Cleaning Myths and Old Wives Tales
We have all heard stories, myths and old wives tales related to cleaning. These days there is more advice out there than ever, with the internet being full of all sorts of information.
Of course, not everything you see on the internet is true and not all the advice on there is good. So I thought I would see if I can help bust a few myths.
Don’t Clean Carpets Until You Absolutely Have To It Wears Them Out.
Cleaning carpets is actually the best thing you can do to make them last as long as possible.
Walking on carpets doesn’t actually cause much wear to them at all, UNLESS they are dirty. Soil (dirt) in carpets contains lots of grit which has sharp edges. When we walk on carpets the fibres move around and the grit scratches and cuts the fibres like sandpaper, eventually cutting through them and making the carpet literally wear away.
Vacuum cleaning will only remove surface soil from the carpet. Periodic professional deep cleaning will remove deep down grit and soil form the carpet, making it last much longer.
Wool Carpets Never Need Cleaning – They Clean Themselves
Wool is a fantastic fibre for carpets. It is hard wearing, feels nice, looks good, is warm under foot and is very good at HIDING soil. Because it is so good at hiding soil compared to some man-made fibres, it can often seem like it doesn’t need cleaning.
Unfortunately this just isn’t true. Dirty carpets will wear out much faster than clean ones whatever fibre they are made of, and as I said in last months’ blog, carpets filter the air in our home keeping the air clean. Dirty filters don’t work as well.
Once Your Carpets Have Been Cleaned They Will Get Dirty Much More Quickly.
This was true many years ago, when carpet cleaning products and equipment left sticky residues in the carpets which attracted soil, making the carpets get dirty much more quickly.
Cleaning products, methods and equipment have moved on hugely since the days of old. Modern professional cleaning products do not leave sticky residues behind. The equipment is much better at rinsing out these products along with the dirt in the carpet.
Carpets will actually stay clean for longer if they are professionally cleaned. Modern fabric protectors will make vacuum cleaning more effective, as well as helping to prevent spills from causing permanent stains.
Just be aware that many consumer cleaning products, including those for use with hire or DIY carpet cleaners, still contain old fashioned chemicals which can cause rapid re-soiling.
Washing Up Liquid Is Safe To Use Anywhere.
Washing up liquids are often seen as a universal cleaner by householders, being used for washing cars, dishes, clothes, carpets, upholstery and anything else.
These products are actually very powerful cleaners which are virtually impossible to remove from carpets and fabrics without extraction equipment. They can cause colour loss (bleaching), damage fibres and glues in carpet, and will definitely cause rapid re-soiling.
They also contain chemicals which can fix colours from things like food and drink, “setting” the stain in to the fibres and making future stain removal all but impossible. They can also damage paintwork and speed up the rusting process so don’t wash your car with it either!
Red Wine Spill? Poor White Wine on it.
Blot up as much of the wine as you can with kitchen paper or a clean towel. Take your time and be thorough – it will make the stain removal process much easier. Apply plenty of pressure to get the last of the liquid out of the carpet – once you think you have removed as much as you can, place a fresh piece of paper towel down and stand on it, you will be surprised how much more comes out.
Even if there is no visible mark remaining, clean the area as there will still be residues left behind which will attract dirt. Use a mild detergent, (NOT washing up liquid!). One for washing woollen clothes is suitable (even if the carpet isn’t wool). Mix a teaspoon of detergent in half a pint of warm water, and add 1 or 2 teaspoons of white vinegar. Avoid consumer cleaning products – they can fix the stain.
Apply the detergent to a soft cloth and dampen the area, blotting from the edge of the area to the middle. DO NOT RUB! Do not over-wet the area. Repeat the blotting process with plain water as a rinse.
Finally place paper towels several layers thick over the area, weight down with something waterproof and leave overnight.
When the area is properly dry, if there is still a mark, repeat the process. If there is still a mark, call your local member of the National Carpet Cleaners Association.