Carpet cleaning is not very fun to do but is necessary for removing stains and improving your indoor air quality. Manufacturers recommend cleaning a carpet occasionally depending on the amount of traffic in your home. However, carpet cleaning is more of a challenge compared to picking up a duster and polish. While some people take their carpets to commercial cleaners, others prefer to clean their carpet by themselves as it helps them save on labor costs. This article looks at what DIY carpet cleaning entails and factors to consider during carpet cleaning.
- Vacuuming the Carpet
You will need to vacuum your carpet first before cleaning to get rid of any dust or pet dander that might be trapped inside the carpet fibers. Before you start vacuuming, make sure to pick up any papers, toys or objects that may obstruct the vacuum cleaner. A nozzle attachment is used to clean areas that are hard to reach. A cranny extension may come in handy if your furniture cannot be moved as it allows you to reach under couches. Start by vacuuming the whole room forward and back before repeating the process from left to right. Going both directions when vacuuming allows you to clean every part of the fibers in your carpet.
- Spot Cleaning
Spot cleaning focusses on the part of the carpet that has stains on it. It is recommended to use a clean white cloth since dyed or patterned rugs may transfer the color to your carpet worsening the current situation. Avoid using brushes when spot cleaning, as the bristles can damage the fibers leaving you with a frayed carpet. Spot cleaning should only be done for recent spills that occurred on a small part of the carpet.
There are varieties of commercial detergents for cleaning carpets. Most of them are available in spray cans or bottles that make spot cleaning easier. Stains caused by bodily fluids such as pet urine may require special attention. Gently blot the stain with a small amount of product applied on a clean white cloth. Avoid using numerous products when spot cleaning since the soap left behind can attract more dirt causing a larger stain than before.
- Steam Cleaning Your Carpet
You can either clean your carpet inside the house or take it outside in the garage where you have enough space to do the cleaning. If it is necessary for you to clean inside the house, you need to prepare the room to be cleaned by moving the furniture. Place plastic under furniture that cannot be moved to protect it from water damage. You can also slide cut squares of wax paper or aluminum foil beneath the feet of the furniture. It is possible to rent a steam cleaner if you cannot afford one since hardware stores offer cleaner rentals.
A steam-cleaning machine uses hot water and detergent rather than steam to clean carpets. The solution should be prepared according to the directions on the bottle. Fill the container on the machine with water and a recommended amount of detergent before working your way around the carpet. It is important to remove your shoes since the damp carpet can attract further dirt. Instead of going barefoot, consider specialty boots for cleaning since some detergents can be harmful when they encounter your skin.
- Drying Out the Carpet
Generally, cleaning machines are designed to lay down water when pushing it forward and then suck it up when pulling it back. The machine can suck up as much water as possible from the carpet fibers by pulling it back very slowly. When your carpet becomes too damp, water can soak through the pad underneath leading to mold and mildew. If you were cleaning the carpet inside your house, make sure to leave the doors and windows open to allow free air circulation.
You can also adjust the air conditioner to a moderate setting to allow the carpet to dry quickly. If the weather allows, you can take your carpet outside to dry. The carpet should dry completely within 24 hours after cleaning to prevent mold growth. Any combination of blowers, fans, carpet dryers or air movers can also encourage fast drying if taking out the carpet is not an option.
No matter how hard you keep your carpet clean, it is likely to get dirty at some point. Your kids, pets, and people who forget to take off their shoes when entering the house will track dirt into your home. If you cannot afford a steam cleaner, you can always rent one as it allows speedy cleaning and delivers incredible results. Lastly, it is important to ensure your carpet dries out to prevent mold growth.