We know that carpets are filters that trap dirt, dust and loads of other allergens like dead skin cells, insects, pet droppings and other microscopic unwelcome guests. While regular vacuuming is great, experts and manufacturers recommend a deep clean at least twice a year to extend the life of your flooring investment.
As I write this, I am looking down at the stain on my bedroom carpet, and sometimes forget that, like other textiles, the fibers of my carpet will age and wear with time. I expect my carpets to remain soft and clean under my feet. I have heard from countless professionals that over time, soil settles into the carpet fibers and acts like sandpaper grinding into the fibers causing the wear on the carpet pile.
It is just one or two little stains though, is it that bad? The short answer is Yes. Dirt builds up in layers and when it starts looking dingy, your carpet is dirty, especially towards the bottom of the carpet pile. I concede I cannot ignore those stains on my bedroom carpet any longer. Either I clean it myself or get a professional in. This is a personal choice, but I have cleaned my carpets before and for the money I save by doing it myself, it seems like the rental option available is perfect for my needs. I don’t like the idea of having strangers in my home and I am also not always convinced the products used by “professionals” are the quality they advertise. I like the simplicity of having a rental unit delivered to my home and doing the cleaning in the allotted time myself before having the rental unit collected again.
I have cleaned my carpets myself many times over the years and it is really simple. I have learnt a few tips and tricks over the years and hopefully, these are helpful for you when you take the plunge and try doing it yourself!
- Vacuum thoroughly
Vacuuming before you start your deep clean is an absolute must. Take your time with this part of the job as it can severely affect the results you achieve. It is advisable to vacuum slowly to ensure that you pick up as much loose dirt as possible. The reasoning behind this is very sound. Spraying a wet solution mix onto a carpet with months (maybe even years) worth of dead skin, dust, dirt, and other contaminants is only going to set your cleaning routine back by creating extra cleaning to do. Properly vacuuming your carpet can remove as much as 83% of the dry soiling your carpet harbors!
- Less is often more!
Using too much detergent is not good. We are led to believe that the more we lather our carpets with a solution, the better the results will be. Wrong! Too much detergent sets your carpet up to attract new dirt as it attaches to the residue left on the carpet fibers. Stick to the dilution recommendations from the manufacturer. These are developed by smart guys in white coats who work out a dilution that will offer optimal results.
Whether you get professionals in or you go for the rental route and want to clean yourself, remember that pre-treating (link to Stain remover/high traffic) your carpets and upholstery is always advisable. Pre-treating prepares the carpet and upholstery to loosen and soften embedded dirt and contaminants. Invisible dirt, grime, bacteria, stains, and other microscopic particles are all part of the ecosystem of your carpet, and a well-executed cleaning program (link to rental page) will make sure these nasty critters are kept at bay! So, in pre-treating, our carpets and upholstery, don’t just treat a small area, treat the whole area.
- pH factor
The best carpet cleaning solutions are those that are pH tolerant. If your detergent is too acidic or too alkali, it can change the fiber and dyes in the carpet or upholstery. Carpets made from stain-resistant nylon, wool or silk are very sensitive to alkaline and should always be cleaning with a pH-neutral solution.
- Brush stains lightly
Don’t fall into the trap over scrubbing spots and stains too harshly. This can cause the stain to spread. There is a far more effective technique whereby you scrape the stain’s outer circle towards its middle. Blot the stain with a clean cloth before running over it with your rental machine. In cases where there is a stubborn stain, consider a pre-treatment stain remover to address the stain before deep cleaning the area.