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Carpet life extended by annual cleaning
Vacuum often, blot up spills immediately

By Rosemary Sadez Friedmann
SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 04.02.2006

If you would stop to think how much abuse your carpet gets, perhaps you would
have a little more compassion for it. After all, the poor thing just lies there letting
everyone walk all over it. And it never complains when you track dirt on it or spill
things all over it.

I'll bet you will get more loving years of service out of your carpet if you just show it
you care. And the greatest care you can give a carpet is to keep it clean.

Professional cleaning — once every year — is the best treat you could shower on
your carpet. In between, there is a lot you can do to maintain love and harmony
between you and your floor covering. First of all, vacuum regularly. You can't
vacuum too often. When vacuuming, use a beater-bar that will raise the pile as it
goes across the floor so the trapped dirt will be vacuumed up.

If something spills onto the carpet, blot it up immediately. Blot is the key word —
never rub, scrub or brush because you might be grinding the stain into the rug
rather than removing it, and this may even cause damage to the carpet fibers. Blot
and clean from the outside of the stain toward the center; this helps prevent
spreading. When using a cleaning agent, apply the cleanser to a clean, white cloth
rather than directly to the stained area to avoid saturating the carpet.

If the spill or stain is oil-based, you may need to purchase a dry cleaning solution
available at grocery and hardware stores. For non-oil-based spots, mix one
teaspoon of non-bleaching dry powder laundry detergent with two cups of water.
Wet that clean, white towel with the mixture and go at it gently but diligently. Remove
the soapiness with clear, lukewarm water and absorb the excess moisture with an
absorbent white towel.
Press down on the towel, or pile a few books on it, to help it absorb excess moisture
that might be deep down. Repeat the rinsing and blotting process until you are sure
all the detergent is gone. Finally, place a dry white towel over the area and weigh it
down with books or other heavy objects for a couple of hours to finish absorbing the
last traces of moisture.

Is it a stubborn stain that just won't go away? Try this: mix one tablespoon of non-
bleaching, non-sudsing household ammonia with one cup of lukewarm water. Go
through the rinsing, blotting process as described above. Next, you need to
neutralize the ammonia. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water and apply this
solution using the same procedure as above.

A note of warning: If the stain is from coffee, tea or urine, do not use the
ammonia/water cleaning method; the acidity in the former liquids combined with
ammonia will play havoc on your carpet fibers.
Remember, if you love your carpet, it will love you back.
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If you love your carpet, it will love you back