People buy carpets to improve the looks and appearance of their homes. As this is a rather expensive investment, it is important that you periodically clean and maintain your carpet. So use the help of the following carpet cleaning tips to prolong your carpet’s life and make sure it looks fresh for years.
Tips that you should know about carpet cleaning
1. Vacuuming your carpet is a must and the first thing you have to do for a clean carpet. It’s better to vacuum the entrance and high-traffic areas twice a week and the rest of your carpet at least once a week. It is only with frequent vacuuming that you prevent and reduce soil buildup.
2. While vacuuming make sure you set your vacuum to the right height. Too low a height damages the carpet and your vacuum’s roller brush and drive belt. On the contrary, you do not pick up any dirt if the vacuum is too high. To set the right height, raise the vacuum to the highest setting and lower it till you feel the vacuum tugging forward.
3. Start vacuuming with a clean bag or filter as a dirty one only cuts the vacuum’s suction power by half. So replace vacuum bags as soon as they are three-quarters full
4. It is important that you vacuum at the right speed to get out as much dirt as possible. One quick pass is enough over low-traffic areas while two slow passes are required for high-traffic areas. These two passes removes are more effective at removing ground-in dirt than fast passes.
5. As prevention is always better than cure, use walk-off mats inside and outside to minimize carpet dirt. Coarse-textured mats are best outside your doors as they remove soil while the water-absorbent mats prevent wet shoes from wetting carpets.
6. It is true that carpet cleaning professionals are better at cleaning your carpet than you do. However hiring them all the time may prove expensive to you. So a better option is to practice both your DIY and professional cleanings on an alternate basis. If you know how to use DIY steam’ cleaning machines, they can be effective in cleaning your carpet.
7. Carpets should be cleaned once it starts looking dirty as there is no fixed time limit for cleaning carpets. Waiting till the carpet turns filthy only makes its cleaning a more arduous, longer and more expensive.
8. It is important that you not only vacuum before cleaning but also after the carpet completely dries. This is to pick up all the environmental dirt that settles on the surface after drying.
9. Before starting with your general cleaning on all the stains and the heavy traffic regions, make a mixture of hot water and a drop of detergent. Pour this into a spray bottle and lightly mist this mixture to the dirtiest areas and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
10. In case you have heavy furniture that you cannot lift and place aside, at least place aluminum foil squares, plastic film and wood blocks under all its legs. This prevents any rest that may develop on the furniture’s metal casters or any stains on the furniture getting staining the carpet.
11. If you are cleaning your carpet yourself, make sure you do not over wet your carpet as while most DIY machines require lots of moisture in the carpet, they do not have the necessary power to thoroughly extract the water. So only make a single pass with the water and soap solution and a single pass with neutralizing rinse solution. Lastly, you need a few drying passes while switching the water off.
12. Do not try to scoop out any food stains or spills this movement only works the stain into the carpet. In case of solids on the stain, carefully scrape it away with the help of a dull knife or a spoon. Scrape it towards the center of the stain and then with the help of a white towel, you can treat the stain.
13. It is important you quickly attend to a stain as the longer the stain is left on the carpet, the more difficult it becomes to clean. In fact, if taken care of immediately there is a 99% chance of removing it.
14. Use water first for cleaning carpets as 80% of stains can be cleaned using water. So press a clean and dry white cloth on it. This helps absorb the spill and keep repeating this till it is absorbed. Using a wet towel, work the towel’s water into the stain and then keep on blotting till the stain disappears and change cloths if necessary.
15. Always blot and do not rub or scrub stains as it scrubbing only damages the fibers. Start blotting from the extremities of the stain towards its center. This prevents the stain from spreading and in the process leading to a bigger stain problem.
16. In case of tough spots that water cannot remove, try cleaning the stain using a solution of equal amounts of vinegar and water. In case this too doesn’t work, only then should you use commercial cleaning products.
17. When you choose to use commercial cleaning products, make sure you first test the products. This is important as some products only make the carpet end up looking even more dirtier or it ends up damaging the carpet’s color and texture. It is always better to use cleaners that are approved by carpet manufacturers.
18. It is important to be patient while cleaning your carpet. After working water and blotting the stained region using a dry cloth, repeat the process till the entire stain and water disappears. With patience, you should easily and effectively get rid of the stain this way.
19. Drying the carpet is very important after carpet cleaning it as a wet carpet only creates the perfect breeding place for mildew and even mold. So after cleaning your carpet, it is important you open all your windows. Then with the help of some fans or by setting the AC on moderate setting, you can remove any excess moisture remaining in the air. Do not replace anything like your furniture or even think of walking on the carpet till it is completely dry , which takes a maximum of 12 hours.
20. Never rush through your cleaning job as it only leaves you with a soap residue, a carpet that is still wet and even a padding that may mold or mildew.
With the help of all these 20 carpet cleaning tips, you will be proud of your carpet when guests come by and also prolong your carpet’s life. You can also make use of other cleaning devices such as steam mops and other steam cleaners to help you clean your carpet more efficiently and quickly.