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A SIMPLE GUIDE TO MAINTAIN YOUR CARPETS
Posted on 22 August 2017

A fine carpet gives warmth and pleasure to your feet. Not just to beautify a space, whether it is living, bedroom or dining, but to bring joy and stir your soul. These beautiful carpets are symbols of timelessness connecting between function and art, between a space and the people who live in it. Part of what adds to the timeless aspect of these carpets is their durability; If a beautiful piece of art can last for a very long time, it has to do with proper care and maintenance so that it can not only be compelling for years, but for generations to come.

Here are some useful tips that help in maintaining and keeping your carpet in good condition.

Dealing with dust and dirt

Take special care when cleaning your hand knotted carpet. Sand, grit, and dust can work into the base of the pile and abrasion can damage the wool fibres and result in loss of pile. To remove the dirt and dust, take the carpet outside and gently sweep with a broom to loosen the dirt trapped between the fibres and do the same by flipping the carpet. Vacuum once a week or as more frequently as you wish in the direction of the pile to maintain your carpet. (If the pile feels nice and smooth, it is in the direction of the pile.) Vacuum both back and front side and make sure you protect the threads while vacuuming the carpet. Care should be taken not to brush the loop carpets while vacuuming. Do not use vacuum cleaners with harsh bristle roller bars or beaters as these cause the sides of the carpet to fray or damage the pile of the carpet itself. If you find some loose threads over the surface of the carpet, cut them with a pair of scissor. When vacuuming a Kilim or a hand knotted carpet do not use high suction settings and remember not to vacuum the fringes as with repeated applications some of the fringes may be torn off. In high traffic areas of your home and office, make sure to vacuum the carpet more frequently.

Dealing with spills

No matter how careful you are, accidents do happen and one cannot prevent them. Food and drink spillages are quite common and have to be given immediate attention and cleaned instantly. Before dealing with spills, read the carpet labels for wash symbols and cautions. Once you are sure about the instructions depending on the carpet type and material, you can spot clean or dry clean. For liquid spills, blot up with a blotting paper, paper towel or a clean rag to absorb the liquid and for solids, it is best to use a spoon to scoop them up. Do not rub the carpet as rubbing causes the stains to go deeper and embed into the fibres. Work the stain from the outer edge to the centre. Blot or clean the spillage until it dries. If you are planning to use detergents or cleaning solutions, make sure to test the detergent on an inconspicuous area of the carpet first. If the carpet colour gets transferred to the white cloth or if you are not sure about how to clean the stain then we strongly urge you to seek professional assistance. Though you will find several methods to remove the stain on the internet, make sure you carry out these methods at your own risk. If you prefer to be on the safer side, it is always better to contact a professional carpet cleaner immediately.

Avoiding heavy weights

Heavy furniture can damage your carpet. If your furniture base or legs are sharp and made of metal, ensure to use protectors prior to setting furniture on top of your carpet to avoid crushing or flattening piles. Avoid keeping flower pots on your carpets. If you really want them on your carpet, keep flower pot trays which collect the excessive water from the pots. If the pot leaks, the carpet will be affected causing it to stay permanently damp. Within two or three weeks the foundation of the carpet can become so weak that chunks can be torn from the affected area by hand leaving your carpet ruined. It is all the better to keep them away from carpets.

Dealing with uneven wear

Due to heavy traffic in certain areas, the carpet will be worn out or discoloured in the same spot. To prevent this, rotate the carpet at 180 degrees every few months. This way the foot traffic is distributed evenly over the entire surface of the carpet. Also, if the carpet is exposed to direct sunlight, chances of discolouration is more. So, rotate the carpet to prevent uneven wear.

Dealing with creases and wrinkles

To avoid creases or wrinkles on your carpets, place a clean thick and dry towel over the area of the carpet which is creased and then iron over the towel a few times in the direction of the pile. If the carpet pile does not return to its original shape, you can repeat the treatment but bear in mind that the iron must not come into direct contact with the carpet.

Dealing with curling

Curling can happen due to quite a few reasons like packing and shipping a new carpet, rolling the carpet while storing or due to furniture weight. When carpets refuse to lay flat, give some time for the carpet's foundation or backing to relax after it is unpacked or rolled out. Try reverse rolling the carpet, this will speed up the relaxing process.

If you ever want to dry your carpet in the sun, keep in mind not to dry it in harsh sunlight during monsoon and on the other, make sure to dry your carpet in shade in summer. If your carpet is damp during monsoons, the wet wool will start rotting faster and will produce a bad odour. Damp can damage carpets that are made from natural materials like wool, cotton, and silk. If your carpet catches moisture, chances are that the moist can lead to moth infestation and mildew growth. But, if you own a Hands carpet you are fortunate, as our carpets are moth proof and eliminate the need to worry about moth infestation or having your carpets being damaged by moths. Fast-forward to summer, note that harsh sunlight is not recommended as the carpet colour can fade over a period. Intense heat can dry out the natural oils in the wool making it weak and brittle. The vegetable dyes may fade substantially when exposed to UV light. The synthetic dyes will fade extensively and this will happen far quicker than with the vegetable dyed carpets. Whilst some fading is essential and natural, too much can ruin the look of the carpet and reduce its lifespan by damaging the pile. This can be prevented by blocking the direct sunlight using blinds or drawing curtains. Pay attention to the placement of your carpet, you can rotate or re-position, and avoid placing the carpet near the windows. Applying UV filters to your windows is strongly advised as they are quick, easy, and inexpensive. However, prolonged and intense sunlight is not good for materials of any kind.

Dealing with pet problems

Pets do love carpets as they can sharpen their claws, scratch, chew or urinate. But, their actions are harmful to the carpet. In most instances, you can train your pets to scratch a scratching post or chew a toy. When pet hair accumulates in a carpet, gently brush the carpet with a stiff soft clothes brush or utility brush till the dirt and hair cease to come out. Pet urine, if left unattended, can cause severe damage in the form of rotting and discolouration. You can control your pet activities by using a squirt gun which can be used to condition the cat or dog to avoid the getting near the carpet.

Carpet storage

The most practical way to store carpets is by rolling them up tight width wise and storing them horizontally. Start rolling from the side that is opposite the direction of the pile. To prevent the carpet from unrolling, use rope or string to tie around the carpet. Avoid wrapping the carpet in plastic as plastic will prevent the carpet from breathing. Before wrapping, use moth balls or silica gel pouches as protection against moths and pests and wrap in a breathable fabric. Make sure to have the carpet fully wrapped and sealed so that water and humidity do not enter. Store the carpet in a well-ventilated area in a dry place or climate-controlled area to avoid damage. Do not store carpets in a closet or attic without checking every month or so for moths and humidity. Do not store carpets in the basement, the damp environment could lead to irreparable dry rot. Under no circumstances should the carpet be wet or damp when you roll it up directly on the floor for storage. Moisture that cannot escape or dissipate from under the carpet and may also cause dry rot so make sure to prop a damp carpet up, letting the air circulate. Avoid exposing the carpets to direct sunlight. Do not store the carpet in an upright position, as this could result in it losing its shape.

With right care and maintenance, you can extend the life of your carpet and keep it looking new for many years.

Disclaimer: Kindly note that we do not take responsibility for the suggested spot cleaning advice, as stains may vary depending on the material. For difficult and deep stains, your best bet is to contact a specialised or a professional carpet cleaner.

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