November 14, 2014
It is generally accepted that servicing every year is good for your car. It will keep it running trouble-free for longer. Parts are kept lubricated, so don’t wear out prematurely and the performance remains high, adding to the overall enjoyment of owning the car.
Rolls Royce make some of the best cars in the world, yet they still need servicing. The fact that they need servicing doesn’t make them any less attractive.
So why is it that some wool carpet manufacturers and retailers, past and present, promote the notion that wool carpet doesn’t need regular cleaning and that vacuuming alone is sufficient?
If Rolls Royce, in a bid to sell more cars, announces that their cars don’t need servicing, would they sell more? In the short term, possibly, but in year two and three when performance drops and they start breaking down at the side of the road, what happens to their reputation? Consumers are turned off by poor reliability and sales fall.
This is what I believe has happened to wool carpet sales over the last few years and contributed to the sharp rise in popularity of ‘stain free and easy clean’ synthetic carpets.
Wool carpet is very good at hiding soil (which contributes to the myth that they don’t need cleaning) and trapping allergens and pollutants. It acts like a giant filter regulating indoor air quality and humidity. However, for it to be effective this ‘filter’ needs to be cleaned regularly. Correct and frequent maintenance will extend the useful life of the carpet by removing grit and dirt that abrade the fibres and cause loss of pile density and flattening.
Then there is the very important issue of appearance. All carpet fibres, including wool, lose their lustre, colour and definition when oily and sticky soil attaches itself to the pile. This type of soil, coming into our homes on our shoes and through air pollution, cannot be removed by vacuuming, it requires cleaning.
The WoolSafe Organisation recently carried out extensive research into the effects of maintenance on carpet appearance. The tests found that although regular vacuuming helped to slow down soiling, the carpet’s appearance continued to deteriorate. However, as you can see from the purple (‘regularly cleaned’) line in the diagram below, regular annual cleaning maintains the carpet’s appearance at an almost constant level. This means that a wool carpet properly maintained can look great almost indefinitely.
The full article can be found in WoolSafe News magazine summer 2014 (P.20-23) in the WoolSafe Academy Library www.woolsafeacademy.org.
Only WoolSafe Approved cleaning products are recommended when carrying out maintenance of wool floor coverings. Approved products have been scientifically tested and are safe and effective for use on all fibres including wool, and are proven not to cause rapid re-soiling after cleaning.