Carpets are often an integral part of a room’s decor.
Remember how the Dude was so attached to that carpet in The Big Lebowski?
If you want your favorite carpet to last for a long time, you will have to put some effort.
Check out our guide to learn more.
Testing for Colorfastness
Carpets usually have this feature.
It allows them to avoid fading, bleeding, or changing colors when you are cleaning them.
You have to check for this feature before picking your cleaning products and methods:
- Pick an inconspicuous spot on the carpet
- Vacuum that area
- Apply the cleaning agent in that spot
- Wait for an hour check for any staining or bleeding
best way to clean carpet at home
Try to remove all nearby furniture when cleaning the carpets.
Use a vacuum cleaner on the carpet in a very thorough manner.
You can also opt for a rental cleaner or professional assistance.
If using wet extraction method, ensure that the carpet is dry within 24 hours.
This can help avoid growth of mold and mildew.
Owning a Carpet Cleaning System
Home carpet cleaning systems are highly recommended if you have very expensive and light colored carpets in your home.
These are also useful ina home for kids and pets.
Hoem carpet cleaners are less expensive in the long run, when compared to p[rofessional cleaning services.
But they have less power than pro-grade equipment.
Water Extraction Method
This is the method used in most home carpet cleaning systems.
They are also known as steam cleaners.
To remove dirt from the carpet, these machines first inject a solution into the carpet.
They then pull the dirty water back in.
You can look for machines that do not require a water hookup to avoid clutter and hassles.
Renting a Carpet Cleaner
These cleaners are often available in grocery stores or rental centers.
They are better than home systems due to increase in power ratings.
But they involve extra expenses, like cleaning solution costs, and rental fees.
But in certain situations, these professional steam cleaners can be a good fit when you don’t need frequent carpet cleaning sessions.
Hiring a Cleaning Pro
Steam cleaning and dry extraction are the two options you have when picking a professional cleaner to handle your carpet maintenance.
Both are highly effective methods, as long as experts are doing the work.
Pros tend to have the most powerful carpet cleaning equipment out there and can deliver the best results.
But their prices can vary depending on the individual company or service.
Cleaning with an absorbent pad
This method is also known by the name “bonnet cleaning.”
It is best suited for light maintenance work on a routine basis.
It is also possible to use this for regular cleaning.
The process involves vacuuming the carpet and applying a chemical solution.
After the solution is allowed to stay for a set amount of time, it has to be removed.
This is done by using an absorbent pad or bonnet.
It looks like a towel.
It is placed on a rotary floor machine and spun over the carpet.
It is a fast and inexpensive cleaning option suitable for lightly soiled carpets.
But it is not suitable for deep cleaning of thicker carpets.
Dry cleaning with an absorbent compound
A combination of solvents and cleaning agents in powder form is applied to the carpet.
A machine with brushes is used to work the powder into the fibers.
The powder is given some time to absorb the dirt.
It is then vacuumed.
It is a quick and simple method.
But it is not deep cleaning, and unsuitable for thick and plush carpets.
Vacuuming Your Carpet
Prepare the room to be vacuumed
Remove all small objects like toys, paper and other stuff that is cluttering the floor.
Look carefully for items like coins that can damage the machine.
Check under the furniture as well.
You can also dust the furniture, blinds and window sills.
This dust will fall on the floor and can be vacuumed up.
Use a nozzle attachment to clean hard to reach areas
Do not ignore the edges of carpets and baseboards.
These are often dust magnets.
Remove the furniture blocking the way to gain easier access to these areas.
If that is not possible, use a cranny extension to vacuum these areas.
Vacuum both horizontally and vertically
Do not stick with just vacuuming in one direction.
Go to and fro in one direction for the entire room.
Then repeat the procedure at another angle.
Do up and down, and then left and right for best results.
This ensures that all the twisted carpet fibers get equal treatment.
This will help remove pet dander and hair.
Regularly is a very vague term.
The frequency of your cleaning is entirely dependant on the size of your household.
As a rule of thumb, you should vacuum once per week per person.
And for every 20lbs of pet weight, you will need to add one extra vacuuming session.
If you have three people, or a couple and a 20lb dog, you will have to vacuum thrice per week.
Spot Cleaning Your Carpet
Use a clean white cloth
Colored or dyed cloths should not be used for this purpose.
They may bleed their color into your carpets.
Even paper towels are okay, as long as they don’t have any colorful patterns.
Use these to blot fresh stains.
Also, add an additional cloth after you blot the stain.
Avoid using bristles or brushes.
They will damage and fray the carpet.
Spot cleaning is not a part of regular maintenance of the carpet.
Pick the right carpet cleaner
Numerous commercial brands are available.
Some are available in cans or spray bottles for easy application.
