Monday, 18 May 2015

Cleaning and Care of Wilton (Wool) Carpets

Wilton carpet is a dense 100% imported lamb’s wool loop pile of the highest grade (Wilton) Wilton patented their first loom in 1741; their carpets are always machine woven and are very hard wearing. This type of premium carpet is mostly used in prestige European automobiles; Aston Martin, Bentley, Ferrari, Jaguar, Lotus, Lexus and Rolls Royce, and high-end German automobiles such as Audi, BMW, Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz, and earlier Porsche models.

Cleaning of wool carpets is not such a difficult task. It can be done with a little bit of extra care regarding cleaning solutions, heat, avoiding over wetting, etc. Excessive agitation and heat should be avoided, but generally wool fibres may be cleaned with most cleaning methods. Wool should be cleaned with pH neutral detergents and dried quickly.

These carpets should be maintained and cared for with regular vacuuming and cleaning. A vacuum with a rotating beater bar is beneficial in agitating the carpet, which helps in better removal of soil stuck on the surface. The advantage of a vacuum with a rotating beater or bar is that it facilitates removal of embedded soil and thereby prevents matting and packing. As an alternative use a medium-stiff upholstery brush

Unlike carpets made of synthetic fibres, soil can be vacuumed from wool carpets very easily. I would recommend vacuuming at least two or three times a week to remove excess fuzz that accumulates on the (new) surface. This fuzzing is perfectly normal and in no way shortens the life of your carpet, it is merely the result of loose fibres created during the weaving process.

Pilling - a condition of the carpet face in which fibres from different tufts become entangled with one another, forming hard masses of fibres and tangled tufts and may be caused by excessive heavy foot traffic or using powder cleaners or deodorizers that "clump" fibres together. If the beater bar of your vacuum slows down noticeably on the rug, raise the height, constant heavy beating with these bars can also cause pilling.

The advantage of foam (Woolite® Heavy Traffic Carpet Foam) over liquid is the minimum amount of moisture, very important for cleaning absorbent and moisture sensitive materials. Use foam cleaner, which should be given dwell time and then gentle agitation with a medium stiff bristled brush to get the product into the materials surface, the low moisture content of foam can then be easily rinsed and the surface dried.

Dust - can soil carpets in various ways, it will discolour the fibres making them appear dull and grey, dust brought into the vehicle from outside often contains grit, which will abrade the fibres and cause wear marks, especially in the footwell close to the pedals. Using a vacuum with an agitator attachment regularly will avoid these problems

Spills and stains - whenever a spill occurs it is important to blot as much of the liquid us as possible using a dry clean cloth or tissue. Never rub the pile as this will cause distortion and possibly alter the appearance of the carpet. It is very important to do this immediately after the spill occur, failure to remove the spill quickly could lead to the stain becoming permanent and it may not be able to be removed at a later date, even with professional assistance.

Carpet shampoo - if incorrectly applied, can leave sticky soap residues in the fibres which can result in the soiling reappearing quite rapidly. The advantage of foam over liquid is the minimum amount of moisture so it will not over wet the fibres, very important for cleaning absorbent and moisture sensitive natural wool carpets.

Normal cleaning- brush loose dirt/dust with a medium stiff brush (use only on dry carpets, otherwise the fibres will tear), lightly spray surface with a carpet cleaner (Scotchgard™ Fabric & Upholstery Cleaner) and let the foam remain in place for 5-10 minutes and then remove residue.
Autoglym Interior Shampoo/Cleaner easily cleans through dirt and oils on hard to clean panels like door handles or seats, and effectively removes stains from carpets without any fear of bleaching, leaving soapy residue, or lingering scent behind. The name suggests shampoo, but this product is an actual cleaner.

Heavily soiled- brush loose dirt/dust with a medium stiff brush, use a citrus-based pre-cleaner P21S® Total Auto Wash 10:1 distilled hot water, or Woolite® Heavy Traffic Carpet Foam, allow the solution remain in place for 5-10 minutes to enable cleaners to react, and then use a carpet extractor or high suction vacuum

After surfaces are clean and dried, use a rubber bristle brush to go over the carpet material to raise the fibres and apply a stain guard (303 High Tech Fabric Guard or Scotchgard™ Protector) improves the fibres resistance to oil and water-based stains, as well as soiling from everyday use.

Steam - this method is most effective but use caution by not using too much detergent or water, do not over-wet natural wool As always test the product on a small area to check for residue or a sticky feel. Do not use if a residue exists, or if in doubt about a product. Finally, do not use laundry detergents to clean as they often contain chemical brighteners.

Always thoroughly dry carpets to avoid mildew and/or mould formation. To speed the drying process, leave the doors or the sunroof open, but make sure you shut off the interior lights by placing something in the door jamb that keeps the buttons retracted, or disconnecting the battery. Use of a carpet extractor is better than heat as this may cause the mats or carpet to become stiff. If an extractor is not available use cotton terry towels to pat dry

Scotchgard™ Protector -fluorocarbon chemicals (polymer latex) developed by 3M are mostly inert so by applying it to fabric they provide an effective protective treatment by surrounding each individual fibre with an invisible shield.

It can be safely used for the finest wool or nylon fabrics; Scotchgard™ Protector improves the fibres resistance to oil and water-based stains, as well as soiling from everyday use

I would like to think that these articles become an asset to anyone who is new to detailing and to professionals alike, as well as industry experts who seek to advance their knowledge.

I hope the above article was informative. By having some understanding of the ‘What’ and ‘Why’ as well as the ‘How’ along with a little science to help you understand how the chemicals we use react, you can achieve the results you desire.
I would appreciate it if you would share this article as it helps other detailers further their knowledge.
Questions and/ or constructive comments are always appreciated.

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