CARE YOU CANíT BEAT
days gone by, carpets and rugs were cleaned by taking them
outside, hanging them across a
line, and beating them. Perhaps you remember this tedious
Saturday afternoon chore from your childhood.
Our mothers and grandmothers may not have understood the
cleaning technology behind this work, but they did realize the
The majority of soil in carpet is dry, insoluble, particulate
matter. An analysis by Proctor and Gamble Laboratories of
carpet soiling samples representing a cross-section from
throughout the United States reveals the following data on
soil in carpet:
* Tracked-in, gritty
particles make up approximately 55%.
* Animal fiber from
people, pets and fabrics comprise about 12%.
* Another 12% is vegetable
matter and fiber from fabrics, indoor plants, lawn trackings
and paper products.
These combine to account for 79% of the soil nestled in carpet
fibers. This soil composition varies with geographic location
and use of the facility.
This dry soil is often abrasive and can harm carpet fibers if
not removed. Under the weight and movement of foot traffic,
these particulate soils can scratch and cut carpet fibers,
dulling the appearance of the carpet. Abrasive soil is the
major cause of carpet wear.
Today most carpet is installed wall to wall, and clotheslines
are becoming a thing of the past. We canít beat this
particulate soil out of our soft floor coverings, but we can
vacuum it out. Frequent, thorough vacuuming is the most
important step in a carpet maintenance program. Routine
vacuuming enhances the appearance and prolongs the useful life
of carpet by lifting the fibers and removing harmful
Proper vacuuming also helps create a healthier indoor
environment by removing pollutants such as dust mites and
their feces, discarded human skin cells that mites feed upon,
mold spores and other biological
contaminants collected in the carpet.
The equipment is the first consideration for effective
vacuuming. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and
Restoration Certification (IICRC), Vancouver, Washington, the
certifying body for professionals achieving levels of
proficiency in the cleaning, restoration, and inspection
these tips on selecting a vacuum cleaner:
Upright vacuum cleaners are generally more efficient than
top-load vacuum works more efficiently than a bottom-load.
vacuum cleaner head should be equipped with a beater bar or
revolving brush. This
mechanical action separates the carpet fibers and lifts the
soil for vacuum removal. This duplicates the agitation of
beating the rug on the clothesline.
dual-motor vacuum, utilizing one motor to operate the beater
bar and one for the vacuum, is
cleaning objective is to remove as many particles and
biopollutants as possible, not to
redistribute them into the air to settle back into the carpet
and furnishings or be absorbed into the respiratory system.
Vacuum cleaners equipped with high efficiency particulate air
(HEPA) filtration systems trap tiny particles.
Disposable paper bags are recommended over cloth bags. Cloth
bags can become clogged
with soil, reducing air flow through the bag.
Replace the beater bar and brushes as they become worn.
blower fan blades replaced as they abrade.
Replace worn or cracked belts.
Vacuuming is such a common place chore that little thought is
given to how it should be done. The IICRC provides these
vacuuming, more is better. You cannot over vacuum a carpet.
Todayís carpets are
designed to hide soil, so soil is not always visible. Studies
conducted by Hoover Vacuum Cleaning Company show that one
square foot of carpet can hold up to one pound of dirt and
still appear clean.
Thorough vacuuming to remove the pile-damaging soil hidden
deep in the carpet takes time.Donít
just groom the surface by removing large, noticeable debris.
the brush or beater bar properly for each carpet height. The
brush or bar should touch
or replace the bag often. When a bag is half full, vacuum
efficiency is reduced by 60 to
Overall vacuuming is needed, but knowing where to concentrate
your efforts is more
productive. The majority of soil in carpet is brought from
outside by foot traffic, so normally the highest concentration
of soil is in entrances and high traffic areas.
vacuum the dust and fine particulate soil that builds up
around the edges and in the
corners of the rooms.
Successful vacuuming requires time, proper technique, and
effective equipment. However, even the most meticulous worker
with the best vacuum cleaner cannot remove all the soil in
carpet. A small percentage of the soil is oil-based. This oily
residue bonds the particulate soil left from vacuuming to the
carpet fibers and causes the appearance of dirty traffic
Vacuuming is ineffective against this oily buildup. Removal
requires the periodic service of a certified professional
This article has been provided by
ProAction Carpet Care, your local IICRC certified
carpet professional. For further information on proper care of
your carpet, call: 1-800-532-5110