In today's post, I reveal to you my four best ways to clean carpet flooring.
Pet stains, food spills, muddy feet and water damage can all make carpet look dingy.
Think of the last time you ate in front of the TV and spilled pasta sauce on the unsuspecting floor - did you first run to get a paper towel to soak it up? Did you immediately go for the stain cleaner that may or may not stain your carpet even further? Did you run around trying to throw together a DIY home cleaning solution? Maybe even a combination of all of the above?
Search no more - I am going to tell you exactly what you need to know in our one-stop-shop for cleaning your carpets once a mess has already been made.
Method 1: Vacuuming Your Carpet
Sand, dirt, food crumbs, pet dander - these are only a few of the micro particles that are threatening the youth of your carpet.
Your first line of defense against spills of the crumby kind is the vacuum cleaner.
Solid food particles may seem harmless at first.
But once they disappear into your carpet, they can start to mold, melt, or even attract unwanted pests like bugs.
What You'll need
Step by Step
Step 1: Clear out your vacuum
First off, you’ll need a vacuum with a clean (or mostly clean) bag/canister. Depending on the type of vacuum you have, it’s always best to clear out the chamber where the filth is stored.
Step 2: Plug it in and go
Plug your vacuum in and go.
Make sure to vacuum the area surrounding the spill as well, as crumbs have the ability to elude our view when dispersed in carpet. The spill is likely much larger than what was initially thought.
Learn more: How to vacuum your capert
Method 2: Spot Cleaning Your Carpet
In this section I’ll teach you how to spot clean your carpet - and classic pitfalls to avoid.
What You'll need
You’ll need carpet spot cleaner, to start. These come in many different forms, but most come in a spray bottle for easy dispersal.
Unable to locate your bottled carpet cleaning solution in a pinch? For spots in the carpet that cover a square foot or less of space, you’ll need the following for a DIY carpet cleaner:
Step By Step
Step 1: Pat, DON’T RUB
If there is one thing to learn - NEVER use a rubbing motion to rid the carpet of its stain. Always blot!
Instead, take a fresh paper towel or clean dish towel, dampened with warm water, and gently pat the area.
This downward-upward motion will lift the stain out of the carpet threads, preventing the stain from spreading.
Step 2: Pick the right carpet cleaner for your spill
There are many types of stains, and therefore many types of stain removers.
- Stains caused by blood or bodily fluids (even pet stains) will need special care.
First, blot with cold water. Do not use warm water with blood or bodily fluid stains, as it can further set the stain rather than lifting it. If the stain has already dried, use hydrogen peroxide first, then proceed with an enzyme-based cleaner.
- For a DIY carpet cleaner in a pinch, you’ll need white vinegar, dish soap, paper towel, fresh clean white cloth, and baking soda.
Start by washing the area with dish soap and blotting gently with a paper towel.
Once most of the liquid is soaked up, get a fresh white clean cloth and dampen it with warm water.
After this step, the soap should be gone. Next, take white vinegar and pour a small amount onto the stain. Following the vinegar, sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda on top of the stain. The vinegar will saturate and soften the stain while the baking soda takes the smell out, while lifting the moisture out of the area. The solution bubbles, working together to bring the stain particles to the surface.
Step 3: Time to put your carpet cleaner to work
After dabbing the stained area with a paper towel, spray bottle or apply a small amount of product to a clean white cloth.
Gently pat the stain, blotting up as much liquid as possible. Remember, no scrubbing!
Most carpet cleaners recommend letting the solution sit on the stain for a certain amount of time. After this time has ended, the stain should have been successfully lifted from the carpet fibers.
At this stage, take a small amount of water and rinse the carpet thoroughly. Don’t completely soak the carpet, as the excess moisture can sink into the carpet pad beneath and leave mildew.
Then, use a clean white cloth to soak up any remaining cleaner.
Method 3: Shampooing Your Carpet
For larger stains, or dingy carpet that is old and grey, no need to get new carpet just yet! If you deep clean your carpet with shamppoing, you can give it a new life.
What You'll need
Step by Step
Step 1: Prepare to clean
First, prepare the room for the carpet cleaning machine and solution.
Either move all furniture out of the room, or cover the bottom of immovable furniture with plastic. This will protect your furniture from water damage.
Aluminum foil and wax paper work for this purpose as well.
Although carpet shampoo machines are often called steam cleaners, the actual machinery uses hot water and cleaning solution, not steam. You won’t have to worry about steam contacting the rest of your surfaces.
To prepare the carpet, start by vacuuming the area thoroughly. Then, spot treat deeper stains in the carpet. All spots should be dealt with before shampooing.
Step 2: Time to clean
Choose a shampooer that keeps the water hot on its own (rather than having to replenish with hot water).
Following the correct ratio of cleaning solution to water, put together the solution in the detached plastic canister, then reattach to the machine. Do not add too much soap, as it can damage the carpet.
Use the cleaner, following the instructions that come with it. Each should have a trigger that dispenses hot water and cleaning solution onto the carpet before sucking it up.
Always be sure to start in the farthest corner of the room, making your way out the door of the room. This way the cleaned carpet is never stepped on while drying.
Be sure to pull back very slowly when using the machine so it can take up as much water as possible.
Step 3: Let It Dry
Turn the fan on the carpet to allow it to fully dry. Ventilate the room properly.
The carpet needs to dry for 2 - 4 hours so as to prevent mildew and mold.
Do not walk on the carpet while it is drying. Once the carpet has dried completely, you can remove plastic or aluminum foil protectors from the feet of furniture.
Learn more: How to dry capert
Method 4: Preventing Messes on Your Carpet
To prevent messes, you can follow some simple steps to make sure your carpets stay as clean as possible.
What You'll need
Step 1: Deal with any messes immediately
For messes, make sure to pick them up with a clean cloth immediately and spot treat.
Stain that are left to sit will only become worse over time, and harder to pick up.
Step 2: Leave your shoes out of it!
Have a place set out on hardwood or tile where guests and housemates can set their shoes before entering carpeted areas.
Shoes are one of the main culprits that track in dirt and mud.
For high traffic carpet areas, shampoo twice per year. Once per year works great for other areas.
Spray a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water onto the stain, then use a soft cloth to blot the moisture. Repeat until you remove the stain.
Most acrylic paint will come up with a simple dish soap and warm water solution. With paint, it is ok to scrub into the carpet as long as most of it has been lifted already. Use the rough side of a sponge to remove the stain.
Learn more about how to Clean Paint Out Of Carpet.
Instead of using a vacuum cleaner, use a brush (a boar’s bristle brush works best) to remove and collect the hairs. After most of the hair has been removed, you can vacuum the area thoroughly to remove smaller hairs.
Now It's Your Turn...
I hope you enjoyed my article on the best ways to clean carpet flooring.
Now I would to like to know:
- Have you already cleaned your carpet using my methods?
- Or you have your own?
Either way, let me know below by leaving a message.