One survey found that 52% of people judge people (at least a little bit) on the cleanliness of their homes. While you might spend a great deal of time cleaning carpet, washing dishes, and more, you may not be cleaning correctly.
If you think your carpet always looks slightly dirty, you should consider your technique. Improper cleaning techniques or products can render your carpet maintenance ineffective. Continue reading to learn how to start cleaning carpet flooring effectively.
1. Prevention is KeyOur top tip for carpet maintenance is to emphasize prevention. While it's important to have an arsenal of carpet flooring equipment ready to go, it's easier to prevent damage and spills.
We recommend two house rules to keep your carpet maintenance easy. The first is a no-shoes in the house policy and the second is a no food in the kitchen and dining areas policy.
These types of house rules help keep stains and dirt to a minimum. They'll make cleaning your carpet easier and help it last longer. You can also consider different types of flooring for high-traffic areas.
2. Don't Let Spills SitIf a spill occurs, try to clean it up immediately. Letting a spill soak into your carpet (or worse, letting it dry), is a surefire way to ruin it. It's important to prevent spreading if you want to minimize damage, too.
If you act quickly enough, you can prevent it from thoroughly penetrating the carpet's fibers. We recommend keeping towels nearby and easily accessible in case of spills so you can absorb any liquids quickly.
3. Make Vacuuming a HabitAnother important part of cleaning carpet flooring is regular vacuuming. Pet/human hair, dirt, and dust are always falling into your carpet. As they accumulate, your carpet starts looking dingy and dirty.
Cleaning your carpet flooring with regular vacuuming is a great way to prevent this gradual transition from beautifully clean carpet to dingy, discolored carpet.
We recommend setting a vacuuming schedule that complements your daily routines. If you have pets or children, then consider vacuuming at least every other day. If your carpet is in a low-traffic area, twice a week is sufficient.
4. Use the Right EquipmentCleaning carpet is much easier and more effective with the right equipment. Whether it's time for weekly floor maintenance or you need to clean a new spill, make sure you have carpet-friendly equipment.
This includes a vacuum with settings for your carpet pile, a high-quality cleaning agent, absorbent towels, and carpet-friendly brushes. Investing in the right equipment is an essential part of good carpet maintenance.
5. Use the Right TechniquesWhile the right equipment is essential, it's not as effective if you don't use it correctly. Start by reading any instructions or manuals that come with your cleaning tools and products to learn how they're intended to be used.
For spills and stains, we recommend using a blotting technique instead of aggressive rubbing. If there are any large chunks in the carpet, scrape those up with a spoon or towel. Make sure you scrape the liquids toward the center of the spill to prevent spreading.
For vacuuming, we recommend moving slowly to allow your device to penetrate deep into the carpet fibers. This is where the right carpet pile settings are essential. If you have your settings too low or too high, you won't get your carpets clean or could damage the fibers.
6. Start with WaterYou might be tempted to grab for the harsh commercial cleaners right off the bat when facing a spill or stain, but consider reaching for a spray bottle first. If you act quickly enough, saturating the spill with water could be enough to wash away the spill.
Spot cleaning with certain commercial carpet cleaning products runs the risk of changing your carpet color in one spot. For this reason, we recommend testing out all cleaning products on small, unnoticeable areas of your carpet.
7. Try Simple CleanersIf water doesn't work, there are other steps you can take before turning to harsh chemicals. Some at-home treatments include vinegar/club soda for rinsing, baking soda and water for stubborn stains, and water with a splash of dish soap for grease.
Pour these over the stubborn spill and allow them to soak for 10 to 20 minutes before blotting. These are great for cleaning carpet flooring more naturally than with heavy commercial cleaners.
8. Make Sure It DriesOnce you're done cleaning your carpet, make sure the area dries completely. Leaving carpet wet for a long time is problematic in terms of floor maintenance and your senses.
Wet carpets can lead to several problems such as mold growth and foul smells. These can be detrimental to your house and can be difficult to get rid of. Even if you clean and dry the area, your house may have a musty smell for a long time.
To prevent this, make sure to keep the carpeted area well-ventilated while it dries. You can either turn on the overhead or box fan or leave a window open. Check the spot after an hour or two to make sure it's drying, and blot with a towel if not.
9. Call a ProfessionalSome stains are too difficult to get out even with certain chemical cleaners, especially if you don't have professional equipment and experience. For that reason, we recommend turning to a professional carpet cleaning service for the most stubborn stains.
A professional can assess the stain, the type of carpet, and the best course of treatment. They have the right cleaners and equipment to make sure the job is done seamlessly. This is your best option if you don't want to try and avoid carpet replacement.
Creating Good Habits for Cleaning CarpetGood habits for cleaning carpet flooring are essential if you want to make carpet maintenance easier. Taking preventative measures to keep your floors in good condition is much easier than trying to remove stains. If all else fails, don't be afraid to call a professional.
If you're dealing with difficult-to-remove stains and need new carpet flooring, contact us for a free in-home estimate.