History of Carpet – Early U.S. Carpet was Woven Wool

The carpet industry in the United States began in 1791 when William Sprague started the first woven carpet mill in Philadelphia. Others opened during the early 1800s in New England. Included in that area was Beattie Manufacturing Company in Little Falls, New Jersey, a company that operated until 1979.

In 1839, Erastus Bigelow permanently reshaped the industry with the invention of the power loom for weaving carpets. Bigelow’s loom, which doubled carpet production the first year after its creation and tripled it by 1850, is now part of the Smithsonian Institution’s collections. He continued to devote his life to innovation — 35 separate patents were issued to him between 1839 and 1876. Bigelow introduced the first broadloom carpet in 1877.

The power loom with Jacquard mechanism was developed in 1849, and Brussels carpet was first manufactured by the Clinton Company of Massachusetts. The Brussels loom was slightly modified, making possible the manufacture of Wilton carpet. Later, the Hartford Carpet Company joined with Clinton Company to become Bigelow Carpet Company.

In 1878, four brothers brought 14 looms from England and established manufacturing facilities as the Shuttleworth Brothers Company in Amsterdam, New York. In 1905, the company introduced a new carpet, Karnak Wilton. Its instant success was phenomenal. Flooded with orders, a new building had to be constructed to exclusively handle Karnak production. Weavers worked four and five years without changing either the color or pattern on their looms. In 1920, Shuttleworth Brothers Company merged with another Amsterdam-based carpet manufacturer, McCleary Wallin & Crouse. They called the new company Mohawk Carpet Mills, after the Mohawk River that flows through the city.

Alexander Smith started his carpet manufacturing plant in 1845 in West Farms, New York. An American, Halcyon Skinner, had perfected the power loom for making Royal Axminster in 1876. He and Alexander Smith combined, forming a very successful carpet company. Alexander Smith was elected to Congress in 1878 but died on the evening of Election Day. Sixteen hundred people were employed at his factory at the time of his death. Alexander Smith & Sons continued. During World War I, the carpet looms were converted to make supplies for the war effort. In 1929, Alexander Smith & Sons was the largest manufacturer of carpets and rugs in the world.

Simulating The “Oriental” Rug
​Industrialist/retailer Marshall Field had a traditional Axminster weaving loom modified to create what no one else had ever created — a machine-made rug woven through the back, just like a handmade Oriental, featuring intricate designs and virtually unlimited color variety. Karastan’s rug mill was established in 1926, and introduced the first Karastan rugs to the public in 1928.

Alexander Smith, Bigelow, and Karastan are companies continuing today as divisions of Mohawk Industries, headquartered in Georgia.

There are many manufacturers today producing both simulations of antique designs and updated “oriental” type rugs by both weaving and tufting processes.

The Tufted Carpet Industry: Born in the U.S.A. and the Pride of Georgia
Through the late 1800s, Dalton, Georgia, struggled with cotton mills and steel manufacturing works to forge a small town in the north Georgia hills. Northwest Georgia, with its hard-packed clay, poor farmland, and rolling hills was among the last areas of Georgia settled. Rich in a heritage of Cherokee Indians and Civil War battles, that northern corner of the state was rugged and spawned people who were independent and self-sufficient. Those were the people who brought forth and nurtured the tufted textile industry. The industry’s infancy was in Dalton; it has gone through intense growth in Dalton; and it has now matured in and around Dalton. The carpet industry’s impact is great on this region, this state, and the nation; and the story of its growth is unique.

The Beginnings of the Tufted Carpet Industry
The industry began in a simple way, around the turn of the century. A young, Dalton woman, Catherine Evans Whitener, recreated a bedspread in a hand-crafted pattern she had seen, for a wedding gift. Copying a quilt pattern, she sewed thick cotton yarns with a running stitch into unbleached muslin, clipped the ends of the yarn so they would fluff out, and finally, washed the spread in hot water to hold the yarns in by shrinking the fabric. Interest grew in young Catherine’s bedspreads, and in 1900, she made the first sale of a spread for $2.50. Demand became so great for the spreads that by the 1930s, local women, who were real entrepreneurs, had “haulers,” who would take the stamped sheeting and yarns to front porch workers. Often, entire families worked to hand tuft the spreads for 10 to 25 cents per spread. The local term for the sewing process was “turfin” for the nearly 10,000 area cottage tufters — men, women, and children. Bedspread income was instrumental in helping many area families survive the depression.

As an example of the spirit of these early entrepreneurial women, Mrs. J. T. Bates stated that she simply “shipped 15 spreads to John Wannamaker’s department store in New York. On a piece of plain tablet paper I made out a bill for $98.15 and put it in with the spreads. Although there had been no previous contact whatsoever with the store, Wannamaker’s sent us a check for $98.15.” Chenille bedspreads became amazingly popular all over the country and provided a new name for Dalton: The Bedspread Capital of the World.

Mechanization – The 1930s
Buyer competition, which tended to lower the prices, the change in the minimum wage laws, and development of machine-produced spreads soon made the hand-crafted spreads too expensive. Gradually the industry began to pull the workers from surrounding hillsides and small towns into mills in Dalton, beginning the rapid growth of the mechanized tufting industry.

In the 1930s, as a result of the demand for more bedspreads, the first mechanized tufting machine, attributed to Glen Looper Foundry of Dalton, was developed. Looper modified the single needle commercial Singer so that it would tuft the thick yarn into unbleached muslin without tearing the fabric and an attached knife would cut the loop. Machines quickly developed into four, then eight, twenty-four, and more needles to make the parallel rows of tufting known as “chenille.” By 1941, all but about one percent of tufted bedspreads were machine made. Mats and rugs were created with the same process, using cotton yarns and fabric. Volume increased rapidly after World War II, because people were hungry for color and beauty. To show the extent of growth, 30,000 bales of cotton were consumed in 1946 by the industry. By 1950, approximately 500,000 bales were used, and the industry was the third largest consumer of cotton grown in Georgia in 1952.

Sales were created by correspondence or by taking spreads to department stores, but by far the most famous and enjoyable way to buy a spread was on “Bedspread Alley,” U. S. Highway 41 between Dalton and Cartersville. This stretch of the major north-south highway got its nickname because of the bedspreads the tufters hung on clotheslines to dry in the breeze and sun.

The salesmen and tourists enjoyed seeing the colorful, gaudy spreads and enjoyed the novelty of buying them “off the line.” The most popular pattern to the travelers, outselling all others 12 to 1 was the Peacock — feathered birds facing each other and spreading tails over the breadth of the spread. This “Bedspread Alley” phenomenon lasted into the ‘70s, and even now a few spreads can be seen on lines just south of Dalton.

