Smart Homeowner’s Guide to Carpet Cleaning
My wife and I recently had a close friend over with his family. We enjoy entertaining guests. But wouldn’t it be great if it didn’t require so much effort and time?
There was so much to get done. Shopping, cleaning, setting the table, getting the children ready, cooking, and getting ourselves ready. By the time the guests arrived we were so exhausted, all we wanted to do was curl up in bed and call it a night.
And as if that wasn’t enough, when the guests had left, we discovered a large wine stain on the carpet. My wife let out a heavy sigh and exclaimed, “Not again!”.
Keeping your home clean isn’t easy. The carpeted floors make it even worse. Not to mention having two daughters and a dog that are always traipsing in dirt, sand, and whatever else manages to cling to the bottoms of their shoes and paws.
However, the comfort, warmth, and aesthetic appeal that carpets bring to a room makes it worthwhile. The only downside is that they need constant care and attention.
And you can’t just ignore them either. Neglected carpets look worn, ugly, and dishevelled. Imagine the impression that would make on your guests!
As we all know, carpets can become dusty and grimy if not maintained properly. This creates the perfect environment for harmful microbes and foul smells to cultivate. Not only that, but dirty carpets also attract bacteria and insects that break down carpet fibres and breed nasty germs. These germs can be harmful to your health, comfort and air quality in your home.
That is why we have put together this guide to carpet cleaning and carpet maintenance. Here, you will find all you need to know about dealing with common and persistent stains. We will also cover the best, cost-effective products that will help you with that.
Section 1: The Importance of Carpet Cleaning
Dirty carpets can be a threat to your health and that of your family and guests. Every time you enter your house, you are bringing in allergens, such as pollen and dust with you.
These allergens can cause respiratory problems, such as wheezing, sneezing, and coughing. Dust and dirt particles are also an inviting home for bugs and insects that aren’t visible to the human eye. Not to mention the little mites that are gradually eating away at your carpet fibres.
When carpets get clogged with dust, dirt and debris at the edges, just between the carpet and the walls, it restricts the air circulation and creates a musty, unpleasant smell. The microbes also contribute to this smell and affect the air quality in your home.
Because this is something that you grow accustomed to, the smell will often go without detection to the occupants of the house. However, your guests are going to detect it immediately and wonder how you can stand it all day. Not really the impression you want to make on them, right?
Don’t get me started on pets, either. They bring in a number of harmful bacteria that cause illness every time you take them for a walk.
Another thing worth mentioning – if you are a tenant, you will want to be keeping your landlord’s carpet clean. Why? Your contract will more than likely contain a clause about leaving the house in tip-top condition. This has become a common point in all lease agreements these days. If you don’t comply, your landlord will pay for an end of tenancy cleaning service or a carpet cleaning service out of your deposit. And they aren’t going to choose a cheap one, are they?
What is the Average Carpet Lifespan?
The average lifespan of an inexpensive carpet in a family home is roughly 3-5 years. When we say family home, we would say 4 persons. Keep in mind that if you have a lot of guests coming in and out, you may only get 2-3 years out of your carpet.
A good, medium-grade carpet from nylon or triexta, however, could give you anywhere between 5 and 15 years. Top-of-the-range carpets should last 25 years if cared for properly.
It is good to keep in mind that if you have children or pets, your carpets are more likely to be subject to spillages, stains and friction. As you know, kids and animals don’t understand the importance of not having accidents on carpets. This means the fabric will degrade at a much faster rate.
Carpets exposed to sunlight are prone to discolouration and you will notice the fabric will become dull rather quickly. That is why you should have thick curtains or blinds in rooms that get a lot of light.
Another important factor to carpet lifespan is the length and quality of the fibre. These two things determine how much wear and tear the carpet can take.
Regular maintenance can extend the longevity of a carpet, regardless of your living conditions. Correct carpet cleaning techniques will also keep your floor coverings looking fresh and new for much longer. How you treat stains and spillages is key to the lifespan of your carpet.
Another few pointers to extending your carpets’ lifespan include removing stains as quickly as possible and vacuuming your carpet regularly. This is to make sure you keep your carpet free of dust, dirt, and insects that degrade the fabric.
Have your carpet professionally cleaned every 6-18 months to make sure you get the maximum lifespan out of it.
What Lives in Your Carpet?
Studies show that a horrifying 200,000 types of bacteria and fungi are lurking in every square inch of your carpet.
