Hopefully after last week’s blog you’ve made a start on your spring cleaning.
If not, it’s time to fling open the windows and let in some fresh air. The sunshine will probably bring to light the spots and stains which have gone unnoticed on your carpets and upholstery over winter.
While most of your house can be given a thorough cleaning by the family, there’s a few things you should leave to the professionals.
Don’t be tempted to try and clean your soft furnishings yourself.
‘Do-it-yourself’ approaches might be less expensive but they’re never as effective as professional cleaning. Plus, it takes a lot of time and hard work, and it’s very easy to make a costly and irreparable mistake.
Here are six reasons why you should NEVER attempt to clean your carpets and upholstery yourself:
1) Failure to remove all soiling – If you bought the cheapest carpets and upholstery you could find, then renting a small machine might be all you need. No question, it will get out some of the dirt – but the key word here is ‘some’. It will not remove allergens, dust mites or many of the deep-down contaminants that can cause your soft furnishings to wear out prematurely.
2) Using the wrong cleaning method and solutions – Not all carpets and upholstery are the same. Depending on the materials used in their construction, and how they are made, different items may require different treatments. Using the wrong cleaning method or solutions for your particular soft furnishings could easily result in permanent damage.
3) Heat damage – The intense heat generated by the ‘steam machines’, that can be purchased in many of the retail chain stores throughout the country, can cause the twists within the yarn in twist-pile carpets (which are heat-set during manufacture) to become unwound. It can also easily damage the nap on upholstered furniture.
4) Failure to rinse properly – Some home cleaning methods will utilise a detergent. Unfortunately, when these systems are used by someone who is untrained or unskilled, it is common for the cleaned items not to be rinsed properly (leaving chemical residues behind). These residues rapidly attract new soiling to the fibres and fabrics. More worryingly, however, un-rinsed chemicals can be detrimental to your health and well-being, causing rashes, breathing problems and the worsening of existing allergies.
5) Over-wetting – Some fabrics and fibres will shrink if they are subjected to too much moisture and, in the case patterned fabrics and fibres, dye bleed can occur. Over-wetting also runs the risk of mould or mildew problems (another cause of health issues) if the item takes a long time to dry.
6) Failure to protect a freshly cleaned carpet from furniture – A common hazard of D.I.Y cleaning methods are stains caused by furniture coming into contact with wet carpeting. Many kinds of wood furniture will release some of the dyes in their stain if left in contact with a damp surface. ‘Do-it-yourselfers’ are more likely to encounter these problems because they often don’t remove all the furniture from the room when cleaning, and they often don’t have ready access to the foam blocks and foil-backed cardboard squares that the professionals use to keep the furniture off the carpet until it is dry.
The best way to retain the appearance of your soft furnishings, and extend their life, is to have them regularly deep cleaned (at least once every two years is recommended) by a professional carpet cleaning company with the equipment and skills to do job properly and without causing damage.