Homeowner's Guide to How to Care for Carpet

Carpet Cleaning

How to Care for Your Carpet the Bane-Clene Way®

As a floor covering, carpet is subject to quite a beating day in and day out. Most carpets have to be replaced prematurely because of inadequate care. Without proper care, carpet begins to look dirty and faded and the fibers start to lose their fullness and tip definition. High traffic areas become limp or flat.

Carpet Is Good For You - as long as you properly care for your carpet!

  • It offers safety from falls, great eye appeal and is inexpensive and easy to install and maintain.
  • It reduces fatigue by creating a cushion for legs and feet.
  • Its wonderful insulating qualities save fuel and provide sound absorption that will make your surroundings more comfortable and enjoyable.
  • It also contributes to keeping your air clean and fresh by absorbing soils and odors - as long as your carpet is cleaned by a professional on a regular basis.

What Can Happen To Your Carpet?

Residue from shampoo, dry foam, powders and bonnet carpet cleaning methods cause rapid re-soiling where carpet stains come back because they were only pushed a little deeper by inferior cleaning methods.

Unlike hard surface floors that show soils and spills right away, dirt can hide in the carpet pile. Dirt particles cause abrasion to carpet fibers that is magnified by light refraction causing a dull appearance in traffic lanes. This abrasive action scratching your carpet fibers, if not removed, will decrease the life of your carpet and cause your carpet to “ugly out” prematurely.

Basic Carpet Care:

  • Vacuuming carpets frequently and thoroughly is probably the most important factor in carpet care. Dirt works its way down into the fibers of the carpet where it acts like sandpaper, grinding away at each tuft, leaving it limp and dull. Dirt also combines with oil residues carried through the air and eventually glues itself to the carpet.
  • Regular vacuuming prevents both problems. Most experts agree that proper carpet care involves thorough vacuuming about once a week, with heavy traffic areas being vacuumed more often.
  • About 80% of carpet soil is abrasive dry particulate matter and will be removed by routine vacuuming. Dry carpet fibers will not be harmed by brushing, so a good upright vacuum cleaner with a reel-type brush is suggested to move the tips of the pile so dirt can be removed. Slowly vacuum traffic lanes with a back-and-forth motion in one direction, and then finish by going back-and-forth in the opposite direction. Change the bag or empty the vacuum often. Check the belt that drives the brushes and don’t be alarmed by the amount of fiber you pick up from a new carpet. Fiber ends that are not removed in manufacturing often appear the first few weeks during routine vacuuming (called “pilling”).
  • Use both indoor and outdoor mats at each entrance to reduce the amount of dirt tracked into your home.
  • Over time, the stain-resistance of stain-resistant carpet wears down. For optimum performance, have Bane-Guard™, Sta-Clene® or Teflon® Advanced carpet protector regularly applied after professional cleaning.
  • Vacuum under area rugs periodically to remove loose dirt that may have filtered through the rugs to your carpet.
  • When carpet is matted from the pressure of furniture, brush lightly or use the edge of a coin to rough it up. For difficult matting, use a steam iron a few inches from the surface and spray with steam and stroke with a stiff bristled brush. NEVER touch the carpet with the hot iron. Hair spray may be used to set carpet pile that is not resilient.

Prompt Cleanup of Spills:

