Due to their warmth, comfort, and aesthetic appeal, carpets are a popular flooring choice for many households. They do, however, require regular cleaning and maintenance to keep them pleasing to the eye and smelling good. Dirty carpets are not only unsightly, but they can also harbour pollutants and allergens that compromise indoor air quality. You’ve come to the right place if you’re wondering how to clean my carpet and how to keep it clean. In this blog post, we’ll look at how to deep-clean your carpet yourself or hire a professional, as well as simple strategies for preventing dirt buildup in the first place. Whether you have pets, children or simply want a cleaner home environment, read on for expert advice.
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How to Clean Your Carpet or Rug
Firstly, you need to make sure your carpet needs thorough cleaning and washing (especially if you have an oriental rug). Simply lift one of the corners of your carpet and kick it. If a pile of dust rises up, it definitely needs to be washed. That was obvious, right? The point is: don’t shampoo if you really don’t have to.
Step 1. Vacuum your carpet or rug
You can’t start washing or shampooing the carpet before you’ve removed all the dust, small particles, hair, pet hair, crumbs, etc. So the first step is simple vacuuming.
Step 2. Beating the rug
Depending on the country you live in (and the season, of course), you might be privileged with quite the nice weather and can take your rugs outside for a good beating or air drying. Beating your rugs will help get the dust and all the small particles off. But it does take a lot of strength and energy to get all the dust out, so prep yourself. If you physically can’t do this, ask a family member to help.
Step 3. Shampoo your carpets or rugs
As you are outside, you can get a bucket of soapy water or a hose with detergent and a sponge. Start washing your carpet using soapy water and a sponge. It’ll help get all the stains and dirt. In addition, it will kill dust mites which are the main culprits of dust-related allergies.
Useful Tip: If you are washing an oriental rug (or any other rug, really), add white distilled vinegar to the water you are using. This will prevent the colours from running and will keep the as-good-as-new look of your carpet.
Step 4. Leave your carpet to dry
Allow enough time for your carpet to dry completely before walking on it or putting furniture back on top of it. Carpets that aren’t properly dried within 24-48 hours of cleaning are more likely to develop these harmful mould and mildew, making your efforts go to waste. Don’t let that happen. As you can guess, drying time is affected by humidity, the room’s temperature, and ventilation. That means washing your carpets in warm weather works in your favour. So open up your windows and leave fans running. If you can get ahold of a dehumidifier, now is the time to turn it on.
Step 5. Vacuum the carpet again
So finally, after your carpet or rug is dry, vacuum it again. This will fluff up the fibres and will make it soft to the touch. Most people miss this step, but we believe it’s essential for the good looks of your carpet.
Preventing Your Carpet from Getting Dirty
After all that hard work, you’re probably tired and don’t want to think about carpet cleaning. Is there anything you can do to prevent your carpet or rug from getting dirty? Here are a few ideas:
- No shoes inside. One way to achieve this is by implementing a “no shoes” policy, as shoes can track in dirt, bacteria, and other harmful particles that can accumulate on carpet fibres.
- Use doormats. Using doormats outside and inside entryways can help trap dirt before it enters your home. In cases where spills or stains occur, prompt cleaning with appropriate solutions, such as baking soda or vinegar, can prevent permanent damage to the carpet fibres.
- Place it somewhere else. If you want to avoid cleaning your carpet, you should be careful before buying and positioning it. For instance, buy low-traffic area rugs and place them in low-traffic areas. If you do the opposite, they’ll attract dirt, require more cleaning, and eventually will wear out easily. You don’t want that do you?
- Chose wear-resistant and stain-resistant carpets. If you’re looking to preplace your carpets, look for the ones that are stain-resistant. They not only last longer, but they’re easier to clean, and require less cleaning.
- Pick appropriate colours if you want to avoid washing it every other week. Having a white carpet when you have small children or pets is just asking for an accident to happen.
- Vacuum more often. Regular vacuuming at least twice a week also helps prevent dirt buildup and extends the life of your carpet. Maybe getting a robot vacuum cleaner will help you reduce the time you spend cleaning.
- Sprinkle baking soda before vacuuming. Use baking soda to sprinkle your carpet occasionally, especially if you live in a more humid area. Baking soda will absorb any extra moisture and will prevent dust mites from invading your carpet.
Use these preventative measures and your carpets will stay looking new, and your indoor air will stay clean.
Should You Clean Your Carpet Professionally?
Perhaps it’s time to get your carpets professionally cleaned. Professionally steam clean or dry clean your carpet once or twice a year to:
- Saves time and money, not to mention energy;
- Kills bacteria, odour and mites;
- Prevents wear and tear of your carpet;
- And provides your carpets with the best possible shine and clean.
In addition, not everyone has the outdoor space to beat the dust out of their rugs. Attempting to shampoo an expensive or natural fibre rug can damage it. So if you’re unsure how or what to do, it’s best to leave these things t the professionals.
Most people believe that a little bit of dust never hurts anybody, but this isn’t true for carpets. Dust particles, bread crumbs, and all sorts of dirt brush directly against the carpet fibres when we walk on it. This in turn, causes permanent damage to the fabric and quick wear, especially if the carpet is gentle (like oriental rugs).