Managing and preventing Dirt
Outside Dirt Control
Managing the cleanliness of your carpet starts with outside areas where most of the dirt comes from.
Keeping the outside areas close to the home clean minimizes the amount of dirt which comes inside. It is good to keep outside walkways, decking, parking spaces and driveways free of soil, leaves and other dirt. High-pressure cleaning of outside paving or concrete spaces also helps to reduce the number of abrasive particles and other dirt from being tracked onto the carpeted areas.
Dirt picked up on shoes and brought onto carpeted areas can be avoided by placing mats at all entrances to your property. This puts in place a bit of a “barrier system” stopping unnecessary soiling of your carpets. It is a good idea to have mats on the interior as well as the exterior. The outside mats are good for the scraping or removing the larger particles and muddy water from shoes. These mats should ideally be designed in such a way to allow the particles to fall away from the surface so as more traffic comes in, the dirt left on the mat before is not then transferred inside. Mats with a grid-like construction can be good for this. Interior mats should be more like carpet – both in texture and appearance. This aids the removal of any remaining moisture and dirt that the outside mat did not pick up. When it is raining and there is a lot of moisture and possibly mud outside, as often the case during Melbourne winters when the ground seldom seems to dry fully, having additional interior mats could be a good idea. The more mats you have in place, both on the inside as well as the outside. (The more dirt and moisture is removed as people come into the building.)
It may also be worth having mats in other places in the home other than the entrances. An example of this could be at the door leading from the kitchen, especially when there is grime buildup on your kitchen floor.
Having mats in place keeps your carpets looking good for longer and can act to keep the maintenance of your carpets to a minimum which can save you money.
It is important to keep in mind that these mats should be cleaned on a regular basis depending on usage and the amount of dirt that they have picked up. If not done, dirt collected by the mats can then be transferred into the building defeating the purpose of having them there in the first place. You will probably find that more cleaning of mats is needed in the winter months when there is more rain.
The Importance of vacuuming is often underestimated.
When vacuuming, there are a few types of dirt that you are lifting. These include:
- Large particles: Bits larger than a paper hole punch, such as leaves, paper clips, coins, hair clips and sweet wrappers.
- Visible dirt: Dirt that is visible to the naked eye, such as hair, thread, fluff or sand.
- Invisible dirt: This is dirt that cannot easily be seen with the naked eye. These particles include those that can be inhaled and can cause respiratory issues. These and others microparticles can cause problems for human health.
There are a number of reasons for vacuuming. Firstly, there is the aesthetic reason – making your place look good. Secondly, you are increasing the life of your carpet because particles left in it can be abrasive and cause additional damage and wear to the fibers and the backing of the carpet. Thirdly is the health reasons – taking particles out of the carpet that could end up being unhealthy for you and others living in the property as well as your pets.
One advantage of having carpets is the fact that they act as filters, taking contaminants out of the air and in so doing making your whole home more healthy. The only thing is, like most filters, they need to be cleaned or else they stop doing the filtering. This needs to be done regularly with vacuuming and less regularly with professional carpet cleaning.
When choosing a vacuum, it is best to get one that has a power head (having a motor that drives a brush in its head). Having no brush or one that is driven by the movement of air is less effective. This aids in the removal of more particles as well as lifting the pile of the carpet which helps as a maintenance action of the carpet.
It is often said that you should vacuum on a weekly basis but this is not necessarily true depending on the amount of traffic the different parts of your home gets. Some high traffic areas may need to be vacuumed on a daily basis while other areas may need a lot less vacuuming. Areas of your home that you seldom or never use also need to vacuumed from time to time because particles can come in through your ventilation/heating system or through other sources.
Spot cleaning is a good practice to keep your carpet looking good, both in the short term as well as the long term.
Some people avoid doing spot cleaning because they think that if they were to do it them selves, they may damage the carpet. While this could be true, if you do not over-do it, the benefits outweigh the risks.
If you remove a spill as soon as it happens, you minimize the risk of the substance permanently staining the carpet. Also, if the spillage is not removed from the carpet, other dust and dirt can stick to it making it look worse.
Usually, when attempting to remove a spillage as soon as it happens, all you need is a damp cloth avoiding the use of any cleaning agent or chemicals.
If the damp cloth does not do the trick, a small amount of detergent will normally remove a recent spillage. The key is to use a very mild detergent and not to use much of it. It does not take much at all when the spillage has just happened. Also, if you use too much, it can leave a sticky residue to which other dirt and dust can stick.
In addition to the points above, it is important to get your carpets professionally cleaned on a regular basis by cleaners who are fully trained and certified in how to clean carpets properly.
Having training professionals doing the carpet cleaning ensures the best possible result and no sticky residue is left on the carpet.
Generally, getting your carpets cleaned every year should be done, but there are instances where more recent cleaning is required where there is heavy soiling or traffic on the carpets. I find that if a home has young children or pets, more cleaning is required to keep carpets properly maintaining.
We operate in the Melbourne area and if you have not had your carpets professionally cleaned in the last year, we are happy to help. Please do not hesitate to contact up for pricing or to set up a time to for us to come out and clean your carpet.