A reader asks: "Our carpet has a dingy, fuzzy appearance that makes it look worn beyond the two years that it has been installed. What can we do to remedy this situation?"

In a prior article we stressed the importance of not misusing an upright vacuum cleaner with stiff bristles since it can tend to damage the fibers and give the appearance of age. Another concern is that the carpet under consideration is a relatively neutral color without much pattern which means that it tends to show soiling rather quickly. This means that regular vacuuming with a quality vacuum that has sufficient suction is very important.

We also observed the crew spotting the carpet and they did not seem to understand the difference between a pH (water soluble) spot and an oil based spot. Remember that most food soils are going to be acidic thereby requiring a cleaner product with a pH above 7 (range of 7.5 -8,5 to be safe. Alkaline type cleaners can deal with acidic spots and spills such as orange juice. I highly recommend you retrain your workers on the basics of carpet fibers, pH and the different type stains/spills they may encounter. Go mild to stronger and be careful with over-wetting.

As to oil based spots (oil, transmission fluid, etc.) you will need to use a solvent type cleaner that can dissolve the spot without damaging the carpet fiber or construction. The last thing you want is a bubble appearing due to the mastic being dissolved. Again, use light blotting with a cloth and remember to remove the residue promptly.

Always test in a corner or closet with any new products to make sure that you are using a safe cleaner.

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.