Although hardwood and tile floors are popular, most homes and apartments continue to have carpets as the main flooring type. Whether it’s full carpet or just a simple rug, this soft flooring is great for people who want something warm and comfortable on the floor. Unfortunately, carpet is difficult to clean, especially if you don’t know what to do.
No matter what type of carpet you own, there is the best way to clean it that involves simple steps like regular vacuuming, steam cleaning, and spot or stain removal. Always remember to avoid harsh chemicals, since they can stain or disintegrate the carpet. Instead, use gentler alternatives and clean your carpet following these steps.
The first thing to do with any carpet is to vacuum. Vacuuming eliminates not only crumbs but also harder to see objects on the surface like hair and dust. You might be surprised just how much can build up over time, especially if your house or apartment has a lot of foot traffic.
Not all carpets are designed the same way, so you might need to figure out the best type of vacuum cleaner for your carpet. You can view this guide for some options, and you can also look closely at the length of the individual tufts that form the carpet. Do you have nylon? Polyester? Wool? Olefin? How long are the tufts – do you have short, thin carpet or something closer to the shag of the 1970s?
Your carpet type will determine how strong you want the vacuum to be, and whether or not you want to find a model with a brush roller. No matter what the style of carpet is, you will want to vacuum on a regular basis, usually once a week. This will help keep the floor clean and prevent the buildup of dust and allergens.
Regular Steam Cleaning
For the average carpet, you want to steam clean at least once or twice a year. In steam cleaning, a machine heats up water until it turns into a hot vapor that can be used to lift dirt and stains from the carpet. You can either hire a professional company for this process, or you can rent a machine from most hardware stores. You’ll be required to fill part of the machine with water and then run it slowly over the carpet so it sprays the steam and starts to lift up the dirt. It’s also a great way to eliminate allergens.
Steam cleaning doesn’t work on every carpet, and some rarer or more sensitive materials like wool might require dry cleaning. However, steam cleaning removes 97% of contaminants, is environmentally friendly, and uses absolutely no chemicals. This makes it popular among individuals who have young children or pets and would like to keep their house safe and chemical free.
Removing spots from a carpet is one of the most difficult challenges, but needs to be done if you want a truly clean carpet. It’s important to examine what kind of carpet you have first because some materials and dyes will react poorly with commercial spot removing chemicals. While these are sometimes effective, they often will leave behind residue that needs to be cleaned or harsh chemical deposits.
For carpets, it’s instead recommended that you use a soft, gentle spot remover. Search for gentle cleaners at the store, or consider making one yourself at home. Some of the most popular recipes include household ingredients like white vinegar, water, laundry detergent, and dish soap.
If you do want to use a store-bought spot remover, remember to read the instructions carefully and test in an inconspicuous spot to avoid discoloration.
Cleaning the carpet doesn’t have to be difficult. All it requires is a little research on your part and some knowledge about your carpet type. The best way to clean a carpet is to follow three separate steps: vacuuming, then steam cleaning, and finally spot removal to eliminate any tough, ground in stains. Remember to repeat this entire process at least once or twice a year, and to vacuum weekly. Spot removal can be done whenever the situation arises since it’s easier to eliminate stains when they occur than months later.