Carpets are a beautiful and comfortable addition to any home; however they do require maintenance to keep them looking fresh and clean. While professional cleaning services and machines can get the job done, they can be expensive and time-consuming. Fortunately, there are several ways to clean carpets without a machine, using household items that you probably already have in your home.
The Importance Of Vacuuming
Easy, proactive steps will keep your carpet looking good over time. The most important step in caring for your carpet is vacuuming thoroughly and frequently, paying most attention to high-traffic areas. Walking on soiled carpet allows soil particles to work their way below the surface where they are far more difficult to remove and can damage fibers. Frequent vacuuming removes these particles from the surface before problems occur. For rooms with light traffic, vacuum the carpet traffic lanes twice weekly and the entire area once weekly. In areas with heavy traffic, vacuum the carpet traffic lanes daily and the entire area twice weekly. Up to three passes of the machine will suffice for light soiling, but five to seven passes are necessary for heavily soiled areas. Change the vacuuming direction occasionally to help stand the pile upright and reduce matting.
An inexpensive machine may remove surface dirt but will not effectively remove the hidden dirt and particles embedded in the pile. Invest in a good vacuum cleaner to get the dirt you can’t see and prolong the beauty and life of your carpet. Vacuum frequently for long-term beauty. When vacuuming high pile or premium soft carpets, look for the following features that will allow you to easily maintain your carpet: Adjustable Height – Use the highest setting where appropriate Efficient Airflow – Avoid vacuums with very concentrated or sealed suction Large Wheels allow the appliance to glide easily across the carpet Remember to periodically vacuum edges with an edge detail tool. Don’t forget the edges on staircases and under doorway thresholds.
Baking Soda for odors and Stains
Baking soda is a natural and effective way to clean carpets without a machine. It helps absorb odors and stains from the carpet fibers. To use baking soda, sprinkle a generous amount on the carpet and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. The longer you leave it, the more effective it will be. Once the baking soda has had time to work, use a vacuum cleaner to remove it, along with the dirt and dust it has absorbed. For a fresh scent, mix baking soda with your favorite essential oil before sprinkling it on the carpet.
Vinegar and Water
Vinegar is an all-purpose household cleaner that can be used to clean a variety of surfaces, including carpets. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle, then spray the solution on the stain. Let it sit for a few minutes to allow the vinegar to break down the stain, then use a clean cloth to blot the stain until it is removed. Once the stain is gone, rinse the area with water and blot dry with a clean cloth.
Club soda is an effective and natural cleaning agent that can help to remove stains from carpets. Simply pour a small amount of club soda onto the stain and let it sit for a few minutes. The carbonation in the soda helps to lift the stain, making it easier to remove. Use a clean cloth to blot the stain until it is removed, then rinse the area with water and blot dry.
Salt is another natural and effective way to remove stains from carpets. Mix salt with hot water to create a paste, then apply the paste to the stain. Let it sit for several hours, allowing the salt to absorb the stain. Once the paste has dried, use a vacuum cleaner to remove it and the stain it has absorbed.
Hydrogen Peroxide and Dish Soap
A mixture of hydrogen peroxide and dish soap can be used to remove tough stains from carpets. Mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and dish soap in a spray bottle, then spray the solution on the stain. Let it sit for a few minutes, then use a clean cloth to blot the stain until it is removed. Rinse the area with water and blot dry.
Cornstarch is an effective way to remove grease stains from carpets. Sprinkle cornstarch generously over the grease stain, then let it sit for several hours. Once the cornstarch has had time to absorb the grease, use a vacuum cleaner to remove it, along with the stain.
Lemon juice is a natural cleaning agent that can be used to remove stains and odors from carpets. Mix lemon juice with equal parts of water in a spray bottle, then spray the solution on the stain. Let it sit for a few minutes, then use a clean cloth to blot the stain until it is removed. Rinse the area with water and blot dry.
As you can see there are many ways to clean small stains and spills on the carpet. Before stains happen, here are some carpet care tips to help keep your carpet clean longer.
Stop dirt at the door. Preventing dirt and grime from getting on the carpet in the first place is a great way to keep it clean. The following helpful hints can stop dirt in its tracks.
Use mats. Outdoor and indoor mats or runners can reduce the amount of dirt that enters the house.
Take off your shoes. You can save wear and tear on carpet by asking everyone to take off his or her shoes before entering your home.
Change your air filters. Change air filters in your heating and air-conditioning systems as recommended by the manufacturer’s directions. The more dust and particles removed by the filter, the less that fall on the carpet.
Occasionally move heavy furniture. Moving your furniture on occasion won’t just renew the feel of your room, it will also help avoid excessive pile crushing. To remove a dent caused by heavy furniture, stroke carpet with the edges of a coin. You can also use a hair dryer or a steam iron to gently raise the dented area while you tug upward on the tufts. CAUTION: DO NOT LET THE IRON TOUCH THE CARPET.
Use carpet protectors. Consider using carpet protectors under the legs of tables, chairs, and other furniture to help distribute the weight. Damage can occur if you use chairs or appliances with rollers or casters without a chair pad designed specifically for carpet.
Reduce periods of direct sunlight. Protect your carpet from prolonged periods of direct sunlight with blinds, shades, or awnings. Use scissors to clip sprouts and snags. Do not pull them or you may damage the carpet.
How often should you have Carpets Professionally cleaned?
So, how often should you have your carpet professionally cleaned? You guessed it –the frequency of cleaning will depend on the above-mentioned factors. While the general recommendation is 6-24 months, you might want to have it professionally deep cleaned more regularly if your living space is prone to dust, allergens, dirt, and stains.