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Carpet Care Tips

A Word About Do-It-Yourself Cleaning
Carefully follow the manufacturer's instruction and use the correct products for the job...

Carpet Installation
The more you know about your home furnishings and the recommended method of maintenance and cleaning, the easier it will be to keep them looking their best...

Common Carpet Characteristics
Proper care means longer wear. Consumer education on upholstered furniture and the methods recommended for cleaning them will make it easier to keep them looking beautiful....
Spot and Stain Removal
Here are some tips to help you remove spots and stains....
Carpet Maintenance
With proper regular care, you can add years of life to your carpet and help to retain its original appearance.
Animal Stains
Cats may be considered one of the cleanest animals and dogs may be man’s best friend but neither are necessarily that of mans carpeting. Neglected animal stains have always been a problem.
The Forgotten Spill
Sometimes stains that have been hidden by soil are revealed after cleaning. These stains, which did not immediately cause discoloration....
Frequently Asked Carpet Questions
Find the answers to some of questions


A Word About Do-It-Yourself Cleaning

Professional cleaning is recommended for any carpet, especially stain-resistant carpet. However, if you decide to do it yourself, carefully follow the manufacturer's instruction and use the correct products for the job.

No matter how careful you are, accidents are going to happen to your floor covering. When these minor accidents do occur, quick action is most important.

The use of these products or a combination of several products will remove many different kinds of spots.

The most important single factor in successful spot removal is to work on the spot while it is still fresh. Often our cleaning professionals have difficulty only because the spot has dried into the carpet and has set or dyed the carpet fibres.

BECAUSE THE USE OF PRODUCTS IS BEYOND OUR CONTROL, ENVIRO CANNOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR CHANGES IN THE COLOR OR TEXTURE OF THE FABRIC OR ANY RESULTANT DAMAGE.

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Common Carpet Characteristics

Pilling

After carpeting has been subjected to foot traffic, moving of furniture, vacuuming and other forms of mechanical agitation, fuzzing or the working out of loose fibre ends in the pile can be observed. When an entire fibre is removed, it is called shedding or fluffing. In some cases only one end of the fibre is worked out; in others, it is tightly twisted or entangled in the tuft. When this situation occurs in local areas, the long fibres become entangled and form a pill.

Pilling is common and is not a problem when the pills break or are pulled out by the vacuum as they form. However, a strong elastic fibre such as nylon will resist this breaking. This results in small spider-like pills over the entire surface of the carpet, perhaps more concentrated in the areas of greatest traffic.
These pills can generally be removed by lifting the main ball portion with the thumb and forefinger, and using scissors to cut the fibre, which holds the pill onto the carpet. Take care not to pull any excess fibre from the carpet, which may damage the pile when cutting.

Ripples

Carpeting, like most other textiles, is made under tension. Tension is necessary so that the loom or machine will function properly, producing fabric uniform from one portion to the next. Yet carpeting differs from many textiles in that the back may be composed of several layers, which are not generally pre-shrunk. When backing yarns previously held under tension. Moisture, which produces swelling, may result from humidity, spills or improper cleaning methods.

If two adjacent areas are not manufactured under the same identical tension, unevenness or rippling will develop. This will also happen if the tension of the second back is not uniform with the primary rug backing. Ripples can also be caused by dragging heavy furniture across the entire width of the rug, from the edge to the middle, in the middle only, along the edges or in one small section.

Shading

Apparent colour difference between areas of the same carpet caused by normal wear and the resulting random difference in pile lay direction is referred to as shading.
It is a characteristic of all cut-pile carpet. It is not a manufacturing defect. The physical cause is the difference between cut end lustre and side lustre of fibres. The sides of fibres reflect more light and appear brighter and lighter in colour than the ends, which absorb more light and appear to be duller and darker in colour.

Little can be done to prevent or correct shading; it is an inherent characteristic of certain types of carpet. It can be slowed down by vacuuming or brushing the pile in one direction during daily or weekly maintenance.

