Carpet Maintenance: Tips for Cleaning and Taking Care of Your Carpet
Taking care of your carpet and cleaning it on a regular basis can add years to its lifespan, but is it as easy as it sounds?
Carpets come in many materials and types, and each one has its cleaning precautions. Luckily, we’re here to help. We’ll give you a list of carpet maintenance tips and tell you the right way to take care of it, so bear with us!
General Maintenance Tips for Your Carpet
Here’s our detailed guide on how to maintain your carpet and keep it looking neat and tidy!
Vacuum It Regularly
Vacuuming is the easiest way to clean a carpet. Regularly doing it cleans the daily dust and grime, preventing them from settling amidst your carpet’s strands. But how regularly should you vacuum your carpet?
Well, if your carpet is in a high-traffic room, you should vacuum it daily, but if it’s in a low-traffic place, only twice a week will suffice.
Treat Stains and Spills Fast
Carpets are susceptible to stains and spills, and they’re usually harmless if you treat them fast.
The secret to doing so is keeping a carpet spot cleaner near at hand in case you need it. If the stain can be cleaned thoroughly with water, act fast and do it using blotting movements, not rubbing.
Put Doormats at the House’s Entrances
Whenever you step inside your house, you’re bringing a lot of dirt and dust onto your carpet, and the same goes for all your guests. Over time, this will cause your carpet to show signs of wear and tear, which will shorten its lifespan. Luckily, there’s an easy fix.
All you have to do is place doormats at all your house’s entrances, and they’ll take the hit instead of your dear carpets.
Protect It From the Sunlight
If you have carpets placed right under windows, they’ll be directly exposed to sunlight all day long. Due to the harshness of UV rays, this placement might cause the colours of your carpet to fade or slightly change.
To prevent this, you should limit direct sunlight exposure to your carpets, either by hanging curtains or window blinds.
Rotate Your Furniture
When furniture pieces stay in the same place for years, they eventually leave dents and marks behind on the carpet. An easy way to prevent this is to rotate your furniture periodically so that it doesn’t cause permanent dents.
Don’t Use Too Much Water While Cleaning
Moisture is mould’s favourite environment, and leaving your carpet wet for a long time will leave the door open for its growth. Since mould growth in your carpet can cause allergy-like symptoms, you should do your best to prevent it.
In this case, the best to do is to clean the carpet using minimal amounts of water so that it doesn’t take too long to dry.
Put Carpet Protectors Under Heavy Furniture Legs
If you don’t have enough space to rotate your furniture regularly, a reliable alternative is to use carpet protectors under each piece’s legs. The protectors will lessen the denting damage to your carpet and prevent leaving behind marks of wear.
Get Professional Cleaning Sessions Annually
Regular vacuuming and mopping keep your carpet looking clean on the outside, but some stubborn dust and grime might become embedded deep inside the fibres. That’s where the importance of regular professional cleaning sessions shows.
Professional cleaners use cleaning methods that are more efficient and thorough than DIY practices, and they ensure that your carpet is 100% clear of dust and bacteria.
Ideally, you should get professional carpet cleaning once every 12 months.
Check the Manufacturer’s Care Instructions
Each carpet comes with specific care instructions from the manufacturers after they consider its manufacturing materials and methods. For instance, some carpets can be cleaned using vinegar and water, while some might suffer from discolouration if you do so.
To avoid damaging your carpet, you should follow your manufacturer’s care instructions closely.
4 Different Ways to Clean Your Carpet
Now that you have a general idea about how to maintain your carpet, it’s time to introduce you to the different cleaning methods you can use. Here’s a brief roundup of the most common ones.
Vacuuming prevents the daily dust and grime from becoming embedded into your carpet and causing musty smells and signs of wear. The power of suction caused by your vacuum also ruffles the carpet’s fibres and prevents them from matting down as a result of constant stomping and stepping.
However, vacuuming cleans the surface of your carpet only. It isn’t enough by itself because it doesn’t remove all the dirt and almost has no effect on stains.
If you don’t own a vacuum or like doing things the old way, you can use a carpet brush to keep your floor looking neat and clean.
A bristled brush will scrub all the stubborn dust and grime and keep your strands upright. The best way to brush your carpet is to hang it vertically and brush in the direction of gravity so that all the dust falls on the ground.
If your carpet has suffered more than one stain, and you want to give it a deep cleaning session, washing is the way to go.
To clean your carpet thoroughly, sprinkle some baking soda on top of it. Then, mix warm water with carpet shampoo. Use a brush and some of this mixture to scrub your carpet clean, then blot it with a clean rug. Repeat the same step with water only.
Dry cleaning is a must-use method if your carpet is made from a delicate material that can’t tolerate water. It consists of sprinkling a commercial dry cleaning powder all over the carpet, scrubbing it with a brush, and then vacuuming.
4 Levels of Cleaning: Most Superficial to Deepest!
Cleaning a carpet consists of four levels, ranging from superficial daily cleaning to deep professional cleaning. Here’s a quick rundown of them.
Vacuuming is the first and most superficial step in cleaning carpets. It should always accompany the other steps because it makes for less time and effort. This is because it’ll remove some dirt instead of leaving it all for the deep cleaning session.
Spot cleaning treats any visible stains on the carpet, and it should be done fast to avoid permanent marks.
