If you have experienced dark areas, usually around the edge of rooms and under doorways, they are called soil filtration lines. These are more evident on light colored carpet. Soil filtration is caused as air moves between the carpet and baseboard or under a closed door. As the air passes through the edge of the carpet pile, the microscopic soiling is deposited on the edge. Soil filtration occurs over a period of time and is not noticed until a significant build up has occurred.

Soil filtration is difficult to remove

The soil particles are deposited deep into the carpet pile, and even on the backing of the carpet. Because the carpet extends under the baseboard it is difficult to remove all of the filtration. A significant amount of it can be removed with special products, time, and effort.

To help prevent soil filtration, vacuum and wipe the edges of the carpeting on a regular basis. Filtration soiling is accelerated by the use of items that cause smoke such as candles or cigarettes.

Protect your carpet color

In addition to frequent vacuuming, it’s important to clean your carpet on a regular basis. Cleaning systems will remove the oily, sticky soil that vacuums can’t take out and will help keep your carpet looking great over time.

Cleaning systems target the soils that result from cooking vapors, air pollution, and tracked-in dirt. The particles of oily soil deposited on carpet fibers can cause gradual but significant dulling of colors. The color isn’t lost, but it is hidden under the film. If this type of soil is allowed to accumulate, it begins to attract and hold the dry soil.

Get on a cleaning schedule

If carpet is cleaned before it becomes too unsightly, the cleaning chore will be easier and more successful. Carpet in a typical household should be cleaned every 12 to 18 months, depending on the number of residents and amount of activity.

Choosing the proper cleaning system is important. Some systems may leave residues which accelerate re-soiling and defeat the whole purpose of cleaning.

Shaw’s choice: Hot water extraction

Research indicates that the hot water extraction system provides the best capability for cleaning. This system is commonly referred to as “steam cleaning,” although no steam is actually generated. The process consists of applying a cleaning agent into the carpet pile and using water in the extractor to recover the used solution and soil. This can be done from a truck-mounted unit outside the home with only the hose and wand brought inside or by a portable system brought into the home.

Shaw warranties require that the homeowner be able to show proof of periodic cleaning by hot water extraction (commonly called “steam” cleaning) by a professional cleaning service or do-it-yourself system, using equipment that is certified under the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Seal of Approval program.

Professional advantages

Professional carpet cleaners are a great choice for your floor. Their cleaning equipment has more extraction power than the rental units available to individuals, and the carpet should dry more quickly. True professionals also understand the equipment, know the proper cleaning agents for the situation at hand, and recognize the differences in fibers and carpet construction.

Locate a professional carpet cleaner

Effective January 1, 2008, professional service must be performed by an IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) certified firm.** You may contact the IICRC at 1-800-835-4624 for information. This organization maintains a national directory of independent professional cleaners who are trained and certified in a variety of cleaning specialties. Call and explain that you have purchased a Shaw carpet, and be sure to ask for a cleaner near you who uses the hot water extraction system. If you prefer tackling the job yourself, check these do-it-yourself guidelines before you begin.

What about spot and stain removal?

Shaw’s R2X Stain and Soil Remover is the only carpet cleaning product with the endorsement consumers have trusted for more than 100 years: the Good Housekeeping Seal. Because of our patented process, it’s even easier to use than most spot cleaners. Our recommended spotting product also has the Wool Safe Certificate of Accreditation and the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Seal of Approval. Routine spot removal- research has shown that many products sold for do-it-yourself spot removal clean poorly and their residues attract soil on the cleaned area rapidly afterward. The Carpet and Rug Institute’s Seal of Approval program tests and certifies products that meet stringent standards and thus clean effectively, without damage to your carpet.

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