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Carpet Care & Maintenance

If you are seeking more information about carpet care, we advise reading the information found here, which is provided by Mohawk Industries. It is important to know that not all carpets are created equally, and you can find links to more information about the carpets we sell at Expressway Carpet on the carpet landing page. If you would like to learn more about brands and carpet fibers, please see us in store! Please read cleaning instructions thoroughly prior to attempting to clean carpet. A mishap in cleaning can result in a set-in-stain, or a voided manufacturer's warranty. These cleaning intructions may be applicable to Nylon, Polyester, and SmartStrand carpets. They are not applicable to Wool or Natural Fiber carpets.

A) Selection

  • When selecting carpet color, you should view large carpet samples during the day and by lamplight in the evening in the area of installation. The color you choose will look different under different lighting conditions.
  • Light colored carpets will show more soil and require more maintenance than dark colored carpets. Darker colors of carpeting are more effective in high traffic areas. Multicolored and patterned carpets are especially effective in hiding soil.
  • The performance and quality of a carpet is directly related to the amount and quality of fiber that goes into the pile. The better the fiber and the denser it is packed, the better the carpet’s performance. Thin, less dense carpet will lose its surface appearance faster. Mohawk recommends buying the highest quality carpet you can afford.

B) Stain Removal

Most household spills can be easily removed using the steps below. Treatment of the affected area should begin immediately upon discovery as stain removal becomes more difficult with time. To start, locate your stain on the Common Stains Chart and follow these steps:

  • First, use a spoon, dull knife, or a carpet cleaning key to remove as much solid material as possible.
  • Always work from the outside of stain to the center to prevent spreading, especially with large stains.
  • Blot up liquid spills with a white towel or paper towel.
  • For best results try to remove the remaining stain with warm water.

PROCEDURE A (For water-based, special water-based and greasy, oil-based stains)

  • Mix a solution of ¼ teaspoon of clear hand dishwashing detergent (like Dawn) with 1 cup of water. Stir gently.
  • Apply detergent solution directly to a white cloth. Dampen the carpet fibers in the stained area with the cloth. Avoid saturating the carpet.
  • Wipe gently. Turn cloth frequently.
  • Never rub, scrub or use a brush. This may damage carpet fibers. If necessary, use your fingertips to work the solution to the base of the stain. Do not oversaturate carpet; use small amounts of solution and blot frequently.
  • Wet the stained carpet fibers with clear, lukewarm water to rinse.
  • Cover the spot with an absorbent white towel or paper towel and apply pressure to blot.
  • Repeat the rinsing and blotting procedures until you are sure all traces of the detergent have been removed.
  • If the stain is gone, place an absorbent white towel or paper towel over the area cleaned, and weigh towels down with a heavy colorfast object, such as a weighted plastic wastebasket.
  • Change towels or paper towels until carpet dries.
  • If stain remains, perform Procedure B (for coffee, tea or urine, skip Procedure B and perform Procedure C).

PROCEDURE B (DO NOT use on coffee, tea or urine stains)

  • Mix 2 tablespoons of non-bleaching, non-sudsing household ammonia with 1 cup of lukewarm water.
  • Apply ammonia solution, rinse and blot as outlined in Procedure A.
  • Do not dry with paper towels. Follow Procedure C to neutralize the ammonia solution.


  • Mix ½ cup of white vinegar with 1 cup of lukewarm water.
  • Apply vinegar solution, rinse and blot as outlined in Procedure A. 

Most Common Water-Based Stains
For these stains, start with Procedure A. If stain remains, complete Procedures B and C.
Baby formula
Chocolate milk
Cranberry juice
Felt-tip marker
Food stains (general)
Fruit juice
Fruit punch
Furniture polish (water-based)
Grape juice
Ice cream
Latex paint
Soft drinks
Soil spots
Tomato juice
Water colors

Special Water-Based Stains

For these stains, start with Procedure A. If stain remains, complete Procedure C. Omit Procedure B.

Greasy, Oil-Based Stains

For these stains, use Goo Gone®. Follow directions on package, then complete Procedures A, B and C.
Cooking oil
Furniture dye
Furniture polish
Grease (black)
Hand cream
Nail polish
Oil paint
Peanut butter
Salad dressing
*Freeze and remove solid materials before using cleaning fluid.

Important: Do not use any cleaner with a pH of 10 or higher. Before using, always test cleaners on a small, non-visible area for any discoloration of the pile.

Abnormally large or excessive stains may require hot water extraction method. Professional cleaning is recommended. If stain returns— a condition known as “wicking”— simply repeat stain removal procedures, paying special attention to blotting and removal of all moisture.

C) Regular Vacuuming

Most dirt, and even dust, takes the form of hard, dry particles, which can be removed with a vacuum cleaner. When left in the carpet, these gritty, sharp particles abrade the pile of the carpet. Regular vacuuming literally extends your carpet’s life as well as enhancing its appearance, so the type of vacuum cleaner you use is important.
A vacuum’s performance will vary based on the carpet’s fiber type and construction. A good vacuum typically has features that allow you to adjust the height, beater bar rotation, and fan speed. Vacuums with large wheels, self propelled vacuums, and/or specialty tools can also help ensure easy and effective carpet maintenance.


Adjustable height is the most important feature because this enables the machine to be used on a wide variety of carpet constructions. If your vacuum is set too high above the carpet surface, the vacuum can’t attract the gritty soil below. If the setting is too low, the vacuum’s beater bar or brushes can “fuzz” the carpet’s surface, causing it to look worn and frayed. When vacuuming high pile, wool, wool-blend, and premium soft carpets, look for the following features that will allow you to easily maintain your carpet:

  • Adjustable Height Use the highest setting where appropriate.
  • Efficient Airflow Avoid vacuums with very concentrated or sealed suction.
  • Large Wheels Vacuum should glide easily across the carpet. When vacuuming thick loop, casual frieze, or long pile carpets such as shag, you may need to completely disengage the beater bar and vacuum with suction only. For all other carpet constructions, use a vacuum with a rotating brush or beater bar. Change the bags often and check the beater bars for burs and gouges to prevent damage to the surface of the carpet.

D) Cleaning Recommendations

Vacuum high-traffic areas daily, medium to high traffic areas twice weekly and the entire house at least once a week
with a vacuum that carries the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Seal of Approval. (Visit for a complete list of certified products.)

  • Even with regular vacuuming, soil particles and oily dirt will cling to carpet fibers. Foot traffic drives these particles and dirt deep into the carpet. Mohawk, Shaw, and most other carpet companies require professional hot water extraction every 18 months using cleaning products, equipment, or systems that carry the CRI Seal of Approval. (Visit for a complete list of certified products.) Periodic cleaning by a certified carpet-care professional using the hot water extraction method will refresh carpet appearance.
  • The most used areas— entrances, doorways, traffic lanes and in front of chairs—will collect dirt faster than other areas. Clean these areas as soon as they begin to show soil. This will stop dirt from spreading and will extend the time between professional cleanings.