Natural Floorcovering Centres Care Guide

When well looked after, your woven natural floor coverings can look better for longer than conventional tufted carpet.

Natural fibre floorcoverings have a unique beauty and texture.  They are also hardy, resilient and long-lasting.  This guide will help you with a simple maintenance program for your natural fibre carpet and also assist you with spills and marks that may occur.

Guidelines for Natural Fibre Floorcoverings

  • Natural floorcovering products are made from spun vegetable and/or spun woollen fibres.  Vegetable fibres ‘breathe’ – they absorb moisture from the atmosphere and expand and contract as ambient moisture levels change.
  • None of our natural floorcovering products are recommended for damp areas.
  • Like most everything else, all natural fibre floorcoverings will be affected by sunlight.  Dyed products will fade in the sun, undyed products may darken over time.
  • Furniture legs can cause indentations over time, with thicker weaves more susceptible than flat woven products.

The Golden Rules of Carpet Care:

  • Use entrance matting to prevent dirt getting on to the carpets.  
  • Vacuum entrance matting and carpets regularly to keep dirt out of the fibres.
  • Use protective mats if needed to prevent damage from castor wheels eg. office chairs.
  • Deal with spills and accidents quickly to avoid staining.
  • Never use water extraction/steam cleaning for vegetable fibre products.
  • Gently blot liquid spills – do not rub.


The Key to Long Carpet Life – Entrance Mats and Regular Vacuuming

Natural fibre floorcoverings tend to hold less dirt and dust than conventional tufted carpets due to their tight weave and anti-static characteristics.  However, like all carpets, they can still trap fine dirt particles in the fibres and, over time, this can lead to wear and potential staining.

Large doormats will help by trapping most of the dirt before it is trampled into your floor coverings.  The more footsteps you catch on the mat the less dirt is brought into the house so go for larger mats where possible.

Vacuuming with a power head vacuum is the most important maintenance item you can perform to keep your carpets looking good as this will remove the soil and particles that cause damage.

For high traffic areas such as entrances and hallways, we recommend vacuuming twice a week.  For light use areas such as bedrooms, weekly vacuuming will be sufficient.

Routine cleaning with a dry powder carpet cleaner can also be effective, but it is important to first test any chemicals in an inconspicuous place in case they adversely affect the floor covering.  Never mix different cleaning solutions, as the cleaning chemicals may not mix.

Dealing With Spills and Accidents

When clean, your natural floorcoverings will not be stained by plain water, however, if dirt builds up in your floor covering and it then becomes wet, staining may occur.

When accidents happen, act with haste.  The faster you attend to a spill, the greater your chance of avoiding a permanent stain.

Cleaning Guidelines

  • Act fast.  If you leave a spill or stain to settle, it may be impossible to remove later.
  • Do not saturate the product with water.
  • Do not rub or scour, only blot.
  • Do not use heat/hairdryers to dry, just an ordinary fan.
  • Never use steam (other than for pure wool and then only sparingly).
  • Do not pour salt on to spills.
  • Some stains will be extremely difficult to remove – we can recommend professional cleaners as required.
  • Acidic substances can cause permanent bleaching if not attended to immediately.

For liquid spills, place a clean, colour fast towel, cloth or paper towel over the spill and press down to blot up the liquid.  Repeat this process as required to dry the area.  If the stain is still apparent you will need to repeat the process, apply one of the remedies outlined below or contact a professional carpet cleaner that is familiar with natural fibre products.

For solids, first remove the solids with a knife, spoon or toothbrush as required.  Take care not to brush or rub heavily as you may remove the dye from the carpet, leaving a lighter patch in place of the stain.  Moisten the affected area with a diluted wool wash or mild detergent and soak up this liquid with a cloth as outlined above.  If the stain is still apparent, apply one of the remedies outlined below or contact a professional carpet cleaner that is familiar with natural fibre products.

Common Spills and Solutions

The actions described below are suggestions only.  No guarantee of success can be given.  Some stains, particularly if they have been left to sit, may be permanent.  Some dyes could react unpredictably.  If in doubt, please refer to a professional carpet cleaner that is familiar with natural fibre products.

Coffee/Tea/Beer

Step 1:  2% dishwashing detergent and 98% water
Step 2:  50% vinegar and 50% water
Step 3:  2% dishwashing detergent and 98% water
Step 4:  Plain water

Wine

If you are able to respond immediately, simply sponge the stain with 50% white vinegar and 50% water.  Otherwise as follows:

Step 1:  5% dishwashing detergent and 95% water
Step 2:  20% ammonia and 80% water
Step 3:  50% vinegar and 50% water
Step 4:  2% dishwashing detergent and 98% water
Step 5 Plain water

Butter

Step 1:  Warm iron (below 100°C) on a cloth
Step 2:  Dab with solvent, white spirits or dry cleaning fluid
Step 3:  20% dishwashing detergent, 5% white vinegar and 75% water
Step 4:  Plain water

Chocolate

Step 1:  Scrape off solids
Step 2:  Solvent or white spirits
Step 3:  5% dishwashing detergent and 95% water
Step 4:  20% ammonia and 80% water
Step 5:  50% vinegar and 50% water
Step 6:  2% dishwashing detergent, and 98% water
Step 7:  Plain water

Oils/Cooking Sauces

Step 1:  Solvent or white spirits
Step 2:  5% dishwashing detergent and 95% water
Step 3:  50% vinegar and 50% water
Step 4:  Plain water

Mud

Step 1:  Allow to dry
Step 2:  Scrape off and vacuum
Step 3:  If necessary – 20% ammonia and 80% tepid water
Step 4:  Plain water

Urine/Blood

Step 1:  2% dishwashing detergent and 98% water
Step 2:  20% ammonia and 80% water
Step 3:  50% vinegar and 50% water
Step 4:  Plain water

Faeces

Step 1:  Remove all solids
Step 2:  2% dishwashing detergent and 98% water
Step 3:  20% ammonia and 80% water
Step 4:  2% dishwashing detergent and 98% water
Step 5:  Water

Nail Polish

Step 1:  Dab with acetone
Step 2:  Plain water


Shoe Polish

Step 1:  Solvent or white spirits
Step 2:  5% dishwashing detergent and 95% water
Step 3:  Plain water

Paint (Acrylic)

Step 1:  5% dishwashing detergent and 95% water
Step 2:  20% ammonia and 80% water
Step 3:  Plain water

Paint (Oil)

Step 1:  Solvent, white spirits or turps
Step 2:  5% dishwashing detergent and 95% water
Step 3:  Plain water