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Taking care of your carpet: best practice, hints & tips

This month, British Wool talks to Steve Bakker, Global Marketing Director for WoolSafe, the experts in wool carpet and rug care.  

WoolSafe works in partnership with carpet manufacturers and retailers, setting standards for the carpet care industry, providing consumer advice, product testing and professional training.

Why is it important to look after your carpet?

Your carpet can last up to 40% longer if cared for properly – quite a statistic when we consider that the majority of people expect their carpet to last 10 years or longer!

How should carpet be cared for?

There are generally two types of soil which affect carpets. The first is dry soil, including substances like grit and sand, which fall to the bottom of the carpet. This type of substance is abrasive, so if it’s not removed it will start to damage the carpet fibres over time. My advice for removing this type of soil is simple - regular vacuuming.

The second type of soil is best described as ‘sticky’, including any dirt brought into the house on shoes and air pollution. This type of soil can attract more dirt (known as re-soiling) if not periodically removed. So it’s also a good idea to have your carpet cleaned professionally – annually or every couple of years depending on level of usage - to remove general sticky soil which accumulates on any floor surface over time.

For liquid spills, follow the steps below:

  1. Soak up as much of the spill as possible, using a clean, absorbent cloth, until there is no more transfer to the cloth. It’s important to remember to blot rather than scrub – scrubbing will push the stain further into the carpet pile and damage the fibres.
  2. Use water or a WoolSafe approved cleaning spray (which is colour, fibre and re-soiling safe) to complete removal of the spill. Spray this onto the cloth first, and then dab the spill. Another important point to remember – spray the cloth rather than the carpet. Spraying directly on the carpet will drive the stain deeper and wider.

As a general rule, dealing with spills as they happen is best, as dried in stains are always more difficult to remove from any fibre. It also helps to be prepared with the right information for dealing with different types of spills – wine, felt tip, tea etc. Visit the WoolSafe website or download the WoolSafe app for helpful advice on treating all types of stains.   

Why are wool carpets easy to care for?

Wool is naturally designed to protect sheep from all weathers, in all conditions. When we consider the variability of British weather, this is an impressive quality in itself!  It’s naturally stain resistant, which means that most stains can be easily removed using water and an approved spot cleaning spray. Even mud is easy to remove – simply let it dry and vacuum.

Wool really is a family fibre – it’s also flame resistant, naturally resilient (so bounces back from furniture marks), hypoallergenic and regulates humidity - so it’s clear to see that it’s the perfect fibre for carpets, whatever your requirements. 

For more useful hints and tips visit http://www.woolsafe.org/. For help on the go, download the WoolSafe app (Apple and Android versions available).

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