Caring for your Carpet

Looking After Your Flooring

We recognise the investment you make when you purchase your new flooring, and as such, we at Pay Later Carpets want your investment to last for many years to come, which is why our Flooring Experts and Specialist Fitters will provide the best advice and support in your choices, installation and the ongoing maintenance of your flooring, to keep it looking it’s best.
We have provided you with some information on how to care for your flooring and how to best manage the most common problems and accidents:

Prevention is better

Door mats placed at each main entrance to the property will trap most of the outdoor dirt and prevent it from being walked onto your flooring, keeping it cleaner for longer. It would also be beneficial to avoid, where possible, wearing outdoor footwear for walking about indoors. Obviously, a dark carpet won’t show dirt and stains as much as a light carpet will, but a lighter shade which is well cared for, will stand the test of time just as well. Try to clear up spills and marks as soon as possible for the best results and always read the instructions on the label of any products used on your flooring to ensure it’s suitability.

Vacuum regularly

We recommend regular vacuuming of your carpets, at least twice a week. This not only removes the surface debris to maintain appearance, but also removes deep down dirt. Regular vacuuming helps to lift the pile which keeps your carpet fresh and reduces odours as it lets the air circulate around the lower carpet fibres. We recommend you use a vacuum cleaner which manufacturers state is suitable for your specific type of carpet pile in relation to height and density. Where possible, vacuum against the pile to encourage the fibres to lift to enable the deeper dirt to be removed, this also prevents against the carpet pile being crushed flat from daily traffic.

Cleaning your carpet

Even the most well cared for carpets may need an occasional deep clean from time to time. We do however recommend that this type of cleaning be kept to a minimum in order to prolong the life of your carpet. Recommended expert/professional carpet cleaners will use appropriate equipment and products which are safe for your carpets, however, should you decide to clean your carpet yourself, please ensure that you follow all equipment and product instructions, avoiding ammonia-based products and household detergents. To check the propriety of carpet shampoos, leave a bit in a saucer overnight, pour off the excess and allow to dry to see if there is a sticky residue which dust and dirt will cling to, making your carpet become dirtier more quickly in the future. If you use a shampooing machine, follow the instructions carefully. Remove the furniture from the room, if possible. Allow to dry overnight before vacuuming and putting the furniture back in place. It’s important not to allow your carpet to become too wet as this could distort the pile and backing when it is drying. Always vacuum thoroughly before any cleaning to ensure that dirt is not rubbed further into the fibres.

Absorbent Powders

There is a range of cleaning powders available which are either solvent-saturated or detergent-saturated. Check the manufacturer’s instructions. After vacuuming, the powder is sprinkled liberally on the carpet, brushed into the pile and then vacuumed out. It is not necessary to remove all the powder from the pile as it can help minimize future soiling. The powder method is an easy way of freshening up a carpet. It also distorts the pile less and as no water is used the room is ready sooner.

Aerosol foam shampoo

For light cleaning of small areas, aerosol foam shampoos can be used. It is advisable to test the shampoo first for sticky residue which may attract dust. Foam is usually sprayed sparingly on the carpet and worked into the pile with a moistened sponge or brush. Vacuum after the carpet is dry. In all cases, check the manufacturer’s instructions.

Spray injection-extraction

With this method, sometimes incorrectly referred to as “steam cleaning,” the carpet pile can be injected with a hot water and detergent solution under pressure so that the soil is suspended in the water which is extracted almost at once by a high suction, wet vacuum system. This method is particularly useful for very dirty carpets as it removes deep-seeded dirt, but it may not clean the surface as well as other methods. It is also useful for removing excess detergents from successive wet shampooing – and together the two methods can restore a very dirty, flattened carpet. Although a machine can be rented, it is best to have this type of cleaning done by a professional cleaner because care needs to be taken not to over-wet the carpet and thus distort the pile and backing.

Cleaning Your Laminate, Vinyl or LVT

When the floor does get dirty, a mop and a cloth are the main tools that can be used alongside a soft broom. Pads placed below table legs and chair castors are another practical item that can help prevent dents forming. When cleaning laminate flooring there are a number of things to consider. These are not waterproof floors, so while any spills should be cleaned up quickly, nothing more than a damp cloth should be used – and residue dried off. Do not use a wet mop that will soak the material, as this can seep into and under the laminate, causing it to warp and lose its shape. Secondly, the floor can suffer abrasion from the use of harsh scouring devices, so keep the scrubbing pads and similar items in the cupboard. Brushing with a soft-bristled broom should help keep dirt off without damaging the surface. Furniture should never be pushed or dragged across the floor as this is likely to cause damage. If a minor scratch does occur, this does not mean a plank needs to be replaced, with hardware stores offering repair kits.

Restore the Shine on your Laminate Floor

As laminate flooring gathers dirt over time it will lose its original shine. Instead of leaving the floor looking dull and dirty, homeowners should spend a little time and effort to restore the shine on their laminate flooring.

Dirt can be easily cleaned away by vacuuming or sweeping. Hard debris and small rocks should be cleaned away gently as they can scratch the laminate surface. After the dust and debris are removed, use a cloth-strip mop to mop the floor. Many homeowners use cleaning products when they mop their laminate floors, but most of the time, using water is good enough. Put some vinegar in the water to prevent water spots from forming. Squeeze out as much water as possible when mopping, so that the floor can dry more quickly.

If cleaning and mopping do not put the shine back on your laminate floor, it is likely that the floor is coated with residue. Residue can accumulate over time from a build-up of cleaning products and is more difficult to remove than the usual dirt and debris. To remove residue without damaging the laminate flooring, put some vinegar on a clean cloth and wipe a small part of the floor. Keep wiping until a shiny spot is revealed under the residue. Then continue to work on the rest of the floor until it becomes shiny again.

Some laminate floors are dull because they are old, and not much can be done to put the shine back on them. If removing the residue fails to make the laminate floor shine again, then the surface of the floor is probably worn out. In this case, a floor shiner can be used to recreate the original look. Applying a coat or two of floor polish can also be effective in reviving the shine.

The best way to maintain the shine on laminate flooring is to clean it regularly. Ultimately, the key is to take good care of your laminate floor. It is built to last and, if treated properly, it will. First aid for stains At Pay Later Carpets, we recognise that even with the best care and due diligence, unfortunately, accidents still happen which can potentially ruin the look of your carpet.

What to do when trouble strikes: Act Fast: Do not allow stains to dry in, remove them / mop up spillages immediately with a clean cloth or remove solid elements with a spoon. Determine the type of stain, so that you can apply the most suitable treatment to reduce the risk of permanent stains.

Handle the stain with a clean cloth, working in from the outside to prevent spreading and smudging. For most stains a carpet care product can be used. If none is available, soak the cloth in the product indicated in the table below. Use the correct quantity of the product, not too much, not too little. Be careful to rinse the carpet to remove the care product and the dirt following treatment. Wait until the area is completely dry before walking on it again.