Berber Carpet Care and Maintenance
March 1, 2013
One of the most popular carpet choices today is Berber carpets. They are good quality, well made, stain resistant carpets that look great in any room of the house. The dense, textured, loop pile gives your floor a graceful, comfortable look that adapts well to future style changes in your home.
Like anything great in the home, these carpets need to be maintained and cleaned. Berber carpets call for a slightly different caring method than your average carpeting. It is important to be aware of these differences and act accordingly to keep your Berber looking good for years to come.
The main feature of a Berber carpet is its dense loops. The carpet fibers are packed together in such a way that they excel at hiding dirt and stains. The drawback is that it is easy for dirt and soil to get trapped in the fibers. When this trapped soil gets walked on, it meshes with the fibers in a way that is difficult to undo. If continued, the soil will rub against the fibers and shorten their life span. Therefore, prevention is half the battle.
Here are some helpful tips to prevent as much dirt as possible from getting onto your Berber carpets.
1. Ask guests to remove their shoes. This does not have to be an offensive request. A cute sign, shoe basket, or available slippers can do the trick in a hospitable way. Some people are embarrassed of their foot odor or holes in their socks. Having an alternative is helpful in keeping the situation diplomatic. Some people keep a basket of “fun” socks so that guests can enjoy choosing a pair that best matches their personality.
2. Another good way to prevent soil is to catch it at the door. A welcome mat on the outside of the doorway, followed my another mat on the inside of the doorway can really work wonders. Yet another area rug in the entry way of your home and you have 80% of your battle already won. Don’t forget mats around the other doors that lead outside such as a back door or garage door.
3. Leave food in the kitchen. As fun as it may be to eat in the living room while watching television, try to limit it to a bowl of popcorn every now and then. It is best to eat meals and snacks in the kitchen when possible. As careful as one tries to be, accidents are bound to happen and Berber carpets don’t get along well with food.
Now that you have prevented the majority of soiling that can occur on your carpet, it is time to maintain that carpet on a regular basis. This includes vacuuming, stain removal, and professional carpet cleaning.
Berber carpets require more frequent vacuuming than most other carpets. Because of their dense nature, it can be difficult to remove the dirt. Also, because these carpets are made to swallow up the dirt, they often don’t look like they need to be vacuumed. Out of sight, out of mind, as you might say.
Don’t let that clean look fool you. It is recommended that Berber carpets be vacuumed once a day. I’ll admit that sounds pretty high, especially if you are good about following the prevention methods listed above. So take into account how much traffic your carpet endures and then use your best judgment. Just remember, your Berber carpet is dirtier than it appears.
Another aspect to keep in mind while vacuuming Berber is that you don’t want to snag or pull the loops. Therefore it is not recommended that you use a vacuum cleaner with a revolving brush or beater bar. Not only can these vacuums pull the loops, they have a tendency to flatten them as well. This may mean a canister style vacuum is your best bet.
2. Stain Removal:
As with any carpet, it is important to take care of stains as soon as they happen. Due to Berber’s dense nature, it is even more vital to act quickly. Also note that any type of brush utensil should be avoided when cleaning a Berber carpet.
The best method for removing stains from Berber carpets is as follows: Blot the spill with a clean, white towel to remove as much of the liquid as possible. Work a bit of water into the area and then blot it again with a clean towel. If the stain is still there, then use a gentle cleaner, such as Woolite, and work from the outside of the stain in.
3. Professional Cleanings
Depending on the current state of your carpet, most experts recommend getting your Berber carpets professionally steam cleaned as part of their regular maintenance schedule. Again due to their dense nature, Berber carpets tend to trap water. If not thoroughly dried, this water can cause future problems down the road and even attract more dirt.
When choosing a professional carpet cleaner, look for a company that uses a truck mounted system incorporating the use of rotary extraction equipment. This is the only sure way to get Berber carpets dry in a timely manner. When asking about dry times, you should expect no more than a 24 hour period for your carpets to dry after a professional steam cleaning. Less than that in hot, dry climates.
Following the above guidelines will help to ensure your Berber carpeting keeps its beauty and usefulness for the length of time it’s intended. A little regular care on your part is all is takes.
Julie Rosenfeld serves as an Administrative Assistant for Aaron’s Quality Cleaners, a carpet-cleaning company that services the Fresno and Clovis (CA) areas. She is the author of “Julie’s Corner” and provides information and perspective on topics related to the carpet-cleaning industry.
Aaron’s Quality Cleaners performs carpet cleaning, tile cleaning, aggregate cleaning and upholstery cleaning in Fresno, Clovis, Madera and Sanger California