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Static Electricity in Carpet

With the rise in popularity of carpeting, along with better insulation and heating, static electricity has become more prevalent in homes. static electricity carpet

There are many variables that contribute to static electricity, including the physiological makeup of an individual, weight, walking habits, and the type of shoe soles worn; the face fiber and construction of the carpet, the backing, type of cushion under the carpet, and the kind of floor; the cleanliness of the carpet; and the amount of moisture in the air.

However, humidity is the biggest factor. Moisture in the air is absorbed by carpet fibers. The more moisture in the fibers, the more an electrical charge is dissipated and the less the chance of a shock.

The earliest method used to control static was to place pans of water on the stove or radiators. Moisture is added to some heating systems today by placing a humidifier on the furnace. If sufficient water is added to the air, it will eliminate the static problem, but too much moisture can produce condensation on windows.[GARD align=”left”]

Another method of reducing static is to spray the carpet surface with an anti-static agent. It is not a permanent treatment as it is slowly removed by the soles of shoes. If these agents are sprayed in the fall, they will probably be effective until spring, which is the usual time of year for static electricity problems. If static becomes a problem before spring, the traffic areas can be retreated.

Some anti-static agents are sticky and will cause dirt to adhere to the carpet. A carpet retailer should be able to supply an anti-static agent that will not accelerate soiling. If you are in the market for new carpeting, inquire about the types with special fibers or treatments built into them that eliminate the static electricity problem altogether.

Article courtesy MSU Extension

Featured Resource: Find a Pre-Screened Local Carpet Pro

How to Prevent Faded Carpeting

When floors and furnishings are becoming faded due to sunlight, you can control the fading by blocking the sun with shades or curtains, but then, of course, you’ll lose the natural light.

Fading is caused by ultraviolet light, heat, and visible light from the sun. Overhangs, awnings, and shade trees can help, but the best solution is to apply window film tints that are designed to block UV rays, reflect heat, and slightly reduce visible light.

Sold in rolls at home improvement centers, window film tint is a thin, plastic-like material. It is easy to apply to the inside surfaces of windows, using a soapy solution of water (directions come with the film). See How to Buy & Apply Widow Film for complete information.

Choose reflective low-e films to cut back on UV rays and heat; beware of the darker films-with these, you’ll sacrifice natural light.

How to Clean a Carpet & Remove Stains

The most common problem with carpets is staining. Most synthetic carpets have some degree of stain resistance-name-brand nylon the most of all. Any time a spill is made onto carpeting, the key is to try and remove it as quickly as possible. Results are always best before the stain gets a chance to dry. Sponging water over the affected area will help dilute the stain, but be careful not to spread the stain.[GARD align=”left”]

To remove a basic stain:

Avoid scrubbing a red wine stain.

1Immediately following a spill, remove any semi-solid material with a spoon and place a clean, white absorbent material such as paper towels, a kitchen towel, or a sponge over the spot and press to draw the liquid away from the carpet fibers. The idea is to blot, not scrub.

Scrubbing will spread the stain and drive it deeper into the material you’re trying to clean. As soon as the absorbent materials are wet, replace them with dry ones and weight them down with a heavy object. Replace them when they grow wet.

2Apply a carpet cleaner directly to the stain. Ideally, you would first apply it to a small test spot in a less conspicuous part of the stain and leave on for 10 seconds. This will assure you if the cleaner is safe for your carpet.

3You may need to treat the area more than once if it is an especially stubborn stain; some stains will never completely come out.

4When the carpet is clean and has had a chance to dry, gently brush it to restore the carpet pile.

How to Remove Pet Odors From Carpeting

If the odors are from a pet that still lives in the house, trying to eliminate odors is probably a waste of time and money; most pets will continue to revisit their favorite spots. Ridding carpets of odors from pet urine is expensive, time consuming, and not always effective. Nevertheless, try the following:

1At a pet store, buy a liquid enzyme-based odor remover and ask to rent a black light.

 

Liquid enzyme cleaners are sometimes your best bet to remove pet odors.

2Go over the carpet and through the room with the black light to locate every trace of urine, which should show up under the light. Circle the areas with chalk.

3Saturate the marked areas with the enzyme, following label directions. Allow to dry completely, for several days.

4If necessary, have the carpet professionally cleaned.

If necessary, continue with the following steps:

5Call a carpet installer and have the carpet and pad removed; dispose of the pad and order a new one..

6Seal the subfloor with a stain blocker, such as KILZ.

 

7Have a new pad and the carpet reinstalled.

Featured Resource: Find a Pre-Screened Local Carpet Repair Pro

Carpet Cleaning Basics

Eventually every carpet needs some type of cleaning to remove soil that sticks to the fibers. How often depends on the amount of use the carpet gets; some areas will need cleaning before others.

