Common carpet cleaning mistakes

Cleaning carpets inside your home can take a lot of time, but it’s a necessary activity in terms of keeping them in tip top shape. Consider your carpets and floors an investment; and in doing so, it’s important to be aware of common mistakes that people make when they’re cleaning their carpets and rugs. Here’s the most common mistakes people make when cleaning their carpets, as prepared by the experts at Aladdin Oriental Rug Services.

 

All Purpose Cleaners

These cleaners might work fine on hard surfaces but they are absolutely not a good choice for rugs or carpets. They contain extremely abrasive chemicals that can damage carpets seriously, so we would advise making sure that all purpose cleaners are safe to use on carpets before you use them.

 

Scrubbing

You might feel a strong impulse to scrub stains with wet paper towels – but you should resist this impulse. Scrubbing can tear the tightly wrapped, heat-sealed fibers that make up carpets, and actually impact the stains much deeper inside these torn fibers. This can cause major dark spots in the carpets, and change its texture. If you’re hell-bent on scrubbing, try using a half white vinegar and half water mixture, and lightly brush it with an old toothbrush.

 

Testing Cleaning Products

Make sure to test all cleaning products on a small hidden patch of your carpet before using it. This helps you determine whether the cleaning products are safe to use, and won’t bleach or ruin your carpet or rug fibers. Don’t ever apply a cleaning product to the entire rug or carpet before testing it first because you’re not sure how it will relax.

 

Professional Cleaning Services

There’s people out there who consider professional cleaning a waste of time or running. However, these people are decidedly wrong. Professional carpet and rug cleaning is much more affordable than many people think – and if you’re always cleaning stains from children or pets, a professional rug and carpet cleaner can certainly take off some of the pressure that might be affecting you. Professional carpet and rug cleaners use special high pressure steam machine technology and carpet and rug safe cleaning solutions that deep clean all the way down to the padding, while avoiding the risk of mold or mildew that comes with excess moisture.

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How weather affects carpets

The humidity and temperature changes of the variance of seasons can affect the flooring of your home that provides a set foundation for your rugs and carpets. In basic language, heat and humidity affects porous laminate and hardwood flooring, causing it to expand. During cold weather, laminate and hardwood flooring can contract.

 

If the humidity inside your home goes over 60 percent, you might be allowing moisture to make it’s way inside the wood, causing it to swell and expand. This expansion creates additional pressure inside and between the boards of wood, causing them to warp, cup, or lift. This is true for both solid and machine engineered hardwood floors that are subject to any sort of head or humidity.

 

When temperatures start to fall, these hardwood and laminate floors start to contract due to a depletion of moisture in the air. This causes the swelling experienced during warm seasons to lessen, and a reduction in any sort of distortions like cupping or warping. But just as the weather begins to heat up again, these structural changes will reappear.

 

What can you do to prevent laminate and hardwood floors from warping, cracking, or cupping? Here’s a few quick tips:

 

  • Ensure that your floors are installed correctly, and kept pristinely clean. Don’t use too much moisture to clean materials – rather, just use damp cloth and minimal amounts of cleaning products.

  • Never mop hardwood with water, since not only does the water add too much moisture, but it can speed up the rapidity of the wood’s deterioration.

  • Don’t clean laminate or hardwood flooring too regularly with water based products.

  • Always be aware of the level of humidity inside your home. If the humidity inside your home exceeds 60 percent, and you’re wary of any warping or cupping in the wood – try getting an air conditioner or a dehumidifier to help lessen the level of moisture.

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Signs you need to replace your carpet

Making a decision on when you need to get a new carpet can be hard since there’s a lot of time, effort, and cash involved in tearing out already in place carpets, safely removing it, and installing the brand new carpeting. Here at Aladdin, we want to make things constantly easier for our customers. Here’s our guide to when it’s time to replace your carpets – highlighting a few crucial issues that, if present, will tell you that your carpet definitely needs to be replaced.

