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Best Way to Clean Carpet - Types of Carpet Cleaning

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Table of Content
September 13, 2023

Carpets are an integral part of every home, offering more warmth and comfort than wooden flooring. However, this comes at a cost. Heavy foot traffic, dirt accumulation, and pets can take their toll on the delicate fabric, triggering allergic reactions. To keep your pieces looking their best, you need to know how to properly care for them.

In this post, we will dig into the various types of cleaning techniques which are tailored to address different issues. Whether you are looking to clean your carpet by hand or using a heavy-duty machine, we will explore both options. Take a look at the carpet cleaning tips we have created for you.

Key Takeaways on How to Get Your Carpet Clean

  • There are two ways to clean a carpet - by hand or using a machine; when it comes to deep cleaning carpets, you should stick with machine cleaning
  • Before you get started, you have to prepare the carpet by moving furniture away to allow enough room for the machine, vacuuming and pre-treating tough stains
  • As far as machine cleaning is concerned, you can never go wrong with both steam cleaning and carpet shampooing; however, steam cleaning is by far the most effective option
  • If you don’t have access to good carpet cleaners, you can also scrub some baking soda and borax into the carpet fibres to freshen up the fabric and remove common carpet stains
  • Allergy sufferers need to do routine cleaning and deep clean carpet more often than they normally would

What Tools You Need to Clean Carpet

Depending on the regular or deep cleaning method you want to use, here are the products and materials you are going to need:

  • A bucket with cold water
  • Warm water for the steam cleaner
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar or any vinegar variety
  • Dish soap
  • Clean rags
  • Carpet brush or soft-bristled brush
  • Plastic or foil
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Steam cleaner
  • Spray bottle
  • Clean cloth
  • Microfiber cloth or paper towel
  • Lint roller

What to Do Before Deep Cleaning Your Carpet

There are two main steps you need to take to prepare your carpet. The first one is to remove any furniture that may get between you and your carpet.

The carpet has to be laid on a flat surface, completely unobstructed, so you have easy access to each and every section. It may be a good idea to place foil or plastic under the legs of furniture to protect it from moisture.

The second step is to hoover the fabric well switching between attachments. Your goal should be to remove as much loose dirt as possible. Spend more time on high-traffic areas and visible stains.

About the stains. It makes sense to pretreat stains with a specially formulated product. Using a spray bottle, spray it on the surface and let it sit for as long as the instructions on the product mandate. After a while, go back to the stain and scrub with a soft-bristled brush to get as much of the stain out as possible.

We do advise that you always test any deep cleaning product you want to use on a small area of the carpet, preferably a section that remains hidden by furniture. If you notice any discolouration of the fibres, it means the solution is not safe to use on this particular carpet. It’s easier to ruin your pieces than you think.

Regardless of the deep cleaning methods you choose, this should always be your go-to guide for prepping the fabric.

How to Clean Carpet Using Carpet Shampoo

For this technique, you’ll need a carpet cleaner or carpet shampooer. The first step is to prepare the carpet shampoo, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

In most cases, you have to mix it with water and stir. Make sure to choose a product that comes with a stain protector formula, which means it can protect your carpets and area rugs from future stains.

Applying shampoo to the carpet

Next, pour the detergent mixture into the compartment of the carpet cleaner. Take the machine to one corner of the carpet and get started. Employ a wall-to-wall carpeting approach. You want to push the unit forward and pull it backwards.

As it goes in one direction, it will release the carpet shampoo onto the fibres. Work in overlapping strips making sure to spray cleaning solution on the entire carpet.

If there are stubborn stains, you can pause what you are doing to scrub the area with a brush for a few minutes. Don’t be too vigorous, though, as you could damage the gentle fibres.

Rinsing and drying

The next step is to refill the machine with clean water and run it over the carpet once more. This will remove the shampoo residues. When you are finished, select the “suction only” mode on your carpet cleaner and pass the machine over the carpet one more time to remove the excess moisture.

Allow the carpet to dry. Either take it outdoors or open the windows to let fresh air in the room. You can also run a fan to speed up drying. Do not put any heavy furniture on top until the carpet has dried completely. This is especially important because you want to prevent mould from forming in the fabric.

Vacuuming

When the carpet is 100% dry, pass the vacuum cleaner over it to fluff up the fibres. This step will also remove any debris or everyday dust left behind. It will leave your carpet clean and fresh.

How to Clean Carpet with Baking Soda or Powder Carpet Cleaner

Since you have to clean the carpet manually, it will require lots of elbow grease to remove all the dirt, so arm yourself with patience.

Sprinkle baking soda or powder carpet cleaner on the carpet. Grab a soft-bristled brush and run it over the surface to spread the powder further into the carpet fibers so it can do its thing. The deeper it goes, the bigger the chance of loosening more dirt and removing any odours.

