Unfortunately, dirty carpets don’t just look bad, they can be full of pollutants and grime. All this built in dirt and grime then acts like a form of sandpaper that breaks down the fibres of your carpet every time you walk on them. This is why it is extremely important to clean your carpets regularly, especially if you want your carpets to last that little bit longer.
What You Can Do to Keep Your Carpet Clean
The very best way for you to keep your carpets clean is to vacuum them s-l-o-w-l-y using backwards and forwards strokes repeatedly. Depending on the size of the room, if you vacuum your carpet slowly and carefully it should take 15-20 minutes to properly vacuum each room. Vacuuming correctly can remove up to 83% of the dry soil trapped in your carpets. For an average household vacuuming of carpets should be done at least twice a week.
Professional carpet cleaning
If you really want to extend the life of your carpets you should have it professionally cleaned. Most manufactures of carpets suggest steam cleaning as the best way to remove dirt from carpets. Steam cleaning penetrates deep into the fibres to lift out dirt and the majority of the pollutants we bring in on our shoes. It also helps remove any moisture which leaves your carpets to dry quickly. Always check with the manufacturer of your carpets BEFORE having steam cleaning done.
D.I.Y. Carpet cleaning
Tthere are going to be times when your carpet needs an emergency clean. If it is a large mess a do it yourself steam clean will do the job, but don’t use the cleaning solution that comes with the steam cleaner as this will leave behind a soapy residue that will attract dirt. Instead just use water but if you need a little *help* with the stain a drop of dishwashing detergent or a bit of white vinegar should do the trick. Take care not to use too much water when using a D.I.Y steam cleaner – if you leave water in the carpet it can cause mould, mildew and an odour. If an *emergency clean* is something like muddy foot or paw prints, let the mud dry first, scrape the dried mud off the carpet and then vacuum. Clean the remaining stain with your steam cleaner or use water, a drop of detergent and a cloth and then blot dry.
How often should Carpets be Steam Cleaned?
Carpet is still a popular flooring choice, it provides warmth, noise insulation and provides a soft *landing area* for toddlers who are learning to walk. Just like hard floors they need to be cleaned regularly, the trouble is unlike hard floors where you can SEE the dirt and dust, dirt and dust is hidden below carpet pile, and while your carpet looks clean, it probably isn’t as clean as it should be.
Without a doubt professional steam cleaning is the way to get it done properly. Steam penetrates the fibres and lifts the dirt out with any moisture sucked up leaving you with a cleaner carpet. Steam cleaning should be done at least once a year, but it also depends on your lifestyle and climate.
Under some conditions carpets will get dirty more quickly and will need to be professionally cleaned more often, even every 3 to 6 months is not too much. Carpets should be cleaned more frequently if –
- You have people in your home who suffer from allergies
- Mud gets tracked in frequently
- You have children and/or indoor pets
- The house is in a high smog area
- You live in a dusty or windy climate
- There are smokers in the house
- Your house is surrounded by a lot of trees or plants that have pollen, such as wattle trees.
If you or someone else spills something on your carpet attend to it straight away, blot up the moisture with paper towels first, then using a moist cloth dab at the stain till it has gone. If your carpet is now too wet. Leave a stack of paper towels on it, press down with something heavy (a chair, some books) and leave it overnight.
Hopefully these tips will help you keep your carpet in good condition for many years to come.