Carpet cleaning may be a gruesome task but it’s a necessary evil. Dirty carpets can make you sick. They can also foster all kinds of bacteria.
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To give you a better idea of what cleaning treatment your carpet needs, here’s a detailed guide on how to do it.
Vacuuming: Regular Carpet Cleaning
A vacuum cleaner is a go-to appliance to keep your carpets dirt and dust-free. Carpet cleaners do a better job of vacuuming carpets due to their expert status.
Here are some vacuuming pointers from the pros.
- Choose a vacuum cleaner that meets the Carpet and Rug Institutes Green Label or Seal of Approval. These vacuum cleaners are efficient in carpet appearance retention, soil removal and dust containment.
- Do not use beater bars or rotating brushes on carpets made of natural fibres. Avoid using them on Berber and other looped style carpets and long frieze carpets, too.
- Follow the manufacturer’s recommended vacuum height.
- Use the right tools like the crevice attachment for baseboards. Use the upholstery attachment for delicate rugs like wool and silk. For cleaning stairs, use the hose attachment.
- Vacuum slowly in one direction. For a deeper clean, vacuum in the opposite direction.
- Vacuum at least once a week. In high traffic area or if you have pets, vacuum at least twice a week.
Spot Cleaning: Stain Removal Remedies
Stains look ugly on carpets, especially if you have a lighter coloured rugs. Spot cleaning or treating the stained area could save you a lot of trouble. The process for spot cleaning carpets and upholstery is the same.
Here’s our favourite techniques for getting stains out of carpets quickly:
- Remove stain matter with a spoon or a straight edge card like a credit card, for example.
- Blot the stained area with white paper towels or napkin. White bread could also serve the same purpose if there is no other material on hand. Never use coloured paper towels.
- If possible, spot clean on the wrong side of the carpet. Place the area on the paper towel, face down so the stain won’t move deeper into the rug.
- Take a cotton swab or damp cloth and dip it into your cleaning product. Water works fine if there is no other alternative. Use as little cleaning product as necessary.
- Pat the stain from the wrong side into the paper tower, move from the edge of the stain to the centre.
- Replace paper towels as necessary.
- Repeat the process until you get rid of all the stains.
- Allow the damp area to air dry. Use the cool breeze setting on a fan if you are in a rush. Don’t use heat to dry, as it could make them harder to remove.
DIY Steam Cleaning: Deeper Clean
If you want to give your carpet a deeper clean and do it yourself, steam cleaning is the best choice.
Before you start steam cleaning, vacuum the carpet and treat stains. Follow the guidelines above. Once you’re done, it’s time to prepare the room and follow these steps:
- Take out all the furniture. If it’s not possible, cut out aluminum foil or wax paper and slide it under the feet of your furniture.
- For the first round of cleaning, fill the steam cleaner’s tank with a tablespoon of Castile soap for every quarter cup of hot water.
- Pull the steam cleaner at a slow pace so it can extract as much water as possible.
- After the first cleanup round, mix equal parts of hot water and white vinegar.
- Rinse the carpet with plain water if you want, but it’s not necessary.
You can do steam cleaning at least once a year. Autumn and late spring are the best times to steam clean your carpets.
Shampooing Your Carpet
If there were major accidents on your carpet, a carpet shampoo machine could save you from stains and gross odours.
Go over the manufacturer’s instructions on how to operate the machine. Before you start shampooing your carpet, take out all pieces of furniture from the room. Follow these steps next:
- Vacuum the entire area.
- Treat visible stains. We will cover stain removal in the next section.
- Use your preferred carpet shampoo.
- Divide the room into sectional grids. You may want to go barefoot for this cleaning assignment but make sure your feet are clean.
- Go over the area at an unhurried pace.
- When you are done, place old towels in high traffic areas. This will soak up excess water from the carpet and prevent it from getting soiled while wet.
Common Carpet Stains and How to Remove Them
Carpet stains are not just unsightly, they are unhygienic, too. For this reason, treat stains right away and make them less visible. The longer the stain remains on the carpet, the harder it is to remove.
Here are the typical types of stains and ways to treat them.
If oil stains your carpet, take quick action to soak up as much oil as possible.
Use towels or brown bags. You can also use newspaper, but you should not allow them to sit on your carpet for a long time or the ink will stain it.
