Tips for Effective Carpet Cleaning


Accidents happen.

When that accident happens on carpet the amount of work needed to clean it up can be considerable. Red wine stains on light carpet, coffee stains, muddy footprints can be difficult to get out and the list goes on. Having carpets in your home or work can make it more comfortable and welcoming, but keeping those carpets clean can be a lot of work.

It the stains are big or deep enough to justify the cost of a cleaning service, it is best to go with the professionals. The equipment, training and expertise they can bring to the project is considerably more than the most talented amateur can muster, but most accidents don’t result in the need to hire carpet cleaners, most can be resolved with a little hard work, chemicals that can be bought at the grocery store and equipment that can be rented for a fraction of the cost of professional cleaning.

When the stains aren’t that big or deep you can use a couple different techniques to clean your carpet, but be aware, making one part of a carpet cleaner than the rest can look worse than the stain. If cleaning part of the carpet makes it looker noticeably newer or cleaner than the remainder, you might want to go ahead and clean the entire carpet.

Small stains

Wine and coffee stains, for example, usually only affect a small part of a carpet. Although it is possible, most stains of this sort don’t go from wall to wall. Small stains like this are best removed by using over-the-counter carpet cleaning powders or handheld spot cleaning machines.

Powdered or spray-on cleaners usually contain baking powder to absorb the staining liquid. You sprinkle them – generously – over the still-wet stain, let them set for at least a half an hour although overnight usually works better and then suck up the powder with your vacuum cleaner. If you don’t have cleaner available, baking powder will absorb most stains while they are still fresh. Once the liquid has dried, however, you will want to use a cleaning machine.

Small spot cleaning machines are relatively inexpensive handheld cleaners about the size of a vacuum. They work by getting the carpet wet and then sucking up the liquid after it has had a chance to bind to the dirt particles. You should not use liquid cleaners in spot machines, unless your machine recommends it and then only use the recommended cleaning solution.

Avoid using laundry detergent, dish soap or shampoos on your carpet. It is very difficult to get these substances out of your carpet and they will attract grime, leading to even dirtier carpets.

Large or full carpet stains

The carpet in high traffic areas or homes with children or pets can quickly become dingy or dirty without any obvious stain. Dirt and grime are spread around the carpet and make it difficult to use spot cleaners. For these types of problems, carpet steam cleaning machines can be rented from many grocery or hardware stores. Rental costs are less than the cost of buying spot cleaning machines and, unless you are using them on a regular basis, are an economical solution to carpet cleaning.

When using a steam cleaner, there are a few tricks to remember:

  • Don’t use chemicals in the machine. Pretreat the stained area with a spray-on or scrubbed cleaner prior to using the steam machine. Running hot water only through the machine will make it easier to lift the liquid out of the carpet.
  • Clean the machine before and after use. Since you never know what was in the machine prior to you getting it, running a mix of hot water and vinegar through the tank and hoses will remove any chemicals that were previously used. Run the same mixture after you are finished to make it nicer for the next person who rents it.
  • Don’t use a lot of water. All the liquid that you put in your carpet must come out. Water left in the carpet can lead to mold and/or mildew.

Don’t fear the professionals

There are times that no matter how good a cleaner you use, how hard you scrub or how many times you go over the carpet, you can’t get it completely clean. At that point it is best to bite the bullet and call a professional. Cleaning your carpets can be hard work and there are times that the results will not reflect your efforts.

Carpet cleaning professionals are very good at their job. There is a considerable amount of competition in the field and the number of companies that offer carpet cleaning in Perth, for example, can be staggering. That competition breeds professionalism and a deep customer commitment that can go a long way toward ensuring that your home or business carpets stay looking clean and beautiful no matter what gets spilled on them.