Let the baking soda sit for a few hours. If you are using a store-bought powder, do as instructed by the label. After the waiting period is over, go back to the carpet and vacuum all the powder and grime.

Next, inspect the fabric for more dirt or baking soda residues and vacuum the whole carpet once more.

How to Steam Clean Carpet

The first step is to fill the machine with hot water, making sure to reach the tank’s capacity line. If the machine has a designated compartment for cleaning solution, you need to put detergent inside of it.

Read the instructions on how to use the unit properly to be on the safe side. They will also help you understand how much water is needed and the type of detergent you can use, if applicable. In addition, you will learn how to manoeuvre the unit. Some machines work by pulling, others by pushing.

So, once you familiarise yourself with the details, it’s time to clean your carpet. Turn the steam cleaner on and start at one corner of the carpet, working your way toward the opposite corner.

Try not to go over the same area twice. Work slowly in a forward and backward mode using different attachments. Just as an example, you can start with a triangular brush and switch to a large floor brush. Let the carpet dry.

How to Remove Stubborn Carpet Stains

Before you treat stains, it’s important to figure out what they are made of. Different types of stains benefit from different cleaning techniques.

For example, some stains can be tackled with baking soda, borax, and white vinegar, while others require special cleaning products. For stains caused by foods, drinks, urine, blood, and faeces, you can also count on an enzymatic cleaner. It's great for spot cleaning stains.

All things considered, you should try and blot liquid spills and stains as soon as they happen. For instance, you should blot red wine with clean paper towels. Also, don't wear shoes in the house. This will prevent more dirt and stains from happening, saving you a great deal of problems. Commit to cleaning regularly so that grime doesn't have a chance to set in. Then, have someone deep clean your carpets every 6 to 12 months.

If you can't seem to get rid of the stains, perhaps it's time for a new carpet.

How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles and Carpet Moths

If you notice patches in your carpet, especially near doors and windows, you may have carpet beetles or carpet moths. The easiest way to ensure the invaders don’t settle in your home is to vacuum the carpet regularly. You can also try some insecticides.

If you don’t want to use chemicals, we recommend opting for white vinegar. Before you sprinkle generous amounts of it on the fabric, don’t forget to test it on an inconspicuous area.

FAQ

What is the most effective way to clean carpet?

The most effective way to clean a carpet is by using specialised carpet cleaners or steam cleaners. They successfully loosen dirt and can remove deeply embedded stains as well as dust mites. Which method you go for depends on the type of fabric and the amount of grime present. Steam cleaning can handle heavily soiled fabrics.

How do I clean my carpets myself?

To deep clean carpet yourself, follow these general steps:

Step 1: Start by vacuuming the item thoroughly to remove loose debris and food particles; you may need a lint roller for pet hair

Step 2: Pre-treat any stains using a carpet stain remover, spreading it evenly with a spray bottle

Step 3: Rent out a carpet cleaning machine and get everything ready for the cleaning while following the manufacturer’s instructions

Step 4: Add water to the machine’s reservoir

Step 5: Run the machine over the carpet, working in strips and overlapping each pass slightly; work methodically and spend more time on certain areas to tackle stains

Step 6: Open the windows to ventilate the room and help the carpet to dry faster or hang it out outside

Do not walk on the carpet before it has dried completely. Note that we don't recommend that you attempt to clean expensive carpets on your own.

What is the easiest way to deep clean a carpet?

The easiest way to clean a carpet is to use a professional carpet cleaner. However, if you don’t have a machine, you can simply sprinkle some baking soda and borax, and scrub with a brush. Keep in mind that using a carpet cleaner takes less effort than manually scrubbing the fabric. The deep cleaning process requires some knowledge of carpets and cleaning solution.

Is it better to shampoo or steam clean carpets?

While you can’t go wrong with either one, steam carpet cleaning has the upper hand. It allows the fabric to dry faster, plus it can handle allergens and pesky carpet stains like no other method. (It should not be confused with running a steam mop over your belongings.)

On the other hand, shampooing can leave some residue behind. Although it doesn’t leave a dripping wet carpet, it’s still not great for fabrics that can’t tolerate moisture.

Plus, it requires the use of detergent. Essentially, this means that you are going to infuse chemicals into the carpet fibres. By contrast, steam carpet cleaning uses plain water.

How often should I deep clean a carpet?

The frequency of cleaning your carpets depends on multiple factors like indoor air quality, the presence of any pets, and foot traffic. This may vary from once to twice a year or even every 3 months. Frequent cleaning is important for new pieces. If you or a member of your family have allergies, routine cleanings are the way to go.

How hard is it to deep clean carpet?

If you are wondering whether you should deep clean your carpet, you should know that this is a moderately challenging task for most people. The level of difficulty is determined by your skills, the carpet’s condition, and the type of fabric.

It’s manageable if you have the right expertise and equipment. Unless you know how to use the machines and products, you should not deep clean your carpet yourself. It’s best to schedule professional carpet cleaning services.

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