Static

Do you snap, crackle and pop after walking across your carpet? This is static formed by the friction of your shoes against fibres in the carpet. Usually there is enough moisture or humidity in the air to carry off the static charge as it is formed, but when the weather turns dry and the humidity is low watch out!

The tendency to generate a static charge at low humidity varies from carpet to carpet. Some of the new carpets have anti-static agents built into the fibre. Others use very fine metal wires or even conductive latex within the carpet to carry off the static. Anti-static protection of this type usually lasts for the life of the carpet.

If your carpet has none of these innovations and bites back in dry weather, it may still be possible to obtain some relief trough increasing the humidity or by use of an anti-static agent sprayed on the face of the carpet. ENVIRO can apply an anti-static agent to your carpet that will last for many months.

Sunlight Damage

Almost every carpet will lighten in colour of fade over a period of time. The extent of damage depends on: the location, exposure, colour, intensity and type of dye and method of dyeing of the carpet. A carpet that has been solution-dyed (or dyed during the synthetic producing-producing process) is least susceptible to sun fading. The pigments are added to the polymer before the fibres are formed, locking in the colour. Most polypropylene (olefin), many acrylics, and some polyester carpets are dyed by this method.

Lighter shades will usually fade more quickly than darker shades because they contain less dye. Most dyes are composed of two or more colours. If one colour is affected more than the others the fading may appear as a colour change rather than a lightening of the colour. For example a green carpet yarn is made from blue and yellow dyes. If the yellow dye is affected and the blue is not affected, the green carpet may seem to turning bluer. In other cases, the colours may fade uniformly, appearing as a lighter shade of the original colour. In severe cases, the colour may be completely removed and can appear to be bleached white. The fibre itself can also deteriorate.

You may be able to prevent carpets from fading in sunny locations by keeping the windows covered by draperies or by treating the windows with a protective coating, which filters the ultra-violet rays. If you live in an area where sunlight fading is a problem, shop carefully for your next carpet purchase.

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Carpet Maintenance

There is a difference in cleaning methods! Most major carpet manufacturers recommend the hot water extraction method to maintain your warranty and extend the life of your carpeting.

ENVIRO's cleaning equipment uses hot-water soil extraction to clean your carpet and furniture without harsh chemicals. We are also offer dry powder cleaning methods of carpet cleaning when required.

ENVIRO uses super heated water and an emulsifier to remove dirt and debris at the molecular level. Our unique, equipment delivers the super heated water to your carpeting as hot as when it leaves the unit.

Our powerful Truckmounted vacuums then extract the dirt and water leaving your carpet clean and decontaminated and enabling the carpet to dry very fast. Your carpet is clean all the way to the base of the fibre.

Other methods using mechanical scrubbing action, shampoo, "dry" carbonated chemicals, may leave problems and dirt behind.

Rotary brush can; cause pile distortion, leave a sticky residue causing your carpet to rapidly resoil, remove only the surface dirt and the rest is pushed deeper into the carpet, and your carpet is not sanitized by these methods. That doesn't sound very healthy, does it?

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The Forgotten Spill

Sometimes stains that have been hidden by soil are revealed after cleaning. These stains, which did not immediately cause discoloration, are usually from spilled liquids containing colourless sugar that remained on the fibres. After long exposure to the air, they changed to insoluble brown stains, but would not be noticed because of dirt covering them.

Other kinds of stains can be caused by water soaking through and absorbing sizing, browning or fugitive dyes from the backs of the material. Because the fibres act as wicks, moisture will rise to the surface, evaporate and discoloration will be left. Carpet owners, who try to remove stains by using the wrong cleaning compounds and procedures, may only make the stained areas more noticeable.

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Carpet Installation

Proper installation is critical to beautiful appearance and carpet performance. A quality installer will follow these guidelines.

