Carpet feels warm and soft underfoot, but it attracts all sorts of dirt and spots that can leave you disgusted. Do you know the best way to clean your carpets?
House carpet cleaning is a challenging chore because there is no single trick for cleaning up every spot and mess. Each substance affects your carpet differently and requires different cleaning solutions. If you don’t get it right, you might be walking on those spots forever.
Wondering if you’re cleaning your carpet the right way? Here are some common misunderstandings about residential carpet cleaning and how you can correct your methods if you’ve been cleaning your carpet wrong.
How Often Should You Vacuum?
Dust, dirt, allergens and germs are all hiding out in the forest of carpet fibers under your feet. That’s why it’s important to vacuum regularly. The expert recommendation is at least weekly and whenever you have a visible mess.
However, some people believe that vacuum cleaners damage carpet over time and are hesitant to use them frequently. If you have heard this rumor, rest assured that grime causes much more damage to your carpet than a vacuum cleaner will.
Using the wrong vacuum setting, such as the bare floor setting, can wear down your carpet. But as long as you are using the carpet setting, it’s better to remove dirt regularly to keep carpets fluffy and fresh.
The Difference Between a Spot and a Stain
Of course, you want to take care of your carpets and keep them looking like new for as long as possible. That’s why it’s so important to vacuum regularly, and that’s also why it’s important to take care of spots as quickly as possible.
So what is the difference between a spot and a stain?
A spot appears on your carpet after a spill or after someone tracks their muddy shoes down your carpeted hallway. They are treatable. But left for too long or treated with the wrong combination of products, a spot can quickly turn into a stain, meaning that it cannot be removed.
However, if you arm yourself with the right information and tackle spots as quickly as possible, you can keep them from becoming permanent stains.
This Is How to Get Spots Out of Carpet
No matter how much you try to prevent them, accidents on carpet happen. But they don’t have to be permanent if you know the best methods for cleaning them up.
If other house carpet cleaning methods have left you with dingy floors, try this basic recipe on the next spot you find on your carpet:
- In a spray bottle, mix one-fourth teaspoon of dish soap with one cup of warm water.
- Spray the solution on a clean cloth, and dab it on the spot. As the spot dissolves, blot it with a clean section of cloth. Continue until the spot is gone.
- Rinse soap solution from the carpet by blotting with a second damp cloth.
- Place a stack of paper towels on the wet spot and weigh them down with something heavy. They will soak up any remaining residue overnight.
- The next morning, uncover the spot and let it air dry.
How to Remove Coffee (and Other Beverage) Spots from Carpet
Beverage spots are challenging because the worst offenders require different cleaning techniques. Next time a cup tips, try one of these methods:
Coffee: Soak up as much liquid as possible. Mix one tablespoon of dish soap, one tablespoon of white vinegar and two cups of warm water. Apply to the spot with a clean cloth, and blot with a dry cloth to pick up the spot. Repeat as necessary. Rinse by blotting with cold water followed by a dry cloth.
Red wine: Soak up as much wine as possible. Apply a small amount of cold water or club soda, and dab the spot until no more wine comes up. Next, apply a paste of one part baking soda and three parts water, and allow the spot to dry. Once dry, vacuum up paste.
Soda: Soak up as much liquid as possible. Make a mixture of one-fourth teaspoon of liquid laundry detergent and half a cup of cold water, and pour it on the spot. Blot repeatedly with a clean cloth until any color is gone, and let dry. Once dry, vacuum any remaining residue.
How to Remove Old Spots from Carpet
You might have noticed that most spot cleaning instructions call for immediate action. But what about messes that aren’t cleaned up right away, and you have an old spot? What do you do?
First identify the cause of the spot, if possible. Most spots are water-soluble and can be revived with a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water sprayed on them. Massage the liquid into the fibers and let sit 15-20 minutes. Blot the spot with a clean, damp cloth to flush out the cleaner. Use a dry cloth to soak up as much moisture as possible. Repeat until done.
For special water-soluble spots, follow the same directions with a mixture of a tablespoon of ammonia in one cup of water.
Pet Spots Are Their Own Beast
Pet spots are a unique challenge. They are odorous and encourage your pet to go in the same spot again if not cleaned thoroughly. For best results, use a carpet cleaning product that contains enzymes to destroy odor-causing bacteria.
For still-wet spots, soak up as much urine as possible with paper towels and newspapers; put these in your pet’s “bathroom area” to encourage your pet to go there next time. Spray the spot with the cleaner and work it in with a clean, damp cloth. Rinse the area with another clean, damp cloth and cover with the same cloth for 12 hours.
Old spots come up best with a rented carpet cleaner followed by a pet odor neutralizer, but don’t use a steam cleaner. The heat will set the spot and odor into your carpet. Avoid smelly chemicals like ammonia or vinegar too. They may encourage your pet to use that spot again.
When in Doubt, Professional Carpet Cleaning Always Does the Trick
Have you been cleaning your carpets the right way? Sometimes even the best methods can’t tackle every spot. If you have dirty-looking carpets despite your best efforts, don’t despair. It’s simply time to try professional carpet cleaning.
As East Texas’s preferred house cleaning provider for over 35 years, Dust to Dazzle has seen plenty of soiled carpets. Luckily for our clients, we use the latest cleaning equipment and techniques to erase even the toughest spots. Our residential carpet cleaning methods eliminate all the blemishes, odors, dirt and bacteria from your carpet and leave you with soft, fresh fibers underfoot again.
Want the rest of your home to match your newly cleaned carpets? We offer a full array of residential cleaning services to clean and sanitize every inch of your home. Our services are highly rated and affordable thanks to our focus on hiring the best employees and putting the needs of our clients first.
To have your home expertly cleaned from ceilings to carpets by Dust to Dazzle, request a free quote today, and you’ll hear from us soon!