It is scary to know that your average carpet is 700x dirtier – and dangerous – than a toilet seat. It is estimated that the average UK household accumulates 20kg of grime yearly. Now imagine how much of those particles infest your carpet.
Dust and dirt also act as an abrasive against carpet fibres. Not only does it accelerate the wear-and-tear, affecting the appearance, but it can also lead to health issues.
An average of half a million dead skin cells daily are also working their way into the fibres. All together with dried saliva, hair, pet hair, and dander, all of which is fodder for microscopic insects. That would include fleas, ticks, mites, ants, flies, and spiders with their old cobwebs.
On top of that, you will typically bring in pollen, bits of dried leaves, as well as other organic matter from outside.
Carpets also absorb moisture. You know what that means – the perfect breeding grounds for biological growth.
If you have pets, as we do, the vast array of organisms living in your carpet will be magnified.
Pets attract fleas which subsequently lay eggs in your carpet fibres. Not to mention that your pets are more likely to walk faeces into the house after a walk in the park. The resulting bacteria could contain germs that cause E.coli, salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus (staph).
How Often Should I Clean My Carpets?
Vacuuming every 2-3 days is the recommended amount for removing dust, dirt and food particles that will harm your carpet fabric. Hoovering removes the majority of dust and other debris.
If you have a lot of people coming through your house, you should vacuum every day. You should also pay attention to areas subject to more traffic (entrance hall, living room) every 3-6 weeks using carpet cleaning products.
Any spillages must be treated as soon as possible. This will prevent stains and lasting damage.
How Often Should I Steam Clean My Carpets?
The best way to keep your carpets fresh and protected is by getting them steam-cleaned professionally. Steam, unlike other methods, penetrates carpet fibres, thus extracting much more dirt than a vacuum. For the majority of synthetic fibre carpets, this is the most effective cleaning method.
Natural fibre carpets, on the other hand, should be cleaned using a dry compound. Wool carpets can be cleaned using water, but you must be careful when doing it.
If you have children, pets, or smokers living with you, it is recommended you professional steam-clean your carpets every 6 months to a year.
Households that don’t have a great deal of foot traffic or soiling won’t need to get a professional clean so often. Once a year to 18 months should suffice.
These guidelines are exactly that, however. When you notice a build-up of dirt around the doorway, you know it is time for a proper clean.
As a rule of thumb, you should clean your carpets more frequently if you:
- live with someone that has allergies;
- have young children and/or pets;
- live in a dusty region or get a lot of smog;
- have a habit of treading mud or oil into the house;
- host high-pollinating plants inside or near the house;
- live with smokers.
Now that you know the importance of carpet cleaning and how often you should do it, let us get to the main part. In the next section, you will find some of the best methods to deal with common stains on your carpet.
Section 2: How to Clean Common Carpet Stains?
Soiling your carpet is inevitable. No matter the precautions you take, your carpet is going to end up dirty.
The good news is that there are easy-to-follow, effective methods you can use for just about every type of stain. And the best part is that you can use typical household agents for most cases.
Here are some of the methods you will most likely end up needing:
How to Clean Vomit from a Carpet?
- Use absorbent paper or an old towel to soak up most vomit and scrape away chunks of solid matter;
- Sprinkle the contaminated area with salt or baking powder and leave the substance for 10 to 15 minutes. This will lift any residue from the carpet fibres;
- Vacuum over the area to remove the absorbent, then treat the area with a commercial stain remover that can be used on carpets;
- Blot the stain with a clean, damp cloth. Do not scrub the wet patch as this will push vomit into the carpet fibres;
- Allow the afflicted area to dry overnight and, if possible, open a window to ventilate the room and get rid of the smell. If you have a steam cleaner, use it on the stained area to deep clean the fibres. A steam cleaner eliminates germs and bacteria that create foul odours.
How to Clean Human Urine from a Carpet?
- Use an absorbent towel to blot up as much of the urine as possible. Be careful not to rub it in;
- Mix a solution of water and vinegar; 1/2 a cup of warm water and 1/2 a cup of vinegar;
- Saturate the afflicted area and let it sit for 5-10 minutes to absorb the residue. Now blot it dry;
- Sprinkle baking powder or salt over the area;
- Mix 3/4 cup of peroxide with 1tsp of dish soap. Stir the solution and gently pour it over the dry solution;
- Put on some protective gloves and massage the solution into the carpet with your fingers;
- Leave the area to dry out completely. You may want to lay some newspaper over the area so nobody walks through it;
- Once the area is dry, vacuum up the salt/baking powder.
