How To Clean Carpet: Carpet Care Tips
The popularity of carpeting in homes hasn’t waned despite the large range of residential flooring options currently available, such as hardwood, bamboo, tile, vinyl, and even cork. One of the reasons carpeting is so appealing is that it demands less frequent maintenance compared to hard-surface flooring.
Regular vacuuming and a thorough cleaning every few months should be sufficient to keep carpets looking new and smelling fresh.
However, there’s no avoiding the inevitable spills, splashes, and messy mishaps that will happen to your carpet, even if you do everything right.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the fundamentals and provide carpet cleaning tips and techniques to make the job go more smoothly and keep your carpet looking great, longer.
How Often Should You Clean Your Carpet?
When cold and flu season comes around, vacuuming and cleaning your carpet is an excellent way to keep allergens like dust and pollen at bay. The ideal situation would be to vacuum daily, but this is especially important if you have dogs or children in the house.
According to specialists who say they are ten times nastier than a toilet seat, cleaning your bedroom carpets regularly is essential. Weekly vacuuming and natural cleaning sprays are key to keeping your carpets looking their best.
Spills and stains need to be dealt with as soon as they occur. Use a stain-removal solution immediately and allow it to dry sufficiently before using any equipment for carpet cleaning. By doing so, you may extend the lifespan of your carpet by several years.
If you can, have your carpets cleaned by a professional at least twice a year. Nevertheless, the carpet should be cleaned more frequently if you have children or pets that roll about a lot.
Related Article: How Often Should Carpets Be Professionally Cleaned?
How To Clean Your Carpet
To properly clean your carpet at home, it’s crucial to know what kind of fabric it is composed of, whether it’s made from synthetic, wool, or plant-based fibers. Determining the materials used will help you choose the best tools and processes.
Here are some of the steps and techniques for cleaning your carpet:
Get Rid Of Dirt
Dust and dirt are just like a multitude of tiny razors that slash through carpet strands. When you step on an unclean carpet, you cause microscopic scratches in the fibers by rubbing jagged dust and debris against the fabric.
Areas with high foot traffic have a duller appearance than other parts of the carpet due to the sheen being dulled by dirt scratching the fibers. As time goes on, the strands wear away, matting and becoming more susceptible to staining. Using these tips for cleaning carpet can ensure that your carpet is always as dirt-free as possible.
If you want to extend the life of your carpet, you should vacuum high-traffic spaces like entrances and hallways at least twice a week. The rest of the carpet should be cleaned at least once a week, and doing so will help prevent the formation of greasy soils.
Carpet Vacuuming Tips
Adjust the Vacuum to the Correct Height
Choosing the correct pile height setting for your carpet type is essential. Vacuums can be damaged by having the suction pressure too low, leading to wear and tear on the drive belt and roller brush. However, there will be no dirt collected if it is too high. To find the vacuum’s optimum height, put it to its maximum setting, switch it on, then decrease it until you sense the vacuum attempting to pull itself forward.
Clear Away the Area Before Vacuuming
Clearing the area beforehand is a good idea when cleaning your carpet. Remove any clutter by stacking chairs on top of each other, taking out rugs, and picking up any small items that may be lying about. Make sure that tiny objects don’t get caught in the vacuum cleaner and cause it to malfunction.
Begin With A Fresh Filter Or Bag
If a vacuum’s dirt filter or bag is full of dirt, its suction power is cut in half. One of the primary reasons a bagless vacuum won’t function properly is a lack of frequent filter replacement. As such, bagless vacuum cleaner filters should be replaced or washed every three months. On the other hand, vacuum bags need to be replaced or emptied when they’re a third of the way full.
Use The Correct Vacuum Speed
Vacuum carefully enough to remove all the dirt and debris trapped in your carpet. Pass quickly through places with little traffic and slowly through areas with a lot of activity. Embedded dirt can be removed more successfully with two slow passes than multiple quick ones.
Related Article: How To Properly Vacuum Carpets
A carpet stain should be treated as soon as possible. If you clean a stain right away, you have a 99% likelihood of removing it. Carpet stains are more difficult to get rid of if they have been there for an extended period.
Try Cleaning With Water
Using only tap water, you can erase 80% of stains. You can remove a stain by applying an absorbent white cloth to the area of the spill. Repeat as necessary until the mess has been absorbed. Then, using a cloth dampened with water, dab the stain until it fades. When required, swap out the cloth, then turn on a fan to speed up the process of drying the moist area.
Instead Of Rubbing Or Scrubbing, Blot
You can harm the fibers of the carpet by rubbing a stain. To prevent the stain from spreading and becoming a bigger issue, always dab from the outside edge into the middle of the stain. A white cloth or paper towels can quickly wipe up liquid spills. Whenever possible, avoid using a cloth or towel that is not colorfast. The edges of a card or a dull knife can be used to remove more solid dirt stains or food crumbs off a surface. Avoid rubbing a solid stain since doing so will just make it go deeper into the fabric.
Apply a small amount of water to the stain, then wipe it with a clean cloth. Keep doing so until the discoloration is gone. Stains can almost always be removed with patience.
