Carpets (and all floors in general) take quite a beating every day. You track outdoor debris through them daily, they catch all the things you drop or spill. Of course, those of you with kids, pets or both know that the mess multiplies exponentially depending on how many of each you have and their size.
You know a steam cleaner is one of the best ways to give your carpet a deep clean; you’ve heard it from plenty of people, but maybe it sounds too expensive or too clunky. We understand entirely, and that’s why we’re going to give you some tips for cleaning your carpet to make your life a little easier.
We don’t mean to insult you with this one. It’s common for people to underestimate how often they should clean or how to get the best out of their vacuum. There honestly are several tricks to vacuuming your carpets that would help you keep on top of dirt.
- Vacuum your house one time a week for every person or twenty pounds of pet you have. By this we mean that if you have three people and one cat in your house, you should vacuum three times a week. If you have a forty pound dog and live alone, you should still vacuum three times a week. This’ll help keep on top of dander.
For those sort of regular upkeep we don’t suggest cleaning every part of your home, even under sofas. You should concentrate on areas of heavy traffic. If you have a young child or baby, it may be a good idea to do a quick vacuum every day because little children can eat dust bunnies.
- Vacuum horizontally and vertically. Carpet fibres are twisted and will catch small fragments of dirt in them that can’t easily be removed. You should vacuum vertically and then horizontally as it will get at all angles of the fibres. The added benefit of doing this is that it’ll help undo some of the crush damage done to your carpet. What’s crush damage? After a carpet’s been in place for a few years you can tell where the main path is because of the way that the fibres lie flatter than the others.
Sometimes you simply spill something and need to act fast to clean it up before it stains. It’s happened to everyone. Before we go further, we’ll say that spot cleaning only works for fresh stains on a small patch of carpet after something like a food spill. The best way to go about spot cleaning is to:
- Use a plain white cloth; patterned or dyed rags may transfer dye to your carpet
- Blot the stain dry with your cloth. Discard this cloth and use a second one for the rest of the process.
- Use an appropriate carpet cleaner based on the type of stain and the carpet you have. If you’re dealing with bodily fluids you’ll need special cleaners.
- If the stain is blood, then you should use cold water or hydrogen peroxide if the stain is wet. If it’s dry use a hydrogen peroxide cleaner, followed by an enzyme based cleaner.
- For pet urine or other animal droppings, so straight to an enzyme based cleaner. If it’s already set use a vinegar-water solution to blot it, then use detergent and water.
You should avoid scrubbing the carpet to prevent wear and tear. After you’ve used the detergent you should use your second clean cloth soaked in water to blot up any remaining suds or mess. Don’t soak the carpet. If you soak the carpet clean through you run the risk of mould developing in the underlayer. Dry the area thoroughly.
Use A Powder Cleaner
By far the easiest way to do a more thorough clean of the entire carpet is to use a powder cleaner. Even baking soda works quite well and it doubles as a deodoriser as well. Here’s the best way to do it:
- First, do a normal vacuum of your carpet to pick up most of the everyday dirt.
Sprinkle the powder liberally over your carpet, taking care to hit to neglected corners and crannies.
- Leave the powder for at least thirty minutes. Leaving it overnight gives the powder even more time to soften up the stains and soak up the smells.
- Vacuum up the powder when done.
Use Carpet Shampoo
This is similar to the powder cleaner we just mentioned, though with a few downsides. For this method, you will not need a steam cleaner or other equipment.
- Purchase your carpet clean and follow the instructions to create the right mixture.
- Cover the carpet in the shampoo but again, do not let it soak too long. It’ll waste detergent and increase drying time.
- Scrub at any stubborn stains using a white cloth or soft bristled brush.
- Let the carpet dry.
- Vacuum up the shampoo.
The main downsides to this method when compared to powder cleaner is that you’ll have to close off the area for much longer in order to let the carpet dry. Wet or damp carpets can catch dirt more easily as well, so if you do need to cross the carpet you’ll have to go barefoot, in socks or wear bags over your feet. It would also be difficult to clean a whole carpet this way without a steam cleaner. We recommend you use it on larger or older stains.
As you can see, keeping on top of a regular vacuuming schedule and doing spot cleaning as often as you can you’ll be able to keep your carpet in much better condition without having to resort to a steam cleaner. However, for exceptionally dirty carpets or very difficult stains, we would still recommend hiring a steam cleaning or a professional cleaning crew to tend to your carpet.
Feel free to contact us for quotes on our services. We offer same day and next day services as well as others.