How to Clean Milk from a Carpet?
- Use absorbent paper, cloth or towel to soak up as much milk as possible;
- Take a small bowl and mix two cups of warm water with one tablespoon of liquid hand-washing detergent;
- Lightly dampen a cloth with water and moisten it with the mixture;
- Use the cloth to blot up the milk until the stain has disappeared;
- Sprinkle cornstarch or ammonia over the affected area and leave it to rest for about 30-60 minutes, or however long it takes for the dry compound to soak up the remaining residue;
- Once the area is dry, take out the hoover and vacuum the affected area of the carpet.
How to Clean Wine from a Carpet?
- Take a dry cloth and blot up as much spilt wine as possible. The more you are able to soak up, the easier the stain is to remove;
- Once you have soaked up the wine, pour cold water directly on to the stain. This will help to dilute whatever wine is left in the carpet fibre;
- Continue blotting the stain with the cloth until you can’t get any more out;
- Make a paste mix by adding baking soda to some water, one part soda and three parts water;
- Apply the mixture to the tainted area and leave the paste to dry;
- Hoover up the dry paste;
- If there is still a visible stain, apply a carpet stain remover.
How to Clean Dried Blood from a Carpet?
- Brush the affected area with a steel brush to loosen the blood particles and remove the mass of the stain from the surface;
- Then mix one teaspoon of ammonia or dishwashing detergent with two cups of cold water;
- Soak a dry, clean cloth or a sponge with the mixture and blot it onto the bloodstain until the stain disappears;
- Leave the area to dry out. If the bloodstain persists, add hydrogen peroxide directly to the stain and cover it with a paper kitchen towel;
- Then put something heavy on top of the paper towels to weigh it down so the substance is soaked up.
How to Remove Fresh Blood Stains from a Carpet?
- Always wear gloves as handling blood is a health hazard;
- Add some water to the bloodstain to dilute the stain and dab at it with a wet cloth. Rinse the area with cold water;
- Dry the area with a towel or cloth, then lay some paper towels over the carpet to soak up any excess moisture;
- Leave the area to dry out, then run the vacuum cleaner over it to plump up the carpet fibres;
- Dispose of contaminated materials responsibly.
How to Clean Cooking Oil Stains from a Carpet?
- Use paper towels to blot up as much oil as possible. Keep doing this until no more oil appears in the towel;
- Apply a small amount of alcohol onto a clean washcloth and dab it onto the oil stain. Make sure to blot, and not wipe as this will spread oil across a wider surface;
- Concoct a mixture made of 1/4 cup of water and a 1/4 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid. Ideally, the dishwashing liquid should be a well-known brand that is effective at fighting grease and does not contain any lanolin or bleach that could fade the colour of your carpet;
- Apply the dishwashing mix to the oil stain using a clean sponge and work it into the affected area until the stain is no longer visible;
- Wash the soap suds out with a small amount of water and blot it up with a clean towel;
- Add a paper towel to the affected area to soak up the remaining drops of moisture;
- Leave the area to dry.
How to Clean Motor Oil Stains from a Carpet?
- Scrape the excess oil away with a butter knife. Be careful not to press down too hard as you could damage the carpet fibres;
- Sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch directly onto the oil stain and leave it to sit for 10-15 minutes;
- Hoover the powder up;
- Take a clean cloth and apply several drops of dry-cleaning solvent and dab it into the motor oil stain;
- If the stain is still visible, mix two cups of warm water with a tablespoon of white vinegar and a tablespoon of dishwashing detergent and work the solution into the stain using a clean sponge;
- Continue until the stain disappears;
- Rinse the affected area with cold water and leave it to dry.
How to Clean Ink from a Carpet?
- Take a can of hairspray and moisten the ink stain;
- With a towel, dab the affected area gently. You should see the ink transferring to the towel;
- Continue dabbing until the ink stain disappears;
- Dampen a towel with lukewarm water and blot the area gently to clean up any remaining traces of hairspray and leave to dry.
How to Clean Acrylic Paint from a Carpet?
