Keeping your carpets clean is one of the best methods of maintaining their good looks for as long as possible. It's one of the most predominant themes among carpet manufacturers' warranty terms and general maintenance recommendations.
Cleanliness doesn't just mean preventing stains and spots either. It's also about preventing the dust, dirt, sand and all the other "stuff" from making it's way down to the 'roots' of your carpet fibers. Ground-in dirt has a detrimental impact on the fibers themselves, scratching and dulling them which gives the carpet that overall dull and worn look.
So what's the best way to keep your carpet clean? Well, the Carpet And Rug Institute (CRI™) teamed up with author Elizabeth B. Goldsmith to create Carpet Cleaning Tips For Dummies, a small book that provides the "how to's" of keeping your carpet clean.
The CRI is a non-profit trade association representing the carpet and rug manufacturers, their suppliers and service providers in the United States. Beyond the commercial industry, CRI provides information for consumers about carpeting and carpet-related issues such as care and maintenance.
At 38 pages and only 4" x 6", this Dummies® book is not really what you'd consider a book in the conventional sense. Rather, it's more like a pocket-guide.
The booklet contains six chapters on topics such as why it's important to keep your carpet clean, avoiding and removing stains and using approved cleaning products and cleaning professionals.
"Approved" in this sense means products and services that have received the CRI Seal of Approval. CRI tests carpet cleaning products and equipment and certifies the ones that in their view are the most effective.
Most of the information found in the book involves common sense tips and general carpet cleaning information that you can typically find in many home-care publications, web sites and carpet manufacturer care guidelines. I do think that one of the recommendations to "vacuum daily in high-traffic or pet areas" is a bit over the top. Vacuuming regularly is a key component of maintaining your carpet but doing it every day seems excessive in my opinion. I don't know about you but I neither have the time nor the Popeye forearms I'd need to thrust the vacuum back and forth on a daily basis.
The best information involves the "chapter" (3 pages) on using professional carpet cleaning services. It includes recommendations on not settling for the cheapest service provider or the one with the latest ad. It also recommends interviewing a potential cleaning service to assess whether their techniques and cleaning procedures follow the CRI guidelines.
I should also mention that the last couple of pages discuss removing the top 10 toughest stains. For this reason I can see where it might be advantageous to have this booklet handy in drawer close by for those inevitable accidents.
If your view of carpet care is to wait until you feel the grit between your toes before you think it's time to vacuum, perhaps this booklet will offer some good insight (which is probably why it's called Carpet Cleaning Tips For Dummies). However you can get most if not all of the information contained in this book for free from other sources (namely, you're nearest internet search engine).
The best advice for keeping your carpets clean is still pretty straightforward:
You can purchase Carpet Cleaning Tips For Dummies through the CRI for a modest $2.00. It's available along with a number of other carpet-related publications offered at their website(link opens in a new browser window).
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