Carpeted flooring is warm, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. Wall-to-wall carpets are a great alternative to costly underfloor heating. Having the right colour and type of carpet will complement the rest of your furniture.
However, carpets also require regular maintenance in order to keep their pristine appearance. Over time, dust builds up, and this leads to germ and dust mite infestations. And no matter how careful you are, carpet stains will happen sooner or later.
Professionals can always deep clean your carpet in as little as 30 minutes. However, it's not cost effective if you call professional carpet cleaners every day. There are many ways to clean your carpets at home, most of which involve some elbow grease. Keep reading to find out the basics of carpet maintenance, suitable for all fibres.
How do I take proper care of my carpets?
First of all, you should hoover your carpets often, at least once to twice a week. If you have pets or children, the frequency should be a minimum of thrice a week. Vacuum cleaners will rid your carpet fibres of dust, dirt and pet dander.
Second, before you use any cleaning solution, do a patch test on a small area. Some cleaning products are simply not suitable for all types of carpet material. Testing on a tiny spot in a hard to see area is the best you can do. Otherwise, your carpet may become something out of a nightmare.
Third, never scrub or brush with a paper towel if the stain is still damp. This is especially true for medium and long pile carpets. Pushing a stain into the fibres of high pile carpets is the last thing you want to do. When a stain goes in too deep, seasoned professionals have a hard time dealing with it.
Fourth, never apply products which contain bleach to any carpets or upholstery. Bleaching in theory does not seem bad if your carpets are white coloured. However, it does not remove the stain, but simply causes damage on top of it. If you bleach your carpet, this may lead to its warranty being void.
Now that you know how to take care of your carpet, it's time to understand how to remove stains. There are many ways to perform effective spot cleaning which do not require a steam cleaner. Read below to find out cleaning tips involving home remedies and carpet shampoo products.
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What are the best home remedies for carpet cleaning?
Today, there are lots of cleaning methods available on the market, each with their own merits. The common trait that binds them is the machinery involved. It is almost hard to imagine the effectiveness of carpet cleaning without machines.
However, machines are a luxury, and most people prefer to do it themselves. After all, that is how people made do many years ago, before the industrial revolution. In the age of hot water extractors, steam mops and contra rotating brush machines, home remedies still work.
The most common home cleaning solutions are found in every cupboard. White vinegar, baking soda and dish soap are all effective and affordable to anyone. To clean with them, all you need is some tap water, a spray bottle and cloth or paper towels. A refillable spray bottle goes a long way when cleaning the carpets at home.
Bear in mind that you should always rinse any cleaning products out of your carpets. This applies both to home remedies and to cleaning products from the store. Once the solution has done its work, just blot it out with a sponge or dry cloth towel. If you leave anything in the fibres for too long, it may cause a new stain.
How to remove carpet stains with white vinegar?
White vinegar is an acidic home cleaning product, which is very effective on organic stains. If you spill food, drinks or bodily fluids, white vinegar is your go-to. Pour 500 ml of vinegar into 5 litres of water, then mix for around one minute.
Afterwards, use a refillable spray bottle to cover the whole stain. Then, let it sit for about 30 seconds, before you blot it out. You can repeat the process a few times, but you should also do the following:
Properly rinse the carpet, and make sure not to over soak it. Open the windows when using vinegar, as it has a strong smell of its own. As always, do not scrub the carpet, or the smell may not go away on its own.
White vinegar can also be used to remove mould from carpets and car upholstery. You will need to mix 3 parts vinegar with 7 parts water, and spray liberally. Blot and rinse as usual, then ventilate the car until fully dry.
Can club soda remove stains from carpets?
Club soda is a fizzy carbonated drink, meaning it agitates itself. This lets it function as a carpet shampoo of sorts, which does not need to be rinsed out. The latter is only valid if it is not too sugary, so take care which brand you're buying.
Club soda is effective at treating older stains and helping you remove them. The water will put moisture into the stain, letting you blot it out. The fizz will push the dirt to the surface, which makes your task much easier.
In a spray bottle, pour club soda, and spray it all over the stain. Once the fizz has bumped up some dirt, blot it all out with a paper towel. Repeat this process as many times as needed, and allow proper drying afterwards.
Is dish soap a carpet stain remover?
Even simple dish soap can deal with carpet stains if you know how to mix it. It is also a mild detergent, which is safe for natural and synthetic carpets. As anything else, prepare for some rinsing, but not as much compared to other products.
When using dish soap, you need to dilute it in a ratio of 1 to 5. Stir until it is fully dissolved before you spray it onto the carpet fibres. Once it has sat for around 20 minutes, rinse it out and blot the stain away. If you need to repeat the process, try to absorb as much water as possible.
Will baking soda remove stains and smells from carpets?
Baking soda is the powder used in baking bread, cookies or anything else. It is potent at absorbing dirt, and is a natural deodorizer. The best part is you do not need to wet the carpet at all. Baking soda is a homemade dry carpet cleaning solution.
Cleaning the carpet with baking soda is very simple, just sprinkle it over the dirt. Let it sit for about 30 to 40 minutes before hoovering it out of the fibres. You can repeat this process as many times as needed, as no water is involved. Unlike white vinegar, baking soda has no smell of its own.
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Are there store brand cleaning products for carpet stain removal?
Yes, there are actually thousands of cleaning solutions for carpet cleaning and removing stains. All of them are available at your local Tesco or from an online shop, such as Amazon. Always test them on a small area of the carpet in a hard to see spot.
Below is an example of a carpet cleaning product we highly recommend:
The reasons we endorse Scotchgard's spot and stain remover are:
- it is effective at removing stains from pets, food, drinks and bodily fluids
- it comes in a spray bottle
- 2-in-1 action removes stains and applies a protective layer to make carpet maintenance easier
- reaches deep into the fibres to remove the carpet stains completely
- helps remove odours as well, and leaves no adhesive residue