As the number of tufted products produced annually went into the millions, the job of supplying the industry became equally important. Yarn, sheeting, duck mills, and agents were established in the area, with their entire output going to the industry; and larger mills elsewhere vied for the growing business. Machine shops were established to manufacture the thousands of single and multi-needle machines needed, as well as to design improvements aimed at making even more beautiful and better spreads, bathroom sets, robes, beach wear, and rugs. Dye plants for yarn were built. Laundries were erected for finishing the spreads. Printing shops were established to supply the millions of tags and labels needed. Box factories turned out cartons for shipping. Moving these spreads to market was big volume for rail and motor freight lines.

​Machinery was developed for making chenille rugs and was widened, creating larger rugs and broadloom carpet. At the same time, machinery was changing; developments of new fibers accelerated the growth of broadloom carpet.

Synthetic Fibers are Introduced
Until about 1954, cotton was virtually the only fiber used in tufted products. Wool and manmade fibers — polyester, nylon, rayon, and acrylics — were gradually introduced by textile men in Dalton. Nylon was first introduced in 1947 and grew steadily to dominate the market. Polyester was first used in 1965 and was followed soon by polypropylene (olefin). Most manufacturers will agree that the single most important development in the industry was the introduction of bulk continuous filament nylon yarns. These yarns provided a luxurious quality, durable carpet, similar to wool, which was more economical to produce. Therefore, a durable, luxury product was offered to the consumer for less money.

In 1950, only 10 percent of all carpet and rug products were tufted, and ninety percent were woven. However, about 1950, it was as if someone had opened a magic trunk. Out of that trunk came man-made fibers, new spinning techniques, new dye equipment, printing processes, tufting equipment, and backing for different end uses. Today, tufted products are more than 90 percent of the total, followed by less than 2 percent that are woven, and 6.7 percent for all other methods, such as knitted, braided, hooked, or needlepunched. By 1951, the tufting industry was a $133 million per year business made up primarily of bedspreads, carpet, and rugs, with carpet accounting for $19 million. The industry broke the billion dollar mark in 1963. Through the years, the Dalton area has continued to be the center of the tufted carpet industry, and today, the area produces more than 70 percent of the total output of the world-wide industry of over $9 billion. Dalton is now known as the “Carpet Capital of the World.”

Carpet Makes a Welcome Addition to Your Home
The beauty, performance, value, and sustainability of carpet make it the right choice for your home. Carpet improves homes by cushioning the impact of slips and falls, dampening noise, and making it easier to learn and concentrate. Today’s carpets are environmentally friendly, engineered to resist staining and fading, and withstand even heavy foot traffic.

Adds Beauty and Style
With thousands of carpet styles and colors, your ultimate choice will reflect how you want to personalize your living space. Carpet can be a neutral foundation, or it can be a focal point with vibrant colors and stronger, bolder patterns, and textures.

Modern living room design with sofa and lamp
Improves Indoor Air Quality
New carpet is the lowest VOC-emitting flooring choice available. It actually acts as a passive air filter, trapping dust, pollen, and particles and then removing them from the breathing zone.

“Studies have shown that people with asthma and allergy problems have seen symptoms improve with carpet.”
Provides Warmth and Comfort
Carpet provides actual thermal insulation and resistance, or R-value. In colder climates or seasons, it retains warm air longer, an energy conservation benefit. Carpet also provides a comfortable place to sit, play, or work and gives a room an overall warmer feeling.

Softens Slips and Falls
Carpet is ideal for cushioning our footsteps, reducing slips and falls, and minimizing injuries when falls do occur. Carpet provides safety protection for the whole family, but especially for toddlers and older individuals.

Reduces Noise
Big screen TVs, speaker phones, computers, and sound systems make our homes noisy places. Carpet helps to absorb these sounds. Adding a cushion pad beneath your carpet reduces noise even further. Carpet also works as a sound barrier between floors by helping to block sound transmission to rooms below. Carpet on stairs also helps mask the sound of constant foot traffic.

Indoor Air Quality
Clearing the Air
Although we might not normally associate carpet with improved indoor air quality, it does have a very positive effect. Gravity causes common household particles, such as dust, pollen, and pet and insect dander, to fall to the floor. Carpet traps particles, removing them from the breathing zone and reducing their circulation in the air. Proper cleaning with CRI-approved vacuums effectively removes dust and allergens from the carpet and helps keep them out of the air we breathe.​

“Carpet traps particles, removing them from the breathing zone.”
Allergies
Asthma and Allergies
A misperception is that people with asthma and allergies should avoid carpet in the home. Actually, the opposite is true. Studies have shown that properly cleaned carpet helps reduce symptoms and is the best flooring choice for those dealing with asthma and allergies.

Mold and VOC misperceptions
​When carpet is kept clean and dry, mold simply cannot grow on synthetic fibers. Carpet is recognized as one of the lowest emitters of volatile organic compounds among various flooring choices and interior finishes. The Carpet and Rug Institute’s Green Label Plus program identifies carpet, adhesive, and cushion products that meet or exceed government indoor air quality regulations and are the lowest emitting products on the market.

Environmental Benefits
Carpet Is A Sustainable Choice
The carpet industry is minimizing carpet’s impact on the environment through the “3 Rs” – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. When carpet reaches the end of its long life, it is reused to make new carpet or is recycled into a variety of products, including roofing shingles, railroad ties, and automotive parts.

“The carpet industry is minimizing carpet’s impact on the environment through the “3 Rs” – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.”
Following NSF/ANSI 140
The industry supports NSF/ANSI 140, the Sustainability Assessment for Carpet (NSF/ANSI 140). NSF/ANSI 140 was created for designers, facility managers, and government purchasers who want to ensure their carpet purchases have the best sustainability performance.

Taking extra CARE
Environmental stewardship is also seen through the work of the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE). With over 400 industry members, CARE has helped divert over 4 billion pounds of carpet from landfills since the group organized in 2002.

Selecting the Right Carpet
From the Store to Your Floor
You’ve decided that carpet is the best flooring choice for your home. Now what? There’s a lot to consider and many great options from which to choose. Today’s carpet offers a wide variety of choices in style, fiber composition, and color. CRI is here to help you find the perfect carpet for your needs.

“Today’s carpet offers a wide variety of choices in style, fiber composition, and color.”
Where to Start
Before purchasing carpet, you should answer the following questions:

How is the room going to be used?
Will it have heavy or light traffic?
Will the room be the center of activity for family and entertaining?
Is there direct access from outside, or will the carpet be away from entrances?
Will the carpet receive direct sunlight?
Your answers will determine many of your choices, from color to carpet construction, and much more. If you still have questions, your carpet dealer should be able to provide guidance.

