Carpets are a big investment and also a major decorating element in our homes. As such, they should receive the necessary care to keep them clean and fresh. In this article, we've compiled the most essential carpet cleaning tips, which will make your carpet last longer.
Vacuum your carpeted coverings at home frequently and thoroughly. It is the basic rule for keeping your carpet clean and using it for long period of time. You should clean the carpet minimum once a week. If you have a pet, it’s preferable to clean your carpeted flooring 4-5 times a week.
Additionally, for optimal cleaning results, make sure to empty your vacuum cleaner's canister when it's half-way full. For those who have bagless hoovers, make sure to replace the air filter once every 2 months.
You should also collect the fur from the carpet every day. You may use a wet glove to collect the fur easily or a squeegee. The carpets are worn mostly by dirt on them. Oily stains attract more grease and frequent vacuuming of the carpets will reduce the build-up of these unpleasant spots.
If there are greasy stains on your carpet, you may eliminate them easily with baking soda, salt or dishwashing liquid. If the stains are still fresh, apply baking soda or salt (whatever you prefer) to absorb the grease. After the product dries, which may take several hours, you should vacuum the carpet. If the stain is old, you’d better use dishwashing liquid, mixed with lukewarm water.
Blot stains immediately
Virtually all types of stains can be removed if attended on time. Most can even be removed through domestic means. In terms of serious issues like paint, curry stains, engine oil marks and such, it's best to contact professionals.
And please know - never rub spots in order to remove them. The correct procedure is to blot the stain towards the centre, using a white cloth or a paper towel. A great way to follow up is to rinse the carpet with cold or lukewarm water after blotting.
Always pre-test your carpet cleaner
Before you start cleaning the carpet with various cleaning solutions, it is good to test their effect on the carpet fibres. Different carpets have different properties and require different cleaning remedies. If you're unaware of your carpet type, get in touch with the manufacturer or call a professional cleaning company. Once you are aware on what to use for the clean, we still recommend doing a test on an invisible area.
Do not overdo with detergents or shampoos
Professional cleaning companies often struggle when cleaning a stain which was already treated by the customer. It's even worse when a number of cleaning solutions were applied to the stained area. And if not rinsed properly, they will leave watermarks that will be difficult to clean even with a commercial steam cleaner.
Pay most attention to high-traffic areas
Areas like your living room, stairs and hallway receive a lot of foot traffic. As a result, it's necessary to care for them more often than the bedrooms, for example. Another way to preserve your carpet from wear and tear is to place runners and rugs on said places. Just remember to also hoover the carpet underneath the area rugs when you do your regular cleaning.
Use only quality cleaning products
Dealing with carpet stains isn't an easy task, especially if you don't own a carpet cleaning machine. This is why it's very important to have quality stain removal products if you want to clean the carpet yourself. The following products/ home remedies are our specific recommendations for you today:
- pet stains - Bissell Pet Pro Oxy Stain Destroyer
- red wine stains - distilled white vinegar
- blood stains - 3% hydrogen peroxide
- furniture dents - ice cubes
Place mats and shoe racks
We've all been a witness to someone coming in from outside with dirty shoes and leaving a mess on the carpet. Dirt can cause serious stains on your carpet, which even professionals might not be able to remove. Entry mats are known to be quite affordable, and can be found at most supermarkets as well. And if your family consists of 2-4 members, getting a new shoe rack shouldn't also break the bank.
Why you should use professional carpet cleaners?
Professional carpet cleaners utilize the renowned hot water extraction cleaning method a.k.a. steam cleaning. With it, cleaning experts are able to consistently remove stains from: coffee, tea, ketchup, soup and even paint. Professionals also deal with harmful allergens stuck deeply inside your carpet, such as dust mites, pet dander, mould, etc.
Neglecting to clean your carpet professionally poses a health risk to your family and to the carpet itself. The recommended frequency for steam cleaning services is 2-3 times per year, depending on how crowded it is at home. Meaning, families with more than one child and pet-owners should definitely have their local cleaners on speed dial.
Do I need to do anything before the cleaner arrives?
- Moving of furniture
It's advisable to clear out the rooms as much as possible before your carpet cleaner arrives. Ideally, the cleaner should just be able to get onto it once on site.
- Vacuuming the dirt
Upon inspecting the carpet condition, hoovering would be the very first step of the cleaning procedure. So no, you wouldn't need to vacuum your carpet before the cleaner arrives. You should only do it if you wish to save some time.
No cleaning company will ask or advise you to treat the carpet prior to their arrival. At most, they may request to spray over the stain with water just to keep it damp. If the stain in question is already dry, you shouldn't bother trying to ease the expert's job.
Is there a difference between carpet shampooing and steam cleaning?
Carpet shampooing is done with wet hoovers and carpet shampoos, which are self agitating products. They do the heavy lifting in terms of stain removal. However, the low-suction power of the equipment leads to overly damp carpet and sticky residues. This in turn can attract more dirt and even cause a damp smell.
Steam cleaning on the other hand is done by professional carpet cleaning companies with high-end gear. A standard carpet cleaning machine has many power and heat settings, and weighs around 60 kilos. As for the cleaning products, they're typically mild and eco-friendly, but extremely effective. Lastly, a steam cleaning technician would be significantly more aware of various odour and stain removal techniques.