After that, follow these steps:
- Brush cornstarch on the affected area.
- Leave the cornstarch for an hour.
- Vacuum the carpet.
- If the stain covers a large area, sprinkle another coating of cornstarch.
- Allow the material to set for an hour.
- Vacuum the cornstarch.
- Apply grease-fighting liquid soap to the affected area with your fingers.
- For a deeper clean, scrub the area with an old toothbrush or a soft brush.
- Rinse the soap by pouring water on the area.
- Blot the liquid with a clean cloth or paper towel.
- Repeat the process until you remove all soap residues. You can also use a carpet cleaner to rinse the area.
- Press a couple of paper towels on the carpet to absorb moisture.
- Allow the area to air dry.
Rust stains look ugly, especially on light-coloured carpets. For this process, you need a spoon, a clean cloth, and white vinegar. Here’s how:
- Remove loose rust and dirt over the affected area with a spoon.
- Pour just enough vinegar to cover the stained area.
- Use the spoon to saturate the stained area with the vinegar.
- Leave it for 40 minutes to an hour.
- Use a cloth to blot out the rust.
- Allow the carpet to dry for about eight hours.
- Dip the cloth in warm water and soak up the vinegar in the carpet with the cloth.
- Use a dry cloth to remove excess liquid from the carpet.
There are various methods to remove blood from your carpet. Use any of these items to remove the stain:
- Plain cold water.
- Liquid detergent mixed with two cups of cold water.
- A salt and cold water paste.
Using any of the items above, dab the liquid on the stained area. Let it sit for about 15 minutes. Dab the area until the stain is gone.
Next, blot out the carpet with a dry cloth. Do not use warm water for removing blood stains.
Unlike other types of stains, let the mud dry up before cleaning it up. Once the carpet is dry, scrape off as much dirt as you can manually.
Next, vacuum the area. To eliminate the stain, mix warm water and detergent. Next, follow these simple steps:
- Dip the sponge in the cleaning solution.
- Scrub the mud off your carpet.
- After taking out the stain, allow the area to air dry.
If your pet urinates on the carpet, get to work right away. Remove as much urine as you can with paper towels.
Next, prepare a solution of one part water and one part white vinegar. Here’s how to proceed:
- Apply the vinegar solution to the affected area.
- Use a scrubbing brush to saturate the carpet.
- Blot the area with paper towels or cotton rags.
- Vacuum the area to remove moisture.
- Apply baking soda on the carpet.
- Mix one teaspoon of liquid detergent with ½ cup three percent hydrogen peroxide. Pour it over the baking soda.
- Combine the cleaning products and scrub into the carpet.
- Allow the mixture to dry and remove it using your vacuum.
If your pet has defecated on the carpet, remove the poop right away. Next, follow these steps:
- Treat the affected area with a carpet cleaner.
- Leave the cleaner on for a few minutes to penetrate the carpet.
- Brush or scrub it off until the feces stain is no longer visible.
- Blot out the area until it’s dry.
- Mix one part warm water and one part white vinegar and pour it over the affected area.
- Use dry cloth or paper towels to absorb excess liquid.
- Sprinkle baking soda and leave it on overnight.
- Vacuum the area the next morning.
Ketchup and Other Acidic Materials
For ketchup and similar products, you can use a method similar to taking out blood stains. Always use cold water to scrub off the stain.
Be sure to blot the affected area with a cloth or paper towel to remove excess moisture.
Gum can look hideous on your carpet, but ice could solve your problem. Place a few ice cubes in a ziplock bag. Place it over the gum stain. It’s easier to remove gum once it hardens.
After getting rid of the gum, here’s how to remove the stain:
- Dip a sponge in your preferred carpet cleaner.
- Scrub off the carpet to remove the stain
- Blot out remaining liquid with paper towels.
- Allow it to air dry completely.
Wine and Beer Stains
For wine stains, soak up as much liquid as possible after the accident. Pour cold water on the affected area and continue to blot out the stain.
Afterward, mix three parts water and one part baking soda. Leave it on the area overnight or until it’s dry. Remove the mixture using your vacuum cleaner.
To take out grease, combine warm water with liquid soap. You can also pour a bit of warm water on the carpet and rub a bar soap on the surface.
Afterward, follow these steps:
- Scrub the affected area until the stain is gone.
