Carpets take a lot of abuse on a daily basis. In no time at all, kids, pets, muddy shoes and spills can make new rugs filthy. With the right cleaning methods, flooring can look good for years to come. To keep carpets clean knowledge of the carpet fiber and different cleaning methods is needed.
Light Cleaning and Vacuuming
Just like hardwood flooring, it is recommended that rugs be lightly cleaned daily. This will help maintain appearance and keep dirt from settling into the fabric. A carpet sweeper can be used to remove light lint and dust on the surface. At least once a week a vacuum should be used. Unlike a carpet sweeper, vacuums have suction and contain rotating brushes to remove dirt that has settled below the surface.
For carpet care, remove the furniture from the room and deep vacuum monthly, using the hose to reach into corners. Check the settings for the right pile height of the carpet before vacuuming. The belt, hose, brushes should also be checked regularly to ensure they are operating. Baking soda and commercial room deodorant powders can be sprinkled on the rug before vacuuming to keep the carpet smelling fresh.
One of the most common carpet problems is spills and stains. Red wine, candy, beer, blood, food spills, mud, coffee, tea, grease and ink are just a few of the spills a carpet faces in an active home. For spot cleaning, immediate action is required so the stain does not set.
Excess liquid can be blotted up with a dry paper towel and then a cleaning solution or solvent can be blotted on to remove the stain. A mix of white vinegar and water is also a common housewife trick for spot cleaning.
After applying a product, rinse with water and repeat the process until the stain fades. Cover the area with absorbable towels and heavy object to remove the water from the rug. To remove candle wax heat can be applied. Turn a steam iron on medium, place a towel over the stain and iron the towel to get the heat to work.
Some of the more wacky and obscure carpet cleaning methods involve spot treatments. Peanut butter has been used to remove gum, shaving cream, club soda, brake fluid, hydrogen peroxide and lemon have also been used.
As your carpet gets dirtier, regular vacuuming just will not be enough and when spot cleaning cannot remove a stain the next step is a professional cleaning. One of the fastest methods is to use an aerosol foam cleanser. Though only the surface gets cleaned, a regular vacuum can be used and the carpet will dry quickly.
The dry carpet cleaning method is also simple to do for homeowners. A slightly moist powder is sprinkled over the carpet and worked in. The powder is absorbable, attracting dirt as it dries on the carpet, then it is simply vacuumed away.
Some of the best carpet cleaning methods use water. For steam cleaning or the extraction method a deep cleaner can be rented. These machines are easy to operate and usually come with instructions. Though called steam cleaning no steam is actually used in the g extraction method. Shampooers have chambers full of hot water and detergent. As the wand sprays the mixture over the carpet, the dirty water is then extracted by the vacuum into a separate chamber.
Liquid shampooing works similarly but is slower and not as effective. A shampooer uses a foam generator and this mixture is brushed over the floor, much like buffing. With wet cleaning methods, care must be taken not to saturate the rug, which can lead to mold and mildew.
Open windows and use fans to allow the carpet to dry completely. Care should be taken to pick safe commercial products that will not damage your floor. Smaller wet vacuums may also be used on wooden flooring.
If the stains still persist or the carpet requires restoration a professional carpet cleaner can be consulted. Professionals have access to products that reduce drying time, use less water and have the expertise to handle all types of stains.