  • In the case of muddy footprints, wait until they are thoroughly dry, then vacuum.
  • Stain-resistant does not mean stain-proof. Be sure to act immediately to prevent spots and spills from causing permanent damage.
  • Don’t be fooled by spills that are clear or are the same color as the carpet as these can change color over time and become visible stains and attract soil.
  • Whenever liquid spills occur on carpet, time is of the essence. The sooner it is cleaned up, the easier it will be to do so.
  • The first step in spot cleaning is to blot the liquid using white paper towels or tissues. Do not add any liquids at this point, as they will only make the spot larger and help it sink deeper into the carpet. Absorb as much liquid as possible.
  • Don’t rub the carpet too hard or you may damage fiber tufts.
  • Never user bleach or a product containing bleach, even if it is an oxygen bleach that claims to be color safe.
  • Avoid detergents containing optical brighteners.
  • For cleanup of water-soluble spills like most food, beverage, urine and vomit: Mix 1 teaspoon of mild detergent, such as Ivory® Liquid, into 1 cup of lukewarm water. Sponge the detergent mixture onto the stain and gently work the solution from the outer edges toward the center. A lather will form. Gently sponge off this lather with clear, cold water until all the suds have disappeared.
  • For cleanup of solvent-soluble stains like oil, grease, tar, crayon, lipstick or butter: Use a non-residual solvent-based product such alcohol or odorless mineral spirits by putting the solvent onto a white towel and blotting. Never rub and never pour a solvent directly onto your carpet.
  • If you are using a special cleaning solution test it on an inconspicuous part of the carpet first. Place a few drops of the cleaning solution on the stain and then place a white paper towel on top. Wait 10 to 15 seconds and check whether any of the carpet dyes have seeped through to your towel. If this happens, it’s best to call a professional.
  • Before using any spot removing product, test for colorfastness in an inconspicuous area.
  • Use the least amount of solution possible.
  • Work from the outside of the stain toward the center to avoid spreading the stain.
  • Make sure the carpet can dry quickly, using a fan if necessary.
  • If your efforts are unsuccessful, call a professional carpet cleaner right away. Failure to act quickly will increase the odds of a permanent stain.
  • Bane-Clene’s Perky® Spotter and other spotting agents and cleaning and grooming tools are available from your carpet care technician or directly from our Indianapolis store.
  • Your carpet care technician uses professional specialty spot and stain removers for removing spots and stains such as Kool-Aid®, wine, coffee, mustard, blood, vomit and other stains that you may be unable to remove.
  • Our professional cleaning technician uses several stronger professional spot removers for removing tar, grease, cooking oils or other oily stains that are too difficult you to remove.
  • Not all stains can be removed. Bleached areas, whether caused by sunlight or liquid bleach, cannot really be addressed. In theory, a professional can re-dye those sections, but don’t count on a perfect color match.
  • Stains from foods that have a lot of food coloring, such as Kool Aid, mustard or grape soda are often impossible to remove. The only chance you have of avoiding a permanent stain with these colored food items is to act very quickly when the spill occurs.
  • Many stains containing sugar attract dirt so effectively that if the attracted dirt is similar in color to the carpet, the underlying stain is completely hidden until cleaning. Then, with all the camouflaging dirt removed, the underlying stain becomes obvious and appears to be “new.”

Remember, even if you vacuum your carpet regularly and spot clean your carpet as needed, you will eventually need to have your carpet cleaned. Ideally, your carpet should be professionally cleaned every year to 18 months.

Professional Carpet Care and Cleaning with the Bane-Clene System:

Only about 20% of the soil in your carpet needs professional attention. Brushing a dry carpet in your routine vacuuming will not harm fibers, but brushing fibers while wet may cause damage. The Wm. F. Bane Company offers a safe, unique carpet cleaning system that uses no abrasive brushes or harsh chemicals.

Water pressure, temperature and the pH of the cleaning agent are carefully controlled so your carpet will be soft, the texture restored, colors brightened and better able to withstand future soiling.

There is virtually no residue in the carpet because nearly all of the moisture used in the cleaning process is recovered. Heavy cleaning equipment remains in the truck to prevent possible harm to your valuable possessions. We bring our own pre-softened water and don’t use your disposal facilities. Dirty water and unpleasant odors go out through a sealed hose to the truck.*

* In most high-rise apartments and condominiums with elevators, our system is capable of portable operation without sacrificing the high quality of the service.

After Your Carpet Is Cleaned:

Air moving over the surface will assure quick drying. The best drying temperature is 72 to 78 degrees F. Lowering humidity by means of a dehumidifier or air conditioner will speed drying.

Some Carpet Care No-No’s:

  • Don’t remove protective blocks or tabs from beneath furniture until your carpet is thoroughly dry - at least 24 hours. Call if you need help removing them.
  • Don’t allow draperies or bedspreads to come in contact with carpet while it is damp.
  • Avoid foot traffic on a damp carpet.

* It takes longer to dry under tabs and blocks.

The Latest Technology in Carpet Care:

Bane-Clene, founded in 1962, has worked with major fiber makers and carpet mills to test products and update training programs to include the latest in carpet care procedures. Major carpet manufacturers recommend carpets be professionally cleaned, and most recommend the Bane-Clene system used by the Wm. F. Bane Company.

Certified Carpet Care Training Program:

Wm F. Bane Company professional carpet cleaning technicians have been trained and certified in the Bane-Clene Institute, which was founded in 1978, trains and certifies operators from around the world and in 2001 became the first industry school to earn the Carpet & Rug Institute’s Seal of Approval.

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Copyright: Bane-Clene® Corp.

Date Published: November 3, 2010

Date Modified: January 26, 2019