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How To Care For Brand New Carpet (A Complete Guide)

Updated: Oct 2, 2022

How To Care For Brand New Carpet


One of the most important steps you can take in caring for a new carpet is to follow the recommended guidelines established by the product manufacturer. Each manufacturer will offer a product warranty. Part of that warranty will include cleaning and maintenance instructions. It is important to adhere to these policies, as any claim might get denied if those instructions are not followed.

How To Care For Brand New Carpet


Get A Copy Of Your Full Product Warranty


Understand the information provided on the back of your carpet sample, is not your carpet warranty. Rather, the information on the back of the carpet sample is simply marketing information. When it comes to knowing what is covered under your warranty...the back of the sample provides completely worthless and useless information.


Let's take a look at the back of a random carpet sample, and we'll show you what we mean:


If you notice this sample, it states the following:

  • Lifetime Soil Resistance Warranty

  • Lifetime Pet Urne Warranty

  • 25 Year Warranty

What does "soil resistance" or "pet urine warranty" actually mean? Many customers would read this and think no matter what mess my pet makes, my carpet is covered under the warranty. However, that would not be the case.


As with all product warranties, there is always a legal document that has that fine print. That long list of exclusions, never seems to get talked about. Carpet is no different than other items when it comes to warranties.


The language on the back of a carpet sample is for marketing purposes only. Companies pay people good money, just to make these carpet samples look like the best thing since the invention of flooring. When purchasing your carpet, the retail store should provide you with the full warranty document. But in most cases, the salesperson is just too lazy, and they never make an effort to print it out. In most situations, it is up to the customer to find out the truth.


The full carpet warranty can be found on each ccompany'swebsite. They usually have a link on the main page, that will direct you to a PDF document of the entire brochure. As a customer, this is the information that you need. Without this document, you have no idea what your warranty covers, nor do you have any idea how to take care of your carpet (to protect your warranty).


Why Is Your Warranty Important Information?


Did you know that if you vacuum your carpet twice a week, and take excellent care of it, you still might be voiding out your warranty...because you might be using the wrong type of vacuum cleaner. Many carpet styles have a requirement about only using "approved vacuum cleaners." The only possible way to know this information is to read the carpet warranty.


Did you know that if you don't get your carpet professionally cleaned once or twice a year, your warranty could be at risk? Likewise, it's not good enough to just get your carpets professionally cleaned. In many cases, you have to use the right professional cleaning company. Once again, there is no way to know this information without reading your carpet warranty.


Did you know if you use the wrong cleaning chemicals on your carpet, your product warranty might be endangered? If one of the kids spills a drink on the carpet, and you clean it up with a cleaning agent that is not recommended, you could be in trouble.


The carpet warranty is the official product documentation that you need to follow. Let's face it: filing a product claim is not something that anyone enjoys doing. Likewise, it costs manufacturers money to repair a claim.


Those warranty exclusions are there for a reason: manufacturers want loopholes in their warranties to deny claims. If they deny a claim, they don't have to spend money to make it right. As a customer, you spent good money to purchase your flooring. Protect that investment. Understand and know your warranty. Failure to do so will cost you.


One last point on why your warranty is important: each warranty also contains a section on cleaning and maintenance guidelines. The manufacturer is telling you what products to use to clean their carpet. Take advantage of it. Why reinvent the wheel?



Let's Dive Into A Carpet Warranty And See What It Says About Cleaning


At random, we picked one of the largest carpet manufacturers, Shaw Floors, to illustrate a typical carpet warranty. In their warranty for Anso Nylon Fiber Carpets, Shaw Floors states:

These warranties protect you , the original purchaser, if you have purchased a Shaw carpet made from Anso nylon for your own residential use in an owner-occupied residence. These warranties are transferable providing both parties can supply proof of purchase and proof of proper maintenance. - Shaw Floors

So, what does this statement tell us? It tells us that "proper maintenance" is required to get any claim approved. However, the term "proper maintenance" does not tell us much either. As a customer, you have to dig a little deeper into the Shaw Website to get more information.


Shaw Floors has a section on their website where they dive into the cleaning methods they recommend. Some of these examples would include:


Preventative Maintenance

  • Don't track dirt inside

  • Use a quality carpet cushion

  • From time to time, move heavy furniture

  • Reduce periods of direct sunlight

  • Use Shaw Floors Carpet Cleaner

Have Floors Professionally Cleaned

  • Use a Hot water extraction method

  • Use an approved professional cleaner

  • If cleaning yourself, make sure it has the CRI Seal of Approval (more on CRI in the info below)..

Get On A Cleaning Schedule

  • Vacuum twice a week

  • Professionally Cleaned Every 6 months

Many of these items are common sense maintenance reminders, but many are not. It is rather common sense to say "don't track dirt inside," but on the other hand, it is not common knowledge to say "only use a cleaner that is CRI Approved."


Most carpet warranties are similar in design and scope. Depending on the product, some carpets have long periods of warranty, but most carpets will have the same fundamental cleaning procedures. Our point in showing you this information is to stress how your carpet warranty impacts your cleaning regimen.


Mohawk Flooring, another leading carpet manufacturer, has an interesting product warranty, that requires customers to clean their carpets in a certain way. If you have purchased a Mohawk, SmartStrand Carpet, they require you to use a certain type of vacuum cleaner. We have a great article, " SmartStrand Carpet Cleaning Guide," that discusses this policy, and gives you a list of the approved vacuum cleaners.


But, imagine spending thousands of dollars on a new carpet, only to have a problem, and then finding out your claim got denied, because you did not have the right vacuum cleaner. Once again, this is why reading your product warranty is just so important.


What Is The CRI Seal Of Approval


"CRI" (The Carpet and Rug Institute) is the trade association for the carpet industry throughout the United States. The association is comprised of leading industry executives, and it does a wealth of research for the carpet industry, including the best way to clean and maintain carpets.


The CRI Seal of Approval is all about developing and recognizing the best methods and equipment to properly care for the carpet industry. As The Carpet and Rug Institute puts it:

CRI’s Seal of Approval (SOA) program is all about cleaning efficacy and constant improvement. We wanted to know how well vacuums, extractors, and cleaning solutions worked to clean carpet, so we developed the carpet industry’s only scientific program to test and measure the effectiveness of cleaning products and equipment. The program helps consumers make informed decisions and manufacturers improve their products. The results are cleaner, healthier, and longer-lasting carpet. CRI

Not only does the CRI Seal of Approval test equipment, but they also look at professional cleaning companies, and put their seal on those companies that hit their high standards.



CRI Seal Of Approval - Professional Cleaning Companies


It is important to use a professional cleaner that has the CRI Seal of Approval, as many carpet manufacturers require professional cleaning as part of their product warranty. Likewise, if the cleaning company used is not CRI-approved, your carpet manufacturer might not recognize your cleaning as an approved warranty task.


The Carpet and Rug Institute likes companies that use the hot water extraction method. You can discover more information about getting your carpet professionally cleaned at:

Find A CRI Seal Of Approval Company In Your Area..


Here are some common questions that you should ask a professional cleaning company:


How long have you been in business? The longer they have been around, the better. A company that is brand new might not be the best option.


Will your employee vacuum before starting the cleaning process?