Caring for your carpet 1. Vacuuming Routine vacuuming with properly maintained, quality equipment is the single most important step a home or business owner can take to prolong the life and appearance of carpet. Equally important, soil that is loosened and vacuumed from carpet must be collected in the vacuums recovery system and not allowed to re-enter the air within the structure to contribute to indoor air pollution. For this reason, a high efficiency filtering system or bag should be used in any vacuum equipment employed. It is helpful to use a hose attachment for getting in tight corners, edges, and the area where the carpet meets the wall. Check your vacuum bag often, change bag when ¾ full. Removing dust and dirt, before it is ground into the fiber, can extend the life of your carpet and upholstery by up to 40%. 2. Cleaning Most fiber manufactures recommend hot water extraction for cleaning wall to wall carpets. Some even insist on hot water extraction every two years to keep the warranty in effect. The quality of the cleaning job depends on the professional ability of the cleaning technician and his knowledge in handling equipment and cleaning agents. Professional Carpet and Upholstery Cleaners Association Members are IICRC certified to handle carpet and upholstery cleaning problems properly, using many types of cleaning methods. 3. How to choose a professional Ask you neighbors, friends, and relatives to see if they have a carpet cleaner they are satisfied with. Beware of any firm that makes excessive promises or guarantees, or gives a firm price over the phone. Remember, phone estimates are just that…estimates. Beware of prices or specials that seem too good to be true ..they probably are. 4. Professional Cleaning Don’t wait too long and present the cleaner with irreparable damage. Many people ask if cleaning makes the carpet re-soil sooner. If properly rinsed, it should not attract new soil any more than it did before cleaning. Normal cleaning intervals are at least once a year. Some ares may need cleaning more frequently, some less. 5. Carpet Protectant Soil retardants are designed to repel dry soil and deep it from penetrating carpet or upholstery fibers. Nothing with make a carpet bullet- proof, but soil retardants offer extra protection and make maintenance more effective. Also, if the carpet originally had a soil retardant, consider having the cleaner re-apply it, as it may clean off or it may have worn off.