If your home has carpet, you probably already know the value of hiring a trusted carpet cleaning company. However, did you know there are also a lot of things you can do in between professional cleanings to keep your investment looking its best? In this blog, we’re going to go over 9 carpet cleaning tips you likely haven’t heard before (and some common but often forgotten tips).
1. Vacuum Regularly
Every particle of dirt that ends up on your carpet and gets stepped on makes tiny cuts in the carpet fibers. Over time, this wears down the threads, making them look dull and matted. The more dirt you vacuum up, the less opportunity there is for this wear and tear to happen.
Vacuum your high-traffic areas at least twice each week and even more frequently if you have pets. Other areas that are not so high-traffic should see the vacuum at least once a week. This regular attention will help get the dirt out before it can do much damage.
Before running your vacuum cleaner, check the following things to be sure the vacuum can do its job properly:
- Vacuum height: You want your vacuum cleaner to tug just a bit when it is running. If it is set too high, it won’t tug at all and won’t do much cleaning. If it is set too low, it could damage the very carpet fibers you are trying to protect.
- Bag or filter: Be sure the bag is not full before starting to vacuum. If it is, it could just as easily return dirt to your carpet rather than pick it up. If your machine has a filter, be sure it is clean and free of debris so that the suction can work properly.
- The brush: Take a look at the brush before vacuuming to see if it is clean and moving freely. Hair, string, and carpet fibers can become entangled in the brush, stopping it from rotating correctly.
2. Vacuum Slowly
Housekeeping chores tend to be something we like to hurry and finish, but it is worth the time to slow down a bit when vacuuming. The cleaner needs time to thoroughly suck up the dirt that is embedded in the carpet. A couple of slow passes over your carpet are more effective than multiple rapid passes.
3. Use a Utensil for Big Messes
When you see a big mess on your carpet, your first inclination probably is to grab a towel and start cleaning. But with anything that has landed in a heap, your best choice is to grab a spoon instead. Gently use the edge to scrape as much of the spill as you can toward the center of the spill and then onto a rag or a piece of cardboard before addressing the stain on the carpet. Scraping will help you avoid pressing any of the mess even further into the fibers.
4. Be Speedy to Act
You can remove just about any stain from your carpet if you act quickly enough. The sooner you get to it, the less likely it will penetrate the fibers thoroughly. It’s a good idea to teach children to tell you right away if something spills. No parent wants to hear that Junior spilled grape juice, but finding out immediately will make it much easier to clean the mess.
5. Give Water a Chance
Although you may have several partially-used bottles of stain remover crammed in a cupboard somewhere, your best choice when facing a stain is to use plain water. If you get to the mess immediately, you are almost guaranteed success with water alone. Spray the spill with water, being careful not to saturate down to the pad, and then blot with a clean towel. If plain water doesn’t quite do the trick, you could try white vinegar or club soda. For really stubborn grease stains, a mixture of a couple of drops of liquid dish soap and a cup of water can be an effective cleaner.
6. Blot, Blot, Blot!
Do not rub or scrub any stains that you find on your carpet. Rubbing will push the gunk further into the carpet fibers, making it much more difficult to remove. After spraying with water, blot the stain with a clean towel to remove the mess. Make sure you blot from the outside, in. This helps stop it from spreading, which is a good thing.
Repeat the spraying and blotting process until you have removed as much of the stain as possible.
7. Take It Easy With the Commercial Spot Removers
If water, club soda, and vinegar don’t take care of your stain, you can try a commercial stain remover. But use these products sparingly: they can be difficult to remove entirely from your carpet, and if residue remains, it will attract more dirt. You can find yourself in a vicious cycle of trying to remove a stain that just keeps coming back.
8. Keep the Dirt Out in the First Place
The most obvious way to minimize the dirt that accumulates on your carpet is to keep it outside as much as possible. The following tips will help:
- Have a “shoes off” policy in your home.
- Change the filter in your furnace on a regular basis.
- Invest in doormats for each entrance to your house to help trap dirt and mud.
9. Hire a Professional
How often should your carpet be cleaned by a professional? Once or twice each year, go ahead and treat your carpet to a day at the spa. At Brothers Cleaning, we have the knowledge and equipment to keep your carpet in tip-top shape. Give us a call today to schedule your cleaning.