- Scrape away as much wet paint as possible with a putty knife;
- When the paint starts to dry out, scrape away the flakes with a steel brush;
- Vacuum the area then remove the pieces of paint and continue scraping until you can’t get any more flakes loose;
- Soak the area with Isopropyl alcohol concentrate and dab it with a dry cloth;
- Leave the patch for 15-20 minutes to allow the solution to loosen the particles;
- Now, blot the stain using a clean cloth to remove as much paint as possible. Be careful to use dabbing motions rather than scrubbing otherwise you could damage the carpet fibres;
- A steam cleaner is also useful at this point to deeply moisten the carpet fibres and break up the remaining particles of paint;
- Now, apply glycerin to a clean cloth and dab it into the paint stain;
- Repeat the blotting process until the stain is completely lifted;
- Leave the area to dry for a couple of hours then vacuum the carpet.
How to Clean Makeup Products from a Carpet?
1. Nail Polish
Using a damp cloth, wet the stain. Make sure you use cold water;
Spray around 15 pumps of hairspray into the stain then rub five small splashes of concentrated alcohol onto the affected area;
Scrub the carpet with a small scrubbing brush;
Whilst your scrubbing, continue to add clean water to the area every minute or so until the stain is no longer visible.
- If you have a light-coloured carpet, you can use hydrogen peroxide. Although it does have bleaching properties that can fade the colour of carpet fibres, a few drops on a light coloured carpet is safe;
- Allow the solution to settle and work its way into the carpet fibres for a couple of minutes;
- Take a dry microfiber cloth and blot the affected area with gentle dabs;
- Once most of the moisture has been removed, take a new microfibre cloth and dampen it with water. Dab this cloth into the wet patch to remove traces of hydrogen peroxide;
- Use a third cloth, or a new paper towel to soak up the water.
- Mix a small portion of water and white vinegar in equal measure;
- Dab the mixture on to a clean cloth;
- Working from the outside in so you don’t smudge the eyeliner into the carpet, blot the stain with the cloth until you lift as much as you can of the eyeliner;
- Sprinkle the remaining vinegar solution on the affected area and lightly blot it with a clean microfibre cloth.
- It’s important to tackle foundation spillages asap otherwise it seeps into the carpet and creates a deeper stain.
- First of all, scrape up any excess powder with a butter knife;
- Mix some dish soap with cold water and lightly dampen it onto a clean cloth;
- Working from the outside in, gently blot the stain until there is no more foundation on the carpet;
- Remove the traces of soapy water by blotting a clean microfiber cloth on the wet patch of the carpet;
- Leave the carpet to dry then give it a once over with a vacuum cleaner.
Section 3: Common House Remedies for Cleaning Carpets
Specially formulated carpet cleaning agents are by far the best option for removing stains. However, there are several household items, in most cases, that will do the job just as well.
Listed below, you will find several home remedies that will help you with carpet cleaning. And the best part is that you can concoct them with things you will probably have knocking around the house.
We have also included some alternatives you might want to consider if the stain removal doesn’t go to plan. However, only use the alternative as a last resort and be sure to take care.
1. Cleaning Carpets with Baking Soda
Baking soda is an all-time favourite for most people. This multifunctional little thing has numerous practical uses in your home – carpet cleaning being one of them.
Courtesy of its non-toxic, biodegradable properties, baking soda is an excellent home remedy you can use for cleaning and deodorizing carpets. Its pH-balanced properties fight odours, such as pet urine and smoke. And the best part is that it’s not abrasive, so it won’t wear down your carpet fibres.
Not only that, but baking soda works as an absorbent compound. This means that it absorbs excess moistures. It can be used for both oily and non-oily spillages and also helps dry out wet patches in your carpet quickly and efficiently.
To use baking soda for cleaning carpets, all you need to do is sprinkle a generous portion over the stain. The best option is to leave it to settle overnight, but you could also leave it for 5-6 hours during the day.
You will notice the baking soda is dry and crusty after a certain amount of time. This means it is time to vacuum up the residue.
2. Cleaning Carpets with Vinegar
White vinegar is arguably just as effective when carpet cleaning as baking soda. Its acidic properties mean that it is a natural antibacterial and antimicrobial agent.
Vinegar is a tough component for removing stains. Not only that though. It is also highly efficient in tackling mould and loosening dirt particles buried into your carpet fibres. You can mix it with deodorizing liquids to leave your carpets looking nice and fluffy, as well as smelling fresh.
An important reminder when using vinegar as a carpet cleaner, though. Always dilute it with equal amounts of water. Otherwise, it will discolour the fibres of your carpet.