Here are a few things to consider before selecting your carpet:

High-traffic households
Households with elderly individuals
Pets in the home
Heated flooring
Outdoor carpet
Woman Shopping for Carpet

Color
“Carpet’s numerous color options allow you to create the design you want for your home or interior space.“
A Rainbow of Choices
If a room is your interior design canvas, carpet is your paintbrush. It can be neutral, complementing the other visual elements in the room. It can also be a bold, focal point of the room. Because carpet comes in nearly every color imaginable, the choice is yours.

The always-popular beige carpet can make a room look open and spacious. For a bolder statement, you might match your carpet to a common color in your furniture and draperies. Environmental colors, like blues, deep greens, rosy quartz, and stony neutrals are becoming increasingly popular. Warm colors can turn up the heat in a room that lacks light, while cool greens and blues have a calming effect. Lighter colors make the room seem larger; darker colors provide an extra level of comfort.

There are also practical considerations in color selection. New stain and soil-resistant technology make today’s lighter color carpet much easier to clean, allowing for more decorating options. Medium and darker colors, tweeds, and textures are good at hiding soil in your home’s high-traffic areas.

One final consideration: the color of your carpet will look different under different lighting conditions. So make sure to take your samples home and look at them in the correct lighting conditions.

Couple with interior designer

Carpet and Rug Construction
Types of Carpet
Carpet is constructed in several different ways, along with a variety of fibers. Understanding the strengths and differences of each will help you make the right choices for your lifestyle, home, and budget.

“To get the best performance and most enjoyment out of your carpet, it’s essential to select a carpet fiber that fits your needs.”
Cut Pile: One of the most popular constructions, cut pile achieves its durability through the type of fiber used, density of tufts, and the amount of twist in the yarn. Highly twisted yarn will hold its shape longer, making it a smart choice for high-traffic areas.

Textured Plush – Decorative and versatile. Textured surfaces help hide footprints and vacuum marks. Add causal beauty to any room. The preferred style for busy households. A great carpet for the entire home.
Saxony – Refined surface. Works well with traditional interiors. Ideal for living and dining rooms.
Friezé – Forms a “curly” textured surface because yarns are extremely twisted. Has an informal look. Helps minimize footprints and vacuum marks.
Plush (Velvet) – Dense, luxurious feel. Shows footprints and vacuum marks easily. Best for low traffic areas and formal rooms.
Cut Pile
Loop Pile
Loop Pile: Here loops are the same height, creating a uniform look. This style generally lasts a long time in high-traffic areas. Many of today’s popular Berber styles are level loop styles with flecks of a darker color on a lighter background.

Multi-level loop pile: This style usually has two to three different loop heights to create pattern effects, while providing good durability and a more casual look.

Patterned Loop
Cut and Loop
Cut-loop pile: This carpet style combines cut and looped yarns. It provides a variety of surface textures, including sculptured effects of squares, chevrons, and swirls. The multi-color attribute is effective at hiding soil and stains.

Understanding Carpet Fibers
To get the best performance and most enjoyment out of your carpet it’s essential to select a carpet fiber that fits your needs. The majority of the carpet produced in the United States contains one of five primary pile fibers: nylon, polyester, polypropylene (olefin), triexta, and wool. Synthetic fibers represent the vast majority of the fiber used to manufacture carpet in the U.S. Each fiber type offers somewhat different attributes of durability, abrasion resistance, texture retention, stain and soil resistance, colorfastness, ease of cleaning, and color clarity. Manufacturers, retailers, specifiers, and designers are valuable resources in helping you determine the most appropriate fiber and carpet construction for your needs.

Selecting the Right Cushion
Cushion
The cushion is an unseen but essential part of your carpet system experience. It’s well worth the time to ensure you’re picking the best option. A firm and resilient carpet cushion forms the foundation for your carpet. The right cushion acts as a shock absorber to increase comfort and extend durability of carpet. It also improves acoustics and provides increased insulation, making a room quieter and warmer.

When selecting cushion, check the carpet manufacturer’s requirements for thickness and density. A general rule of thumb for most residential carpet applications is to choose cushion no more than 7/16 inch thick and no less than 1/4 inch with 6 pounds per cubic feet density. If the carpet is a berber or a low profile carpet, choose a cushion no more than 3/8 inch thick with 8 pounds density.

The type and thickness of cushion you need varies based on traffic levels and patterns. For example, bedrooms, dens, lounge areas, and other rooms with light or moderate traffic can use thicker and softer cushion. Living rooms, family rooms, hallways, stairs, and other heavy traffic areas require thinner, firmer cushion.

The wrong carpet cushion can negatively affect the carpet in several ways, including diminished appearance, wrinkling, buckling, separation of the carpet seams, and breakdown of the carpet structure itself. Improper cushion selection also may void any warranties from the carpet manufacturer.

A Quick Guide
Residential cut pile, cut-loop, or high-level loop carpet requires a resilient, firm cushion with a thickness of 7/16 inch and no less than 1/4 inch with 6 pounds per cubic feet density. Types of cushion may be various polyurethane foams, including the very common bonded foam product often referred to as “rebond,” fiber, or rubber.

Berber carpet, thinner loop, or cut pile carpet is made with large, wide loops, and it has been found that a stable, low-flexing, cushion is necessary. A thicker, softer cushion is not acceptable. Cushion thickness should not exceed 3/8 inch for these type products. Again, check with the carpet manufacturer to see if a specific cushion is required.

Bring in the Professionals
A quality installation is critical to the performance of your carpet. To put it simply, this is a job for the professionals. The Carpet and Rug Institute recommends hiring an installation contractor who adheres to the CRI 105 (Residential) Carpet Installation Standard for all aspects of the installation.

In most cases, the retailer will handle the details of arranging installation. At the time of purchase, ask your floor covering retailer to recommend a professional installer if there is not one on staff. Be sure to ask about additional fees, such as the removal and disposal of old flooring and moving larger furniture pieces.

There are several things you can do, both before and after installation, to ensure the process goes smoothly.

