building is new or still under construction, soil may be tracked in from unfinished grounds so the mats need to be cleaned more often.
REMOVAL OF DRY SOIL
Vacuuming is the most significant element in the maintenance of carpet and the overall appearance of the facility. Research has shown that 85% of the soil tracked into a building is dry, and the other 15% is oily. Vacuums are designed to remove the dry soil. Walking on soiled carpet permits the soil particles to work their way down into the pile where they are more difficult to remove. Frequent vacuuming removes soil particles from the surface before this happens. Heavily trafficked areas, such as entrances and major corridors, should be vacuumed at least once a day. Areas with less traffic such as offices should be vacuumed every other day depending upon conditions.
Vacuum Cleaner Recommendations:
- a) We only recommend use of vacuums certified in The Carpet and Rug Institute (www.carpet-rug.org) Vacuum Cleaning Indoor Air Quality Program. Vacuums specifically designed for commercial installations offer characteristics which help meet the demands of a good maintenance program.
- b) For carpets that are glued directly to the floor without cushion, a vacuum with a rotating cylindrical brush, rather than a beater bar, should be used to agitate the pile and loosen the soil. Beater bars can damage the pile of direct-glued carpet if the machine height adjustment is set too low. This can also damage the vacuum.
- c) Vacuums with either a beater bar or rotating brush can be used for carpet installed over pad, or with attached cushion backings. These vacuums are also recommended for double stick installations where the carpet is glued to the pad.
- d) A good vacuum is vital to prolonging the life of your carpet. A cheap vacuum can remove surface dirt but may not effectively remove the hidden particles embedded in the pile. This can lead to rapid appearance loss and complaints of poor product performance. A hundred dollars saved on the price of a vacuum can easily cost thousands of dollars in reduced useful life of the carpet.
SPOT AND SPILL REMOVAL
All maintenance procedures mentioned thus far have been planned; spot and stain removal is the reaction to an unplanned incident. Therefore, it is desirable to have the needed materials handy by planning ahead of time. The professional cleaning companies have spot removal kits in convenient carrying cases that contain all the necessary materials.
General Instructions: Spot removal products that have been tested and certified in the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Seal of Approval Program for cleaning products are recommended for specific spots, (Reference www.carpet-rug.org).
Additional spot removal procedures are listed below if professional and CRI certified products are not available:
- Scoop up any solids gently with a spoon or dull knife. Absorb wet spills as quickly as possible by blotting with white paper or cloth towels.
- Always blot, never scrub or rub abrasively, because it may create a fuzzy area. When blotting, work from the outer edge in toward the center of the spot to avoid spreading the spill and enlarging the problem.
- Thorough removal of both the stain material and the detergent residue is critical to prevent re-soiling. Water extraction is the best way to accomplish this. Many cleaning equipment manufacturers offer small extraction machines specially designed for spot cleaning. These are small, lightweight and highly portable. They do an excellent job of rinsing after spot cleaning. They are also an excellent way to deal with body fluids on the carpet.
WATER SOLUBLE STAINS
- A. Absorb as much as possible with white towels. Blot the affected area with more towels dampened with cool water until no more color transfers to the towels. If any of the stain remains, use a detergent solution of 1/2 teaspoon (no more) of CLEAR liquid hand dishwashing detergent (do not use those containing lanolin or hand lotions) to a quart of water in a clean spray bottle. You may also use a general-purpose spot cleaner with a pH less than 10.
- B. Either: apply a white vinegar solution (one-part white vinegar to one-part water) to a white towel and blot or spray onto spot. Continue as in “A” or use a slightly acidic spotter made for coffee, tea and other tannin stains rather than the detergent.
- C. Either: apply a solution of household ammonia (one tablespoon of ammonia to one cup water) to a white towel and blot or spray onto spot. Continue as in “A” or use an alkaline spotter made for removing blood and protein stains rather than the detergent. Do not use on printed styles.
For printed carpets, do not use cleaning agents with a pH higher than 8. Spray lightly onto the spot and blot repeatedly with white towels. Rinse thoroughly by spraying with clean water, and then blot or extract. Do not use too much detergent because the residue will contribute to rapid re-soiling.
Blot as much as possible with white towels. Apply a solvent designed for grease removal to a towel and blot. Use sparingly and do not pour or spray directly on the carpet pile as damage to the backing or adhesive underneath may result. A better option is the use of a gel solvent. The advantage of the gel is that it remains on or near the surface where the grease is. The application is much more controllable and has two distinct advantages. By remaining in the area where gel is applied, it allows additional dwell time for the contaminant to soften and by not penetrating to the backing, there is no risk of carpet delaminating.
