Everyone loves carpets for their comfort and aesthetic appearance. But even we admit that sometimes, they're a bit hard to maintain properly. From pesky kids to drunken guests, every day a carpet disaster is waiting to happen.
So, when the inevitable occurs, what should you do about it? It's time to whip out the hoover and get the kids out of the room for the time being. Read how to care for your carpet fibres below:
How to keep my carpet clean and beautiful?
Trust us when we say that having clean and fresh carpets is no easy feat. On one hand, you have constant dust build-up which leads to dust mites and allergens. And then, there are children and pets, who can't help but drag in dirt from the playground inside. And let's not forget the constant threat of food and drink spillages.
Reading all that might make the newly-wed housewives tremble with fear and look to remove their carpets. Well, let's give you the flip side: there is no other flooring more comfortable than fitted carpets. They are also highly pleasing to the eye, and a key element of the home interior. And once you know how to take care of them, you will enjoy them for many years.
Now that you're not panicking, let's take a look at some basic carpet care tips:
Put down mats at both sides of the entrance doors
The best way to minimise damage from a punch is to not get punched. Similarly, the best way to deal with dirt on your carpet is to prevent it from getting there. Doing something as simple as placing a mat in front of your entrance doorway stops a ton of mud from getting in.
For even more grime to never make it to the carpets, place a mat behind the door as well. Most mats are cheap, meaning you can easily replace a fabric one once its fibres wear out. Alternatively, you can put down rubber mats, which can take a lot more abuse and are easier to maintain.
Hoover your carpets regularly
The vacuum cleaner is the backbone of all carpet cleaning, DIY or professional alike. Before you try to clean your carpets of any grime and remove stains, you need to use it. If you try to apply cleaning solutions before you vacuum clean your carpets, results will not be impressive.
Professional carpet cleaners highly recommend hoovering your carpets at least twice a week. For high traffic areas, or homes with children or pets, the rate doubles. For communal carpeted areas such as office stairs and hallways, daily hoovering is advised.
And when you are about to vacuum the carpet, be certain the hoover is ready. If the filter or the bag are not clean, this directly affects the results from the cleaning. Make sure you replace both before starting your hoovering session to remove all dust and dirt.
Additionally, did you know that not all types of carpet pile can be hoovered the same? For example, on low pile carpet, you can set the hoover at its lowest height without worry. This will actually improve its suction properties slightly, as it will reach deeper inside.
However, high pile carpets should avoid being vacuumed with the hoover nozzle set too low. The rotating brush of your hoover should also be switched off when vacuuming high pile carpets or area rugs. Leaving it on may lead to the worst possible scenario of the fibres being sucked in. To avoid that from ever being a problem, don't hoover high pile carpets with a low hoover.
Deal with stains as soon as they happen
Did you know that more than 80% of all stains can be cleaned off if you react straight away? This applies even to the vast majority of day to day issues, like tea, coffee and chocolate spillages. All you need to have good quality carpet is to blot stains with a white cloth as soon as you see them.
And if the stain is stubborn, you may need to take out the home remedies. Baking soda and white vinegar are popular among UK households for a good reason. They tend to successfully deal with most fresh carpet stains, if you know what you're doing.
The top 5 hardest to remove carpet stains, like red wine and paint, can also be dealt with swiftly. You may need to resort to using an appropriate carpet shampoo for those. For best results, combine it with a steam cleaner, if you own or can rent one within a few minutes. All that's left afterwards is leaving your carpets to dry.
Have your carpet deep cleaned frequently
As you are probably painfully aware, a hoover is not all it takes to have pristine carpets. Some particular issues will require the big guns, and you can't rent those from Tesco. If you've just had builders, or the pooch has begun shedding all over the floor, call in the professionals.
Carpet manufacturers recommend having your carpets professionally cleaned every 3 to 6 months. If there are pets or children in the property, it should be at least once per season. When you have typical issues, such as paint spillages or lots of pet hairs, contact professionals as soon as you can.
However, you should always consult with the carpet manufacturer. If you have woollen or other natural fibres, they may not be suitable for steaming. In this case, hot water extraction professional cleaners can still assist you.
People who've been cleaning carpets for decades know that the more powerful portable machines have several advantages. One of them is multiple settings for water heat and pressure. This lets hot water extraction become warm or even cold water extraction cleaning. Which, in turn, allows cleaning of woollen or otherwise natural fibres with no risk of harm.
Don't let people walk inside with shoes
Remember what we said about preventing dirt from ever making it to your floor? Having mats will not be as useful if people come in with shoes anyway. However, if you ask everyone to never wear shoes at home, you prevent up to 70% of all outside dirt from getting in.
Spot clean your carpet stains
When you want to clean the carpets yourself, you need to prepare a few items first. What you need in all cases:
- clean cotton cloths or paper towels (must be colour fast in all cases)
- refillable spray bottle
- soft brush
- baking soda
- distilled white vinegar
Now, depending on the type of stain, you may want to prepare a few select items as well. If the issue is pet-related, you may want to get a squeegee or a comb as well. When pets shed, the hairs start getting all over your floor and fabric upholstery. Having something to gather the hairs in one spot makes them much easier to hoover out.
A general guide to spot cleaning is to blot the stain right away, soaking up as much as you can. Then, apply your mixture of choice, based on what exactly was the spillage. For drinks or oily food stains, baking soda will work wonders in absorbing them. For red wine or acidic spills, white vinegar will neutralise the acid and help you in removing the stain.
For additional carpet cleaning advice, you can always indulge further into our blog. We have lots of informative articles on professional carpet cleaning services, as well as tough stain removal tips.