Carpet Installation
“A quality installation is critical to the performance of your carpet.”
Preparing for the Installation
When getting carpet installed, make sure that you know what services your installer will provide and what you might need to handle yourself. For example, there may be an additional charge to move your furniture. Here are other some things to keep in mind before and during carpet installation:

Complete other remodeling projects in the room, such as wallpapering or painting, before installing new carpet.
Remove all breakable items from the area being carpeted and detach and store wiring from TVs, stereos, and computers.
Vacuum the old carpet to avoid the possibility of airborne dust and dirt. After the old carpet and cushion are removed, vacuum the subfloor as well.
Determine who will remove and dispose of the existing carpet and cushion. Check for carpet recycling options in your area.
Check your new carpet (texture, color, and style) to make sure there are no visible defects before installation.
Ask that seams be placed in less visible areas, but don’t expect seams to be invisible.
Insist that the installer follow the instructions from the carpet manufacturer and/or those set forth in the CRI Installation Standard. Among other things, this standard requires that carpet must be power-stretched for proper installation to minimize wrinkling and rippling. Seam edges must be sealed with an appropriate adhesive to prevent delamination and edge ravel.
Finally, it is your responsibility to provide an adequate supply of fresh air during installation. Open windows and doors, use an exhaust fan, or operate the fan of your heating or air conditioning system. The “new carpet smell” will clear very quickly, usually in less than 72 hours.
After the Installation
In the months following installation, you may notice some changes in your carpet. Most of these are normal and will not affect the carpet’s life or appearance. Here’s what to do as the carpet settles over time:

Shedding – The shedding of loose fibers is normal and should subside with regular vacuuming.
Sprouting – If a single tuft extends beyond the carpet’s surface, simply clip it off. Do not pull it out.
Pile reversal or shading – This seeming color change may occur in various parts of the carpet, caused by light being reflected in different ways as pile fibers are bent in different directions. This is a characteristic of plush carpet, not a defect.
Wrinkling – If ripples occur, call your retailer. It may be necessary to professionally restretch the carpet.
If you have any additional questions, contact your retailer and/or the carpet manufacturer.

What You Need to Know
Mother and Daughter Vacuuming Carpet
The beauty and life of your carpet depend on the care it receives. Proper cleaning will keep it looking great for its full lifetime, help improve your indoor air quality, and keep your carpet warranties intact.

Cleaning your carpet properly is easier than you think. All it takes is a little knowledge about how to select the right carpet cleaning products and the right way to clean your carpet. The CRI Seal of Approval Program helps you easily identify effective carpet cleaning solutions, equipment, and service providers that clean carpet right the first time, without the fear of faster resoiling, stains reappearing, or damage to your carpet or the environment.

Cleaning Essentials
Four Steps for Proper Carpet Care
Carpet cleaning is all about developing a routine. If you get into a good routine and keep it up, you will see great results. Products that rate highly on CRI’s Seal of Approval (SOA) program are your assurance that you will clean correctly the first time (more on the SOA program below). Here are four simple steps to keep your carpet clean and looking great:

Vacuum regularly and more frequently in high traffic areas, and everywhere according to a vacuuming schedule, using a Seal of Approval-certified vacuum.
Clean spots and spills quickly with products that do not damage the carpet or cause it to resoil quicker. SOA-certified solutions to clean effectively and maintain the life of carpet.
Professionally deep clean your carpets every 12 to 18 months to remove embedded dirt and grime. SOA-certified cleaners are recommended and sometimes required by the manufacturer.
Stop dirt at the door by using mats outside and in, taking your shoes off when you enter the house and changing your air filters to reduce airborne dust particles.
The Seal of Approval Program
CRI wants vacuums, extractors, cleaning systems, cleaning products, and service providers to be as effective as possible. The Seal of Approval program is the only one in the industry that scientifically measures cleaning efficacy. The results help consumers make informed decisions and manufacturers improve their products. So carpets are cleaner, healthier, and last longer. Find out more about the Seal of Approval Program.

Basic Rug Care
Rugs deserve the same care as wall-to-wall carpet and, in some cases, require special attention.

Washing rugs — If your rug is small and the label says “machine washable,” shake the rug outside first and then put it in the washing machine at the recommended temperature. Use warm water (90 to 105 degrees) and a mild detergent. Tumble your rug dry on the lowest heat setting.
Beating larger rugs — If your larger rug is easy to pick up, shake it outside first; then put it over a clothesline and beat it. Next, take the rug inside and vacuum it. Many carpet cleaning professionals have rug cleaning expertise as well, but, if the label says dry clean only, your best bet may be to roll it up and take it to a dry cleaner. Save time by calling first to see if the cleaner does rug cleaning — many do not.
Vacuuming area rugs — Area rugs with fringe require special technique. Use gentle suction and start from the center of the carpet, vacuuming toward the fringe, and being careful not to catch the strands in the beater bar. Lift the carpet edge to vacuum beneath the fringe.
Caring for Oriental, Turkish, or Persian rugs — Clean imported rugs according to your carpet manufacturer’s specifications or bring in a professional cleaning service. Be gentle with fringe. For heirloom-type rugs, you need to hire a professional.

Vacuuming 101
Proper vacuuming is the easiest and most effective way to keep your carpet clean. Regular vacuuming can also have the largest impact on the air you breathe by removing dust, dirt, allergens, and particles.

To get the most out of your vacuuming regime, remember these few easy tips:

A quick once-over doesn’t do much. Slow and steady does the trick.
When vacuuming, don’t ignore those corners and crevices where dust builds.
“Top-down” cleaning saves you the step of vacuuming again after dusting. Dust blinds, windowsills, and furniture surfaces first and then vacuum away any fallen dust.
Remember to replace or empty vacuum bags when they are half to two-thirds full as this improves the efficacy of the vacuum.
How Often Should You Vacuum?
As a rule of thumb, you should vacuum at least once a week with a Seal of Approval-certified vacuum cleaner. However, the more foot traffic over your carpet, the more you need to vacuum.

Vacuuming

Cleaning Spots and Spills
A Two-Step Solution
With today’s stain-resistant carpet, treating spots and stains has never been easier. While no carpet is completely stain proof, the key is to act quickly with the right solution to knock out spots with a one-two punch.

A spilled glass of red wine on a carpet
Step One: Absorb the Spill
Blot liquids with a dry, white absorbent cloth or plain white paper towels (no prints or colors). Using a printed or colored material may transfer ink or dye to your damp carpet. Continue until the area is barely damp. Semisolids, like food spills, may need to be scooped up with a spoon. Solid, dried bits can be vacuumed.
Do not scrub or use a brush! Bristles and scrubbing can damage the carpet. Fraying and texture change are the likely results.
Step Two: Treat the Spot or Stain
Use a CRI Certified Seal of Approval carpet cleaning product. Though these have been laboratory tested, you should still pretest any cleaner on a scrap of carpet or an unseen area of your carpet.
Follow the product’s directions carefully. (Note: more is not better.) Apply a small amount of the cleaner to a white cloth and work in gently, from the edges to the center. Blot; don’t scrub. You may need to do this several times to remove the spot. After the spot is gone, blot the area with clear water once or more to remove any remaining product.
What if you don’t have a CRI-approved carpet cleaner handy? Try one of the remedies from our spot solver in the[Download not found].

