If you have kids or a dog or a cat running around the house, or if you are just plain allergic to dust and pollen, or if you are used to traipsing in and out of your house with your shoes on, then your carpets definitely need regular vacuuming as in once a day and steam cleaning or hot water extraction once in three months. If you are a recluse with no family – human or otherwise – and prefer curling up on the couch with your unclad feet up, and rarely have visitors, you can afford to leave your carpet unattended for a few months!
You probably fall into the former category as why else would you be here reading this article? If you vacuum your carpet on a daily basis, you can easily prevent build up of dust and grime under your carpet , which can easily fray the fibres of your carpet . You also need to clean those hard-to-reach spots in the nooks and crannies of your house at least once a week. You have to see the contents of the dust bag under a microscope to believe the kind of stuff that accumulates under your carpet !
Divide your carpet into different sections and slowly go over each section in a systematic, crisscross manner, with the vacuum cleaner . However powerful your vacuum cleaner is, gently passing over the carpet will just not do if you want to do a good job of cleaning your carpet .
Make sure you mark the places which are frequently trafficked, like the places where people rest their feet for long periods of time, or walk around in. These sections need extra special attention and you will need to spend more time vacuuming these spots.
After vacuuming the carpet , use a good soil retardant to reduce the absorption of dust and soil. You can also use a freshener to give your carpet a clean smell. There are several carpet fresheners available in the market which you can use to deodorize your carpet . If you would like to put together your own concoction, grab a cup of dried herbs with a teaspoon each of baking soda, cinnamon, and cloves, and crush them all together. Sprinkle the powder over the carpet and vacuum after ten to fifteen minutes. Alternatively, spray potpourri oil onto a cup of baking soda and sprinkle liberally on the carpet . Wait for twenty minutes and then vacuum again.
If you spill wine, coffee, etc, on your carpet , make sure you dab the carpet immediately with a clean towel. Never rub at the spill as this causes it to spread and turns it into an unholy mess. When you are confident that you have removed most of the spilt liquid, soak the towel in clean water and again gently dab the carpet to see if the stain comes out. If it doesn’t, you can use some lemon juice or a little soap in water (there should not be lanolin or bleach in the detergent). Fresh spills usually respond to these measures. For old stains, you could try adding a few tablespoons of vinegar to the detergent solution or just use shaving cream! Always start cleaning the stain from the outer rims and slowly work your way to the centre of the stain.
After you’ve cleaned the spill and removed the stain, place a paper towel on the spot and place something heavy on it to help it absorb the moisture. Replace the paper towel every few minutes until the carpet is completely dry.
If you still have a stain, it would be best to call in professional carpet cleaners instead of trying out strong chemical based cleaning products and risk damaging your carpet .
Whenever you use store-bought cleaning products, remember to read and follow the instructions on the label very carefully. Also, remember to test the product on a hidden area of your carpet to see if the carpet has any adverse reactions. You could ruin your carpet if you are careless about the amount to be used and how it should be used.
There are few precautionary steps you can take to prevent your carpet from getting dirty. One is to place doormats and rugs at strategic spots all around the house so that when you step in from outside, most of the soil on your shoes has been scraped off. You can also try leaving the windows closed as much as possible to prevent dust from settling on the carpet . Close your blinds in the mornings to keep the sun’s rays out, this will keep your carpet from fading.
With regular vacuuming and professional carpet cleaning assistance once in three months, you can be sure that your carpet will stay as good as new for a long time to come.