Moving into a home you just bought and wondering what to do about the carpet? Or maybe you’re the one putting your home up for sale, but you know the stink from the carpet is a deal breaker; what do you do? Carpet cleaning is one of the toughest domestic chores known to man. Trampled upon, smeared, and poorly treated, carpets must deal with constant abuses from spills, shoes an even pet.
Just when you think a simple piece of cloth and water would do the trick, you realize there are stains that just won’t go away easily. Another factor to consider is the different types of carpets with each of them having a unique cleaning method. If you’re faced with this confusion and you don’t know what to do, here’s a simple guide to help you get through your carpet hurdles one step at a time. This guide will also provide some simple preventive measures to help keep your carpets clean all day long.
- How much cleaning does your carpet need?
Some people do simple surface cleaning daily, especially people who have hired domestic help. This is fine, but this may not be enough to get all the dirt and dust off your carpet. Generally, I recommend you vacuum at least once every week. It doesn’t matter if it’s a wall-to-wall carpet or a spot rug. If you do have pets or little ones, you may have to create a more frequent routine. Deep cleaning should be done quarterly or bi-annually depending on how much your carpet must take.
- What tools and materials are needed?
Depending on the type of cleaning you want to do, you’ll need simple tools like a vacuum cleaner, spray bottle, microfiber cloth, oscillating fan, a bucket, a scrub brush, cloth steamer, rags or old towels and a steam mop. As for ingredients, you’ll need one or more of the following.
- Baking soda
- Distilled white vinegar
- Table salt
- Routine carpet cleaning tips
Your routine carpet cleaning can be done daily, twice weekly, or weekly. There are several situations that’ll determine how you go about the cleaning.
Take care of dirt and dust. If you want to keep your carpet looking clean, new, and fresh, you must endeavor to get rid of dust particles, dirt, and other items. Leaving them on your carpet can create bad odors, faint appearances, wear, and tear. Dust can also cause allergies and make members of your household uncomfortable. You can use a vacuum with very powerful suction or stick to the more traditional carpet sweeper or broom.
To vacuum your home properly, here are a few things to do.
- Set the vacuum carefully, to the proper height to get the best out of your cleaning.
- Move out furniture and other items that may obstruct your effort.
- Go slowly but repeatedly in high-traffic areas.
- For trapped pet hair, use a rubber-edged squeegee.
- Apply lint roller to remove crumbs.
- Sprinkle baking soda over your carpet at least once every month and leave it to sit for about 90 minutes. This will give your carpet a bright and fresh look and smell.
Clean spot stains. Spot stains are often the result of liquid spills, dropped food or even mud stains. If not taken care of immediately, these stains can persist and eventually become non-removable. Pet accidents, nail polish droplets or spills, coffee, red wine, ink, etc., are some of the items to look out for. For liquids, blot away immediately with a white cloth or paper towels. For solids, you may use a dull knife, the edge of a credit card, or any other thin, flat object that will pick out the substance rather than rub it deeper into the carpet fiber.
You should then follow it up with a stain removal routine based on the type of stain. The Spruce provides a chart for most types of stains we may encounter.
- When is deep cleaning required?
Whether you’re looking to engage professional carpet cleaners, or you want to get things done yourself, it is recommended that you deep clean your carpet at least once every year. For best results, do it every six months. This is important to remove deep-sitting soil from the carpet, brighten the color and even restore its buoyancy. DIYers may take the easier route and use liquid or dry shampoo products with portable carpet cleaners. Spray bottles will also come in handy here. If dealing with a very large area consider hiring a professional carpet cleaning service.
Some solutions to try including Vinegar and Distilled Water, Baking Soda and Salt, and Steam. There’s an easy step to follow as well.
- Vacuum and pretreat
- Mix the solution. In the case of vinegar and water, use a spray bottle. Mix 25 CL Distilled white vinegar with 75 CL cold water. Ensure to test for colorfastness by spraying in a hidden portion.
- Apply, wait and blot
- Leave to air dry
- Keeping your carpet clean
- Take your shoes off outside before going into your home.
- Use a doormat inside and outside entrance doors to help trap soil.
- Take care of stains immediately.
- Vacuum multiple times each week.
- Maintain and clean your vacuum regularly for optimum performance.
- Brush and clean your pets regularly to protect your carpet.