Basic methods are dry absorbent powder, foam, shampooing, and hot water extraction. Each method has advantages and disadvantages. Costs in dollars, time, and energy vary, as do the skills needed to do a good job. For environmentally friendly carpet cleaning, please see Eco-Friendly (Green) Carpet Cleaning.

Always vacuum thoroughly before starting any cleaning method. Following are some general precautions for all methods:

• Pretest on inconspicuous area first.[GARD align=”right”]

• Protect the carpet from rust stains by putting aluminum foil, wax paper, or plastic wrap under furniture legs until the carpet is dry.

• Follow the cleaner and equipment instructions as directed.

• Do not overwet the carpet. Excessive moisture can cause shrinkage, streaks, or mildew.

• Keep mechanical action to a minimum to avoid carpet damage or streaks.

Hot Water Extraction

Though hot water extraction is called “steam cleaning.” steam isn’t actually used in the process. This process involves spraying a mixture of hot water and detergent onto the carpet under pressure, and then immediately extracting the solution with a special vacuum. The result dislodges and releases dirt and soil.

Extraction is an excellent way to clean carpeting that’s heavily soiled, and it’s easy to measure how clean the carpet is by viewing the solution in the machine. The carpet typically dries more quickly than it does when shampooed.

On the downside, the equipment is heavy and bulky to handle, and the process is more expensive than shampooing. You have to be careful not to saturate the carpet.

How to Remove Candle Wax From Carpeting

Candles make for beautiful, soft indoor lighting. However, the by-product of burning candles is an excess of liquid wax.

When wax pools on many hard surfaces, it can be easily removed. However, when it gets onto a fabric surface such as carpeting, it presents a much greater challenge.

Use an iron and a paper towel to extract wax from carpet fibers.

Use an iron and a paper towels to extract wax from carpet fibers.

To remove wax from carpeting (as well as tablecloths and upholstery), you’ll need a household iron, paper towels, home dry-cleaning solvent, and a mild detergent.

First, lay a dry, absorbent paper towel across the wax stain. Then, press a medium-heated iron lightly against the surface. This will re-melt the wax, which will then get absorbed by the paper towel. Make sure not to leave the iron in one place for long, as it can burn the carpet beneath the paper towel without you seeing it.

If the surface still shows signs of wax residue after this procedure has been repeated a few times, try taking a small amount of home dry-cleaning solvent and applying it with a slightly damp sponge or cloth. Blot the affected area, using as little of the solvent as possible so as not to damage the carpet backing.

You can also try mixing a mild detergent with a small amount of warm water and blotting the affected area with a cloth or sponge. Make sure the detergent contains no bleach or alkalides, as this will damage the carpet.

More About Carpet Repairs & Cleaning

For more about handling specific carpet issues, please see:

How to Clean a Carpet & Remove Stains

The most common problem with carpets is staining. Most synthetic carpets have some degree of stain resistance-name-brand nylon the most of all. Any time a spill is made onto carpeting, the key is to try and remove it as quickly as possible. Results are always best before the stain gets a chance to dry. Sponging water over the affected area will help dilute the stain, but be careful not to spread the stain.[GARD align=”left”]

To remove a basic stain:

Avoid scrubbing a red wine stain.

1Immediately following a spill, remove any semi-solid material with a spoon and place a clean, white absorbent material such as paper towels, a kitchen towel, or a sponge over the spot and press to draw the liquid away from the carpet fibers. The idea is to blot, not scrub.

Scrubbing will spread the stain and drive it deeper into the material you’re trying to clean. As soon as the absorbent materials are wet, replace them with dry ones and weight them down with a heavy object. Replace them when they grow wet.

2Apply a carpet cleaner directly to the stain. Ideally, you would first apply it to a small test spot in a less conspicuous part of the stain and leave on for 10 seconds. This will assure you if the cleaner is safe for your carpet.

3You may need to treat the area more than once if it is an especially stubborn stain; some stains will never completely come out.

4When the carpet is clean and has had a chance to dry, gently brush it to restore the carpet pile.

How to Remove Pet Odors From Carpeting

If the odors are from a pet that still lives in the house, trying to eliminate odors is probably a waste of time and money; most pets will continue to revisit their favorite spots. Ridding carpets of odors from pet urine is expensive, time consuming, and not always effective. Nevertheless, try the following:

1At a pet store, buy a liquid enzyme-based odor remover and ask to rent a black light.

 

Liquid enzyme cleaners are sometimes your best bet to remove pet odors.

2Go over the carpet and through the room with the black light to locate every trace of urine, which should show up under the light. Circle the areas with chalk.

3Saturate the marked areas with the enzyme, following label directions. Allow to dry completely, for several days.

4If necessary, have the carpet professionally cleaned.

If necessary, continue with the following steps:

5Call a carpet installer and have the carpet and pad removed; dispose of the pad and order a new one..