Deep cleaning can be achieved by using water and carpet shampoo or water and vinegar, and it’s easy enough to do at home. It cleans all the embedded dust and grime from your carpet and leaves it looking shiny and new.
Professional cleaning is the deepest level of all, and it’s essential to extend your carpet’s lifespan. It’s a must to do because professionals use necessary tools that are unavailable to the crowd, like steam cleaners and UV light. Also, they spot water damage and stubborn stains that you might not notice and give you pointers on how to fix them.
Different Cleaning Solutions You Can Use to Clean Carpets
There are many cleaning solutions that people use to clean carpets, but which one should you use? Here’s a list of the most common carpet cleaners and their uses.
Using carpet shampoo is an upgrade from DIY cleaning solutions like vinegar and baking soda because it’s more efficient. It’s manufactured from chemicals that clean old and smelly stains efficiently, and it doesn’t leave behind an odour like vinegar.
A common solution used to clean carpets is a mix of bleach and water, but we don’t recommend it. For starters, bleach is a hazardous material that you have to use with caution, and it can irritate your respiratory airways if you inhale it.
Also, bleach soaks through fibres and into the carpet’s back, which might cause it to wear out over time. Finally, bleach causes discolouration and fading of bright colours, so it’s only suitable for white and off-white carpets.
Deodorisers aren’t used to clean carpets. Rather, they’re used to make them smell better. Suppose you notice a musty smell coming out of your carpet, or you have pets who like to leave welcoming gifts behind on your floors. A deodoriser will fix this issue in seconds.
However, make sure to buy one that won’t harm your pets if licked and is suitable for the material of your carpet.
Carpet cleaning foams are an ideal solution for stains because they’re fast-acting and will take you less than a minute to use. All you have to do is spray some foam on the dirty spot, scrub it with the brush, and then blot it with a clean damp cloth.
However, they’ll be a bit out of depth during deep cleaning because they aren’t as efficient as shampoo.
This type of cleaning consists of using a machine to push extremely hot, tiny vapours of steam deep into your carpet’s fibres to clean it. The high temperature will kill all the pathogens and bacteria inside, and the water will expand to push all the dust and dirt outside.
For best results, steam cleaning should be done by professionals.
How Long Does It Take for Carpets to Dry After Cleaning?
The average time it’ll take your carpet to dry completely is 8-10 hours if the weather and humidity conditions are in your favour. If they aren’t, it might take up to 24 hours.
Do Different Carpet Types Require Different Cleaning Methods?
Yes, different types of carpets require different cleaning methods. Here’s a guide to the most common carpet types and how you should care for them!
To clean your cut pile carpet efficiently, you should ideally use a vacuum cleaner with a rotating brush. The rotation movements will loosen any stuck dirt amidst the strands and won’t damage them.
As for cleaning and washing, you’re free to use any method you like.
Unlike cut pile carpets, you shouldn’t use a rotating brush to vacuum a loop pile carpet. The movements might pull the loops out of their places and cause fraying. Ideally, you should use a suction-only vacuum and wash it any way you like without vigorous scrubbing.
Cut and Loop Pile
Suction-only vacuums are the way to go with cut and loop piles to keep the loops intact and prevent fuzzing and fraying. As for washing, you can use any detergent you want, but avoid using a rough-bristled brush to avoid loosening the loops.
Wool carpets have fine strands that don’t do well under the harsh movements of a rotating brush, so you should vacuum them using suction-only machines.
As for washing, avoid using harsh chemicals like chlorine because it might dissolve the fabric or cause discolouration. Instead, use a specific wool carpet cleaning detergent and water.
You can use a vacuum with a rotating or beater brush to clean your nylon carpet, as nylon is more resilient than wool. However, try not to use it regularly to avoid fraying the fibres.
Also, if your carpet gets stained, you can use vinegar, baking soda, shampoo, or dish soap to clean it.
Since polyester is a synthetic material, it’s as resilient as nylon and can take regular vacuuming and cleaning well. You can vacuum regularly using suction-only and occasionally using a beater brush. As for cleaning, use any detergent you have on hand.
Polypropylene carpets have the same cleaning requirements as polyester and nylon. Since they aren’t as delicate as natural materials, you’re free to vacuum and clean them in any way you like.
Why Does Your Carpet Get Dirty?
Carpets get dirty because of a myriad of reasons, and we’ve listed some of them below.
Pets and Kids
Pets bring a lot of dust from the outside world onto your carpet, and they sometimes pee on it if they aren’t trained. Their constant stomping on your floors is one of the biggest culprits of your dirty carpet.
As for kids, they don’t pay as much attention as adults to cleanliness, so they’re more likely to drop food and drinks and cause stains.
Dust and dirt from the outdoors cling to the soles of your shoes, and the mere act of walking into your house can cause them to drop onto the carpet.
If you have a carpet installed outdoors, this means that it’s exposed to sunlight, dust, wind, insects, and more. All of these factors can contribute to it becoming dirty fast.
Food and Drink
Eating and drinking over your carpet naturally results in splatters and crumbs, which can make your carpet look dirty if they accumulate.
To Wrap Up
Taking proper care of your carpet can extend its lifespan and keep it looking neat and clean. It mainly consists of regular vacuuming, spot cleaning, deep cleaning, and professional cleaning.
To avoid damaging your carpet, take a look at our maintenance tips above, and if you want to install a new carpet, get in touch with us now!