Maintaining Carpeting and Cork

This story shows how to maintain carpet and cork.


Carpet requires periodic deep cleaning because no matter how frequently you vacuum, dirt and grime eventually work their way down into the fibers.

Most cork products are finished with a varnish that requires periodic reapplication and keeps the cork from soaking up the dirt.

Both materials benefit more from routine preventive maintenance than from occasional deep cleaning. Regular vacuuming helps keep tracked-in grit out of the fibers and joints.

Nonstaining mats at entrances control dirt, and casters or cups under furniture legs minimize dents. Floor mats in front of stoves, refrigerators, and sinks help prevent stains.

When deep-cleaning carpet vacuum first to remove as much loose soil as possible and apply a spot removal agent to heavily soiled sections. Remove all the furniture you can and put plastic bags around the legs of everything you can't move. Ventilate the room with fans to speed drying.

Although these pages feature a cleaning powder, some carpet can stand up to steam and water-base cleaning methods. Ask your supplier which cleaning methods are compatible with your carpet's weave.

Prestart Checklist

About 2 hours for an 8x10 floor

Vacuum cleaner, floor brush or carpet machine, sponge mop, utility knife and putty knife (for tile removal), scissors for carpet repair

Manufacturer's cleaning agents, varnish for cork tiles, sponge or applicator

What If... The carpet has sprouts or dents?: Step 1

From time to time even the best carpet tiles will have a fiber or two that comes loose from the backing. If your carpet shows "sprouts," don't pull them -- you'll create holes in the fabric. Gently pull the sprouted fibers up and trim them flush with the others.

What If... The carpet has sprouts or dents?: Step 2

Dents in carpet are more difficult to remedy than other maladies. Start by using the back of a tablespoon to work the fibers up in the dent. If this doesn't work try wetting the area by allowing an ice cube to melt on the spot or warm the spot slightly with a hair dryer.

Deep cleaning carpet: Step 1

Read the manufacturer's or retailer's recommendation before purchasing a carpet-cleaning solution. Sprinkle the cleaning powder evenly across the surface of the floor. Properly applied it should appear as a thin layer on the carpet.

Deep cleaning carpet: Step 2

Using a short-bristled floor brush or rented carpet machine, work the powder into the fibers. To avoid the possibility of premature wear, do not brush too heavily in any area. Leave the powder in the fibers for the recommended time.

Deep cleaning carpet: Step 3

Vacuum the cleaned area thoroughly using a high-quality vacuum with beater bars. Go over each section both with and against the grain in order to ensure removal of all the cleaning powder and soil.

What If... You have to replace a carpet tile?: Step 1

The procedure illustrated here and on page 8 works equally well for both carpet tiles and cork tiles. The removal of cork tiles is more difficult because of the reciprocating glue. Always work from the center of the tile outward. Working from the edges will damage them.

Using a metal straightedge (optional) and a sharp utility knife, make several passes in the center of the tile until you have cut through to the subfloor.

What If... You have to replace a carpet tile?: Step 2

Insert a 3-inch putty knife under the cut you've made and remove one-half of the tile by prying and seesawing the putty knife back and forth to break the adhesive bond. Repeat the procedure on the other half of the tile. Replace the adhesive, press in the tile, and roll.

Cleaning cork: Step 1

Vacuum a cork floor with a high-quality canister vacuum. Don't use an upright vacuum or canister attachment with beater bars -- doing so risks tearing up the surface of the tile.

Cleaning cork: Step 2

Using either a cotton string mop or a synthetic sponge mop, damp-mop the floor. Don't overwet or flood the surface -- you'll warp the tile and weaken the adhesive bond. For deeper cleaning purchase a cleaner recommended by the manufacturer.

Refinishing cork tiles

Although a wear-layer varnish protects modern cork products, the cork's surface still needs to be renewed periodically. Clean the floor as described above and let it dry. Then use a sponge or lamb's wool applicator to reapply the varnish. Never use a generic product -- always use a solution made especially for cork.

Comments (2)
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6/9/2016 01:38:04 PM Report Abuse
mustafa wrote:

it is very helpful,thanks

5/7/2013 12:59:28 AM Report Abuse
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