Did you know that carpets can hold up to four times their weight in dirt? And that is just if you are lucky.
Some of the dirt which could be embedded in your carpets includes the usual pet hairs, dirt from outside and dust. But there may also be traces of allergens such as pollen and dust mites in there, as well as pet urine you haven’t spotted, dead skin cells, insect husks and mould and bacteria.
That isn’t exactly desirable, is it?
Vacuuming gets rid of an awful lot of this, but only cleaning the carpets will completely remove everything from the fibres. Thankfully, you don’t have to ring up and book in a professional to do the job anymore as there are plenty of carpet cleaners you can purchase for yourself. However, there is a correct way to do the job.
These are some of the mistakes you may be making when cleaning your carpet, and how best to do the task at hand:
Rubbing The Stain Will Get The Product Deeper Down
You may believe that grabbing some of your carpet cleaner and a sponge and trying to budge tough stains with force before you use the carpet cleaner is a good idea. It’ll help the appliance out, right? Actually, it is one of the worst things you can do.
This just embeds the stain deeper down into the fibres, making it harder for your machine to pick it up afterwards. Blot a spill with an absorbant towel or kitchen paper if you can’t get the carpet cleaner out immediately, but never start rubbing. Ideally, you should have your carpet cleaner to hand for incidents like this to avoid permanent staining
Clearing The Area Will Make It Easier
Not only will it make moving the cleaner around much easier, but there will be dirt under your coffee table legs, sofas and television stand. Even if you move them and see that the carpet looks cleaner than the rest of it, it doesn’t mean that it is. If you’re putting in all that effort, you may as well do these little bits too
Homemade Carpet Cleaner Fluid Can Be Used In Machines
You read a blog a few weeks ago which got you all inspired to do a full Spring clean. There was a great recipe on there for homemade carpet wash, which was described as ‘carpet cleaner friendly’. Stop right there.
It may draw you in as it’ll cost a fraction of the price and can be popped in a reusable bottle, but using ingredients which aren’t made for your machine could cause it to clog up and stop working. You may even damage the carpet with the combination of the foam and heat. And if it is under warranty or you have insurance, this will likely make your policy ineffective. You can try them for small patch stains without the machine, but leave the machine liquids to the professionals
Spot Tests Are Needed
When you get a brand new appliance, it is all too easy to go all-in and start using it straight away. But when it comes to cleaning appliances, this isn’t always a good idea.
While it will work on most carpets, some materials may be unsuitable. The combination of the solution you’re using, the heat from the machine and the material may affect the colour fastness of the carpet. It is very unlikely, but you don’t want a big patch in the middle of the room. Try a small inconspicuous corner first
Any Carpet Shampoo Will Do
You scanned the list of bottles which qualify for Amazon Prime and the lowest price tag jumped out at you, so that is the one you went for. But there’s actually so many varieties out there, and the manufacturers aren’t just trying to rip you off.
From those which will tackle general cleaning, to others which will foam up a bit more and are slightly stronger for removing stains like wine and pet mess. There’s also those with the ‘Woolsafe approved’ logo which should be used on carpets which contain wool, for the best treatment possible (and your extra peace of mind)
Soaking The Carpet Results In Cleaner Surfaces
Absolutely not. Soaking a carpet does nothing but cause it to take longer to dry. It doesn’t make it any cleaner. For best results, use more dry strokes than wet, and keep going over the cleaned carpet with dry strokes until no water is sucked up anymore.
Also go slowly so the machine actually has time to pick the water up
The Room Needs To Be Well Ventilated
It isn’t going to release fumes or make the room smell horrid. But a good airflow could speed up the drying time of the carpet, reducing the likelihood it will remain damp and cause bacteria to thrive.
You can also try turning your heating on low if it is Winter, or purchasing a dehumidifier to rid excess moisture from the atmosphere
Carpet Cleaners Can Also Clean Upholstery
As with vacuum cleaners, carpet cleaners come equipped with a whole host of attachments and hoses to not only help you clean right into the corners, but also your sofas, stairs and car interior.
You may need an upholstery-friendly shampoo solution which is a bit less strong, but it will solve the issue of that coffee spill on the sofa cushion or the dog’s muddy paw prints on the car seat.
Regular Cleaning Is Best
As we mentioned earlier, just because your carpet doesn’t look dirty doesn’t mean it isn’t. In fact, it could even go a couple of shades darker without you even realising.
If your carpet is relatively non-trodden (you don’t have pets, take your shoes off at the door, vacuum and dust daily), once every six months could be sufficient. Anything more, and you may need to ramp this up to every two or three months. This will all keep your house cleaner, the carpet looking at its best for longer and also make the job easier when it comes around – tackling three months-worth of dirt is easier than a years-worth.