o quote Walt Disney, "Sooner or later gravity will catch up with you". Everything eventually ends up on the floor regardless of the flooring you select. Fortunately, carpet can be vacuumed and contaminants can be extracted and removed from the home. Unless you plan to vacuum your hard floors, you are never actually removing a sufficient quantity of soil. This is why you find "dust bunnies" with hard floors. Vacuuming |
Vacuuming is by far the most important daily carpet maintenance activity that can be performed, but it is rarely performed frequently enough or with the type of zeal necessary to effectively remove soil.
Dry soil is by far the most damaging type of contaminant routinely exposed to carpet. Dry soil has razor-like edges that cut and scar carpet fibers. These scars cause the reflection of light to be bent, which creates a dull, hazy, dirty appearance on the carpet surface. Similar to scratched glass, the fiber appears dirty, and this damage is irreversible. When water is added during the carpet cleaning process, the water fills these crevices and the carpet appears clean. Once dry, the soiled appearance returns.
This could be the reason that traffic lanes appear soiled. The only way to minimize this occurrence is by selecting a good vacuum cleaner, and performing vacuuming diligently. I have mixed feelings about recommending any vacuum cleaner, but a Hoover Wind Tunnel vacuum cleaner offers a red light/green light feature, which indicates when soil is being removed. However, Hoover (currently) has opted NOT to participate in voluntary carpet industry testing of vacuum cleaners, so actual performance of this vacuum cleaner is unknown.
I found that after using a dry powder carpet cleaning product, it took 172 passes (in one 18 inch by 4 ft area) to remove all of the powder from my carpet pile. Normal soil could require 20 or more passes in some areas. This "soil finder" feature found on the Hoover Wind tunnel Vacuum Cleaner takes the guesswork out of vacuuming. However, after using this vacuum cleaner for several months, the dirt finder function failed to function so I was forced to return to the old tried and tested method of concentrating on traffic areas.
For the best carpet cleaning results, no matter which brand of vacuum cleaner you purchase, be sure to inspect it periodically to make sure it is mechanically fit.
Keep brushes clean and replace them when worn. Keep vacuum hoses and attachments free of obstructions, which restrict air passage. Inspect the vacuum head for rough edges or bent metal that may damage your carpet. Inspect belts frequently to make certain they are working properly. Always keep a spare belt for replacement as needed.
Follow the vacuum cleaner manufacturer's instructions, and change the vacuum bag when it becomes more than half full. With most vacuum cleaners, as the bag becomes full, soil removal efficiency is reduced. A vacuum cleaner with a half-full bag loses more than 80% of its suction.
The majority of your vacuum efforts should be made in entries, in principal passage routes, and in front of furniture. These areas of heavy soil accumulation should receive multiple vacuum passes. 80% of the dry soil that is tracked into the home is localized within the first 12 feet of exterior doors. If this dry soil can be removed in this area, the rest of the home can be treated as a light vacuuming area. The illustration at left givens an illustration of the number of vacuum passes necessary to remove adequate soil for entry areas.
In addition to entry areas, any area adjoining a hard surface flooring material will soil quickly as well. Hard surface maintenance does not utilize an effective soil extraction procedure, so soil is tracked to the nearest carpet surface where it localizes. These areas should receive additional vacuum passes as well.
Finally, you must stay ahead of soil deposition! Preventive carpet care is the easiest method of staying ahead of soil deposition. By placing a carpet runner outside your home, long enough for 3-4 footsteps, more than half of the soil normally brought into your home can be trapped before entering your home. An entry mat placed just inside the door can be used as a final shoe wiping area or a landing area to remove and store shoes.
What's the biggest problem with using this preventive carpet care system? Once the carpet runners and entry mat becomes over-filled with soil, it then becomes a source for soil. Not only will a carpet runner become so filled that it cannot absorb soil, it actually can begin to transfer soil to your shoes. For this system to work, you must be diligent in cleaning (beating, shaking, vacuuming) these entry mats. Replace them often! It is much cheaper to replace these mats, rather than replacing a room full of carpet-installation costs are certainly cheaper.
One final not on these mats. There are janitorial supply businesses, that lease these mats and come on a regular basis to supply new mats. They pick up the old mats, clean them, and replenish your soiled mat with a freshly cleaned mat. Many businesses take advantage of this service. Few homeowners are even aware that this type of service is available
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