How to care for your carpet once it’s been cleaned

Getting carpets professionally cleaned is one of the best ways to ensure they look spotless and fresh, for as long as possible. But, in order to enhance those benefits, it’s essential that you follow a few important steps after a carpet has been cleaned. Here are some vital post-cleaning carpet care tips to take on board.

1. Avoiding walking on a carpet

You might be tempted to walk on a carpet straight after it has been cleaned, but try to avoid doing this until the carpet has thoroughly dried. Walking on a carpet that hasn’t dried properly, especially if your feet are dirty, could cause resoiling to occur and it might be slippery. Avoid touching it, too.

Obviously, it can be difficult to avoid using a carpet, especially if it’s located in a prime position such as a hallway or a living room. So, try to arrange a time to get it cleaned when a carpet is least likely to be used. Certainly, aim to keep children and pets out of the way of a freshly cleaned carpet until you can be confident it’s no longer wet. Experts reckon you should allow several hours for a carpet to dry before using it again.

If it’s impossible to avoid walking on a carpet, then at the very least wear clean soled shoes or booties. Don’t be tempted to walk over it wearing socks as this can encourage resoiling, and never walk barefoot over a carpet that’s not fully dry as the oils in your feet could transfer onto the carpet.

There are a few methods you can use to help speed up the drying of a carpet, such as opening the windows to allow air to circulate and to reduce humidity, or turning a fan on. Experts also recommend heating a room to around 75°F to allow the warm air to absorb any moisture from the carpet, so that it can dry faster.

However, in the first instance, it’s always a good idea to choose a reliable and reputable carpet cleaning company who uses high-tech equipment, which promotes rapid drying of carpets. This can help to reduce the amount of time you have to wait for a carpet to be suitable for use again.

2. Don’t move furniture straightaway

If you’ve had to move furniture out of the way to get a carpet cleaned, inevitably you’ll be keen to put it back in its place as soon as possible. But, don’t be too hasty with this.

If you put furniture back and the carpet hasn’t dried properly, it could cause damp patches to form under the furniture, resulting in red marks, rust stains or resoiling.

Alternatively, if a carpet cleaning technician has put something under furniture to keep it off a carpet whilst it was being cleaned, such as foam blocks, avoid touching or removing these until a carpet has fully dried out.

A carpet can take between 4 – 24 hours to dry, depending on various different factors including the type and density of a carpet’s fabric, the treatments used, as well as the room temperature and humidity. Bear this in mind before putting your furniture back in place, and, if in doubt, seek advice from your cleaning technician. It’s also a good idea to give the carpet a vacuum clean before you move your furniture back.

Now could also be a good time to consider redesigning the layout of a room by rotating your furniture, especially if some parts of a carpet receive more natural light than other parts. This could cause some areas of a carpet to appear lighter than others, so in order to prevent a carpet colour mis-match from occurring, expose those parts of the carpet previously hidden by furniture and move furniture to other areas of the room.

3. Vacuum a carpet

Once a carpet has completely dried, run the vacuum cleaner over it to remove any residues that may have been left behind from the cleaning process. This will also help to keep carpet fibres lifted instead of flat, so that it can retain a soft fluffy appearance.

Your cleaning technician will advise how soon you can vacuum a carpet after it has been cleaned, but many experts recommend leaving it around 48 hours, to prevent any protectant and coatings from being removed.

4. Apply a carpet protectant

After a carpet has been professionally cleaned, applying a carpet protectant can be useful to help prevent resoiling and to repel spills and grime from penetrating a carpet’s fibres. This may be particularly beneficial for high-traffic areas, where carpets are subjected to a lot of comings and goings. Bear in mind that a carpet protectant does wear off over time, so may need to be reapplied annually.

5. Rippling effect

After a carpet has been professionally cleaned, in a small number of cases you might notice the carpet appears rippled. This is often due to a carpet being improperly installed or if it’s an old carpet. Try not to worry – the vast majority of carpets will settle back to normal once they have completely dried.

6. Maintain good care routines

Once you’ve had a carpet professionally cleaned, it’s important to continue to maintain its routine care, to prevent dirt rapidly accumulating prior to its next cleaning appointment.

Regular vacuuming is crucial to prevent surface dirt and particles from slipping down towards the bottom of the carpet pile, and remember to always take off outdoor footwear before coming inside.

7. Schedule another appointment

After a carpet has been cleaned, it’s a good idea to schedule in its next appointment, so you don’t forget further down the line. Ideally, a carpet should be professionally cleaned once or twice per year, depending on how frequently it gets used. Regular cleaning can help to protect and preserve a carpet, extending its lifespan, so making sure you keep on top of a carpet’s cleaning is a worthwhile investment.

For all the cleaning and after-care tips your carpets need, make sure to contact our experts at Carpet Bright UK.