Choosing the Right Vacuum for Soft Carpet

As of late, the flooring industry has been captivated by so-called “soft carpet“, and they will not disappear anytime soon. These softer carpet fibers have been extremely popular with consumers and retailers alike due to their luxurious feel. In addition to nylon, triexta, and polyester fibers, soft carpets are available in a variety of styles ranging from thick friezes to shorter looped Berber styles. Although they have many advantages, there is one potential drawback that consumers often fail to realize until after their carpet is installed: these soft carpets can be extremely difficult to clean.

Soft carpet can be extremely difficult to clean.
Soft carpet can be extremely difficult to clean.

What Makes Them Hard to Vacuum

There are several reasons why soft carpets feel so soft. First of all, the fibers are much finer than traditional carpet fibers. The finer the strand, the more supple it is. Secondly, each carpet tuft consists of a greater number of fiber strands than standard carpets. Some soft carpet contain up to three times as many fibers as traditional carpets.

Find out more: How to Remove Coffee Stains From Carpet

Adding fibers to soft carpets increases their density, making them more difficult to vacuum. The consumer may be experiencing difficulty maneuvering the vacuum, which was previously not an issue on their old carpet. That’s why deep cleaning for these carpets can be a problem.

Ideal Vacuum Characteristics

This does not imply that soft carpets cannot be vacuumed. Accordingly, it might be necessary to switch from the vacuum you are currently using to one that is better suited to handle soft carpets. If you are shopping for a new vacuum, you should look for a few features that will make maintaining your soft carpet easier.

Adjustable Height

Most vacuum cleaners can be raised or lowered, depending on the surface on which they are being used. A feature such as this is essential when vacuuming soft carpets in order to maintain sufficient airflow.

When the vacuum is set too low, it is not only impossible to penetrate the fibers, but it can also damage the carpet. A vacuum’s suction is intended to lift dirt particles out of the fibers. If it is placed too close to the carpet backing, the carpet may actually lift slightly off the padding beneath. Eventually, this can result in buckling of the carpet.

Additionally, the carpet fibers may be damaged if the vacuum brush is positioned too low. Designed to gently agitate the fibers in order to aid in dirt removal, the rotating brush may be too abrasive if it is placed too close to the fibers. This can lead to blooming, causing a distorted, fuzzy appearance.

Experts suggest starting with the highest vacuum height setting. If it is too easy to push and seems to not be making contact with the fibers, lower it one setting at a time until the brush sits on or just above the tips of the fibers.

Large Wheels

Larger wheels make upright vacuums more maneuverable over long, dense carpet fibers. When choosing a vacuum, consider the wheel size in relation to the carpet fiber length.

Optional Beater Bar

In order to effectively clean between carpet fibers, many vacuums use a beater bar or powerhead to brush up the fibers. Beater bars can damage some types of carpet. On looped carpets or very long, thick shag or frieze styles, a beater bar should not be used.

Look for a vacuum that has the option of turning off the beater bar, or removing the powerhead and replacing it with a suction-only attachment.

The benefits of soft carpet are numerous, but there are some disadvantages as well. You do not currently own a vacuum with the features listed above, and are unable or unwilling to buy one? Then soft carpet may not be the best option for you. Having the right tools (such as a vacuum) to care for your carpet is worth the performance and enjoyment you will get from your carpet.

However, if you still enjoy having a soft carpet and don’t want to make things so complicated, just call a carpet professional to handle it.

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