Bring your carpets back to life this spring
At the end of a cold and frosty winter, families across the UK partake in the age-old tradition of a classic spring clean. Shelves are dusted, metal hardware is polished, and windows are scrubbed, yet many of us neglect one of the most used items in our homes – the carpets.
To coincide with National Spring Cleaning Week (6-12 March 2017), Britain’s leading floorcare brand, Vax, is on a mission to ensure that we’re looking after our carpets – and ourselves.
Christine Trouvé-Brown, Carpet Washing Category Leader at Vax, said: “At this time of year, it’s natural to want to open the windows to let spring in, and sweep winter away, but when it comes to your carpets, vacuuming up the dirt and debris simply isn’t enough. Undetected by the naked eye, carpet fibres can hold on to dirt deep within, which can be particularly aggravating for those with allergies.
“We know that all manner of nasties can be lurking deep within your carpets, including dead skin, animal hair, mould spores, insects and bacteria. Not to mention the spots, stains and spills that stop them from looking their best. Yet despite 60% of us knowing vacuuming alone isn’t enough to remove mould spores or bacteria from carpets, only 14% of people are doing a more thorough deep clean using a carpet washer.”
Indeed, recent research from Vax has revealed that only 34% of Brits have washed their carpets in the last six months, and, shockingly, more than a third have never washed them at all.
Christine added: “These figures may not seem alarming, but they should be. Despite the nation’s biggest carpet complaint being muddy footprints (39%), there’s actually much more to worry about, including insects, moth larvae, mites, skin cells, and even salmonella. With this taken into account, and when we think about how much we and our little ones use the carpet throughout the year, it really is imperative that we care for them properly, before it’s too late.”
Christine’s top tips for keeping your carpets spotless
1. Deal with spills immediately
To avoid an accidental spill becoming a stain, deal with it straight away as older stains can become more stubborn and can cause odours. Blotting a spill or accident might make the carpet look clean again but the mess can still lurk deep down making it easier to resoil. For best results, get to it straight away with your carpet washer before it soaks in.
2. Always vacuum thoroughly first
Give your carpet a good vacuum before you start washing it, to remove any surface debris. The carpet washer will then get deep down into the fibres to remove the embedded dirt that the vacuum cleaner can’t. This will provide a better all-round clean.
3. Use the right solution
To avoid damaging your carpet or your carpet washer, you should only use the solution recommended for use with your machine. Vax has an extensive range of cleaning solutions, included those formulated for homes with pets and allergy sufferers, which are all approved by WoolSafe for use on even the most delicate fibres.
4. Pre-treat if possible
For best results on carpets that are very dirty, or haven’t been cleaned previously, spraying a pre-treatment solution onto heavily soiled areas can help to break down the stains before you make a start with your carpet washer. For the most stubborn stains pre-treat and then use the wash tool to scrub and break down the dirt to achieve a more concentrated cleaning effect. To prolong the cleanliness of your carpet and help protect from possible stains in future, use a post-treatment solution.
5. Plan your route
Begin washing in the corner furthest away from the door and work your way backwards methodically towards the door. This way you won’t end up walking on the areas you’ve already washed and it will help you to keep track of the areas that have been cleaned.
6. Clean in overlapping straight lines
For the most thorough clean, use parallel strokes with your carpet cleaner allowing a small overlap as you go, and push your carpet cleaner at about half the speed you would push an upright vacuum.
7. Four passes is plenty
When cleaning the carpet, run the carpet washer back and forth, more slowly than you would with a vacuum cleaner. Repeat up to four times for optimum cleaning and continue across the whole area. Our top tip is to use more ‘dry’ strokes (trigger released, so it’s sucking up the water) than ‘wet’ strokes (trigger held down, so it’s applying water and cleaning solution). Then finish off with a flourish of dry strokes, until you can see hardly any water being sucked up through the nozzle.
8. Wash stairs and upholstery, too
By choosing a carpet cleaner with a hose and wash tool included, such as the Vax Dual Power Pro Advance, you can get equally great results on sofas, upholstered chairs, carpeted stairs and car interiors. The hose and wash tool will help you get right into the corners and crevices too.
9. Leave windows and doors open
Although your carpet cleaner will pick up most of the moisture laid down, you can speed the process up if you leave doors and windows open or turn the heating on a low setting – and they should be dry again in no time. In the colder months, when it is less appealing to open the windows and exterior doors, use a Vax Dehumidifier to absorb excess moisture from the air.
10. Wash regularly
Even if you vacuum every day, it’s still important to wash your carpets regularly to remove the embedded dirt that vacuuming alone can’t reach, as over time this trapped dirt will damage carpet fibres. Washing will help prevent your carpets from looking dull, frayed and worn, keeping them looking newer for longer and saving you money in replacing them. After washing, your carpets will look brighter and your whole home will be filled with a long-lasting spring fresh scent.