 

Wearing Down

The older a carpet is, the more tears and wear it will contain. Most regular carpet owners can remedy tiny tears and rips. However, even the most skilled professionals have issues fixing large rips and tears – so if your carpet has these, it might be time to get a new one. Polyester carpet fiber, especially, easily mats up and loses its form as it gets older – and nylon carpeting fiber is usually more resistant to this, and can retain its form even after being matted down.

 

Staining

If your carpet has a massive stain that can’t be fixed, you should replace it. Stains are probably the leading cause of carpet replacement. If you have owned the same carpet for many years, it’s likely that it’s been affected by a wide range of stain types – including dirt, food, or even animal waste. After a while, these stains can absorb down into the very padding of the carpet, causing it permanent damage. This will show you that it’s absolutely time for a replacement.

 

Odors

Carpets can absorb smells from stains that go deep into the fibers of the carpet. This can cause unpleasant odors to emanate from your carpet. If you don’t take proper care of your carpet, and have it regularly cleaned by a professional, it might transfer its odor to the broader room around that houses it. Nobody wants a smelly carpet, and nobody wants a smelly room – so if your carpet stinks, it may be time to get it replaced!

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How to clean your oriental rug

For the majority of people, oriental rugs can be considered one of the highest investments people make in home decoration. The payoff is good though – since they add light to a room’s ambience as well as a soft surface for hanging out on top of. However, if you want an oriental rug to last for a long time, you need to make sure that it’s maintained well through regular cleaning. The best way to treat a carpet or rug is to clean it yourself regularly – as this way you’re greatly reducing the chance of any damage occurring, as well as increasing the longevity of your rug.

 

Supplies

You will need a vacuum, gloves, a bucket, a mild dish soap or rug shampoo, a sponge, a brush, a squeegee, and water.

 

Cleaning Process

Step One: Vacuuming

First vacuum the rug’s top and bottom side to get rid of any dirt or dust.

Step Two: Color Testing

Mix the mild soap or cleaner with warm water (not hot) and try applying it to a tiny corner of the rug to ensure it doesn’t mess up the colors.

Step Three: Washing

Use a wet brush or sponge to lather the solution deep inside the rug and allow it to remain a few minutes before rinsing it off.

Step Four: Rinsing

Rinse off the entire rug with a hose so that no soap suds remain on it.

Step Five: Removing Excess Moisture

Use the squeegee to remove as much water as you can from the rug, in the direction of the nap.

Step Six: Drying

Lay out the rug on a flat surface to dry one side at a time.

Step Seven: Relaxing the Rug

Use a vacuum or a soft brush to help loosen up the rug’s fibers to restore their softness and suppleness – as they may have gotten stiff during the washing process.

 

Frequency

While it’s very important to wash rugs when they are dirty, and they do get dirty often – it’s probably not the best approach to simply wash it all the time even when it’s clean. You can test to see if a rug is dirty enough to merit washing by picking a corner of it up and letting it fall to the floor – if a cloud of dust appears, it needs washing. Additionally, rugs need washing when you can visibly see the dirt on them, or if they smell weird. By taking care of soiled rugs as soon as possible, you will greatly extend its softness over time.

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Guide to Carpet and Rug Care

Dirt vacuum cleaners often miss lots of dirt. This is why if you want to prevent a dirty house, the experts at Aladdin agree that you should lessen the amount of dirt that gets on carpets to begin with by making a no-shoes rule, or by putting doormats by every entrance to a room with a rug. Frequent vacuuming is the best way to prevent embedded dirt, however if a rug is already dirty, the best way to clean it is to roll it up and give it to a licensed carpet or rug cleaner. Their form of steam cleaning often works the best.

 

However, if you make a quick stain, you might want to address it as soon as possible. Here’s some fantastic spot-cleaning tips.

Blotting

Simply blot up any skill by covering up the spot with a clean towel or paper towel pile. Press with your handwheel, and repeat until most of the liquid stain has been absorbed.