To clean your carpets using vinegar, apply the mixture by either lightly sprinkling or spraying the solution over the stain. Alternatively, dab it into the stain with a white cloth.
Another important reminder – white vinegar may not always be effective on the first go. You may need to repeat the process a few times before it works.
3. Cleaning Carpets with Bleach
There is always a big question mark when it comes to carpet cleaning with bleach. Is it effective, is it a good idea? The short answer is yes, you can use bleach to clean only polypropylene carpets. Be careful to follow the procedure below exactly as instructed.
There are certain circumstances when bleach is not recommended.
Bleach contains strong chemicals. These chemicals can strip the colour out of carpet fibres. That is why you only use bleach on white to very light coloured floor coverings.
Bleach for cleaning wool carpets is a big no. It also isn’t the best option for cleaning synthetic carpets either.
Furthermore, bleach should always be diluted with water. Measure one tbsp of bleach to a gallon of water.
Another big no is mixing bleach with ammonia or vinegar.
To avoid children or pets suffering from chemical burns, always make sure they can’t reach the area that has been treated with bleach.
For the same reason, always wear rubber gloves when cleaning with bleach. Health and safety experts recommend wearing a mask. Overexposure to bleach can have negative effects on the respiratory system.
To clean carpets with bleach, apply your diluted solution and leave it for 30 minutes. Now, rinse out the area thoroughly using carpet shampoo. After which, give it another good rinse with clean water.
Household Products You Should Only Use as a Last Resort
Many household products can be used for carpet cleaning. However, many have been tried and tested, and have failed. There are also countless articles floating around the internet, some of which are credible, and some of which are not.
Below, we will list these products and the correct methods for using them if you must. Only ever try out these if all other options have failed.
The health risk is not worth the amount of money you’ll save from not buying a proper cleaning solution instead.
You may have heard of this one under its other name – sodium tetraborate. Borax is a natural ingredient that is used in several cleaning products. Among them, all-purpose cleaners and laundry detergent.
If you have some tough stains, adding borax to baking soda or vinegar helps give these home remedies an extra bit of strength. This will help to lift dirt and stains from your carpet.
Although borax is a low-toxicity pesticide, there are some doubts that overexposure to it could pose health risks. That is why it is recommended that homemade cleaning solutions with borax should be used sparingly.
To use borax for carpet cleaning, add a cup of it to a mix of baking soda and water. Then, blot the solution onto the stain and leave it for several hours to dry.
Place paper towels over the wet patch to speed up the drying process. When fully dry, give it a once over with a hoover.
Many commercial cleaning agents for the kitchen and bathroom contain ammonia. It is highly toxic, thus excellent for killing microbes. However, its fumes can cause headaches and respiratory issues if you inhale too much of it.
Ammonia is highly alkaline, making it corrosive. It can cause discolouration and should never be used on wool or other natural fibre carpets.
You can use ammonia to clean carpets. Use it sparingly and follow the health and safety precautions you will find below. Only ever use ammonia if you have tried and failed using other carpet cleaning options.
To use ammonia for cleaning stains, mix 2 tbsp of it with a cup of water. Use a sponge or a clean cloth to apply the solution to the affected area.
Immediately afterwards, blot the area with warm, soapy water (use dishwashing detergent). Be careful to only dab the area, never scrub. Allow the carpet to dry and give it a good vacuuming.
3. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is a natural chemical that is becoming increasingly popular as a carpet cleaning agent. This is because it is more environmentally friendly than commercial cleaning agents that you can find in supermarkets.
Although you can use hydrogen peroxide to clean carpets, it has chemical properties that will slightly discolour carpet fibres. To make it doesn’t damage your carpet, test it on a small area to determine the effect it will have.
Never use hydrogen peroxide that is more than 3% concentrate. Always dilute it with water.
To use hydrogen peroxide for carpet cleaning, mix 1 part to 5 parts hot water and add 1tsp of biodegradable dishwashing detergent. Use a soft brush to scrub the mixture onto the area. After cleaning, open a window to ventilate the room.
Section 4: How to Maintain your Clean Carpets
One of the most important factors when it comes to carpet maintenance is knowing how to properly care for your floor coverings. This will help you prevent your floors from getting overly dirty and keeps them looking fresh and new for much longer.
To increase your carpet’s lifespan, you will need to clean it regularly. You need to remove dirt and grime that causes friction to get more wear out of it. Otherwise, you will be creating the perfect environment for millions of bugs to settle down and nibble away at your carpet fibres.