Use Vinegar or Baking Soda on Problem Areas
Before using more powerful commercial cleaning agents, try using white vinegar or baking soda solutions to get rid of stains that water can’t remove on its own.
Test Out Commercial Products Before Using
In some cases, chemicals can accelerate the rate at which carpets become dirty or degrade their texture and color. As such, you should spot-test cleaning solutions on an inconspicuous area before applying them to your carpet.
Related Article: How To Clean Spills On Carpets To Prevent Stains
Hire A Professional When Necessary
Even if you’ve been diligent about vacuuming, there comes a time when you’ll need to search out the best carpet cleaning company to restore your carpet to its former pristine condition.
Professional carpet cleaning once or twice per year is among the best ways to keep your home’s carpets fresh. Expert carpet cleaners are highly recommended for this time-consuming and tedious task.
In addition, if you don’t get your carpets handled by a professional, your warranty may be voided. Here are a few tips when hiring a carpet cleaning service:
Tips For Hiring A Carpet Cleaning Professional
Don’t Accept Phone Bids
You receive an in-home examination and written quote based on floor space, carpet type, and quality, as well as a documented guarantee. These are all hallmarks of quality carpet cleaning service providers that you should look out for.
Don’t Be Fooled by “Discount” Carpet Cleaning Services
Instead of cultivating long-term client connections, “discount” professionals rely on making a lot of sales quickly and efficiently. When they arrive, they spritz the carpet with a solution, vacuum it up and leave within 30 minutes. In fact, the soapy residue left behind by these services acts as a magnet for dirt, allowing it to stick to your carpet. Their cheap deals also get them inside your property, where they can sell you extras like deodorizing and spot removal that aren’t included in the price of the service itself.
Consider Different Cleaning Methods
Steam cleaning and dry carpet cleaning are the two most popular techniques for professional carpet cleaning.
- Steam cleaning: With this cleaning technique, hot water is sprayed at high pressure into your carpet and then vacuumed out — which is why this procedure is also referred to as hot water extraction. Truck-mounted machinery or portable equipment are commonly used for this task. The amount of time it takes to dry after a steam cleaning treatment varies, but it generally takes six to eight hours with appropriate ventilation.
- Dry carpet cleaning: Though it’s referred to as “dry cleaning,” this technique may still require some water, but not as much as steam cleaning. This process involves pretreating carpet fibers and breaking down dirt before vacuuming. After brushing or buffing into the carpet, the cleaning solution traps grime, oils, and other particles, which are then extracted throughout the cleaning process. Unlike steam cleaners, dry cleaning methods are more affordable and offer homeowners a shorter drying time. It only takes 30 minutes to one hour before treated areas are completely dry.
Keeping Your Carpet Clean
Keeping your carpet in good condition is straightforward if you observe your flooring manufacturer’s maintenance and care guidelines. It will also extend the life and functionality of your carpet, allowing you to enjoy it for many years to come.
Nevertheless, check your carpet’s warranty for any cleaning or care recommendations before you get started with any carpet cleaning project. You’ll likely have to get it cleaned by a professional every 12-18 months.
Preventing stains, grime, and dust is easier than you might think if you follow these carpet care tips:
- Remove your footwear: To avoid bringing dirt into your house, remove your shoes as soon as you walk through the door after a long day. By doing so, mud, dirt, and other things sticking to your footwear will remain outside.
- Use a walk-off mat: Keep dirt off your carpet by using walk-off mats inside and outside. For easy carpet cleaning, use coarse-textured doormats outside your home. Then, place water-absorbing mats indoors to keep wet shoes off the carpet.
- Put down area rugs: Layering area rugs are a popular trend in today’s home decor, and the best part is that the idea doesn’t stop with hard-surface floors! Maintaining the appearance of your carpets is as simple as layering an area rug on top of it. In addition, you can build unique multilayer styles that reflect your character in your home decor and swap out rugs when the latest trends emerge.
- Don’t take out food and liquids from the kitchen: You may want to keep all your food and beverages in the kitchen if you’ve got a family that likes to munch throughout the day or if you’re prone to spills. Reduce the chances of an accident by making sure there are no spills, and you’ll also minimize any stains.
- Replace your air filter: Replace the air filter in your HVAC system according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. If the filter can capture more particles such as dust, less grime will end up on your carpet or other surfaces.
Have pets? Here are Carpet Care Tips For Pet Owners
Any home can benefit from the comfort and warmth that carpet provides. However, owning one comes with the responsibility of maintaining it in good condition. After all, it’s a substantial investment in your household.
In this article, we’ve provided you with everything you need to know about how to clean carpet. However, if you need the help of a professional, then SaniClean Dry Carpet Cleaning is your best bet!
At SaniClean Dry Carpet Cleaning, our experts have had years of experience and are guaranteed to leave your carpets spotless and smelling fresh. We use a dry cleaning method that ensures a quick drying time and eliminates dust and microorganisms.
You can trust us to give you the highest level of professionalism and service. Give us a call today at (206) 590-7174 to learn more about our services.