Cleaning Tips

If cared for properly, carpeting can be one of the most durable investments you make for your home. Protecting your carpet with basic maintenance can help a quality carpet last for twenty years or more!

Today's carpets are designed to hide soil and even repel it, thanks to advances in chemical treatments. However, all carpets have fibers that can catch and hide dust, bacteria, and other pollutants. Over time, they can contribute to the deterioration of your carpet.

UCM Cleaning Services's years of expertise have helped us compile a few tips to help you maintain your carpet investment on your own. We've added some upholstery tips as well.


Basic Rug Cleaning Tips

Here are some simple, basic tips on cleaning and protecting your rug. Please note that in special circumstances, you should contact your carpet professional.

  • If your rug gets a lot of foot traffic, have it professionally cleaned once a year.
  • Periodically rotate your rug to prevent wear and tear.
  • Vacuum regularly, taking extra care that the fringe does not get caught in the rotary brushes.
  • Insert a rug pad or cushion underneath to minimize slippage.

Vacuuming

The easiest way to extend the life of your carpet is through regular vacuuming. Keep these points in mind when shopping for a new vacuum:

  • Decide between an upright or a canister vacuum. Uprights are best for carpets, but less flexible. Canisters offer more versatility, but can be difficult to lug around.
  • Choose a vacuum that can handle both your carpet and your bare flooring. Make sure the height can be set low enough to effectively clean a floor without scratching it.
  • If you have a deep carpet, ensure the model you purchase has enough suction power to keep the carpet clean.
  • Generally, a machine with metal components (rather than plastic) are better and last longer. However, his may make your unit a bit heavier.
  • To reduce dust and allergens, 'bag' models are more effective than 'bagless' Look for a HEPA filter and a sealed system for the best results.
  • Take into account the number of parts that may need replacing over time, as well as replacement bags and filters, when deciding on price.
  • If noise is a consideration for you, make sure you take the vacuum for a "test drive" at the store.

Stain 911

Note: Always follow the care instructions and provided by the carpet manufacturer. Rugs and carpets with natural fibers and/or certain dyes may require special treatment. If in doubt contact your carpet cleaning professional.

Here a few general stain removal tips. Most carpet stains are either water-based or oil-based, and require different methods for removal.

Water-based stains include: alcohol, juice, latex paint, felt-tip markers, wine, syrup, blood, jelly, ice cream, beer, furniture polish, soft drinks, soil/mud, cologne, or milk. To remove these sorts of stains, try the following:

  • First, use a spoon to remove any solid materials.
  • Blot up (do NOT rub!) the spill with a white towel or paper towel.
  • Mix a small amount of clear liquid soap with a cup of water and stir gently.
  • Apply directly to a white cloth and dampen (do NOT saturate) the stained area.
  • Wipe gently, turning the cloth frequently. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing; you can damage the fibers.
  • Gently work the soap solution to the base of the stain using your fingers.
  • Wet the stain with lukewarm water to rinse,
  • Cover with white towel and blot up excess.
  • Repeat rinsing and blotting until all soap has been removed.
  • Place an absorbent white towel over area until fully dry.
  • Once the area is dry, lightly brush the pile to restore its texture.

If this doesn't work, continue by:

  • Mix 2 Tbsp of non-bleach, non-sudsy ammonia with one cup of lukewarm water.
  • Apply, rinse and blot as outlined above.
  • To neutralize the ammonia when stain is removed, mix one part vinegar to two parts water and rinse/blot.

    DO NOT use ammonia or vinegar on coffee, tea or urine stains.

Oil-based stains include: butter/margarine, chocolate, cooking oil, mayonnaise, nail polish, furniture dye, ointment, peanut butter, salad dressing, spaghetti, lipstick, or ink. To remove these sorts of stains, try the following:

  • First, use a spoon to remove any solid materials.
  • Blot up (do NOT rub!) the spill with a white towel or paper towel.
  • Using a citrus-based solvent instead of liquid soap, follow the steps as above.

Remember, never rub or brush a stain. You can end up setting it further and damaging your carpet. If the above methods do not work for you, contact your carpet cleaning professional for advice.

Upholstery Cleaning Tips

Upholstery Cleaning & Care
Just like your carpet, your upholstered living room, dining room, or bedroom furniture are an investment and should be cared for as such. Follow our tips below to extend the life and beauty of your furniture for years to come.

General Care and Cleaning Tips

  • Vacuum your upholstered furniture, taking care not to scratch the fabric.
  • Beat the cushions regularly and rotate when putting them back.
  • Avoid fading by keeping the upholstered pieces out of direct sunlight.
  • Don't place newspapers or dark-colored throws directly on the furniture, as dyes can rub off onto the fabric or even bleed into it when wet.
  • Wipe down the arm and headrest areas with a gentle cleaning solution to prevent body oils from accumulating on and staining the fabric (your manufacturer will recommend the appropriate solution to use)
  • Do not dry-clean or machine wash cushion covers. Even though they have zippers, cushion covers are not meant to be washed separately.
  • Avoid using dyes, inks or nail polish around your fabric, as these can stain and alter color. And always remember to cover your upholstered furniture if you are painting!
  • Regular professional upholstery cleaning will extend the life of your furniture by preventing dirt and soil accumulation.

Upholstery Stain 911

Spilling a glass of wine or worse on your beautiful upholstered sofa can be cause for panic - but don't. Simply act promptly and follow these guidelines:

  • Take action BEFORE a spill spreads or dries.
  • If your spill is liquid, blot with a dry paper towel or white cloth. Increase pressure and continue until you've absorbed all the liquid. DO NOT RUB OR SCRUB.
  • If your spill is solid or semi-solid, gently remove the solid portions with a spoon or dull knife. Always scrape carefully towards the center of the spill. If there is any wet residue, treat as a liquid spill.
  • If your spill is dry (like ashes or powder cosmetics), DO NOT ADD LIQUID. Vacuum or beat the area with a ruler or something similar to bring all the residue up to the top. Then use something sticky (like masking tape) to remove the dry residue.

If any stain/residue remains, check your manufacturer's label for cleaning instructions as well as a fabric cleaning code. These codes are universal and are listed below. ALWAYS pre-test a hidden area before proceeding.

  • Code “W” - Spot clean using a mild water-free solvent or dry cleaning agent such as a mild detergent or non-solvent upholstery shampoo product. Apply foam with a soft brush in a circular motion. Vacuum when dry.
  • Code “S” - Spot clean using a mild water-free solvent or dry cleaning product.
  • Code “W-S” - Spot clean using a mild solvent, an upholstery shampoo, or the foam from a mild detergent. When using a solvent or dry cleaning product, follow instructions carefully and clean only in a well ventilated room.
  • Code “X” - Clean this fabric ONLY by vacuuming or light brushing to prevent accumulation of dust or grime. Water-based foam cleaners or solvent based cleaning agents of any kind may cause excessive shrinking, staining or distortion of the surface pile and, therefore, should not be used.

When spot-cleaning upholstery, remember:

  • When applying water or solvent, do so in small doses to avoid spreading the stain or causing a ring. Go slowly, blotting with a dry towel to soak up the liquid after each application.
  • NEVER rub or scrub the fabric - doing so can cause color alteration, damage, and the stain can spread.
  • If your fabric is velvet or similar, restore the nap by gently brushing it before it dries completely.
  • You can avoid water spotting by using a small fan to accelerate the drying process. If you use a hair dryer, set it for Low and Cool. Do not use heat.
  • If the stain persists, contact your carpet cleaning professional.

For other questions, contact UCM Cleaning Services at

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