With proper care and maintenance, a wool carpet should give you many years of comfort and enjoyment. In fact, wool carpets may become more beautiful with age, but only if they’re treated properly.
Wool has many attributes that make it an ideal choice for carpets. For example,
- wool has a naturally scaly surface that resists dirt – soil tends to rest on top of the fibres, where vacuuming can easily remove it
- wool is a naturally elastic fabric, so it resists wear and tear from repeated foot traffic and from being crushed under heavy furniture
- wool has a natural protective outer layer that helps prevent liquid spills from penetrating into the fibres.
An essential tip for prolonging the life of your wool carpet is to vacuum it correctly. The vacuum brushes should barely brush the surface of the carpet. You should also always move the brushes slowly over the carpet to prevent damaging the fibres. Vacuuming in this way will remove both foot-borne dry soil, as well as the shed fabric that every wool carpet gives off initially. Provided the vacuum brushes are kept at the appropriate distance from the carpet, you can make as many passes over the carpet as needed to remove all loose grit.
As a rule, carpets should be vacuumed at least once a week, or once every five days or so in heavier traffic areas. Don’t neglect to clean hard-to-reach areas, like under furniture, behind curtains and the point where the carpet meets the wall. Dirt can easily collect in these areas, eventually causing damage to the carpet.
Not all vacuum cleaners are made to clean all types of surfaces, so check with your carpet or vacuum manufacturer. If your vacuum cleaner is the type with a bag, ensure the bag is regularly emptied. An overly full bag will cause the machine to lose suction power.
Spills can be dealt with as long as they’re treated quickly after contact. Leaving them to sit on a carpet for too long will make them harder or even impossible to remove on your own, and might mean you’ll have to call in a professional carpet cleaner.
To deal with most types of spills on a wool carpet, take these steps:
- first blot the spill with paper towel
- apply a little cleaning agent to a damp cloth – never directly to the carpet – and use only a little at a time
- always work from the outside of the stain inwards to prevent it from spreading
- avoid rubbing the carpet fabric too vigorously; this could damage the carpet pile and even cause the stain to spread
- once you’ve removed the spill, dry the affected area as best you can with paper towel.