How to Take Proper Care of Your Carpet

Having a carpet installed in your home is a big expense, which is why you’ll need to properly maintain your carpet so it lasts for years. Having a clean carpet also means you and the other members of your household are living in a healthy environment.

Carpet is one of the biggest investments a homeowner has in their home. As it is with any major investment, it is important to take care of your home’s carpet so it retains its value for as long as possible. Finding the best carpet cleaning method is a very important element of protecting and maintaining your home’s carpet in good condition.

Maintenance of your home’s carpet includes regular vacuuming and periodic cleaning with a rug cleaning method. The best carpet cleaning methods include shampooing, hot water extraction, foam cleaning, and bonnet cleaning, among others.

The regular vacuuming of carpets only removes the soil particulates from the fibers and maintains the appearance of the surface of the carpet. This gets up dirt that gets into the pile of the carpet. Vacuuming needs to be done at least once every two weeks for normal traffic areas and once a week for high traffic areas For areas where there is high dirt or pet dander, vacuuming should be done at least twice per week.

While its recommended that you vacuum your carpet at least once a week or every two weeks, depending on the foot traffic your carpet receives on a daily basis, regular vacuuming alone isnt going to help maintain your carpets cleanliness. Of course, vacuuming your carpet regularly does help. It keeps the dirt from becoming embedded into the carpet fibers. For carpet areas that receive lots of foot traffic, pet hair slowly move the vacuum back and forth over it and side to side at least seven times. You can do fewer in areas that receive less foot traffic.

Carpet cleaning doesn’t stop at mere vacuuming. There are other carpet cleaning methods for properly maintaining and caring for carpets. One of the more popular carpet cleaning methods is shampooing. With this method, you spray a shampoo solution onto the carpet to loosen and absorb deep down dirt. Let the carpet dry before vacuuming. Another popular carpet cleaning method is steam cleaning, which uses a steam-cleaning machine. A liquid-based Cleaning agent is used and this works to bring up the deep-seated dirt to the surface.

Shampooing and steam cleaning are effective ways of getting the dirt, debris and other residue out of the carpet. But you also need to contend with carpet stains. No matter how hard you try, theres no way to avoid stains. At some point, someone is going to walk on the carpet wearing muddy shoes, spill a drink or drop food. What do you do then? The key is quick response: as soon as a stain hits the carpet, try to get it out quickly. The longer liquid is left on the carpet, the more it will set in and will be harder to get out.

However, when cleaning carpet stain, avoid rubbing the carpet fibers. Instead, try blotting up any of the extra liquids as much as you possibly can. If you rub the carpet, the fibers will weaken and it may create a worn spot. You can use commercial carpet cleaners to remove stains in your carpet but homemade remedies work just as well; and they’re inexpensive too. For instance, use club soda to blot up a stain. Place a few drops of club soda on the stained area and use a clean dry cloth for blotting. For removing oil spots, sprinkle some baking soda and corn starch on the area and leave it for a few minutes before vacuuming. To remove coffee and chocolate stains, use vinegar.

Its important that you know how to clean your carpet once it gets dirty, but its also important that you know simple things to keep your carpet clean. For instance, make your home “shoe free.” Make it a rule for everyone entering your home or any carpeted area in your home to remove their shoes at the door. However, while shoes can ruin carpets, bare feet can also do the same. So along with your “shoe free” home rule, add in another rule: the “socks and slippers only” rule. Ask household members to wear either socks or slippers in the house.

If you don’t have it already, buy an entrance mat and place it by the front door. Get a big enough entrance mat that anyone entering your home will be able to get in, wipe their shoes, close the door and take their shoes off. Its a good idea to put a mat outside the door too. People can wipe off the larger dirt particles before they enter. Keep a close eye on these mats, though. They do have their saturation point. When your mats are no longer able to hold any more dirt, the dirt is going to enter your house and land on your carpet anyway.

Remember to maintain and care for your carpets. Its much more expensive to replace a ruined carpet than putting some effort into keeping it clean and well cared for.

Before having a carpet cleaned, it is a good idea to understand the differences between the various methods of carpet cleaning. All the different methods of cleaning carpets offer different advantages, but each also has limitations. There is no method that is clearly superior to any other. Each method does a good job if done well under the right conditions. Many times, several methods are combined to achieve better results. Below are the most-used carpet cleaning methods:

Steam Cleaning or Hot Water Extraction Cleaning

this method uses a hot-water cleaning solution which is sprayed on the carpet and then is extracted by a wet vacuum. When the cleaning solution is pulled from the carpet, the soil is also pulled from the carpet as well. The hot water extraction equipment can be truck-mounted or portable. A truck-mounted system has much more powerful spray pressure, vacuum pumps, and hotter heating capabilities. Even though hot water extraction carpet cleaning is also referred to as steam cleaning, this is somewhat of a misnomer since the water temperature gets hot enough to generate steam.

Bonnet Cleaning

this method is very similar to the hot water extraction method, but employs a floor machine with a rotary device on the bottom that turns an absorbent pad. Detergent is sprayed onto the carpet, and the machine rotates the pad on the carpet, scrubbing the carpet until the dirt is absorbed into the pad. Detergent may also be used to moisten the pad. The pad may be reversed when one side becomes soiled and when both sides are dirty, then the pad is replaced with a clean pad.

Foam Cleaning

This method uses foam detergent. This foam detergent is spread on the carpet by a machine which then agitates the foam into the carpet with brushes, loosening the dirt and soil in the carpet fibers. Afterwards, the foam and dirt is removed by an extraction-vacuum pick-up machine.

Dry or Absorbent Compound Cleaning

This method uses an absorbent material which is dry and contains solvents and detergents. After this material is sprinkled on the carpet, it is worked into the fibers and pile by machine and absorbs the dirt and soil that is trapped there. The material is left on the carpet for a half an hour then is vacuumed up taking with it all the dirt and particulates that are trapped in the absorbent compound.

Which is the best carpet cleaning method for your carpet depends on the type of carpet and what type of dirt and particulates are normally found in your carpet. As mentioned above, each method has advantages and disadvantages, but they all work well on the right carpet.

Removing Carpet Stains

Food/Drink stains– First, combine a tablespoon of laundry detergent in with a small bowl of warm water. Stir. Take a damp white rag, (white so the color from your rag doesn’t soak into your carpet and stain it more), soak the rag and ring it out then apply gently onto the stain. Let the water/detergent mixture set for about 15 minutes. Take your rag, rinse it and blot at the stain starting from the outside going towards the middle. Afterwards, apply small amounts of pressure where the stain was with a paper towel to remove any access water from your carpet.

Grease– Take paper towels and apply pressure on the grease stain to try and soak up as much as possible. Then spray on any store bought carpet cleaner and let set for about 5 minutes. Blot and dab the stain until it comes up from the carpet. Wipe up anything that may be left over with a paper towel. Blood, Urine, Vomit, etc- Immediately put hydrogen peroxide on the stain and let it set anywhere from 15-25 minutes. The severity of the stain will determine how long the hydrogen peroxide will take to soak up the stain and odor from the carpet. The hydrogen peroxide should loosen the stain up enough that you can simply dab it away with a paper towel until dry.

How to Take Proper Care of Your Carpet
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