Maintenance Guidelines



NOTE: Like other fine furnishings, carpet requires proper care, and you should reference your residential warranty for specific care requirements. There are also a few simple steps you can take to insure the lasting beauty of your new carpet.


Keep the dirt/soil out. Use walk-off mats at entrances and other areas to keep outside dirt and moisture from being tracked onto the carpet. Clean mats frequently. Keep your sidewalks and entrances free of excessive dirt.


The best way to reduce dirt accumulation and prolong the life of your carpet is to vacuum, vacuum, vacuum! Most dirt, even dust, is in the form of hard particles. When left in the carpet, these gritty, sharp particles abrade the pile as effectively as sandpaper. How frequently should you vacuum? That depends on the amount of foot traffic and household soil to which your carpet is exposed. More use means more frequent vacuuming. Shaw recommends a vacuum cleaner with a rotating brush or “brush/beater bar” to agitate the pile and mechanically loosen soil particles. The exception to this is for shag styled products with longer yarns which might tend to wrap around a rotating brush. For these styles we recommend a suction-only vacuum. Also, be aware that some vacuums have overly aggressive action which may damage the surface of your carpet. An inexpensive, less efficient vacuum can remove surface dirt but will not effectively remove the hidden particles embedded in the pile.

NOTE: For your vacuum to conform to the highest industry standards, make sure that it is certified through the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Seal of Approval/Green Label Vacuum Cleaner Program. Visit for details and listings.



Prompt attention to spots and spills is essential. Some spilled materials will stain or discolor carpet if not removed promptly. Other spills can leave a sticky residue that may result in increased soiling if not removed.

While bleach affects fibers differently, it can cause issues with the backing by causing delamination and can degrade the construction of the carpet. Bleach cannot be used as a cleaner. Over time, bleach can degrade the fiber. 

Bleach spills: Blot the area of the bleach spill using a towel and rinse with water by using a wet towle. Be sure to remove all the liquid by blotting, never rub the carpet fibers as this can cause the yarn to untwist. It would be best to follow the blot/rinse technique by flushing and extracting using a portable carpet extractor.

No carpet is stain proof, although many are stain resistant, which allows time for removal.

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SCRAPE: Remove as much of food spills as possible by scraping gently with a spoon or dull knife.

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ABSORB: Absorb wet spills as quickly as possible by blotting repeatedly with white paper or cloth towels.

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BLOT: Always blot; never rub or scrub abrasively, as a fuzzy area may result. When blotting, work from the outer edge in toward the center of the spot to avoid spreading the spill.

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RINSE: Always follow up with water to remove detergent residue that may become sticky and cause rapid resoiling.

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WEIGHT: Remove remaining moisture by placing several layers of white towels over the spot and weigh them down with a heavy object that will not transfer color, such as a plastic jug of water.



Shaw’s Total Care Stain & Soil Remover is recommended for all types of spot cleaning and is available from your floor covering retailer or through It is approved under the Carpet and Rug Institute’s (CRI) Seal of Approval certification. Additional cleaning products in the CRI certification program are listed at Do not use any household cleaners other than those listed in this program, since many household products contain chemicals that may permanently damage your carpet. If one of the recommended products is not readily available you may use the guidelines below:

  • Some disinfectants contain chemicals that can stain, discolor and cause general harm to your flooring product.  Quaternary Ammonium Salts are among those that have been found to be harmful to your flooring when used over time.  Take care to choose pH neutral products only.  


See for stain and soil removal procedures.


Please reference your specific warranty for covered stains. The stain removal procedures recommended on the following page are provided to assist in maintaining your carpet and reflect the best information available. Remember, no carpet is stain proof.

WARNING: Certain products found in most homes can cause irreparable damage to your carpet. Bleaches, tile cleaners, mildew removers, oven cleaners, drain openers, pesticides, and some plant foods can have strong chemicals which discolor or dissolve carpet fibers. Acne medications containing benzoyl peroxide, a very powerful bleach, are capable of permanently damaging your carpet and most other fabrics as well.

REMINDER: With any stain, scrape or blot up excess spill prior to procedure. Always follow up with water to remove detergent residue that may become sticky and cause rapid resoiling.

CLEAN MOST FREQUENTLY USED AREAS MORE OFTEN: The most frequently used areas of your carpet — entrances, doorways, traffic lanes, seating areas, etc. will collect dirt much faster than other areas. By cleaning these areas when they first show signs of soiling you can prevent the dirt from spreading to the rest of the carpeted areas of the house.

PROFESSIONAL CLEANING: Periodic professional cleaning of the overall carpet is highly recommended. The frequency of overall cleaning may vary depending on the level and type of traffic and the conditions to which your carpet is exposed. This may range from as little as 6 months to 18 months between cleanings. Your carpet must be properly cleaned at least once every 18 months to maintain its appearance and useful life.

Shaw recommends only hot water extraction, utilizing carpet cleaning products, equipment, and systems certified through the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Seal of Approval Program. These products are listed at Warning: Non-approved cleaning products and topical treatments, applied by you or by a professional carpet cleaner, may result in damage to your carpet that will not be covered by your warranty.

DO-IT-YOURSELF SYSTEMS: If you decide to rent a steam cleaning machine and do it yourself, remember recommended carpet cleaning equipment and cleaning products should have certification in the CRI Seal of Approval Programs (

Revision: 02282024