Use the towels to transport the solvent to the carpet. Repeat until no more color transfers to the towel. Protective gloves should be worn because the solvent will quickly remove oils from the skin and may result in irritation. Provide adequate ventilation and do not use flammable solvents! Rinse thoroughly by spraying with clean water, and then blot or extract. If needed, continue with procedures in “A-C”.
CHEWING GUM & CANDLE WAX
Freeze with ice or a commercially available product in an aerosol can. Shatter with a blunt object and vacuum before the chips soften. Follow up with solvent as in used for grease stains. A better option is the use of a gel solvent.
SPECIAL PROCEDURES FOR 100% SOLUTION DYED CARPET
Only carpets which are 100% solution-dyed are resistant to bleaching. Do not use this procedure unless you are absolutely sure the carpet is solution dyed – carpet dyed by other methods will be damaged. Do not use this procedure on printed carpets. Carpets with blends of solution dyed and conventionally dyed fibers will be damaged by bleach.
For solution dyed carpets with stains such as food dyes, fruit drink stains, and coffee not removed by procedure B, use a solution of one-part chlorine bleach to 5 parts water. Do not exceed this concentration and never use full strength bleach. Professional cleaners have products that may be more effective.
Wearing rubber gloves and eye protection, apply the bleach to a white towel and blot it on the stain. Do not pour the bleach directly onto the carpet. Allow 15 minutes for the treatment to work.
Even with thorough vacuuming, cleaning is necessary to remove the 15% of soil which is the oily type material, as well as that which the vacuum cannot remove. In order to maintain acceptable appearance, the carpet must be cleaned on a periodic basis to prevent the carpet from becoming so dirty that it can no longer be cleaned satisfactorily. The frequency of cleaning must be adjusted to the rate at which soil accumulates; therefore, heavily trafficked areas typically require more frequent cleaning, as do areas with less traffic but more soil.
When the color of the carpet begins to look dull, it is time to clean the carpet. The traffic lanes will show this first. If the carpet is cleaned before it becomes excessively soiled, the cleaning will be more successful and a much easier task. This is especially important in places where oily soil is prevalent, such as the areas near streets or asphalt parking lots, and those around cooking or dining facilities. Oil tends to oxidize slowly, forming a sticky material similar to varnish which becomes nearly impossible to remove as it ages.
A number of cleaning systems are available; however, their effectiveness varies widely. When choosing the cleaning system, the considerations are:
- It must clean effectively
- It must not damage the texture of the carpet
- It must not leave excessive residues of cleaning materials
HOT WATER EXTRACTION
This is our manufacturer’s recommended cleaning method. Hot water extractions works by infusing hot water into the carpet pile to help loosen the soil. This process consists of spraying a solution of water and cleaning agent into the pile and then using a powerful vacuum to recover the used solution and soil into the holding tank. It is important tot use non-sticky detergents, as sticky residues can lead to rapid re-soiling. Take caution not over wet the carpet. Over wetting can cause the latex in the backing to breakdown and lead to a delaminating problem. Fans are a great way to help speed the drying time. Try to avoid walking on the carpet before it’s completely dry.
This method includes wet and dry foam and can be effective in removing dirt from heavily soiled carpet. These methods can, however, leave chemicals in the carpet, so it’s best practice to follow with hot water extraction to remove any residues left from the foam.
The use of bonnet/spin cleaners is not recommended and its use will void all manufacturing warranties.
Improper installation can cause problems. The following recommendations outline minimum standards. They’re explained more completely in the industry’s installation standard CRI-104.
All installations must be power stretched. After steaming, the installation must be power stretched in all directions. This helps prevent buckling and provides greater stability. Use of seam sealer on all seams. A bead of latex seam sealer must be applied to the cut edges to seal all seams. The seam sealer will lock in the tufts along the edge of the seam and prevent the loss of tufts at the seams. Use of good quality cushion. By absorbing the impact and shock of foot traffic, cushion or padding plays an important role in the overall performance of your carpet. Cushioning of inappropriate density, thickness or construction mat will result not only in an accelerated loss of appearance retention, but also matting, packing, wrinkling, buckling and separation of the carpet backing or seams. What’s more, cushion density becomes increasingly important in carpets of lower pile weight and density.
Kinsley is committed to excellence
When purchasing carpet, its installation should be one of your primary concerns. At Kinsley, we’re committed to the use of certified carpet installers. This ensures that when you purchase the highest quality products, you also get the highest quality installer.
If you have any questions, please call Kinsley’s Customer Service at 1.800.225.2948.
Our warranty means you won't have to worry. Our carpet is protected for commercial use against excessive surface wear.