General Carpet & Upholstery Care Guidelines
The single most important thing you can do in caring for your carpet is vacuuming thoroughly and frequently, especially in high-traffic areas. Walking on soiled carpet works soil particles deep into the pile where they not only damage the fibers but are far more difficult to remove. Frequent vacuuming removes many of these particles before this happens. Always use a good vacuum cleaner. The less expensive models pick up only surface dirt and do little to prolong the life or beauty of your carpet in the long run.

Vacuuming is effective in removing most of the dry soil from your carpets. However, periodic professional cleaning is highly recommended to remove the oily, sticky soil that accumulates in the pile from tracked-in dirt, air pollution and even cooking vapors. This oily soil is most evident to the eye on light or pastel carpets - they seem dull; the delicate color is hidden by an oily film - but it's there on every carpet. If this type of soil is allowed to build up, it actually begins to attract and hold the dry soil, eventually becoming gummy and very difficult to remove.

Carpet in a typical home should be professionally cleaned every 12 months, and more often with high traffic or in areas of the country with high air pollution. Not all professional cleaners use the same cleaning methods:

  • Bonnet cleaning is a system that uses a rotary floor machine and absorbent bonnet or pad. The carpet and/or pad is sprayed with a cleaning detergent then the carpet is buffed to remove the soil. The bonnet is not usually capable of deep cleaning, leaving detergent residue in the carpet. The rotary action of the machine can open up the tufts on cut pile twisted yarn.
  • Hot water extraction is the method recommended by most leading carpet makers. The system - commonly called "steam cleaning" although no steam is actually produced - consists of spraying a solution of water and cleaner into the carpet pile and extracting the water with a vacuum machine. The better hot water extraction systems use truck-mounted units with only hoses and cleaning wand brought inside your home.
  • The Sears Ultra Care® system goes a step beyond the standard hot water extraction method. Using powerful truck-mounted equipment, your Sears Ultra Care® specialist first applies a hot pre-conditioning spray with powerful cleaning agents to break up soil and loosen oil deposits in your carpet's pile. Then, a deep-cleaning pH balanced fiber rinse washes soil and the cleaning solution from your carpet with a powerful vacuum. Your carpets are left clean, soft and detergent-free.
  • Dry Compound Method uses a cellulose or synthetic powder combined with a solvent, which is spread over the carpet and worked into the carpet pile with rotating cylinder brushes. The material is then vacuum cleaned. The cleaning powder is difficult to remove, leaving a damaging residue behind.


Watch Out For The Low End
Misleading (often fraudulent) advertising and glib sales tactics leave cleaners who offer quality service at a disadvantage. Advertisements promising carpet cleaning at unbelievably low prices (like $5.95 a room; or two rooms for $10.95) are prevalent these days. If you think they are too good to be true, you are probably correct.

Have you been left with an overwet and still dirty carpet? Have you ended up paying several times more than what you thought you would be paying? If yes, then you have had firsthand experience with such cleaners.

Quality service requires investments and takes some time. It is not possible to offer good service at ridiculously low prices. Do not fall victim to low pricing or Bait and Switch tactics.

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