Carpets care guide

 

Having spent a substantial sum on new carpet and fitting, you’ll want to keep it looking good for as long as possible. Here are a few tips on caring for your carpet.

Vacuuming and shampooing

Newly-laid carpets sometimes develop what appear to be patches, which happens after the tufts have been compressed in different directions. As soon as the carpet is vacuumed, the tufts will return to their upright position, so we recommend that you vacuum your new carpet as soon as it's laid.

Regular vacuuming is good for your carpet. It removes dirt and grit that collect at the base of the tufts, and once removed, the tufts can stay upright and keep the colour rich and bright. Upright and cylinder cleaners can work equally well, but take a look at our Vacuum Cleaner buying guide to see which cleaner best suits your needs.

Loop pile carpets should be vacuumed using the suction head only, as beater brushes and heads can cause a felted look.

The need for occasional thorough cleaning will depend on the amount of wear your carpet gets. We recommend getting the professionals in, but you may want to do it yourself if regular cleaning is necessary for you. We do sell steam and carpet cleaners.

General care

Pilling can occur in blended fibre carpets. Snip off pills carefully with scissors.

Shedding is usual for the first few months with new carpet. The more frequently you vaccum the carpet, the sooner it will stop.

Shading of light and dark patches is normal on cut pile carpets such as velvet. These patches should diminish but not always disappear entirely with vacuuming. They’re a feature of a cut pile product, and occur because the pile has been crushed or flattened in a different direction to the natural lie of the pile. This causes light reflection at different angles in light and dark patches.

Static can build up in a carpet in a dry atmosphere. Increase humidity levels by putting pot plants in water trays, or by using a humidifier.

 

Barrier - use a doormat or rug in doorways where there’s access to the street to prevent dirt soiling the carpet in this heavy wear area. Remember to vacuum the barrier mat frequently so that the dirt doesn’t spread to the carpet.

Wear - a carpet can suffer considerable damage from trainers or high heels, furniture that’s dragged instead of being carried, and heavy furniture causing indentations. Some parts of a carpet get greater use than others, like doorways, the area in front of chairs and the noses of stairs, so are likely to show signs of wear earlier.

Although fitted carpet can’t normally be moved to help the carpet wear evenly, you can change the areas of wear by moving furniture occasionally. Put down rugs, if practical, to take the heaviest wear.

 

Treating carpet stains

It’s important to clean up any spillages immediately they happen to avoid staining. Remember to always use a blotting or dabbing action when cleaning up spillages; don’t rub as this will cause the pile to untwist and become rough and fluffy.

To avoid the stain from spreading, always work the area in from the outer edge. Solids should always be scraped up first. Apply cleaning liquid or carpet shampoo to a cloth first - never pour it directly onto the carpet. Brush the carpet pile immediately after cleaning.

For food-based stains, we sell a general purpose kit online and in our floor coverings departments.

For a stain removal kit, you’ll need 3 solutions together with a dry cleaning solvent and some white absorbent cloth or strong tissue.

Detergent solution - one teaspoonful of neutral detergent, to 1/2 pint of warm water.

Detergent/vinegar solution - add one teaspoonful of white vinegar to the detergent solution.

Ammonia solution - one tablespoon of household ammonia to one cup of warm water.

Check for any colour fastness prior to carrying out any wet process on your carpet.

Avoid brushing and scrubbing as they can cause pile distortion

Treating specific stains

Alcohol & wine - blot up the surplus spillage. Use detergent/vinegar solution. Work from the outer edge of the stain, using a little at a time and blotting up with dry cloths.

Blood - scrape up excess with a blunt knife. Use detergent solution, starting at the outer edge and blotting dry. Follow with ammonia solution. Blot dry.

Chewing gum - scrape up with a blunt knife. Use dry cleaning solvent followed by detergent/vinegar solution. Blot dry.

Chocolate - scrape up excess with a blunt knife. Use detergent solution, starting at the outer edge and blotting dry. Follow with ammonia solution. Blot dry.

Coffee - blot up the surplus spillage. Use detergent/vinegar solution. Work from the outer edge of the stain, using a little at a time and blotting up with dry cloths.

Egg - scrape up excess with a blunt knife. Use detergent solution, starting at the outer edge and blotting dry. Follow up with ammonia solution. Blot dry.

Fats - scrape up with a blunt knife, use dry cleaning solvent followed by detergent / vinegar solution. Blot dry.

Fruit - scrape up excess with a blunt knife. Use detergent solution, starting at the outer edge and blotting dry. Follow with ammonia solution. Blot dry.

 

Glue - scrape up excess with a blunt knife. Use detergent solution, starting at the outer edge and blotting dry. Follow with ammonia solution. Blot dry.

Grass - scrape up excess with a blunt knife. Use detergent solution, starting at the outer edge and blotting dry. Follow with ammonia solution. Blot dry.

Gravy - scrape up excess with a blunt knife. Use detergent solution, starting at the outer edge and blotting dry. Follow with ammonia solution. Blot dry.

Grease - scrape with a blunt knife. Use dry cleaning solvent followed by detergent/vinegar solution. Blot dry.

Ice cream - scrape up excess with a blunt knife. Use detergent solution, starting at the outer edge and blotting dry, follow with ammonia solution. Blot dry.

Lipstick - scrape up excess with a blunt knife. Use dry cleaning solvent, followed by detergent/vinegar solution. Blot dry.

Liquid foods - blot up the surplus spillage. Use detergent/vinegar solution. Work in from the outer edge of the stain, using a little at a time and blotting up with dry cloths.

Milk - blot up the surplus spillage. Use detergent solution. Work in from the outer edge of the stain and blotting dry. Follow with ammonia solution. Blot dry.

Nail polish - scrape up with a blunt knife. Use dry cleaning solvent followed by detergent/vinegar solution Blot dry.

Oil - scrape up with a blunt knife. Use dry cleaning solvent followed by detergent/vinegar solution. Blot dry.

Perfume - blot up surplus spillage. Use detergent/vinegar solution. Work in from the outer edge of the stain, using a little at a time and blotting up with dry cloths.

Shoe polish - scrape up with a blunt knife. Use dry cleaning solvent followed by detergent/vinegar solution. Blot dry.

Soft drinks - blot up surplus spillage. Use detergent/vinegar solution. Work from the outer edge of the stain, using a little at a time and blotting up with dry cloths.

Tar - scrape up with a blunt knife. Use dry cleaning solvent followed by detergent/vinegar solution. Blot dry.

Tea - blot up surplus spillage. Use detergent/vinegar solution. Work in from the outer edge of the stain, using a little at a time and blotting up with dry cloths.

Urine - blot up surplus spillage. Use detergent/vinegar solution. Work in from the outer edge of the stain, using a little at a time and blotting up with dry cloths.

Vomit - scrape up with a blunt knife. Use dry cleaning solvent followed by detergent/vinegar solution. Blot dry.

Wax - scrape up with a blunt knife. Use dry cleaning solvent followed by detergent/vinegar solution. Blot dry.

Please note: Stains and fibres vary, so please be aware that our tips on cleaning carpet stains may not work in all situations. We recommend you test a small, discreet area of carpet before treating the stain.