Carpet Cleaning and Preserving the Warranty

Dear Carpet Girl,

We recently installed new carpet in our family room, what is the best way to keep my carpet looking new and clean? Our sales person advised we need to clean or care for the carpet every 18 months, is that true and why?

New and Shining

Dear New and Shining,

Congratulations on your new family room carpet!  Gathering information from the manufacturer is the first step in ensuring your new carpet stays looking its best.  This includes approved cleaning chemicals, warranty guidelines and cleaning requirements.  This information can be found on their website or ask your retailer for guidance.  Carpets are treated during the manufacturing process with a stain protection that should last for several years.  Using an unapproved chemical to treat any stain can cause a chemical reaction creating a bigger chemical stain or damage to the product.

Here is what we recommend to keep your carpet’s warranty in place.

  • Use a company that is IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) certified, and has gone through training with the last 3 years.
  • If you choose to use an in home remedy to treat a stain, make sure you are using warm water only to gently pat the stain. Do not rub the stain.  This friction can damage the fibers.  If it is an oil based stained, a gentle fragrance free soap with no dyes is best.  If you use an OTC cleaning product – the carpet could end up with two stains, and void any stain warranties put in place by the carpet mill.
  • Warm water extraction is absolutely the best way to spot clean or “whole room clean”, your carpets whether it’s commercially rated or one from a local retailer. Harsh chemicals should never be used to clean your carpets.
  • When treating a stain like pet urine, it’s important to treat the padding as well. It may require having the carpets gently pulled back and replacing the affected area to avoid that pesky stain from returning or the smell from remaining…no one wants the lingering sent of urine in their home.
  • Lastly, in 2007, many of the mainstream manufacturers began a campaign that simply states: in order for them to honor their warranty plans, carpets should be maintained and cleaned professionally every 18 months.  Failing to invest in a proper care plan may result in voiding the very valuable warranty.

Remember to be mindful when cleaning your carpet so that the warranty stays in place and you don’t inadvertently cause more damage to the product.

** Foot note: FCW 9/15/14