A nice carpet looks great and feels warm and cozy underfoot. However without proper care, it can easily become worn and damaged. Regular vacuuming only removes some of the dust, and carpets retain more dirt particles than can be seen by the naked eye. So you may be wondering how to clean your carpet without the need for a professional service. With our carpet cleaning tips you can keep it in top condition and tackle the toughest of stains without breaking the bank on a carpet cleaning service.
What you should know before cleaning the carpet
It is always important to tackle the stain as quickly as possible, ideally while it is still fresh. But never try to rub the stain away. This will just push the dirt deeper into the carpet. Start cautiously around the edges of the stain and work your way towards the centre.
Pouring mineral water onto a fresh stain and soaking it up with a towel or cloth can work wonders. If this doesn’t work, you need to may need to use something stronger. A good foam carpet cleaner is very effective for tackling tough stains. While quality foam cleaners can be expensive, it will definitely be cheaper than hiring a professional cleaner. Always be sure to follow the instructions supplied by the manufacturer of the cleaning product.
Plan plenty of time to clean your carpets, as cleaning products may take some time to soak into the carpet. You will need to let whoever you live with know which rooms are off-limits while you clean the carpet. Whatever product you are using, always start with an inconspicuous area (under the sofa for example) to make sure the cleaning product doesn’t fade or damage the material.
Carpet cleaning home remedies – what works well?
Home remedies can be a great way to tackle tough stains on the carpet. They are cheap and readily available in most households. They are also chemical free and won’t harm the environment like some cleaning products. And if grandma’s carpets were cleaned with salt or baking soda, then surely it’s good enough for your carpets!
Baking powder is a versatile natural cleaning solution for all kinds of dirt and stains. It even neutralises bad odours. Sprinkle the powder on the stain then carefully pour hot water over the stained points. Give the mixture a few hours, or even overnight, then dab it carefully. If the stain remains, repeat the process. You can even add a bit of vinegar to the water. However this is only suitable for bright carpets, as vinegar has a bleaching effect.
Salt is considered to be the ultimate remedy for red wine stains. Apply salt to the red wine immediately and leave it to stand. Once the salt turns a reddish colour, soak up the salt and repeat this process until the stain has gone. Again, work from the outer edges of the stain, inwards. Otherwise the stain will continue to spread. If the wine has already dried up, try a solution of white wine, mineral water and vinegar. Be sure to try this first on a hidden area of carpet to test its colour-fastness.
Simply applying a little lemon juice to a stain and then wiping with a cloth can make a dirty carpet clean again. For particularly stubborn stains, mix lemon juice with equal parts water and washing detergent. Like vinegar, lemon juice has bleaching qualities, so should only be applied to bright carpets.
Believe it or not, shaving cream can work as a budget alternative to foam carpet cleaner (although for the toughest of stains, we’d still recommend going with the proper stuff). You should always make sure the shaving cream is undyed and contains no additives such as menthol. Simply apply it to the stain and allow it to soak for 20 minutes or so, then with a scrub brush, rub the cream gently. Finally, rinse away the cream with a damp cloth, blotting rather than rubbing.
Steam clean periodically
While home remedies do a great job at beating the individual stains when they arise, a steam cleaner is a wise investment, as it allows you to give all your carpets a thorough clean as often as you need. We recommend once every six months, but it may be required more often if you have pets or a big (or messy!) family. A good steam cleaner should last several years so it is a worthwhile investment to help you stave off the need for hiring a professional.
We hope you find our carpet cleaning tips useful. If you think there’s anything we have missed, please let us know in the comments section. We love to hear our readers’ carpet cleaning tips as well.