 

Spot Cleaning Solution

Mix clear hand friendly dishwashing soap with water (very little soap, less than a quarter teaspoon) and use this as a blotting solution.

 

Rinsing

Mist the area with water and blot it with a wet towel, then a dry towel. Do these two steps over and over again until the stain comes out, but make sure not to rub the carpet.

 

Best Carpet Cleaning Methods

Synthetic Carpets

For regular cleaning upkeep, vacuum it. For liquid spills, clean using the blotting methods. For deep cleaning, have it professionally steam cleaned.

 

Wool Carpets

For regular cleaning upkeep, vacuuming, ideally with a floor tool as opposed to a rotating brush. For liquid spills, use water and blotting – never with any base substances. For deep cleaning, again, we highly recommend getting it professionally steam cleaned.

 

Plant Based Carpets

For regular cleaning upkeep, vacuum it in a similar fashion that you’d use for a synthetic carpet. For liquid spills, blot it – and usually blotting works fast – just make sure to dry wet areas fast, you can use a hair drier. For deep cleaning, yet again, we highly stress the necessity of bringing the carpet to a professional for professional cleaning.

 

Stain Removal Techniques

  • Blood, berries chocolate, soda, coffee, etc – Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Mud – Let stain dry and manually break off pieces and vacuum.
  • Beer, cat pee – White vinegar
  • Ketchup, alcoholic mixed drinks, soy sauce, watercolors – Ammonia (but never on wool)
  • Tar, wax, crayons, grease, lotion, makeup – Rubbing alcohol
  • Bleaches, dye, turmeric, dyed household cleaners – These stains are usually permanent, and you might have to simply remove and patch the stained area – but try your hand with a professional cleaner.
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Carpets vs Area Rugs

Carpet and area rugs have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages. Here’s the experts at Aladdin’s guide as to the differences between the two, so you can better decide what works for your household or business.

 

Advantages of Carpets

Carpets are one the most commonly used type of flooring inside homes. They go through phases of popularity, but have remained used for years and years. Homes with wall to wall carpets create a sense of comfort and total stylistic unity, offering the advantages of:

  • Softening both the appearance of a room, and sound
  • Being very comfortable for bare feet, which is great in cold months
  • Affordability
  • Cheap cleaning
  • A soft cushion to walk on, sit on, or fall on – important if you have toddlers
  • It insulates your home, which can help reduce your energy bill.

 

Disadvantages of carpets

However, carpets have these disadvantages:

  • It can be hard to clean the wall adjacent edges of carpets
  • Carpets can wear within a  few years, leading to the need to replace the entire carpet
  • Carpets require specialty  installation
  • Carpets can contribute towards allergies and asthma as if improperly cleaned they can hold dust or mites

 

Advantages of Area Rugs

Many other homeowners love their area rugs. Some of the reasoning behind this passion is:

  • Rugs often come in bolder designs and colors
  • Rugs offer versatility and the ability to be switched from different rooms
  • Rugs are easier to clean, either yourself or by a professional cleaner
  • They are perfect for anybody renting an apartment, as you can take it with you when you move, and they also muffle your footsteps, decreasing potential annoyance for downstairs neighbors
  • They are generally less expensive than wall to wall carpets
  • THey can be utilized easier in a broader design scheme as a pop of color
  • They can be conversation pieces
  • They don’t require specialty installation

 

Disadvantages of area rugs

Some of the potential drawbacks of area rugs are:

  • If not set down properly they can easily slide – but this can be remedied with the use of a rug pad.
  • They can be tripped over if a corner is sticking up – which can be remedied with double sided tape on top of a rug pad.
  • They only cover part of the floor – but that’s also part of their appeal! Can you tell we favor area rugs over carpets? Don’t blame us, this is our passion!
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Carpet Cleaning Myths

There’s tons of false information being spread about carpet cleaning, just the same as in in any other industry. However, it’s important to have accurate information if you want to make sure that your rugs and carpets are taken care of as well as they truly deserve. By understanding the common myths about carpets or rugs, you can make sure that they are truly taken care of.