- Blot out the soapy water from the carpet.
- Remove any soap residue with a damp cloth.
- Place paper towels to blot out the affected area.
Scrape off candle wax using a butter knife. If the wax is in liquid form, place a ziplock with ice over it, so it will harden right away.
After removing the hardened wax, follow these steps:
- Vacuum the affected area.
- Dampen a white cotton towel with water.
- Place it over the affected area.
- Set your iron to high and press it over the towel for 10 seconds.
- Repeat the process until the wax comes off.
- If the towel dries up, dampen it again.
- Use a clean towel if necessary.
- Mix water and liquid detergent to blot away remaining stains.
Candies can get stuck on your carpet and cause stains. Remove the candy first. Use ice or pour a bit of cold water over to make it easier to scrape off the candy.
To remove stains:
- Douse a clean cloth with a stain remover.
- You can also mix dishwashing detergent with water.
- Scrub your carpet.
- Blot out excess moisture with paper towels.
- If the stains wouldn’t budge, use white vinegar.
- After removing the stain, scrub the area with plain water.
- Blot out excess moisture and allow it to dry.
Dark Coloured Foods
Removing candy and chocolate stains from your carpet requires the same method. If you have a light-coloured carpet, do a bit more scrubbing to take out the stain.
Fatty or Greasy Foods
If you dropped greasy food like pizza on your carpet, pick up the food first. Remove all residue from the affected area. Afterward, follow the same method for removing grease.
If your nail polish spilt over the carpet, you need to scrape it off with a knife. Blot it out with a towel soaked in rubbing alcohol or oil-free nail polish remover.
Mix water and detergent and clean the stain by scrubbing and blotting it out.
For mascara, eyeliner and eyeshadow, mix a mild detergent with cold water. Next, just follow this guide:
- Dip the cloth in the mixture.
- Blot out the carpet until the stain comes out.
- Rubbing is a no-no since it could make the stain worse.
- Remove excess liquid using paper towels.
- Allow the area to dry.
For lipstick, use a dry cleaning solvent instead of water and detergent.
Types of Carpet Cleaning Equipment
You probably know vacuum cleaners work best with carpets but there are other types of carpet cleaning equipment including:
- Bonnet Cleaner: This is a dry carpet cleaning machine.
- Carpet Extractor: Also known as the steam cleaner, this tool pumps a cleaner into the carpet. It then pumps the cleaner out with a powerful suction. Some models use hot water for a deeper clean.
- Self-Contained Carpet Extractor: This tool is mostly for industrial cleaning. It has a similar function to steam cleaners, but also has a brush attachment for a deeper clean.
- Extraction Restoration: This has the same functions as the self-contained carpet extractor. But, after suction, it rinses off soap residue from the carpet.
Recommended Carpet Cleaning Equipment Available on the Market
If you are shopping for carpet cleaners, we have a few recommendations. Here’s our recommended equipment for carpet cleaning:
- PureClean XL Rolling Steam Cleaner: For all-around steam cleaning:
- Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Pro: For deep cleaning upholstery and carpets.
- Rug Doctor Mighty Pro X3 Pet Pack: For removing stains and odour.
We also rounded up these great cleaners to help you take out stubborn stains:
- Sunny & Honey Carpet Miracle
- Kirby Carpet Shampoo
- Advanced Pet Supplied Odor and Stain Eliminator
How to Prevent Messes on Your Carpet
Preventing a mess is easier than cleaning it up. To make it less likely to soil your carpet, here are some tips:
- Apply a carpet stain protectant or resistant treatment.
- Ask family members to leave their shoes at the door.
- Place a rug or plastic mat close to high traffic areas and under your furniture.
- Vacuum at least once a week.
- Clean up carpet accidents right away.
- Hire a rug cleaning company to take care of carpet stains. They can make your carpet more resistant to dust and stains.
Mr. Meticulous Services
We use Hot Carbonating Extraction technology to clean carpets. Through this process, we can remove bacteria, stains and dander from your carpet.
This cleaning method uses less water. This means lower chances of having problems with mould and mildew.
Why Do I Need to Clean Carpets Regularly?
Dust, mite and other residue could build up on your carpet. This could trigger allergies and cause diseases. To avoid that, deep clean your carpets at least annually, but ideally every six months.