All-purpose cleaners may not work for all stains and carpet types.
Stains caused by bodily fluids like blood need special attention.
Use cold water or hydrogen peroxide to blot any bloodstains on the carpet.
Do not use any warm water on fresh bloodstains.
On dried blood, use hydrogen peroxide, followed by a special enzyme-based detergent designed for dealing with such stains.
Such enzyme-based cleaners are also great for dealing with pet urine stains.
You can also try ammonia solution and warm water, or vinegar in water (1:3 ratio).
Test the cleaning product on a small inconspicuous part of the carpet
This is a mandatory procedure for the safety of your carpets.
Pick out a discreet spot on the carpet and add the cleaner product there.
Some cleaners are not suitable for certain carpet fibers.
Carpets in low visibility areas like closet interiors are best for such tests.
Do not do this test in the affected or stained area.
Dab the affected area
Once the safety and suitability of the cleaner product are assured, dab the affected area with it.
Use a small amount of the product on a clean white cloth and blot the carpet area.
Don’t use too much solution.
Do not scrub the carpet as it can drive the stain materials deeper into the carpet.
Rinse the carpet
Use water and a clean white cloth to blot up any excess detergent or dirt in the affected area.
Avoid soaking the carpet directly in water.
This can lead to mold and mildew later.
If a larger area of the carpet has been affected, use a fan or some similar method to accelerate the drying process.
Shampooing Your Carpet
Prepare the room to be cleaned
If at all possible, remove all furniture from the room before starting this procedure.
Cover up those that cannot be removed using plastic on the legs and similar areas.
The aim is to protect vulnerable parts from water damage.
You can use foil if plastic covers are not available.
Purchase or rent a carpet shampooer
Shampooers are available on rental at many hardware and grocery stores.
Prep the room in advance if you are renting the machine.
This will reduce the time you have to use the item and reduce the rental costs.
Make sure that the device has a heating element built in to create warm water for the cleaning.
Prepare the solution according to the directions on the bottle
Cleaners often come with a recommended shampoo or detergent.
Usually, all you have to do is add water to the machine and sprinkle a small amount of this cleaning agent in it.
Avoid using too much of this soap.
This might damage the carpet and the machine.
Experts even recommend that you use less than the recommended amount for extra safety.
Allow the extractor to pull up as much water as possible
Cleaners work by putting water on the floor as you push the machine forward.
When you pull it back, the machine sucks up all the water.
So when you are doing the pulling action, do it extra slow.
This will allow the machine to pull up as much water as possible.
If water is allowed to remain, it can lead to mold and mildew.
Allow the carpet to dry fully by ventilating the area
Drying the carpet is of paramount importance.
Promote air circulation by keeping all the windows and doors open.
You may also use other devices like dryers, fans, and blowers, just to name a few, to encourage faster drying.
This process can take anywhere from 6-12 hours.
Do not walk on the carpet during this process.
Consider cleaning the carpet twice
Carpets can retain some soap after the initial cleaning.
This soap will attract even more dirt if allowed to stay.
So cleaning the carpet for the second time is often a good idea.
This time, use a mix of water and vinegar (50:50) in the machine.
The vinegar will remove any soapy residues from the carpet.
Preventing Messes on Your Carpet
Keep mess-making substances away from your carpet
There is a special reason why we don’t use carpets often in kitchens and dining areas.
Liquids get spilled more often in these areas.
Carpets are very vulnerable to such foods and drinks.
So avoid eating or drinking in areas with carpets as much as possible.
Remove footwear before walking on your carpet
This is customary in many cultures in the world, like Japan and Canada for example.
This will prevent dirt from accumulating on the carpet.
Create a spot in the foyer for keeping footwear.
This will encourage visitors and members of your household to avoid wearing shoes when entering the room.
Properly train your pets
Train those furry darlings to use the litter box.
Any accidents they have on the carpet can result in huge expenses to clean up the mess, or even replace the carpet altogether.
Do not place litter boxes close to the carpeted floor.
Put them on hard flooring.
If you have to place them in a carpeted room, use a rubber mat underneath to protect the carpet.
Contain any messes that do occur as soon as possible
Damage control procedures should be initiated as soon as possible.
The longer you allow a stain to remain, the harder it becomes to remove.
Use up and down motions to blot a stain with clean white cloth or paper.
Use a vacuum on solid dirt.
Use a blunt knife when dealing with tricky materials like chewing gum.
Carpets require considerable maintenance and care if you want them to keep looking clean and attractive.
If you are not careful, even innocuous stains and spillages can result in great expenses for cleaning and removal.
Use the right equipment and detergents for your carpet to get the best results.
If at all possible, try to avoid any accidents by taking precautions.
Hope you liked our guide.
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