It is estimated that 79 percent of all soil that accumulates on carpets consists of sand and dry particulate matter. This type of soil is often gritty and abrasive, and can contribute to the wearing of the carpet, and thus, produce a dull appearance. If it isn't removed, loose soil works its way to the bottom of the pile. Then, as foot traffic occurs, the sharp edges cut against the fiber. |
If left untended, these soil particles can actually cut off fibers at the bottoms. This causes the pile to thin, contributing to obvious wear patterns in the carpet.
Cleaning residue in carpets is a major challenge to the wear-ability and appearance of all soft flooring. Cleaner residue can cause rapid re-soiling that will lower the appearance level of many carpets giving it a dingy, dirty look even if it is actually clean.
The most difficult soils to remove are oils, tar, resin, and gum. Those items are sticky and tend to bond, cure or dry on the fiber which cannot be removed by dry vacuuming. These soils are the ones that require sufficient moisture, chemicals, and agitation to loosen and remove completely. Also difficult to remove are soils that are extremely small in size, or that contain dye or pigment that acts as a stain agent by actually sinking into the carpet fiber and can become permanent.
After grit, the remainder of the soil in carpets is composed of oils, greases, starches, etc. This soil comes from cooking, heating, automobile exhausts, etc. This type of soil is mostly acidic by nature. For this reason, most carpet cleaning detergents are on the alkaline side of the pH scale. Mild alkaline cleaners along with sufficient detergent, neutralize this acid condition to enhance removal of the soil.
The tremendous reservoir capacity of a carpet means that it contains not only large quantities of dirt but food particles, hairs, and fibers as well. This results in a breeding ground for dust mites, mold, bacteria, etc. We all shed a certain amount of dead skin every day that contributes to house dust and this too finds its way to the carpet, providing more food for microbes there.
Knowing the type soil and the correct cleaning product is essential is maintaining soft floor surfaces. It is difficult to identify effective methods to reduce or prevent filtration soiling. Preventing airflow through carpet and carpet edges by sealing cracks in the subfloor, as well as under baseboards and edges of stairs, may reduce filtration soiling problems. Keeping air inside the home as clean as possible can be accomplished by reducing indoor air pollutants, such as cooking emissions, fireplace smoke, burning candles, cigarette smoke, and emissions from cleaning chemicals; and by the installation and regular replacement of high efficiency HVAC air filters.
While no onecleaning technique may be successful in all filtration soiling situations, recent innovations in soil- and stain-resist treatments applied to carpet have reduced the effort previously needed to remove the filtration soil. However, the complete removal of contaminants from the soiled areas can be complicated, depending on the type of contaminant materials present. To achieve the best results, the services of a carpet cleaning professional should be considered.
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