The human gaze is oriented downward. The first thing a guest will notice in your house is a dirty carpet ; not only that but an unclean carpet can trap certain unpleasant substances. Depending on what has your rug dirty and what kind of carpet you have, you can clean it with different methods. Here’s our take on the best way to clean a carpet. Employing the following methods in sequence on a regular basis can prolong the life of your carpet.
Running the vacuum cleaner over your carpet’s high-traffic areas keeps the fibers fresh and clean. Carpets attract dust and dirt from foot traffic. Dust isn’t exactly friendly or attractive on a carpet. You can also do a full house cleaning once a week. When vacuuming, here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Make overlapping strokes with the vacuum to make sure you pick up everything.
- Move slowly. If you move too quickly, the vacuum passes over the carpet without enough time to pick up dust. Try counting to three on each forward and backward stroke.
- Set your cleaner to the proper height for your carpet. This may take some experimentation but go for a height that allows the cleaner to roll with only a little resistance.
- Don’t neglect attachments. Those little brushes and hoses on your vacuum cleaner are invaluable for reaching places the main unit can’t.
- Clean your bag and change your filter. If you let gunk build up in your vacuum, it won’t be as good at cleaning your carpet.
Vacuuming is good for getting up dust, but what if you’ve got stains on the carpet? Here are a few tips on removing various kinds of stains. First, you need to know what you’re dealing with. Also, you’ll be applying various chemicals to your carpet that could damage the color if your carpet isn’t colorfast. Test it out first in a secluded area.
Blood: Use a steel wool pad or brush (with rubber gloves to prevent contamination) and gently scrub at the stain if it’s dried to loosen it from the carpet. Use a solution of two cups of cold water and one teaspoon of dish detergent, dip a cloth in it, and blot at the solution from the outside in. You can also use salt, baking soda, or hydrogen peroxide to clean up blood.
Urine: Use an enzyme-based cleaner like Nature’s Miracle. Get as much of the stain up with a cloth as you can, then spray the remainder and allow the chemicals to do their work. After about half an hour, you should be able to scrub up the rest. This method can also clean up vomit and feces.
Ink: Depending on what kind of ink, you can use dishwashing liquid, hydrogen peroxide, or rubbing alcohol to remove an ink stain. As with other stains, work from the outside in.
Grass: Sweep or vacuum up any soil or other pesky matter that may have crept in along with the stain. Create a mixture of laundry detergent and cold water. Dip a clean cloth into it and dab at the stain until it completely transfers. If this doesn’t work, try ammonia after making sure the area is well-ventilated.
In most cases, detergent can work. In the case of pet stains, you need an enzyme-based cleaner to break down the stain completely and remove it. Otherwise, a faint lingering scent might entice the pet to use the same spot again.
Carpet Cleaning Machine
A deep carpet cleaner like the Rug Doctor or the Bissell Big Green Carpet Cleaner uses a proprietary solution to clean the carpet. The carpet shampooer forces the solution down to the backing, using the force of the backwash to loosen dirt and other stains up, then acts as a normal vacuum.
Home carpet cleaners used to be fairly expensive, but can now be had quite cheaply. Carpet cleaners for pets tend to be a bit more costly since they have specific functions like pet hair trappers, pet stain removers and pet smell removers.
The larger the unit, the larger the tank and the longer it can clean. So smaller carpets can often get away with a cheap portable carpet shampooer.
A steam cleaner works much the same way as a wet vacuum, but with the added element of heat. Steam cleaners can be effective, but as mentioned earlier you should not use one if you know there are pet stains, because they could be sealed to the carpet.