  1. Measure the metres needed for each room area.
  2. Inspect the actual carpet prior to installation for any defects.
  3. For patterned carpet, consider proper matching of the design. In cut-pile carpets, make sure the pile direction is the same between the two seamed pieces.
  4. Determine the position of seams and how the edges will be finished in doorways.
  5. Make certain the seams are strong enough to withstand stretching and traffic and yet be as inconspicuous as possible.
  6. Stretch the carpet properly during installation to avoid wrinkles or buckles caused by traffic, humidity, and temperature.
  7. Call your local ENVIRO Professional for all types of carpet repairs.

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Spot & Stain Removal

Here are some tips to help you remove spots and stains:

There are hundreds of home remedies. Some will do a fair job, however, may set the spot. By calling an Enviroprofessional, you won't be gambling with the look of your furnishings.

The Right Stain Removal Techniques

Stains can make a carpet appear more soiled than it really is, so no carpet cleaning method is complete unless all removable stains have disappeared. A basic knowledge of different stains and chemicals for spot cleaning and removal is vital, since improper or indiscriminate use of spotting chemicals can worsen a problem.

Helpful Tips on Spot Cleaning

Always blot or scrape up as much material as possible before is soaks into the carpet. 

For blotting liquids, use white paper towels or tissues. You might use a cloth but it is less desirable. If used too long, the matter soaked into the cloth will redeposit into the fibres and spread the stain. 

For scraping solid matter, use a table knife. Never use a sharp instrument. 

Never use soap. This frequently leaves a sticky residue that causes rapid resoiling. 

Do not allow solvent-based products to penetrate to the backing. They might damage and soften the latex compounds used to strengthen the carpet backing.

Follow the 5 Steps

Step One -

SCOOP up solids before cleaning.

Step Two -

BLOT as much liquid as possible using clean white towelling or paper towel.

Step Three -

CLEAN - Click this link to go to the recommended Spot Removal Chart.Apply spot removal agent/s to clean towel. Do not apply directly to carpet.

Step Four -

RINSE with cold water or lukewarm water only.

Warning: Do not saturate.

Step Five -

BLOT DRY with absorbent material such as paper towelling or use cold air fan to complete drying.

CAUTION: Rubbing or scrubbing will cause permanent pile distortion.

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Animal Stains 

Cats may be considered one of the cleanest animals and dogs may be man’s best friend but neither are necessarily that of mans carpeting. Neglected animal stains have always been a problem. 

Two types of reaction can take place between the chemicals in the urine and those in the fibre dye. Some dyes change colour as soon as urine comes in contact with them. Often original colour can be restored by immediate addition of a weak solution of ammonia or white vinegar. Pick up inconspicuous area of the carpet and test small amounts of solution to determine its effect on the fibre and dye.
       
The other change develops slowly over a period of several months and results in permanent change of fibre dye. Along with the dye change, some fibres become weakened or destroyed. After cleaning, these areas are more obvious because the soil, which hid the true colour, has been removed.
       
The next time you are confronted with an animal accident, immediately absorb as much liquid as possible. Wash the area with a solution of one teaspoon of neutral detergent (which contains no bleach) to one cup of luke-warm water. Absorb into white tissues or towelling. Add a white vinegar solution (one part white vinegar to two parts water). Absorb as dry as possible. Place a ½-inch layer of white absorbent material over areas and weight down. Allow drying for about six hours.
       
If immediate action is taken to remove the stain in this manner, no change in colour should occur and that forgotten accident will not because apparent after you carpet has been professionally cleaned.

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Frequently Asked Carpet Questions

What type of cleaning method do we use?

ENVIRO uses a "steam cleaning" also known as "hot water extraction" method to clean your carpet. The first part of this method consists of using a gentle detergent mixed with hot water to precondition your carpet. The second part is a hot water extraction, which frees the carpet of soil all the way down to the bottom of the fibres and removes all the detergent. This is the method recommended by the major carpet manufacturers, such as Feltex, Cavalier Bremworth, Godfrey Hirst, and Shaw.

