Carpet Cleaning & Maintenance Guide
Carpets are a great flooring choice and can last for years, giving you that warm and cosy feeling underfoot. However, keeping them clean is essential to keep them feeling and looking great. This will help carpets last for their full lifespan, as well as keep them looking and smelling good and free from allergens.
In this guide, we'll go through how to care for your carpet to keep it fresh and looking its best.
The Dos and Don'ts of Carpet Cleaning
When maintaining and cleaning your carpet, keep these dos and don'ts in mind:
|Regularly vacuum the carpet||Rub at stains|
|Blot any spills as soon as they happen||Use bleach to clean carpet (unless made from a material that can withstand bleach)|
|Use a carpet cleaning solution to remove stains||Over-wet the carpet|
|To Protect Your Carpet|
|Do:||Don't:||Put mats and rugs by doors||Pull at loose tufts of carpet|
|Use furniture cups||Put furniture back on wet carpets|
|Keep pets nails trimmed||Walk across with muddy shoes|
How to Clean a Carpet
For general carpet cleaning, follow these steps:
- Move any clutter out of the room, and pick up any large solid bits of dirt
- Vacuum the carpet slowly. Make sure you move the furniture so you can get everywhere and move the vacuum back and forth for a thorough clean
- Spot clean any stains
- Use a steam cleaner on the carpet, moving slowly in a back-and-forth motion
- Vacuum again
You should clean your carpet with the above steps at least once a week to keep it looking its best.
How to Deep Clean a Carpet
Depending on how much traffic your room gets, your carpet will also require some deep cleaning. This should be done at least twice a year, but high-traffic areas might need a deep clean every three months. Remember, deep cleaning will take longer than regular cleaning, so set aside at least half an hour to give your carpet a deep clean.
When deep cleaning carpet, follow the steps for general cleaning up to and including spot cleaning stains. Then you have a few options for deep cleaning:
Using a Dry-Cleaning Solution
- Sprinkle the dry-cleaning solution over the carpet, being sure to follow manufacturers guidelines (or you can use baking soda)
- In a bucket, mix dish soap and warm water until you get bubbles
- Use a brush, sponge or cloth to gently scrub the carpet - be careful not to soak the carpet; use just enough so that the water gets into the carpet fibres
- Open windows and allow the carpet to dry; you can use fans to create more air movement (this can take a few hours)
- Once the carpet is completely dry, vacuum it again
Using a Carpet Cleaner
- Fill the carpet cleaner with carpet shampoo (be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions)
- Every machine is different, so be sure to familiarise yourself with the manufacturer's instructions for use
- Use the carpet cleaner like a vacuum, to go over your carpet. Start as far from the door as possible so that you finish at the door and you won't walk over the wet carpet
- If the carpet still looks dirty, let it dry for a few hours, then go over the carpet with the carpet cleaner a second time
- Allow the carpet to air dry, open windows and use fans to circulate the air. Drying can take a few hours
- Dispose of the water in the carpet cleaner safely (this can't just be poured down drains, follow the manufacturer's instructions)
Cleaning Different Carpet Materials
When it comes to carpet materials, some need a little extra care when cleaning. Here are some additional tips for cleaning the different carpet materials:
Cleaning Polypropylene Carpets
Polypropylene is a synthetic carpet material and can better withstand harsher chemicals. It is a stain-resistant material and hardwearing. When cleaning this material, use a vacuum with good suction for deep pile, or if you have a low-pile polypropylene carpet, use a vacuum with soft bristles.
You can even use bleach on 100% polypropylene carpets; this should always be done using a 50% blend with water and do a spot test first. To clean carpets with bleach, make the blend and put this in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture over the stain and leave for an hour. Next, use a brush to loosen the fibres and then rinse with fresh water.
Cleaning Wool Carpets
Wool carpets are also stain-resistant, but this natural material is more sensitive to chemicals, so you have to be careful what you use to clean wool carpets.
When vacuuming a wool carpet, use a vacuum with soft bristles. Use a carpet steamer at least twice a year to keep a wool carpet looking its best.
Cleaning Tencel Carpets
Tencel is another sensitive carpet material that needs a little extra TLC. Make sure your beater bar is turned off when vacuuming, as this can damage this carpet material. Also, you shouldn't use a steamer on this carpet material.
Carpet Cleaning Tips
Here are some additional carpet cleaning tips to keep your carpets looking their best:
- Clean up spills and dirt as soon as possible, so that it doesn't soak into the carpet fibres
- Be aware of the material that your carpet is made from so that you can give it the correct care
- When using chemicals, such as carpet cleaner, always do a spot-test before using them on your whole carpet
- Vacuum your carpet at least once a week, increasing the frequency for high-traffic areas
- Always vacuum slowly, taking your time to go back-and-forth over each area of the carpet
Carpet is a great flooring choice, and with a bit of care and regular cleaning, it can last you for years. If you're looking to add this flooring option to your home, check out our collection of carpets.
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