Cleaning Your Own Carpets
Carpet cleaning plays a significant role in improving the aesthetic appearance of your home and contributing to bettering your health. Do you have unsightly stains and blemishes on your carpet that you’re longing to get rid of? Or do you often find yourself with a blocked or irritated nose from all the dust that’s trapped on your carpet? Dirty, dusty carpets can lead to allergic reactions and respiratory problems, and to protect you and your family from unnecessary discomfort, you should clean your carpets at least once every 6 months.
However, the hefty price tags of professional carpet cleaning services may make them an economically unfeasible option for you. In that case, you will have to resort to cleaning your carpets by yourself. There is equipment you can purchase for this very purpose – most professional carpet cleaning services are stocked with their own machinery to expedite and increase the efficiency of steps in the process.
One piece of equipment that you absolutely must have at your disposal is a vacuum cleaner. It is important that you vacuum your carpets before engaging in stain removal or attempting to give them a good wipe down. Vacuuming your carpets will remove the dust and allergens trapped between the fine hairs on your carpet and is the very first step of cleaning your carpets as a whole. In vacuuming your carpets, obviously, you have to prepare the carpet area first by removing all obstructions. It would also be great if you can also prepare the surroundings first – dust the blinds, shelves and other objects, so vacuuming your carpets later would also remove all the dust that has fallen onto the carpets. This is important in saving you additional work later on and extending the period in which you can go without having to clean your carpet, since most of the dust within your household will now be collected on your carpet and gotten rid of in one fell swoop. This is much easier and more intuitive than vacuuming your carpets in the absence of this step, then having dust fall and gather on your carpets from objects above within a day of doing so.
While vacuuming, for hard-to-reach areas, you can choose to use a nozzle attachment. You can also ask a friend to help you with your task by lifting furniture so you can vacuum under and around them. Ensure that you move the vacuum in all directions, since the carpet fibres are often twisted and it may be difficult to remove all dust by simply vacuuming in the same direction all the time – this method makes your vacuuming more thorough.
Carpet cleaning solutions can easily be made at home! Pretty much everyone has dishwashing liquid in their households, and this is the exact same solution that can be used to create carpet cleaners. Add about ¼ tablespoon of dishwashing liquid to a clean container and add water until the mixture appears clear but soapy. You will now be able to use this to clean your carpets. However, before use, first test the product in a discreet, small, localized zone, such that if it is found that the material of your carpet is not compatible with the solution, you can always purchase detergent of a different brand or try another method in creating your carpet cleaning solution.
You can conduct spot removal by applying some carpet cleaning solution on a clean white cloth and blotting the stains with it. If you seek to use rags of different colours, be careful in doing so, as the colour may be easily transferrable to the carpet, staining it even further and being counter-productive. Be sure not to use too much solution! This may result in a uncomfortable, grimy residue being left on your carpet. Also, do not scrub the product in, since this may damage your carpet and set the stain even further.
After blotting the stain, rinse it with some water to remove the solution. Do not soak the carpet – this may lead to mould in the future.
Steam cleaners can be purchased or rented for the final step. Cover the legs of all furniture with cling wrap or aluminium to prevent water damage to your furniture. Strategize and plan your exit route – you won’t be able to walk on the carpet after steam cleaning it, so start steam cleaning it from the area furthest from the door and work your way to the exit. Since ventilation is necessary post-steaming, you may also want to turn on the air-conditioning unit or open a window before you begin. While steam cleaning your carpet, be sure to let the extractor pull up as much water as possible to avoid the carpet becoming too damp! Again, moisture is conducive towards the growth of mould, and you should, as far as possible, prevent your carpet from becoming drenched in water. Leave the carpet to be ventilated and to dry out about 6 – 12 hours after you have steam cleaned it – I recommend you begin the steam cleaning in the morning and head to work or to a friend’s place afterwards, only returning at least 8 hours later. After steaming your carpet once, consider rinsing it by steaming it with a mixture of vinegar and really hot water again, so as to remove any soap residue that may attract dirt.
Cleaning your carpet yourself is not an extremely difficult task, but if you are hard-pressed for time and do not want the carpet-cleaning equipment lying around your house, you should consider engaging professionals!