 

Myth Number One

Amateur Carpet Cleaning Works

Home carpet shampooing machines purport to be able to clean carpets just as well as a carpet or rug cleaning professional, but the truth is that they do not. These machines create unwanted levels of moisture inside carpets and rugs – and if this moisture does not get fully dried, even just a little bit, it can lead to fungus and mold growing throughout the entire carpet. Carpet manufacturers recommend getting your carpet or rug cleaned by a professional using water extraction equipment only available on an industry level. Next time you need your carpet cleaned, trust the experts at Aladdin.

 

Myth Number Two

If my carpet doesn’t appear dirty, it doesn’t need a professional cleaning.

Don’t ever wait till your carpet appears extremely dirty before having it cleaned. That approach actually incurs damage to carpets and rugs because the longer that dirt remains inside the carpet, the higher the chances it will rip the delicate carpet fibers. Don’t wait to clean the carpets or rugs, as dust can also affect the health of your family members or anyone inside your home. Some experts estimate that just a foot of the average carpet or rug can hold over a pound of allergens, dirt, dust, and other particulates – which are especially hard to spot when your carpeting is tan or brown.

 

Myth Number Three

Carpet Protectors prevent all Stains or Spills from Causing Damage

Carpet protectors don’t really protect your carpets or rugs as well as they are known for. Scotch guards or any other protecting material that’s placed around or over carpets/rugs only provide a small amount of protection. Stains can still damage carpets or rugs when carpet protectors are placed down – however they simply won’t soak into the rug as quickly as they would without one in place. All stains even on rugs or carpets with protective materials should be handled as soon as possible by dabbing them up with paper towels, and then dabbing a mixture of white vinegar and water to blot out the stain from the carpet.

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How to Ensure a Rug’s Longevity

In this quick blog post, the experts at Aladdin will show you how to increase the longevity of your rug or carpet – whether it’s a long-existing family heirloom, or a brand new purchase from an dealership. By following these tips, you can ensure the longevity of your rug or carpet for years to come.

 

Change Walking Pathways

Set down furniture forms pathways of foot traffic on rugs or carpets that over years leave an impression on the material. By moving around furniture on the rug, you will change the natural pathway that people take. This will prevent a worn area from accumulating in a single spot.

 

Rotating Carpets

By rotating your carpet, you will also affect the wear of foot traffic placement. If you rotate your rug on a yearly basis (or for more heavily trafficked areas, every half-year) you will ensure the even wear of the rug.

 

Padding

Place a high quality rug pad beneath your carpet or rug in order to protect it from wear, dirt, mold, or slippage.

 

Cleaning

By having your rug or carpet professionally cleaned, you will ensure its protection from bugs, mold, decay, rot, or any of the normal issues that usually affect rugs and carpets. The experts at Aladdin have special technology that can handle rug and carpet cleaning with far more success and efficacy than amateur operations.

 

Vacuum

By vacuuming your rug or carpet often you will remove any impacted dirt that can cause warping or slow damage, as well as restoring a sense of youth and life to the fibers of the rug. Make sure never to vacuum a rug’s fringe as that can damage it – simply use the end of a canister vacuum’s hose.

 

Longpile or Shag Rugs

These special rugs have long fibers that can be caught and ripped by the swirling bar of most vacuum cleaners. It’s ideal for these rugs to clean them using a special safe attachment, but you can flip the rug over and clean off the bottom with the usual attachment.

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Rugs and Bugs

Sometimes rugs are improperly stored and end up becoming a meal for bugs. This can even happen to rugs sitting on a floor for years without being moved. Carpet beetles and moths regularly make full meals out of undisturbed areas. Sometimes, however, light bug infestation can be remedied, and the carpet or rug can be restored. Here’s Aladdin’s tips to protect rugs from being eaten by insects.