The main rule that everyone knows – regular vacuuming. How often you should hoover depends on how much foot traffic passes through your house:
In an average household of 2-4 people, you can get away with vacuuming every 2-3 days.
However, if you have pets or children, you should hoover every day.
Carpet manufacturers will typically recommend you steam clean your carpets every 6-12 months. However, natural fibre carpets will need an alternative professional cleaning service, such as encapsulation or dry compound cleaning.
All of the above services effectively penetrate carpet fibres, unlike regular hoovering and DIY treatments. This not only makes your carpet look plush and new but also protects them from microbes that degenerate carpet fibres. As a result, giving your carpet a longer lifespan.
How to Protect Carpets from Getting Dirty Quickly
Every time you enter the house, your shoes are carrying in soil, oil, dirt, pollen, fertiliser, and all manner of bacteria. All of this is getting traipsed through your carpet. This is why shoes should be left at the front door.
Cooking oil is another devil for carpets. If you have carpeted areas near the kitchen, close the doors to prevent them from getting to them. You would be surprised by how fair cooking oil can travel once it starts spitting.
Environmental experts advise a professional carpet clean every 1-2 years.
You may be wondering when is the best time to get your carpet professionally cleaned. The best time to get it done is before it looks dirty and worn. If it gets to that point, it will be very hard to restore it to its initial new look. Did you know they can hold up to 10lbs of soil per square foot before they start looking dirty?
Carpet fibres develop a build-up of dirt if not deep cleaned at least once a year. When this goes too far, it will be much tougher to remove grime and harmful microbes, even with a professional clean.
Another important factor – using the correct detergent and applying the right technique. Always remember, there isn’t one universal method or solution. Each carpet is individual.
Section 5: Best Methods for Cleaning Carpets
For general carpet cleaning and regular maintenance – use your vacuum and simple cleaning products.
However, there are going to be days when cleaning your carpet isn’t going to be as easy as that. Sometimes vacuuming and scrubbing until your fingers are raw just isn’t enough to deal with blemishes and dirt.
At this point, you are going to have to suck it up and admit that your ordinary cleaning methods aren’t enough to get your carpet looking spick and span. The good news is that you have some alternative methods that will be more effective.
1. Steam Cleaning or Hot Water Extraction
Steam cleaning is a process that uses water that is heated at 150°F-200°F. As a result, steam will be created. This steam will penetrate the fibres of your carpet much better than any scrubbing with various detergents. The steam dissolves the dirt, leaving you with a fresh, soft and bacteria-free carpet.
You will have to add a cleaning agent to your steam cleaner. The machine will then agitate the fibres with a soft brush. You then leave the agent to settle for a short while before washing through and leaving to dry at room temperature.
One of the benefits of steam cleaning is that the high temperatures effectively loosen dirt particles. The temperature also kills microbiological organisms, such as bacteria, fungus and dust mites. After which, the debris is sucked up using a hoover.
Furthermore, steam cleaning allows you to reach tight nooks and crannies that you can’t always get to with a vacuum or other cleaning methods. That is why vetted technicians always recommend a good steam cleaning over other methods.
Having said that, this method may not be ideal for all carpet types. It is good for wool blend and synthetic carpets. However, if you have a natural fibre carpet, such as viscose, tencel, seagrass, or just, your best option is to try dry compound cleaning.
Another downside to steam cleaning is that you will use quite a lot of water. This means that it will take a while for your carpet to dry out.
Steam cleaning is one of the most popular methods, however, it remains one of the more expensive ones.
2. Carpet Shampooing
Shampooing (or foaming) is another option, although not that popular nowadays. Many professional cleaning agencies offer a shampooing service, typically coupled with steam cleaning.
This method is fast and inexpensive, however, it is not the most effective way to draw out dirt and grime. Not only that, but because the foam is left to dry without being rinsed, it often leaves a sticky, unpleasant residue on your carpet.
You can try vacuuming your carpet to remove this residue, although not all hoovers have enough suction power to deal with all of the foam.
If you have a steam cleaner handy, this will loosen the hardened foam and allow you to completely remove it. Namely why shampooing and steam cleaning come as a coupled service.
Foam encapsulation is a new technology that is more environmentally friendly than other methods. You could consider it the evolution of carpet shampooing. It is capable of tackling tough stains and deeply ingrained dirt.