Special Carpet Cleaning Tips for Pet Owners
Do you have a pet? You can combat pet odors and stains in many ways:

Vacuum carpet more frequently to capture pet hair and dander from your pet’s fur.
Use Seal of Approval cleaning products that are specifically designed for pet stains and odors.
Clean up new messes promptly and then follow the steps for spot and stain removal.
Use small hand extractors for quick cleanups of pet accidents, but remember that these quick clean ups don’t take the place of periodic deep cleaning.
Have your carpet professionally cleaned every 12 to 18 months More frequently if necessary.
Don’t use a steam cleaner when dealing with urine spots because the heat will set the stain and the smell. Extracting the spill with a wet-vacuum and rinsing with cool water will reduce the odor. If necessary, contact a certified carpet cleaning firm that knows how to remove pet stains and odors permanently.
Dog with big eyes

Do-It-Yourself Extracting
Tips for Cleaning Carpet Yourself
These days, you can buy or rent a do-it-yourself extractor. While these machines are effective at cleaning spots and spills, and provide excellent interim cleaning, they do not take the place of periodic deep cleaning by a carpet cleaning professional.

Vacuum path on carpet
Here’s what you need to know about do-it-yourself extraction cleaning:

Remove the furniture from the carpeted area. If the furniture is too heavy, place a plastic film under and around the legs of the furniture.
Vacuum thoroughly. This can have the biggest impact on the whole process!
Follow the instructions on the machine carefully. Do not add other chemicals or attempt to make your cleaner stronger.
Only use a Seal of Approval cleaning solution that works with your extractor.
Begin at the farthest point from the doorway and work back toward it so you can step out when done. Do not clean yourself into a corner!
Be patient and do not over-wet the carpet. Extract as much of the water as possible. Do not rush this step.
Wait until the carpet dries before replacing the furniture or walking on carpet. This step can take 6-12 hours.
Ventilate the area. Open windows if outdoor weather conditions permit, or put the air conditioning on a moderate setting (72 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit). Never close up a room with a wet carpet. You want the fastest drying-time possible to prevent mold growth and to allow earlier use.

If You Can Measure It, You Can Improve It
CRI’s Seal of Approval (SOA) program is all about cleaning efficacy and constant improvement. We wanted to know how well vacuums, extractors, and cleaning solutions worked to clean carpet, so we developed the carpet industry’s only scientific program to test and measure the effectiveness of cleaning products and equipment. The program helps consumers make informed decisions and manufacturers improve their products. The results are cleaner, healthier, and longer-lasting carpet.

Seal of Approval Program
What is Being Tested?
There are seven performance attributes SOA products are evaluated on:

Soil Removal Efficacy: How effective is the product at removing soil?
Resoiling: Does the cleaned sample attract soil at an accelerated rate or not? (solutions and systems)
Residual Moisture: Does the extractor or cleaning system remove most of the moisture that results from a wet cleaning process?
Surface Appearance Change: Does the product leave the carpet minimally changed after multiple cleanings? (vacuums and extractors)
Colorfastness: Does the product cause a color change in the carpet fiber? (solutions and systems)
pH Level: Is the pH level between 4 and 10? (solutions and systems)
Optical Brighteners: Does the product contain optical brighteners? None are allowed for SOA certification. (solutions and systems)
A Little Help from NASA
In making SOA the most advanced testing program possible, CRI partnered with scientists at NASA. To develop the soil compound used in the testing, hundreds of real-world samples from all over the United States were analyzed. Then, the elements that made up or closely resembled those samples were blended together to create an accurate, measurable, and repeatable formula.
Industry-Wide Benefits
The positive effects of the SOA program can be seen at every level of the carpet industry.

Consumers: SOA helps consumers make better purchasing decisions by ensuring that the products they choose will work. Consumers get a healthier environment in which to live and work – and a maximum return on their carpet investment.

Carpet Cleaning Product Manufacturers: By using the test results to see product strengths and weaknesses, manufacturers get a better idea of what they need to improve. That leads to more effective products going to market. For their efforts, the manufacturers gain the added credibility of the Seal of Approval label on their products.

Carpet Cleaning Professionals: Seal of Approval products helps cleaning professionals gain SOA certification. The certification differentiates them against the competition. It also helps them do their jobs better, which means more satisfied customers, more repeat business, and better word of mouth for their business.

Keep Your Carpet Looking Beautiful with Professional Cleaning
Vacuuming is great for basic carpet maintenance. But to keep it at peak performance, CRI recommends professionally deep cleaning your carpet every 12 to 18 months. (Be sure to check your carpet warranty for specific requirements.)

Seal of Approval Service Providers
CRI strongly recommends getting your carpet professionally cleaned by an Seal of Approval-certified service provider. These companies use SOA-approved equipment and products in order to assure their customers their carpet is being serviced with the best products. It is also the most effective way to maintain your warranty, as many carpet manufacturers recommend SOA products in their residential warranties.
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Find an SOA service provider near you.

Ask Good Questions
There are a number of questions to ask when hiring a cleaning professional:

“How long have you been in business?” The answer can speak volumes about a company’s reputation and experience. A quick Google search for customer reviews can also tell you a lot about the company.
“Do you vacuum before deep cleaning the carpet?” The answer should be yes. Vacuuming before deep cleaning is critical and makes a difference in the end result.
“How is your pricing structured?” Pricing should be based on the area cleaned, not by the number of rooms. Make sure to measure your area before you get on the phone. Room sizes vary, so be careful of any company that quotes price by the room.
“How much will it cost?” When you’re on the phone, get an estimate that you’re comfortable with – before the cleaner comes to your house.
“Are your technicians certified through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC)?” Professional certifications such as this show advanced training.
“Do you move the furniture or should I have it moved before you arrive? If you move the furniture, do you charge extra?” Understanding the provided services are key to a good experience.
Final Recommendations
Here are a few considerations for when the cleaners arrive.

Be sure to point out any problem areas, spots, or stains that need special attention.
All major U.S. carpet manufacturers highly recommend the use of SOA products in their residential warranties.
Many warranties also require you to check with the carpet manufacturer before allowing additional treatments, such as re-applying stain treatments or anti-static treatments.
Finally, wait for the carpet to dry completely before walking on it or moving the furniture back into the room. If you replace the furniture too quickly, rust or stains from paint or finishes could remain on the carpet permanently.

Carpet Works for Work
The beauty, performance, value, and sustainability of carpet make it the right choice for schools, healthcare facilities, offices, and shopping spaces. Carpeted floors cushion the impact of slips and falls, dampen unwanted noise, and make it easier to learn and concentrate. Today’s carpets are environmentally friendly, engineered to resist staining and fading, and withstand even heavy foot traffic along with providing numerous other benefits.