Will wet cleaning my carpet attract soil faster?

No! When you rinse the carpet with hot water after preconditioning, it removes the residue that would attract soil.

Doesn't wet cleaning remove the natural oils from wool carpet
No, wool carpet when manufactured undergoes a process to remove the natural oils from the fibre.

How long do I have to stay off the carpet after it is cleaned?

It is best to stay off the carpet as much as possible until it is dry, especially for the first 4 hours. If you must walk on it, wear clean-soled slippers or house shoes. This helps prevent crushing of the pile and re-soiling.

What about dry carpet cleaning methods such as bonnet cleaning, are they better?

Dry cleaning methods are known as "appearance retention methods of carpet cleaning" as per the IICRC carpet cleaning training manual. They are used in the cleaning of commercial carpets whereby the carpet is cleaned on a scheduled basis. This method is typically used in conjunction with hot water extraction as part of a program.

No carpet cleaning method is completely dry, all use some form of moisture in the cleaning process. When used in a residential situation dry methods whilst leaving the carpet dryer when finished do not have the ability to remove as much contaminates and soiling (on a percentage basis) as the hot water extraction method. The reason is that hot water extraction uses a "rinsing" process similar to applying a shampoo to your hair and rinsing it out. Dry cleaning methods do not.

How can I keep my carpet looking new as long as possible?

The best thing you can do for your carpet is to vacuum it regularly, have walk-off mats at each entrance, and have it cleaned with a "hot water extraction" method at least once a year.

What are the benefits of applying a fabric protector?

It helps the carpet resists soil, spills will clean up easier, and it helps your carpet, rugs, and furniture look cleaner longer, even after heavy use.

Will your cleaning method cause mould, or the carpets to be wet and soggy?

No, steam extraction performed by trained technicians with quality equipment is the most effective and efficient method of cleaning carpet. This method is the most common used by professionals throughout the world and is recommended by carpet manufacturers and retailers as their preferred method of cleaning. Why? Because no other method can remove more contaminants from your carpet whilst leaving minimal residue.

Do you guarantee your workmanship?

Yes, we guarantee that all work is performed to industry acceptable practices. Please be aware that pre-existing damage can at times be permanent and impossible to remove. This may include pot plant stains, pet urine, drinks spills. Our technicians will take all practicable steps to remedy the situation.

Your company is one of many, why should I choose you?

ENVIRO continues to lead the industry on several fronts.  Firstly all our technicians are IICRC qualified in many areas including carpet & upholstery cleaning, odour control, water and fire damage restoration, carpet repair and colour repair. This means that the technician performing, (not just the company owner) is qualified by an international certification body. The next time you have your carpet or upholstery cleaned ask to see their qualification card.

Secondly, all technicians have leading edge Truckmounted equipment. The benefits are hot water, faster drying, less chemical usage, no portable equipment inside, all contaminates are kept in the waste tank outside and no use of your electricity.

Finally, we are certified and founding members of the Carpet Cleaners Association of New Zealand (CCANZ), one of the directors of ENVIRO was the associations first president. This association is the trade body to represent all carpet and upholstery cleaners in the country. In order to become a certified member, all company's must comply with a code of practice, undergo regular training, have public liability insurance and comply with a strict complaints procedure.

Where can I get some independent advice?

If you are thinking about requesting the services of a carpet cleaning company, contact the CCANZ office on  0800-422-269  and find out if they are a member, it's your guarantee that the job will be performed correctly. You may also want to visit the Wools of New Zealand website at www.woolsnz.com for helpful information.

How often you'll need professional cleaning depends on soil build-up, traffic, type and colour of carpeting. A good rule-of-thumb would be to professionally clean your carpet every 12 months. ENVIRO knows the latest in carpet construction, chemicals, and safe, effective cleaning methods to help maintain carpet beauty.

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