No matter how tidy you are, eventually your carpet will get dirty. Over time, the accumulated stains from spills and accidents, the dirt tracked in by shoes, and other wear like pets and even pollution can soil your carpet. Especially if you have a light-colored carpet, you may find that your carpet no longer looks like it once did. So we have for you some of the best carpet cleaning tips to get your carpet looking its best.
There are lots of home remedies for cleaning your carpet. Many of them are actually very effective for spot cleaning. For more generalized cleanings, it’s usually best to rent specialized carpet cleaning equipment or to hire professional carpet cleaners.
For any stain, the first thing to do is to blot (not scrub) it with a clean white cloth or paper napkin. Make sure not to wipe or rub, which could worsen the stain.
For stains from beer and wine, one classic cleaning method is to use club soda. First, pour some club soda on a clean white towel and blot the stain with the moist towel.
A more intense cleaning is possible with a solution of one part water and one part vinegar. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and spray the entire stain, then let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. After the solution sits, use a sponge to sop up most of the moisture. If the stain remains, repeat the process. It may take a few times to clean up a tough stain. When the stain is gone, rinse the spot where the stain was with warm water. Brush the carpet fibers with your hand to match the rest of the carpet. Finally, lay down a white towel and cover it with something heavy, like a few books. Leave the towel in place for about 24 hours so the towel can soak up all the remaining moisture.
One unusual pretreatment for the vinegar method is shaving cream. Just put the shaving cream on the stain and let it sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, blot away the shaving cream with a white towel. Next, use the vinegar method described above. You should only need one application.
Some types of stains have particular ingredients or methods that work especially well for them. One example is blood. Once as much blood as possible has been removed with a mild detergent, apply hydrogen peroxide to the stain. The hydrogen peroxide will foam as it interacts with the blood. Give it a few minutes to work, then blot the stain and solution with a dry white towel.
For gum, use an ice cube to freeze the gum. Apply the ice for about 30 seconds until the gum is hard. Then scrape off what you can and cut the carpet fibers as close to the gum as possible. If the area is small, you won’t really see the spot where the carpet was trimmed.
For grease stains, use a little dishwashing detergent mixed with water. The detergent will loosen up the grease just like it does when you wash dishes. You can apply it with a spray bottle or just with a soaked towel. Then blot up the stain.
Professional Cleaning Methods
For generalized carpet cleaning, including both stains and the full surface of the carpet, the best solution is to use professional cleaning methods.
The most common method for professional carpet cleaning is steam cleaning.
The term “steam cleaning” is actually a misnomer. Although there are industrial processes that actually use steam to clean, most carpet cleaning is not done with steam. The high temperature would damage many common carpet materials. Instead, what is called steam cleaning is usually hot water soil extraction cleaning (HWE). HWE uses hot water, but not steam, to loosen dirt and stains. Water is sprayed onto the carpet, often with the addition of other chemical cleaners. In the same machine, the water and solution are immediately vacuumed up, along with all of the dirt and grime that was loosened by the heated solution.
The other general category of cleaners is dry-cleaning agents, so called because they do not employ water and any moisture is usually gone in under a half hour.
There are a number of different methods of dry cleaning a carpet. One classic method is shampooing. Although this method has gone out of style for professional cleaners, it is still used in some home applications. Shampoo is applied to the carpet with a rotary brush, then wet vacuumed. Some newer shampoos dry to a powder that can be vacuumed up the day after cleaning. For water-sensitive carpets or carpets that would be hard to dry, a foam can be made of shampoos with minimal liquid. The foam is sprayed on, allowed to sit for 10 minutes, then vacuumed up.
Encapsulation is a modern method of dry cleaning carpets that professionals first used in the 1990s. Instead of simply emulsifying the dirt particles in the carpet so they can be rinsed away, they encapsulate the particles and dry into a crystallized powder that can be dry vacuumed. This has become a preferred method for professional cleaners.
Green and Environmentally Friendly Cleaning
Recently, many homeowners are choosing more environmentally friendly cleaning methods. Sunrise Clean Care, a TrustDALE certified business, provides simple environmentally friendly cleaning. They employ a steam cleaning method that uses only water, with no added chemicals. The high-pressure steam penetrates the carpet and lifts out tough stains and dirt. There is no chemical residue to harm your carpets or the environment.
Specialty Dry Cleaning
Hughes Professional Dry Carpet Cleaning, another TrustDALE certified business, can provide dry carpet cleaning when you don’t have the time to wait for a carpet to dry. There’s no need to keep off a carpet. The results of this dry cleaning method are immediately visible, and the carpet requires no special care after the cleaning is complete. With Hughes, you can be sure you will get an excellent clean. Their representatives provide a very accurate estimate over the phone, usually within 5% of the final cost. The price is finalized by a visual inspection of your home. After you get your final price, their cleaner will clean a small test area of your carpet. If you like the results, they will continue to clean your entire carpet. If you’re not totally satisfied, they will leave at no cost to you.
Cleaning for Asthma & Allergies
Stanley Steemer has been a trusted name in carpet cleaning since 1947. If you want carpet cleaning you can rely on, this TrustDALE certified business is a classic. In addition to a great clean, Stanley Steemer is Certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). Their cleaning process removes 94% of all common household allergens. They can clean all carpets and upholstery, even moving your furniture for you. If you or someone in your home suffers from allergies or asthma, Stanley Steemer can help them breath easier.
There are lots of ways to clean your carpet and lots of companies who offer to do it for you. But if you want to be sure you get a great clean at a great price with the industry’s best satisfaction guarantees, nothing beats TrustDALE.com. You can learn more about TrustDALE certified carpet cleaners here.