It is amazing how much dirt and soil remain in the carpet even after a thorough vacuuming. It’s true that once dirt goes into the carpet, it doesn’t easily come out. To be able to enjoy a clean carpet for longer, you need to introduce some rules for all your house members, and you need to know a little more about how to clean stains, how to remove carpet odours, which solutions are suitable for carpets, what are the carpet cleaning methods offered by companies, and most importantly – how do they work. Here are a few useful tips on that topic:
Basic Carpet Care Tips
- First, introduce a no-shoes-indoors rule, and make sure that everyone really respects it. The less dirt gets into the carpet, the less you will have to clean.
- Frequent sweeping and vacuuming. Try to vacuum the carpet at least once a week and move the vacuum according to the placement of the carpet fibres, to preserve their good condition for longer. Invest in a powerful, easy to use vacuum cleaner and you’ll never regret the decision, the investment pays off in the first couple of years.
- Your choice of cleaning solutions is also important. Avoid harsh chemical cleaners, and always spot test a new detergent before applying it to the entire carpet. Just pick a hidden spot or a corner, apply a few drops of the detergent, and wait for a few minutes. If you notice discolouration or any type of damage on the spot, don’t use this detergent further.
- Avoid placing carpets in high traffic areas or humid rooms, they may look elegant in your bedroom or under the table in your living room, but if you place a carpet on your stairs, the hallway or in the bathroom, you probably won’t be able to deal with the amount of dirt it would collect every single day.
- Protect the carpet by placing walk-off mats in strategic places, like on both sides of doors or before stairs. They will collect some of the dirt and make the cleaning easier.
Common Carpet Stains and Removal Methods
No matter how hard you scrub a stain, it will only push the spill even deeper into the fibre and cause it to tangle. Blotting is a way more effective method of treating a stain. Use a clean towel or paper towels to cover the spot and blot up the spill. Press down to soak up the liquid and repeat by using dry towels until all of it is absorbed. Here are a few tips on how to deal with stains on carpets:
Ice cream, jelly, wet paint, alcoholic beverages and milk can be easily removed with a solution of 1 tbsp of non-bleach detergent mixed with 1 litre of water.
Fat, wax and oil stains can be extracted out of the carpet with a paper towel and an iron. Place it on the spot and iron on warm setting. The paper should absorb the oil, leaving the carpet fibres clean and dry.
Blood, Wine and Coffee Stains
Mix 1 tbsp of ammonia in 1 cup of water and treat the stain with the obtained mixture. Works well for cleaning chocolate, mustard, tea and vomit stains too.
Urine Stains (Pet Accidents)
Remove the excess by blotting. Then spread some baking soda on the stain and leave it for half an hour to absorb the remaining moisture. Vacuum the stain, then apply either an enzyme-based cleaner or some white vinegar diluted with water (1 part vinegar, 2 parts water). It will take care of the residual smell.
Buy a bottle of tea tree oil and mix a teaspoon of it with 2 cups of water. Spray on both sides of the carpet and wait until it dries. The odour will be gone after a while, just make sure to keep pets and kids away until then.
Professional Carpet Cleaning Methods
Every carpet cleaning company uses a expert equipment of choice in all their work. This includes industrial vacuums, special steam cleaning machines, rotary carpet cleaning machines and all kinds of detergents, suited for all the different types of stains. There are 4 general types of carpet cleaning services you can easily get:
Carpet Steam Cleaning
Steam cleaning is injecting hot water, mixed with detergents, deep into the carpet, using specialized machinery. Then the water is extracted with a powerful vacuum along with the dirt and soil from the carpet.
Benefits: Suitable for old stains, fights pet odour, provides a deeper cleaning, in comparison to the dry cleaning method, you can do it yourself by hiring a steam cleaning machine.
Negatives: Leaves your carpet wet for a few hours or even a day, depending on the quality of the machinery. Water oversaturation can lead to bad hygiene. You’ll be unable to walk into these rooms until the carpets are completely dry.
Carpet Dry Cleaning
As opposed to the steam cleaning method, the dry cleaning technique focuses on chemical based treatment. The method consists of scrubbing a mixture of chemicals into the carpet with a pad. The pad fabric takes the dirt, however a good vacuuming should be performed afterwards, to suck up the remaining soil and chemicals out of the carpet fibres.
Benefits: Allows you to walk on your carpet right after the cleaners are gone. Cheaper than steam cleaning and less water usage.
Negatives: It won’t remove stubborn or liquid stains. Appropriate for light-stained carpets, as it only treats the outer layer of the carpet.
The bonnet cleaning method is similar to dry cleaning, but it’s actually a wet process. First the cleaning detergent is mixed with some carbonated water, and they spray the carpet with it. Then they use the bonnet machine, which is a big rotating buffer, to spread the cleaning product. The bonnet also has an absorbent pad on the bottom, which absorbs all the dirt. When the pad in question gets dirty, it can be replaced with a new one.
Benefits: The brush cleans the carpet very thoroughly. The carpet is left almost dry and completely germ-free.
Negatives: The machine can damage the carpet, if not handled professionally.
This carpet cleaning method is also called foam extraction, because a foam-based cleaning solution is being introduced to the carpet. After that they use motorized brushes to scrub the carpet and extract all the dirt and grime. When the foam does its job, they leave it to dry completely while on the carpet. Once this happens, they use an industrial vacuum cleaner to extract everything.
Benefits: Low moisture method, quick results.
Negatives: If not cleaned well, the shampoo can leave a stale smell on the carpet, and the moisture will attract more dirt.