Offers Design Flexibility
Whether you’re choosing broadloom or carpet tile, carpet is easy to customize in any facility. You can choose from many thousands of carpet styles and colors to create a work environment that reflects your organization’s corporate culture. In an educational or health-related setting, you can use calming colors to provide a good environment for healing or learning.

Reduces Noise
Many offices today have open area systems where phone conversations and frequent employee interactions can be distracting. Carpet helps increase employee productivity by absorbing sounds and improving acoustics. Adding cushion beneath a carpet reduces noise even further. Carpet also works as a sound barrier between floors by blocking sound transmission to spaces below. Plus, carpet on stairs helps mask the sound of constant foot traffic.

Architects
Cushions Slips and Falls
Carpet is ideal for cushioning our footsteps, reducing slips and falls, and minimizing injuries when falls do occur. While it provides safety protection for everyone, it’s particularly helpful for youngsters at schools or the elderly at facilities like hospitals or nursing homes.

Provides Warmth and Comfort
Carpet provides insulation and thermal resistance (R-value). In colder climates or seasons, it retains warm air longer, providing energy conservation. Carpet creates a comfortable environment in which to work and gives a space a warmer overall feeling.

Carpet: A Sustainability Success Story
The carpet industry has succeeded in making carpet more sustainable and environmentally responsible than ever before. As almost all commercial carpet is certified as Green Label Plus, you can be sure that the carpet you select emits the very lowest level of VOCs. The GLP testing program meets or exceeds all regulatory requirements for emissions, including CA 01350, and is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to ISO 17065 specifications.

LEEDing Into the Future
GLP-certified products, including carpet, are recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED version 4 standard as a Low-Emitting Materials Third Party Certification and can contribute one point to a building’s LEED score.

Projects can also earn LEED credits by incorporating salvaged materials—such as refurbished, reused or recycled carpet—into plans for new construction or renovation. Recycled content carpet meets the same industry performance standards and carries the same manufacturer warranties as carpet without recycled content.

U.S. Green Building Council
Taking CARE to Recycle
In addition, carpet manufacturers are voluntarily reducing the amount of old carpet that ends up in landfills. Through the​ Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE), carpet companies, government entities and product suppliers are working to develop market-based solutions for the recycling and re-use of post-consumer carpet. Carpet materials are put back into carpet production or turned into things such as building materials and auto parts.

NSF/ANSI 140 Standard
Identifying Sustainable Carpet
Architects, designers and end users seeking environmentally preferred building materials can now identify carpet that has a reduced environmental impact through the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), NSF/ANSI 140 Sustainability Assessment for Carpet.

The carpet industry has made significant progress in reducing the environmental footprint of carpet, including landfill diversion, carbon dioxide emissions, energy consumption, waste generation, water usage, and hazardous air pollutants per square yard of carpet. The standard is a means by which these achievements can be quantifiably measured. Furthermore, the standard establishes a pathway towards sustainable carpet by identifying economic, environmental, and social benchmarks throughout the supply chain.

NSF/ANSI 140 recognizes sustainable carpet on three performance levels — silver, gold, and platinum — using a rating system for performance and quantifiable metrics in the following areas:

Public Health and Environment
Energy and Energy Efficiency
Biobased or Recycled Materials
Manufacturing and Reclamation and End of Life Management

Matching the Carpet to Your Needs
To choose the best carpet for your needs, first arm yourself with the right information.

Facility profile: The first step is to clearly define the specific requirements of the facility. Some things to consider include:

Type of facility and specific area receiving new carpet
How long the carpet will be used (life cycle)
Types of dirt that may be tracked into the facility
Whether the area is a remodeled or a new installation
Whether access to the subfloor is required
Whether there is modular furniture in the space
Location profile: To maximize performance, you first must also determine where the carpet is going to go in the facility.

Below are some location-specific questions to ask:

On a typical day, will there be spills and stains or dirt tracked into the building? If so, what type of spills? Food stains? Coffee or chemical spills?
What will the frequency of spills be? Excessive? Occasional?
What about moisture? Do you need a moisture permeable or impermeable backing?
Is there exposure to harsh chemicals, intense sunlight, or atmospheric contaminants (such as nitrous oxides or ozone)?
Will there be lots of foot traffic? Wheelchairs? Supply carts?
The Right Carpet for Any Environment
Today’s carpet offers you a wide variety of choices in style, fiber composition, and color, whether you are specifying broadloom or tile for a corporate office, school, and public space or purchasing an area rug for a boutique hotel. New technology can produce multilevel loop and cut-loop patterns with diamond, bow, pin dot, fleur-de-lis, or other designs.

Carpet can give personality to a workplace, ranging from formal to bold. In hospitality settings, it can provide directional clues to move people to the registration areas or elevators. In healthcare settings, carpet can be soothing and emotionally healing. It can quiet a computer lab in schools. In retail, carpet can compliment merchandise displays.

For more information, download the CRI Model Specification for Commercial Carpet (1 MB).

To match the best carpet to the proper end-use, you should consider:

Carpet Construction
Dyeing and Color Selection
Size Options
Quality and Performance Requirements
Insulation
Sound Absorption
Cushion

Carpet in Schools
School Hall
School design is widely recognized as positively affecting student learning and teacher satisfaction. Carpet contributes to good design by creating a welcoming, friendly, and less institutional space for students, teachers, and all school personnel. Carpet’s other benefits include:

Improved Safety – With added traction, carpet helps prevent slips and falls. When falls do happen, chances of injury are greatly reduced on soft flooring.
Increased Comfort – For teachers and other staff, a cushioned walking and standing surface reduces leg fatigue. Plus, carpet provides a non-glare surface that reduces reflection and eyestrain.
Better insulation – Carpet is warmer to sit on or work on, extending the learning area to space on the floor, especially with younger children. Thermal comfort exists because carpet retains inside ambient temperatures longer.
Costs less over time – Carpet that is properly selected, installed, and maintained lasts up to 10 years or longer. When product, installation and maintenance supplies and labor costs are considered over a 15- to 20-year period, carpet delivers lower life-cycle costs than other floor coverings. A Life-Cycle Cost Analysis for Floor Coverings in School Facilities (128 KB)
Reduced noise – Based on a study by the American Society of Interior Designers, carpet is deemed to be 10 times more efficient in reducing noise compared with other flooring options. Also with carpet, less acoustic protection is needed on the ceiling and elsewhere in the interior space. This quieter environment provides a better learning atmosphere with fewer distractions.
Improved IAQ – Carpet can improve the indoor air quality (IAQ) by capturing allergens in its fibers, thus preventing them from circulating back into the air. The allergens can then be removed through regular vacuuming. Additionally, carpet has lower chemical emissions than most indoor furnishings.
Healthcare and Eldercare Facilities
Carpet is extremely popular in all common public areas of healthcare facilities. It is also being used more often in patient rooms, wards, and nurseries, where it lends a feeling of warmth and comfort. However, carpet is not advised for use in areas where there may be excessive or frequent spills, such as in emergency and trauma areas, operating rooms, surgical recovery rooms, and labs.