Encapsulation uses synthetic detergents that crystallise into powder after drying. This then creates a base that loosens dirt particles in the carpet, making it easier to suck up carpet debris.
As a result, this method provides a deeper cleanse so that you needn’t clean your carpets as often – even in high foot traffic areas.
Another advantage of the encapsulation method – you don’t use as much water, meaning a quicker drying time.
The only downside to encapsulation is that you need a motorised rotary brush for the technique to be effective. Add that to the specially formulated cleaning solution and the method ends up being a bit more expensive than other options.
4. Bonnet Cleaning
Bonnet cleaning is the ideal routine maintenance for lightly soiled carpets. This method only really removes particles from the surface, but it is the best quick-fix solution. And what’s more, it doesn’t create a disturbance to your general day-to-day activities like some of the other options.
Before starting the bonnet cleaning process, you should always give the carpet a once over with a vacuum. This will remove surface dust, hairs and loose dirt particles. Then you spray the carpet with a chemical solution and leave it to rest.
After the solution has been given time to react with the fibres, cleaners would generally use a heavy-duty motorised floor machine. It is fitted with large absorbent pads, or better known as a bonnet, and spun over the carpet at 100-300 rpm.
This rotary action works the chemicals into the carpet fibres. The pads are then absorbing dirt from the carpet surface.
Bonnet cleaning doesn’t require much moisture. This means your carpets will dry quickly. That is what makes it one of the most popular methods in hotels with a lot of foot traffic that need to keep all areas open to avoid inconveniencing their guests.
However, although this method keeps your carpet looking bright and clean, it doesn’t deal with deeply set grime. Your clean appearance isn’t going to be very long-lasting. This is because it doesn’t penetrate the deeper parts of the pile.
Another disadvantage of bonnet cleaning is that your carpet fibres are going to retain a build-up of the chemical residue. This will eventually lead to your floor covering disintegrating at a faster rate.
5. Deep Cleaning or Dry Cleaning
This method of carpet cleaning came along in the 1980s and has become quite popular nowadays. The idea is that you use a dry compound formula to deal with the dirt.
Dry cleaning, also known as compound cleaning, uses a powdered solution that has the ability to deep clean without water. This method is considered an effective evolution of bonnet cleaning.
The methodology has more or less the same concept as bonnet cleaning. A powder compound is applied to the carpet and left to work its way into the fibres.
After which, a motorised rotary machine is used to work in the remaining compound into the deeper parts of the carpet. This allows the compound to settle and give the carpet a thorough clean.
The compound used for this method is biodegradable. It dissolves dirt and grime and can be later vacuumed up along with all the other particles.
However, this may not be the case with plush carpets. Long-pile floor coverings are much more difficult for cleaning solutions to successfully deep clean them. The powdered compound can end up getting trapped in it and will accumulate over time, along with all the dirt.
Section 6: Professional Carpet Cleaning Services
We all know that keeping your house clean is a time-consuming chore that sucks out all your energy. And that’s before we even get to deep-cleaning the carpets.
Sometimes you need a bit of professional help to take the weight off your shoulders. Not only do carpet cleaning agencies equip their technicians with specialised tools and products, but they also know how to care for your carpet correctly.
That alone can end up saving you hundreds and hundreds of pounds. The more you care for your carpet, the longer it will last.
Restoring your carpet’s shine with a deep cleanse not only helps with its appearance but also deals with nasty bacterias. You don’t want a health hazard in your home, especially if you have children that are still developing their immune system.
Professional carpet cleaners will take the hassle and stress of deep carpet cleansing. This is because they are vetted technicians with years of hands-on experience that know how to get the job done.
You should consider contacting the pros in the following situations:
- when you don’t have enough time on your hands;
- if you don’t have the correct equipment;
- your carpet is looking dirty even after you’ve tried vacuuming and commercial cleaning products;
- when your carpet has stubborn stains that won’t come out;
- if you are worried about attempting a home stain removal;
- you have an expensive carpet;
- you need to recover your security deposit at the end of your tenancy.
Courtesy of their professional equipment, professional carpet cleaning really does make a difference. You just can’t reach the same results with commercial products.
Another thing, using commercial steam cleaning apparatus is not as effective as industrial machines. And scrubbing your carpets by hand with a brush will end up damaging your carpet fibres over time.
Don’t risk wearing your carpet thin before its time.