6Seal the subfloor with a stain blocker, such as KILZ.

 

7Have a new pad and the carpet reinstalled.

Featured Resource: Find a Pre-Screened Local Carpet Repair Pro

Carpet Cleaning Basics

Eventually every carpet needs some type of cleaning to remove soil that sticks to the fibers. How often depends on the amount of use the carpet gets; some areas will need cleaning before others.

Basic methods are dry absorbent powder, foam, shampooing, and hot water extraction. Each method has advantages and disadvantages. Costs in dollars, time, and energy vary, as do the skills needed to do a good job. For environmentally friendly carpet cleaning, please see Eco-Friendly (Green) Carpet Cleaning.

Always vacuum thoroughly before starting any cleaning method. Following are some general precautions for all methods:

• Pretest on inconspicuous area first.[GARD align=”right”]

• Protect the carpet from rust stains by putting aluminum foil, wax paper, or plastic wrap under furniture legs until the carpet is dry.

• Follow the cleaner and equipment instructions as directed.

• Do not overwet the carpet. Excessive moisture can cause shrinkage, streaks, or mildew.

• Keep mechanical action to a minimum to avoid carpet damage or streaks.

Hot Water Extraction

Though hot water extraction is called “steam cleaning.” steam isn’t actually used in the process. This process involves spraying a mixture of hot water and detergent onto the carpet under pressure, and then immediately extracting the solution with a special vacuum. The result dislodges and releases dirt and soil.

Extraction is an excellent way to clean carpeting that’s heavily soiled, and it’s easy to measure how clean the carpet is by viewing the solution in the machine. The carpet typically dries more quickly than it does when shampooed.

On the downside, the equipment is heavy and bulky to handle, and the process is more expensive than shampooing. You have to be careful not to saturate the carpet.

How to Remove Candle Wax From Carpeting

Candles make for beautiful, soft indoor lighting. However, the by-product of burning candles is an excess of liquid wax.

When wax pools on many hard surfaces, it can be easily removed. However, when it gets onto a fabric surface such as carpeting, it presents a much greater challenge.

Use an iron and a paper towel to extract wax from carpet fibers.

Use an iron and a paper towels to extract wax from carpet fibers.

To remove wax from carpeting (as well as tablecloths and upholstery), you’ll need a household iron, paper towels, home dry-cleaning solvent, and a mild detergent.

First, lay a dry, absorbent paper towel across the wax stain. Then, press a medium-heated iron lightly against the surface. This will re-melt the wax, which will then get absorbed by the paper towel. Make sure not to leave the iron in one place for long, as it can burn the carpet beneath the paper towel without you seeing it.

If the surface still shows signs of wax residue after this procedure has been repeated a few times, try taking a small amount of home dry-cleaning solvent and applying it with a slightly damp sponge or cloth. Blot the affected area, using as little of the solvent as possible so as not to damage the carpet backing.

You can also try mixing a mild detergent with a small amount of warm water and blotting the affected area with a cloth or sponge. Make sure the detergent contains no bleach or alkalides, as this will damage the carpet.

More About Carpet Repairs & Cleaning

For more about handling specific carpet issues, please see:

Eco-Friendly Green Carpet Cleaning

Avoid the hazards of conventional carpet cleaning chemicals by using a green carpet cleaning service

Many services provide eco-friendly carpet cleaning.

Though wall-to-wall carpeting is luxurious underfoot and can add elegance to a room, a dirty carpet can be an eyesore-or, worse, a health hazard, encouraging the growth of germs and mold.

Regular professional carpet cleaning is a worthwhile investment, but not all cleaners are created equal.

Some commercial carpet-cleaning companies actually use chemicals that are more dangerous (especially to kids, pets, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems) than the dirt and germs you’re paying them to remove. Because of this, many consumers are requesting “green” carpet-cleaning practices that protect their health and the environment.

What’s so harmful about traditional carpet-cleaning systems? Standard commercial cleaning often involves alkalines, disinfectants, dyes, bleaches, and aggressive enzymes—all of which can be toxic to health.

Dry carpet cleaning uses butyloxy ethanol, also known as buytl cellosolve. The active ingredient, butyl, is known to damage the central nervous system, liver, and kidneys in humans. Dry carpet cleaning can also include perchloroethylene, which can cause liver and kidney damage as well as dizziness, nausea, and fatigue. Children and pets who spend extended time on the floor have the greatest exposure and the greatest risk.

While the chemical soup in traditional carpet-cleaning agents is bad for health, disposing of the water used to clean carpets is bad for the environment. Standard carpet-cleaning practices suck chemicals out of your carpet—along with any germs and dirt they have removed-and dispose of this mix improperly. These waste materials can damage waterways, harm living things affected by those waterways, and even work their way back into our food chain.

