We’ve all been there. A beautiful stain-free carpet… and then something awful happens. You knock over a glass of red wine, you tread in some melted chocolate or your adorable little puppy is not quite so cute when he has an ‘accident’.
The worrying factor is that many people only think about cleaning their carpet when met with a stubborn stain. However, just because there are no visible marks on your carpet does not necessarily mean that it is clean. Carpets can be a breeding ground for dust mites and germs, even sparking allergies in some people. Just thinking about what delights could be lurking in the depths of your carpet should be enough to give you shivers. Unfortunately, a quick vacuum once a week is not the solution (although you should be doing this anyway).
There are a myriad of so-called facts and secrets around keeping your carpet squeaky clean and removing any problem stains. In this post we intend to debunk a few of those myths and provide you with the best possible carpet cleaning tips. With the right attitude and technique up your sleeve, it is not too late to rescue your carpet from a neglected past. The result will be a more hygienic home and a carpet that has years left in it yet.
Professional Carpet Cleaning
We would always recommend investing in a professional carpet cleaning service where possible. Despite the obvious financial advantages of a DIY approach, the end result will not be nearly as effective as a professional service. Spend a bit of money once a year on a professional deep clean and it will save you buckets of time and effort in the long-run. The two primary services offered by carpet cleaning companies are:
- Steam cleaning. A hot water extraction system is used to force a hot water cleaning solution into your carpet and down to the roots. Extremely effective at disinfecting and deodorising the carpet fibres.
- Dry cleaning methods. Using dry foam, dry chemicals or a dry extraction machine, these methods do not rinse your carpet in any way. The added advantage of no drying time is very appealing for some people.
If your budget really will not let you stretch to a professional carpet cleaning service and the DIY method is beckoning, we have some handy tips for you.
Top Carpet Cleaning Tips
- Act quickly. The longer you abandon the stain, the more it will be absorbed by the carpet fibres, leaving you with a tough task. The faster you attack it, the easier it will be to remove.
- Remove excess. Scrape up any excess debris prior to treatment to avoid making even more of a mess than you started with.
- Blot, don’t rub. Dab and blot stains carefully with a clean, dry cloth but do not rub. This can push the stain even deeper into the carpet and can even damage the carpet fibres.
- Test. When using a new cleaning product, always test a small patch on your carpet first, just in case there are any adverse effects. Much better to be safe than sorry.
- Work inwards. Begin with the outside of the stain and work inwards; the last thing you want to do is spread the stain even further.
- Do not over-wet. Although it is sometimes necessary to wet the carpet to remove a stain, you should avoid over-wetting as the dyes from any underlay or backing materials could leach through.
- Prioritise high-traffic areas. Certain areas of the house will naturally pick up more dirt and debris than elsewhere. Hallways are a prime example due to their proximity to the door and should therefore be cleaned more often than lower-traffic areas.
Common Carpet Cleaning Methods
Sprinkle the powder liberally over the problem area and leave for a minimum of 30 minutes, but preferably overnight. This will give the baking soda a good chance to absorb as much of the dirt and dust as possible. Finally, vacuum up the excess powder to reveal a squeaky clean and odour-free carpet.
A popular carpet cleaning method, just make sure that you carefully follow the instructions on the product. Do not use too much water, scrub gently with a hard-bristled brush, leave the carpet to dry and then vacuum.
Steam cleaning is a very effective method of carpet cleaning and we would always recommend that you enlist the help of a professional. Nevertheless, steam cleaning equipment can be rented or bought if you would prefer to give it a go yourself. Again, just ensure that you carefully follow the instructions and do not be tempted to use an alternative cleaning solution to the one recommended.
Other carpet cleaning products
There are a myriad of carpet cleaning products on the market and many of them are extremely effective. A high quality product will generally do the job of eradicating those nasty stains, just don’t forget to do a general carpet clean every so often.
There are a huge number of options to consider when it comes to effective carpet cleaning. In general we would recommend sticking to established methods and techniques rather than opting for the more questionable suggestions. For example, using white wine to remove a red wine stain may lift some of the colour from the stain but will leave an unpleasant lingering odour. Where possible, enlist the help of a professional service and carry out a routine clean of your carpets once a year.
For further information on carpet cleaning tips, get in touch with one of our experts today.