Keep your walkways clean—in more ways than one. TRU Homes feature both carpet and vinyl flooring, which each require slightly different care.
There are plenty of benefits of keeping your floors clean, including the fact that your home will look and smell good for years to come.
Here’s how—and some reasons why—to make sure that wherever you walk, there’s a fresh floor below you.
Carpet Care 101
Clean floors are nice to look at. Plus, the important, noticeable health benefits resulting from regular carpet cleaning are like a bonus. A few things you can expect when you keep a regular carpet cleaning schedule:
- Stay healthier. Regular carpet cleaning reduces the amount of dust mites and allergens in your carpet, protecting you and your family’s health1
- Breathe easier. If you or a family member suffer from respiratory illness or asthma, vacuuming with a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) air filter can help reduce indoor air pollution to improve air quality and lead to better breathable air in your home.2
Cleaning Your Carpet
Your carpet is an investment. With the right care and maintenance you’ll be able to keep it looking new and make it last longer. Here are a few simple tips for keeping your carpet’s color and texture fresh, clean and going strong for a long time.
- Vacuum weekly. By just grabbing your vacuum cleaner and dancing around the rooms with it for a little while, you’ll remove everyday dirt. Easy, fun, done.
- Welcome cleaner floors. To prevent stains, buy welcome mats for your entrances to help remove dirt from everyone’s shoes.
- Make a runway. In high-traffic areas like hallways or beneath your favorite chair, consider protecting your carpet with an additional rug.
- Tackle stains. Treat spills and spots immediately. Begin with cold water only, and blot out as much of the stain as possible. When necessary, use a carpet stain remover and clean cloth. Follow instructions on the bottle or download our carpet stain center app to your smartphone. Use the app to find removal procedures for some of the most common household spills.
When to Call the Pros
In addition to regular carpet cleaning, it’s great to have your carpet professionally cleaned once a year. This will improve the longevity of your carpet and prevent health threats in your home. What kind of health threats? To name a few:
- Dust Mites. You could have a dust mite infestation and not know it. Many homes have them, but because they’re so small, no homeowner can see them. Particles left behind by dust mites are also super small and easily inhaled when infested areas are stirred up. Steam cleaning your carpet is one of the best ways to help control and eliminate dust mite infestations, thanks to the high temperatures.
- Trapped pollutants. Dirty carpets hold onto several sources of indoor and outdoor air pollutants including:
- Cockroach allergens
- Pet dander
- Particle pollution
- Everyday dust and dirt
Airborne toxic gases can attach to these particles and also get trapped within your carpet. These gases can be released when you simply walk across the carpet, causing them to pollute the air in your home. Vacuuming regularly and shampooing your carpets will help remove deeply trapped pollutants and deep-clean your carpet fibers.
- Mold. Dirty carpets can be a breeding ground for mold growth when exposed to moisture. In high-humidity areas, especially, the moisture inside your home can sink deep into your carpet fibers if not dried and vacuumed right away. Cleaning carpets professionally can help prevent the growth of mold and mildew, thanks to high-powered drying tools that help get rid of all moisture.
- Kanchongkittiphon, Watcharoot, Mark J. Mendell, Jonathan M. Gaffin, Grace Wang, and Wanda Phipatanakul. “EHP – Indoor Environmental Exposures and Exacerbation of Asthma: An Update to the 2000 Review by the Institute of Medicine.” EHP. January 2015. Accessed March 24, 2016. http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1307922.
- “Residential Air Cleaners (Second Edition): A Summary of Available Information.” EPA. Accessed March 24, 2016.
Loving Your Vinyl
Vinyl is the easygoing floor surface found in the kitchen, utility room and bathroom(s) throughout your TRU Home. It’s strong, durable and unlike hardwood or tile floors, no special maintenance is needed. Here’s how to take care of your vinyl flooring and keep it in tip-top shape:
- Sweep your vinyl floors regularly with a soft broom, at least once or twice weekly. Use caution when vacuuming with machines that have abrasive brushes—retract those from the floor while vacuuming your vinyl, or, simply buy a vacuum that’s designed for hardwood floors and that has no mechanism for abrasive friction.
- Wipe over floors regularly with a clean, damp mop or cloth. Either should be rinsed frequently in clean water. Remember that all floors can be slippery when wet.
- Wash floors with a solution of clean water and mild detergent or domestic floor cleaning emulsion*. Rinse thoroughly and soak up any remaining water. For a shine, buff floors with a dry cloth.
* Do not use wire or nylon wool scouring pads, furniture polish, spirit-based polish, powder or liquid abrasive cleaners, bleach or strong detergents. Before doing any cleaning or maintenance beyond what’s noted above, be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions for caring for your floor or call a floor cleaning professional.
To protect your vinyl floor from damage, you’ll want to avoid:
- Doormats with rubber backing. These may cause a yellowing or discoloration of the floor beneath them. Choose natural fiber mats instead. Also, be aware that some inexpensive rubber shoe and slipper soles can also cause yellow stains. Take care to store them only on a rug or protected area of your floor.
- Furniture with rubber feet may also cause staining. Remove the feet and place felt pads between furniture legs and your floor.
- Products that are spirit-based, such as shoe polish, solvents, hair dye and permanent marker pens will damage vinyl flooring quickly. Also, turmeric, mustard and strongly colored or dyed foods may color your floors. If any of these substances come in contact with your vinyl floors, wipe up spots and marks as quickly as possible.
- Corrosives such as acid and alkaline solutions can also damage the surface of the floor. Wearing protective clothing like gloves, clean up any spills quickly and very carefully avoid direct contact between your skin and the substance.
- Bitumen or tar from newly resurfaced or melted roads or pathways will cause damage. Be sure to remove your shoes if you suspect any of these residues are present.
The above list includes materials known to cause damage, but this is not a comprehensive list. Again, please refer to your manufacturer’s care instructions or call your manufacturer for a more complete list of items to avoid.