To answer consumer demand for “green” carpet cleaning, many companies are offering alternatives to traditional cleaning methods. Eco-friendly cleaning employs safer cleaning chemicals, often composed of bio-based ingredients, and reduces water consumption.

Many carpet cleaners now boast of being environmentally friendly, but such claims are largely unregulated. To ensure that a carpet cleaner is truly using green products in your home, inquire as to whether the company’s products are certified by either Green Seal or Environmental Choice, two independent testing organizations.

To bear certification, products must be readily biodegradable and have limited toxicity for water and land organisms, including people and pets. They also must clean just as well as traditional cleaning products, preserving a carpet’s color and protecting the carpet from future wear.

You can find a carpet cleaner in your local Yellow Pages or online. Prices for green cleaning should be comparable to those of standard commercial cleaners, but be wary of prices that seem too good to be true. Prices should be determined by the total area of your home and not by the number of rooms, as rooms can vary in size.

With a little research, it’s easy to make a “green” choice. Your home and health will thank you for it.

Article Copyright HomeTips. Information provided by expert Steven Santos—owner, Sunset Carpet Cleaning, Portland Oregon.

Find a Pre-Screened Local Carpet Cleaning Pro

How to Fix Carpet Problems

Tips on how to remove stains, pet odors, and wax from carpet, plus how to repair split seams and tears

The various carpet materials differ in their ability to resist stains and wear. And the higher a carpet’s pile, the more difficult it is to get all the dirt up when vacuuming. Some materials, such as wool and acrylic, also abrade more easily because the yarn does not hold its integrity as well as some other materials. Finally, some carpet materials fade more easily than others when exposed to sunlight.

Depending on stains and wear, carpeting may need to be replaced every five to ten years or so-obviously, carpet in less- traveled or less heavily used rooms will show less wear than carpet that is on a direct path from the living room to the kitchen, say.[GARD align=”left”]

There is little to be done to repair carpet short of replacing it. Patches look tacky. However, if the seams come up because they weren’t glued down properly, or if the tacking strips come loose from the edges, these problems can be easily remedied.

A bit of advice: As a group, carpet installers are more willing than other contractors to take on small jobs and handle minor repairs. They are relatively affordable and are equipped with all the necessary tools and skills, so it usually doesn’t pay to do carpet repair work yourself.

Fixing Carpet Dents & Ripples

Carpet dents and ripples are relatively easy to fix. Here’s how to handle these kinds of problems:

Dented carpeting. Heavy furniture can leave indentations in carpet. To prevent this, put furniture glides or cups under the furniture legs, or occasionally move your furniture a couple of inches to give your carpet a break.

When areas have become crushed, use a coin to work the carpet pile back upright, and then hold a steam iron not more than 4 inches above the spot (but don’t touch the carpet!) until the iron warms the fibers.
Tufts need trimming. If a tuft rises above the rest of the carpet pile, do not pull it out. Using a pair of scissors, just snip it flush with the surface. Pulling a tuft can cause a larger area to unravel.
Rippled carpet. If your wall-to-wall carpet suddenly appears to be rippled, it’s probably because of high humidity in your home. Normally, this problem disappears on its own when the climate becomes drier. If it doesn’t, have a carpet installer re-stretch your carpet. You might also want to investigate buying a dehumidifier.

Fixing Carpet Seams or Tears

If your wall-to-wall carpeting is not properly installed, you may find that the seams between sections of carpet will start coming apart (a problem that occurs when the seams are not glued down properly or the seam is located in a high-traffic area). It’s a good idea to glue seams down again as quickly as possible so that they do not fray.

Carpet suppliers and some hardware stores sell seam adhesive. Gently pull away as much loose seam as possible. Apply seam adhesive to the backing of one edge of the carpet, between the pile and the pad. Do not get the fluid on the pile as it can damage or stain it. Tug gently on the carpet and pull it as far toward the other edge as possible. Repeat for the other side. Smooth out bubbles and bulges by pressing outward from the seam with your hands.

For tears in wall-to-wall carpeting or if the split seam is extreme, contact a professional carpet installer because the tension of the carpet must be released, a job that requires a few special carpet installation tools plus experience in working with carpeting.

Repairing Carpet Snags

Fixing snags in looped carpets is a relatively easy job with the help of a nailset or small screwdriver and carpet seam sealer, available from home centers.[GARD align=”right”]

Count the number of curls along the pulled-out strand and make a single cut to allow the right number of loops for each side of the run. Outline the run with masking tape.

Apply the sealer/adhesive inside the run, and then, with the nailset or small screwdriver, press the portions of yarn that have old adhesive stuck to them back down into the backing, creating properly sized loops.

More About Repairs & Cleaning

For more about handling specific carpet issues, please see:

Featured Resource: Find a Pre-Screened Local Carpet Cleaning Pro

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