 

While rugs are in storage

If you’re putting a rug in storage, here’s how to properly take care of it to protect it from bugs.

Wash it

Washing will remove any bugs that may have stuck onto the rug, while also removing any impacted contaminants or dirt – that can also eventually dry out the cotton foundations of the rug, and potentially cause dry rot. You can usually tell if a rug has dry rot based on if it cracks when you roll it up. Dry rot can also be caused by improper washing out of any soap residue. Most professional rug washers will apply an insect repellent to the rug as a final step to washing.

 

Rolling up and Wrapping

We don’t recommend folding up rugs, as it stresses out their foundational fibers. It’s best to roll rugs tight from the bottom end first (when you pet the rug, if you’re going with the grain it will lead you to the bottom end.) We recommend rolling silk or older wool rugs with pile pointing outwards, and wrap in plastic for protection. If you’re rolling your rug with the pile inwards, wrap it in paper as opposed to plastic – but choose Tyvek paper rather than regular brown paper. NEVER WRAP WOOL WITH PLASTIC. Wool carries a lot of natural moisture, and wool wrapped in plastic can start “sweating” causing mildew.

 

Elevation

Make sure to keep rugs stored in high areas, far from the possibility of being affected by a flood. Never store heavy items in top of a rug, as the weight over time can cause extreme foundational damage to the rugs. Always check any rugs in storage on an annual basis to make sure that all packaging is securely intact. If the rug was truly professionally cleaned and had insect repellent placed on it, you can check up maybe once every two years, but you will need to reapply repellent every two to three years. Tyvek paper, however, can be rescued.

 

If your rug already has bugs

  • If your rug has an infestation, inspect it far from any of your other rugs, to prevent them from spreading.
  • Consider sending the rug to get fumigated by a licensed pest control facility.
  • If the infestation is only in one area, cut out that area to make it smaller, but still usable.
  • Measure the cost of any reconstruction versus a simple disposal and replacement of the rug.
  • Rugs eat carpets from the inside out, so you never really know how much damage was truly done.
  • Bugs don’t like sunlight or air, which is why they hide in dark areas. If the rugs have very limited bug action, simply take it outside into direct sunlight and leave it there for a few hours (making sure both sides of the rug are directly exposed to the sun) and then brush it with a stiff bristle brush to remove any bugs or larvae.
  • One action you can take is to place infested rugs inside an airtight plastic bag with a ton of mothballs, seal it, and leave it for a few weeks. When you reopen the bad, don’t breath any of the air coming from it, as the majority of mothball fumes are poisonous.
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Brief Guide to Fire and Smoke Damage

If you’re unlucky enough to suffer a fire in your home – or if your neighbor suffers one – smoke and ash in the air can easily affect rugs and carpets. Particulates are dangerous for humans – and any sort of natural fabric. Here’s Aladdin’s guide on how to tackle removing smoke and soot damage from rugs and carpets.

 

  • If rugs smell like smoke, most standard washes will take care of it by washing away soot particulates. After this, the rugs should be vacuumed regularly.

  • Heavily fire or smoke damaged rugs require both washing as well as professional deodorizing with specific odor removing solutions.

  • Some rugs that suffer direct fire damage from burning rubble or embers should simply be disposed of, as sometimes this damage is simply to correct to reweave or repair.

  • Wool has a high moisture content, which luckily causes it to self extinguish – which is why wool is used in so many hotel and airplane carpets.

  • Small amounts of direct fire damage burns can be reknotted, so sometimes rugs damaged in a fire can be saved.

  • Heavy ash and soot can be eliminated from rugs by professional rug washers, however should be removed as fast as possible, as it causes further damage over time.

  • Thankfully, silk rugs additionally contain a large amount of moisture, making them self-extinguishing, and some of the only items that can be saved from a fire.Wash all carpet fibers to remove soot particles.

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