Despite your best efforts, your carpet is bound to get dirty at some point. Even the most precautious home owner can’t protect against pets, daily traffic, or dirt. Your carpet is most likely dirty even though it may not seem like it. In addition to providing significant health benefits, and peace of mind, a properly cleaned and maintained carpets can last twice as long.
Unfortunately, carpet-cleaning can seem like an uphill task for many homeowners, mostly due to lack of knowledge. This article aims to simplify the process of carpet cleaning and everything it entails. To ensure your carpet looks new and fresh for years, below are some simple and practical strategies for every situation!
Vacuuming is one of the easiest, most convenient and effective ways of removing dirt particles from carpet. However, proper vacuuming entails a few measures and precautions.
A dirty bag, cup, or filter might reduce a vacuum cleaner’s suction power by half. You should, therefore, replace vacuum bags as soon as they are three-quarters full, and the filters on bagless cleaners every three months.
- Vacuum Often
Carpets attract all forms of dirt including pet hair, allergens, mold, mildew, and a variety of stains. However, frequent vacuuming works to reduce the accumulation of unwanted particles. Vacuuming high-traffic and entrance areas twice every week and the rest of the carpet at least once a week offers adequate protection against dirt buildup.
- Vacuum at the Right Speed
You will remove as much dirt as possible if your vacuuming speed is slow enough. Make a quick pass over the low-traffic parts of your carpet and two slow ones over high-traffic areas. Compared to several fast passes, two slow passes are known to remove ground-in dirt more effectively.
- Set the Vacuum at the Right Height
You may damage the carpet and even your vacuum cleaner’s roller brush and drive belt if you set the vacuum too low. On the other hand, you won’t pick up dirt if it is set too high. To set the perfect height, turn it on after you raise it to the highest possible setting and then lower the device until you can feel it trying to tug itself forward.
- Clean the Carpet Before It Becomes Filthy
The amount and type of traffic you have determines how often your carpet will require cleaning. Be sure to clean the carpet as soon as its color starts looking dull. Apart from being more difficult, cleaning is bound to take a lot longer and cost more if you wait until your carpets are filthy.
- Avoid Over-Wetting
When using a carpet cleaning machine, make one pass using the soap and water solution, one pass using the neutralizing rinse solution, and at least two drying passes. Apart from putting lots of moisture into carpets, the suction of most do-it-yourself machines is not strong enough to extract the moisture thoroughly.
- Dry Your Carpet Thoroughly
A wet carpet provides an ideal environment for mold and mildew. As such, you should open the windows and use a dehumidifier together with fans to remove excess moisture after cleaning your carpets. Refrain from walking on your carpet or replacing the furniture until the carpet is completely dry.
Stain Removal Tips
When it comes to removing a stain, you should act quickly because you’ll have a much better chance of success if you combat it immediately. The longer a stain lingers on your carpeting, the harder it will be to remove.
- Pretreat Stains and Filthy Areas
Mix hot water with a stain-fighting detergent in a spray bottle, and lightly mist the stained or filthy area of your carpet. Alternatively, spray a ¼ cup of white wine, or white vinegar, mixed with a quart of warm water onto the stained or high-traffic area. Both options will need a five-minute allowance before you start the general cleaning.
- Do Not Dig or Scoop Food Spills
Refrain from digging or scooping food particles since it often works the stain into your carpet. If there are solid particles on top of the stain, it is best to use a dull knife or spoon to carefully scrape the mess toward the middle of the impact site and into a towel before treating the stain.
- Try Water First
Plain tap water is enough to remove 80 percent of stains. Start by pressing a clean, dry piece of cloth over a stain to absorb the spill, repeating this until it is absorbed. Using a damp towel, work the water into the stain in a gentle manner and blot until your carpet is clean. Remember to change the piece of cloth if necessary. If the area is very wet, dry it using a fan.
- Do Not Rub or Scrub
Scrubbing or rubbing a stain is known to damage carpet fibers, resulting in a fuzzy area. As such, you should never rub or scrub your carpet to remove a stain. Instead, blot the affected area from the outside toward the center. Blotting in this manner keeps you from spreading the stain further. You will remove the stain successfully if you are patient enough.
- Try Vinegar or Club Soda
Some stains are harder to remove than others. Water alone might not be sufficient in such cases and on tough spots. Mix the same amount of water and white vinegar, and use the solution or club soda before you go for commercial stain-cleaning products. Homemade stain removal remedies are the better choice because they do not cause adverse effects, and these two are the most effective when it comes to dealing with a wide variety of stains.
- Test Commercial Products First
Although you can benefit from using commercial cleaning products, some of them can have negative effects. Apart from damaging the color and texture of carpets, commercial products can also cause your carpet to get dirty faster. As such, testing commercial carpet-cleaning products on a small and inconspicuous area before use to confirm the absence of damaging, adverse, or undesirable effects is recommended.
Hiring a Professional Cleaner
Engaging the services of a professional carpet cleaner has many benefits. You will get to choose between dry extraction cleaning and steam cleaning if you decide to hire professionals. If handled by an experienced and qualified cleaner, each method will do wonders for your dirty carpet. Not only do professional cleaners have carpet-cleaning equipment far more powerful than what you are likely to rent or buy, but they also have a lot more stain-removing experience. Below are tips to help you recognize quality professionals and get the best services.
- Truck Mounted Equipment
Quality professionals usually have truck mounted equipment. Compared to portable steam cleaning equipment, truck-mounted equipment is the better option because it exhausts dirty air and humidity outside. Additionally, truck-mounted equipment has stronger suction and will leave your carpet drier.
- Do Not Take Any Bid over the Phone
Quality professionals always provide an on-site inspection, a written guarantee, references, and a written estimate based on your carpet’s condition, type, and square footage. Quality professionals will never provide a quote based on the number of rooms that need cleaning.
- Beware of Discount Cleaners
Instead of establishing ongoing client relationships, discount professionals depend on making volume sales. As such, they won’t invest a lot of time in the cleaning exercise. By spraying soap on carpets and sucking up the water quickly, discount professionals can clean your carpet in as little as 30 minutes.
- Value for Your Money
Quality professionals charge according to the services required, type of carpeting, and the amount of work. The entire process often takes one to three hours.
You might think of skipping professional cleanings and instead, rent a machine to perform the task yourself. Unfortunately, purchased or rented carpet-cleaning machines can only remove the surface dirt. While deep cleaning removes dust, allergens, greasy residues, and stains embedded in carpet fibers, it requires specialized equipment and training that only professionals have. Using the do-it-yourself carpet cleaning tips provided above on a regular basis and hiring a professional every 12-18 months is the best strategy.