Patient in Wheelchair
Selecting the Right Carpet
Color selection: Color options are highly diverse and can be chosen to provide a variety of stimulating or soothing effects. Interestingly, color can play a significant role in facilities or units that care for patients with Alzheimer’s disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, patients seem to remember colors better than numbers; therefore, color in carpet can provide a link to a specific hall or wing. In areas with visually impaired patients, brighter colors aid in depth perception and differentiation of areas.

Americans with Disabilities Act: The Americans with Disabilities Act requires carpet to have a pile height of a half-inch or less, as measured from the bottom of the tuft.

Carpet construction: The look of a carpet is determined by its construction, which may be level loop, multi-level loop, cut pile, or combinations of cut and loop pile. In corridors, lobbies and patient care areas, loop piles tend to retain their appearance and resiliency and generally provide a better surface for rolling traffic, especially when the carpet has a low, dense construction. Cut pile or cut and loop pile carpet are both good choices for administrative areas.

Performance: In the healthcare market, carpet performance needs will determine what fibers, construction, backing systems, and treatments are specified. Again, the specifier must be able to delineate the highest priority performance requirements, so that the manufacturer’s representative can recommend products that will meet those expectations.

Fiber: Nylon, olefin (polypropylene), triexta and wool are the primary fibers used in commercial carpet for healthcare applications. Nylon accounts for approximately 80 percent of the overall commercial carpet market.

Nylon is by far the most prevalent fiber in use. It is excellent in wearability, abrasion resistance, is easily cleaned, and can be stain resistant. Olefin is used where resistance to sunlight fading and chemicals is more important than durability. Triexta is a new fiber category developed by DuPont. Wool is a natural staple fiber, is durable, resilient, and self-extinguishing when burned.

Yarns can be either bulk continuous filament (BCF) or staple. Staple yarns are short fibers which may fuzz or lose fiber more than BCF; therefore, BCF is chosen more often for healthcare use.

The method by which carpet is dyed is important in the patient care areas. Solution dyeing is preferred in areas subject to stains and spills because the color is achieved by the pigment within the yarn. Other areas in healthcare facilities, such as offices, lobbies, and corridors may employ a variety of dye methods, such as stock dyeing, yarn dyeing, piece dyeing, and printing, all of which are dependent on the amount of pattern and colors needed for the interior appearance.

Static electricity considerations: Carpet can be specified to meet criteria for the static electricity tolerances of highly sensitive electronic areas, such as computer rooms or telemetry units.

Microbiological considerations: Antimicrobial treatments considered helpful in reducing the propagation and spread of microorganisms have been used in healthcare carpet since 1980. Antimicrobial treatment benefits a healthcare facility by providing insurance for when spots and spills cannot be immediately cleaned; however, it does not eliminate the need for a regular cleaning and maintenance plan.

Indoor air quality: Even though carpet emits the fewest VOCs of any floor covering, CRI developed its Green Label Plus programs to test and certify carpet, carpet cushion, and adhesives that emit the lowest amount of VOCs. Carpet has fewer emissions than other renovation and construction products, such as paint, wallboard, wall coverings, and cleaning materials. Furthermore, those low emissions clear within 48 to 72 hours, and more quickly with good ventilation. To ensure the best indoor environment in your healthcare facility, specify Green Label Plus products for your facility.

Installation: It is important to include requirements that dictate installation procedures, such as how the carpet will be installed, cushion type and weight, and delivery and installation schedules. When installing carpet, always adhere to industry standards as published in the CRI 104/105 Carpet Installation Standards. Remember, these are general standards and manufacturers will have more specific recommendations.

Maintenance: A consistent and thorough maintenance plan – plus a plan to address unusual spills – is crucial. Proper and regular maintenance of carpet will prolong its life and appearance. The carpet maintenance plan should follow the carpet manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning methods, include the use of Seal of Approval-certified products, and utilize CRI recommendations for commercial cleaning and maintenance.

Basic Installation Guidelines
Carpet installation must be properly planned, estimated, and coordinated. The installation plan should include accurate measurements, seam placement, and detail areas requiring special considerations, such as unusual room shapes, closets, borders, etc.

Installation specifiers
Provide drawings with the approved location of seams, edge moldings, carpet direction and accessories (adhesives, cushion, etc.).

General contractor
Provide an appropriate surface upon which to install carpet, including confirmation of concrete moisture and alkali conditions, cleanliness, surface quality, and floor levelness. The contractor must also set appropriate room temperatures 48 hours prior to installation (65 to 95 degrees) and provide ventilation during and 48 to 72 hours after installation.

Installation contractor
The installation contractor must use qualified labor and specified tools and accessories; provide accuracy of measurement and coordinate with the general contractor on all applicable details, including the installation date, delivery, storage, security, and insurance.

Download this helpful Installation Timeline (44 KB) as an effective guide, whether the installation is for a new facility or for the replacement of carpet in an existing facility.

Installation Standards and Methods
Design with Carpet
CRI 104/105 Carpet Installation Standards
The industry’s gold standard resource for commercial and residential carpet installation, the CRI 104 and 105 standards provide installers, retailers, specification writers, and building professionals with detailed principles and guidelines for carpet installation.

Representing more than 25 years of information-gathering and installation expertise, CRI’s 104 and 105 carpet installation standards are the only carpet installation standards created and supported by the industry.

In 2015, the CRI convened industry leaders to update the 104 and 105 standards to address innovations that require new approaches to carpet installation, particularly planning, and subfloor preparation. These changes reflect the industry’s ongoing dedication to quality and customer satisfaction.

What You Need to Know
The beauty and life of your carpet depend on the care it receives. Proper cleaning will keep your carpet looking great for its full lifetime, help improve your indoor air quality, and keep your carpet warranties intact. Cleaning your carpet properly is easier than you think. All it takes is a little knowledge about how to select the right carpet cleaning products and most appropriate method for cleaning your carpet. The CRI Seal of Approval program helps you identify effective carpet cleaning solutions, equipment, and service providers that clean carpet right the first time, without the fear of faster resoiling, stains reappearing, or damage to your carpet.

