Carpets add a great deal of beauty and elegance to your home décor. Plus, a good carpet adds warmth and helps set the mood and ambience in your room. On the downside, though, it tends to be delicate and expensive to keep clean.
You also need to keep them hypoallergenic. Furthermore, unwanted stains and spills are almost inevitable, especially when you have kids and pets in your house! Hence, carpets require proper cleaning and maintenance.
How to Clean Your Carpet
Steps for Cleaning
- Vacuum clean the entire carpet twice to clean the surface dirt and loose particles. However, do not vacuum carpets and rugs with fringes.
- Inspect the carpet for areas with stains and grime that could not be removed in the previous step.
- Create a cleaning solution by mixing your laundry detergent and water.
- Spray this solution on a soft, white cloth, and wipe down the affected areas with it. Besides, you may scrub the area with a carpet brush.
- Soak another clean cloth in plain water and wipe it on the areas where you have used the detergent. Do this several times to wash off the soapy solution. It is essential to remove excess soap as it tends to pick up soil easily.
- Allow the wet, stain-treated areas to dry thoroughly. To expedite drying, you can fold a clean towel several times, place it on the moist area, and let it sit there for hours. To help the towel absorb moisture from the carpet, weigh it with a heavy object.
Moreover, you can open the windows and turn on the fans, or the air-conditioner for faster drying. If you do not get rid of the moisture soon, it shall lead to mildew and a stale odor. Therefore, the carpet should not remain wet for more than 24 hours.
- When the carpet dries, vacuum it again to remove any residue. It shall also help fluff the carpet.
How to Deodorize Your Carpet and Remove Stubborn Stains
- When cleaning stains, you do not need to scrub too hard as it tends to destroy the carpet fibers. Simply spray a cleaning solution on the spot and blot it with a clean, white towel or washcloth. Plus, most stains on carpets can be removed with the help of soda water or ordinary washing-up liquid solutions. You can spray the liquid on the stained spot and then wipe with a clean cloth. Soapy water made with dishwashing liquids can even remove red wine and blood stains.
- Water-soluble stains like that of fruit juices, jellies, milk, colas, alcoholic beverages, latex paint, washable ink, and the same can be gotten rid of by cleaning with a solution of 32 ounces of water and a quarter teaspoon of white vinegar. Urine stains and smells can be removed using a solution of equal parts of white vinegar and water. Allow the solution to sit on the stain for about 15 minutes.
- For tough stains like that of tea, coffee, chocolate, vomit, and so on, use a cup of water mixed with a tablespoon of ammonia. Do not apply this solution on wool or wool-blend carpets, though.
- Ink stains can be cleaned with a paste of milk and cornstarch. Rub the paste on the ink stain and let it dry overnight. Next day, remove it with the help of a scrub brush.
- To get rid of rust stains, apply some lemon juice on the stain and sprinkle table salt on it. Let it sit for at least half an hour. Finally, blot it with a clean damp cloth. Saturating the affected area in white vinegar for about 30-40 minutes can also prove useful in this regard.
- If there is glue on the carpet, soak a soft cloth in rubbing alcohol, dab it on the affected area to moisten it, and then wipe it off. You may have to repeat the procedure two to three times.
- To remove wax or oil from a carpet, place a paper towel on the affected area and apply steam on it with a clothes iron on warm setting. Continue until the steam causes the wax to stick to the paper towel.
- Coming to the deodorization of your carpet, you can use a commercial carpet deodorizer for this purpose.
- In case you are looking for home remedies to eliminate carpet smells, then try baking soda. You just need to sprinkle it on the carpet and vacuum it after a few hours.
- Mild odors and stains can be lifted using a mixture of two parts cornmeal and one part borax. It shall prevent mold growth, too.
- Another trick to get rid of funky carpet smell involves spreading grated potato on the carpet, leaving it for several hours, and then sucking it with a vacuum cleaner.
- For dreadful animal smells, put a little white vinegar on a kitchen paper or a dry cloth and dab it on the affected area.
Before applying any suspected cleaning solution that you believe may not be suitable for your carpet, test it on a hidden spot. In case the stains do not respond to these treatments then you will have to get your carpet cleaned professionally by skilled carpet cleaners.
- Vacuum clean your carpet at least once a week. If it is placed in a high-traffic area in your home, you may need to clean it three to four times in a week. Moreover, get your carpet cleaned thoroughly every 12 to 18 months.
- Make sure you vacuum the carpet thoroughly before spraying water or any cleaning solution on it.
- To prevent the carpet from getting too dirty, consider placing welcome mats and rugs outside the exterior door and just inside the door. It shall help stop the dirt at the door itself.
- For fresh spills and stains, blot them away immediately. Plus, dab the stain with a white cloth, working from the outside in, so that it does not spread further. If the stain does not fade, use a cloth soaked in liquid laundry detergent.
- When cleaning wall-to-wall carpeting, you may divide the entire area into quadrants and then work up each quadrant thoroughly before moving on to the next.