Download a copy of the Carpet Maintenance Guidelines for Commercial Applications (987 KB)

Cleaning Essentials
Four Steps for Proper Carpet Care
Carpet cleaning is all about developing a routine. If you get into a good routine and keep it up, you will see great results. Products that rate highly on CRI’s Seal of Approval (SOA) program are your assurance that you will clean correctly the first time (more on the SOA program below). Here are four simple steps to keep your carpet clean and looking great:

Vacuum regularly and more frequently in high traffic areas, and everywhere according to a vacuuming schedule, using a Seal of Approval-certified vacuum.
Clean spots and spills quickly with products that do not damage the carpet or cause it to resoil quicker. SOA-certified solutions to clean effectively and maintain the life of carpet.
Professionally deep clean your carpets every 12 to 18 months to remove embedded dirt and grime. SOA-certified cleaners are recommended and sometimes required by the manufacturer.
Stop dirt at the door by using mats outside and in, taking your shoes off when you enter the house and changing your air filters to reduce airborne dust particles.
The Seal of Approval Program
CRI wants vacuums, extractors, cleaning systems, cleaning products, and service providers to be as effective as possible. The Seal of Approval program is the only one in the industry that scientifically measures cleaning efficacy. The results help consumers make informed decisions and manufacturers improve their products. So carpets are cleaner, healthier, and last longer.

Find out more about the Seal of Approval Program.

Basic Rug Care
Rugs deserve the same care as wall-to-wall carpet and, in some cases, require special attention.

Washing rugs — If your rug is small and the label says “machine washable,” shake the rug outside first and then put it in the washing machine at the recommended temperature. Use warm water (90 to 105 degrees) and a mild detergent. Tumble your rug dry at the lowest heat setting.
Beating larger rugs — If your larger rug is easy to pick up, shake it outside first; then put it over a clothesline and beat it. Next, take the rug inside and vacuum it. Many carpet cleaning professionals have rug cleaning expertise as well, but, if the label says dry clean only, your best bet may be to roll it up and take it to a dry cleaner. Save time and aggravation by calling first to see if the cleaner does rug cleaning — many do not.
Vacuuming area rugs — Area rugs with fringe require special technique. Use gentle suction and start from the center of the carpet, vacuuming toward the fringe and being careful not to catch the strands in the beater bar. Lift the carpet edge to vacuum beneath the fringe.
Caring for Oriental, Turkish or Persian rugs — Clean imported rugs according to your carpet manufacturer’s specifications or bring in a professional cleaning service. Be gentle with fringe. For heirloom-type rugs, you need professionals.

Vacuuming
Vacuuming 101
Proper vacuuming is the easiest and most effective way to keep your carpet clean. Regular vacuuming can also have the largest impact on the air you breathe by removing dust, dirt, allergens, and particles.

To get the most out of your vacuuming regime, remember these few easy tips:

A quick once-over doesn’t do much. Slow and steady does the trick.
When vacuuming, don’t ignore those corners and crevices where dust builds.
Remember to replace or empty vacuum bags when they are half to two-thirds full as this improves the efficacy of the vacuum.
How Often Should You Vacuum?
As a rule of thumb, you should vacuum at least once a week with a quality vacuum cleaner. However, the more foot traffic over your carpet, the more you need to vacuum. The general formula is:

Vacuum daily in high-traffic areas.
Vacuum twice weekly in medium-traffic areas.
Vacuum weekly in light-traffic areas, using attachments at carpet edges.

Cleaning Spots and Spills
A Two-Step Solution
With today’s stain-resistant carpet, treating spots and stains has never been easier. Still, no carpet is completely stain proof. The key is to act quickly! So, to knock out spots, give them a one-two punch.

Step One: Absorb the Spill
Blot liquids with a dry, white absorbent cloth or plain white paper towels (no prints or colors). Using a printed or colored material may transfer ink or dye to your damp carpet. Continue until the area is barely damp. Semisolids, like food spills, may need to be scooped up with a spoon. Solid, dried bits can be vacuumed up.
Warning: do not scrub or use a brush. Bristles and scrubbing can damage carpet. Fraying and texture change are the likely results.
Step Two: Treat the Spot or Stain
Use a CRI Certified Seal of Approval carpet cleaning product. Though these have been laboratory tested, you should still pretest any cleaner on a scrap of carpet or in an out-of-the-way area of your carpet.
Follow the product’s directions carefully. More is not better. Apply a small amount of the cleaner to a white cloth and work in gently, from the edges to the center. Blot; don’t scrub. You may need to do this several times to remove the spot. After the spot is gone, blot the area with clear water once or more to remove any remaining product.
What if you don’t have a CRI-approved carpet cleaner handy? Try one of the remedies from our spot solver in the[Download not found].

Special Tips for Facilities with Pets
Does your facility allow pets? You can combat pet odors and stains in many ways:
Vacuum carpet more frequently to capture pet hair and dander from your pet’s fur.
Use CRI Certified Seal of Approval cleaning products that are specifically designed for pet stains and odors.
Clean up new messes promptly and then follow the steps for spot and stain removal.
Use small hand extractors for quick cleanups of pet accidents, but remember that these quick clean ups don’t take the place of periodic deep cleaning.
Have your carpet professionally cleaned every 12 to 18 months More frequently if necessary.
Don’t use a steam cleaner when dealing with urine spots because the heat will set the stain and the smell. Extracting the spill with a wet-vacuum and rinsing with cool water will reduce the odor. If necessary, call in certified carpet cleaning firms that know how to remove pet stains and odors permanently.

Do-It-Yourself Extracting
Tips For Cleaning Carpet Yourself
These days, you can buy or rent a do-it-yourself extractor or “steam cleaner.” While these machines are effective at cleaning spots and spills, and provide excellent interim cleaning, they do not take the place of periodic deep cleaning by a carpet cleaning professional.Here’s what you need to know about do-it-yourself extraction cleaning:
Remove the furniture from the carpeted area. If the furniture is too heavy, place a plastic film under and around the legs of the furniture.
Vacuum thoroughly. This can have the biggest impact on the whole process!
Follow the instructions on the machine carefully. Do not add other chemicals or under-dilute in an attempt to make your cleaner stronger.
Only use a Seal of Approval cleaning solution that works with your extractor.
Begin at the farthest point from the doorway and work back toward it so you can step out when done. Do not clean yourself into a corner!
Be patient and do not over-wet the carpet. Extract as much of the water as possible. Do not rush this step.
Wait until the carpet dries before replacing the furniture or walking on carpet. This step can take 6-12 hours.
Ventilate the area. Open windows if outdoor weather conditions permit, or put the air conditioning on a moderate setting (72 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit). Never close up a room with a wet carpet. You want the fastest drying-time possible, to prevent mold growth and to allow earlier use.