Rugs & carpets can be your best friends and worst enemies. They provide your house with a warm and cosy touch, keep it clean and protect your floor from damage. But they easily trap allergens, stain quite readily and soak in all the dust. But a house without rug & carpet? The answer is NO! Yours might just need some deep cleaning!
But cleaning a rug or carpet at home? You do not need professional help for it to look professionally cleaned!
Cleaning a rug or carpet has never been simpler and easier. Read our step-by-step guide to cleaning your rug or carpet, making it look better than ever before. So, let us take a look.
Setting the Stage for Rug Cleaning: Essential Preparation Before You Begin
Before carpet cleaning, there are some essential preparations you should make to ensure the process is carried on smoothly and efficiently:
- Clearing the area: Remove any furniture, toys, or any other items from the carpeted area which is to be cleaned. This will enable the carpet cleaning machine to access all nooks and crannies of the carpet and ensure a thorough cleaning.
- Know the difference: The area rugs and wall-to-wall carpeting are different and might have different cleaning requirements. You must ensure that your rug is able to handle a deep cleaning before you begin the process. It is dependent on the type of rug–whether it is a vintage rug or one which is made of delicate fabric. A more convenient option can be the washable rugs which are easy to maintain.
- Rotating the rugs & carpets: Along with deep cleaning, make sure to rotate your rugs to ensure even tear over time. Also, consider using a rug pad as it enables to prolong the life of the rug.
- Wool rugs: Make sure to sunbathe the wool rug at least once a year. It helps to sanitise the wool but be careful of colour fading. And avoid steam cleaning the rugs & carpets as it may damage them.
- Remove pet hair from the carpet: Pet hair can be difficult to remove. Here is a simple hack that can save you time–spray baking soda on the area and then vacuum it. The baking soda will help remove the pet hair from the rugs & carpets.
- Allergies or sensitivities to cleaning solutions: Allergies or sensitivities to certain rug cleaning products are a common problem. Appropriate measures such as the use of hypoallergenic or low-odour cleaning solutions can help tackle the issue effectively.
- Protect baseboards and furniture legs: Placing aluminium foil or plastic under the legs of furniture that are difficult to move can help protect them from moisture during the cleaning process.
- Open windows and use fans: After the completion of the carpet cleaning process, open windows and use fans to help the carpets dry faster. Proper ventilation aids in reducing drying time and prevents the growth of mould or mildew.
- Plan drying time: Be prepared to stay off the carpeted area for a few hours to allow the carpets to dry properly.
The Power of Vacuuming
Vacuuming your carpet on a regular basis helps to remove dirt, dust, pet dander, and allergens, providing you with a healthier and cleaner living space. It also helps to maintain the appearance and longevity of the carpet, making it look fresh and well-maintained.
Follow the specific guidelines of your vacuum cleaner and the rug & carpet type to achieve the best results. Here are some important points to consider while vacuuming the carpet:
- Frequency: Aim to vacuum your carpets at least once a month. If you have allergies or respiratory issues, more frequent vacuuming may be necessary.
- Slow and steady pace: While vacuuming the carpet, move the vacuum cleaner slowly and steadily in a back-and-forth motion. This will allow the vacuum to effectively lift dirt, dust, and allergens from the carpet fibres.
- Overlapping passes: Overlapping each vacuum pass slightly with the previous one will ensure thorough cleaning. This will help prevent missed areas and evenly cleaned carpeting.
- Pay attention to edges: Use the vacuum’s crevice tool or edge-cleaning feature to clean along baseboards and corners where dust and debris tend to accumulate.
- Professional cleaning: Even with regular cleaning, it is essential to have carpets & rugs professionally cleaned periodically. Professional carpet cleaning removes deeply embedded dirt and stains, refreshing the carpet and extending its lifetime.
Tackling Stains and Spills: Effective Spot-cleaning Techniques for Your Rug
Effectively handling stains and spills on the carpet is the key to longevity and appearance. By following these spot-cleaning techniques, you can tackle stains and spills and keep your rug looking beautiful for years to come:
- Blot, do not rub: When dealing with a liquid spill, such as coffee or juice, use a clean cloth or paper towel to blot the area gently. Avoid rubbing the stain, as it will only push the stain deeper into the carpet fabric and spread the stain.
- Absorbent materials: For wet spills, place a layer of absorbent materials like paper towels or white cloths over the stained area and press down firmly. Repeat this process until the majority of the liquid is absorbed.
- Test the cleaning solution: Before applying the cleaning solution to the stained area, perform a spot test in an inconspicuous area of the rug to check for colourfastness and any adverse reactions.
- Rinse thoroughly: After spot-cleaning, rinse the area with clean water to remove any leftover cleaning solution. Blot the area with a dry cloth to remove excess moisture.
- Different types of stains:
- Blood stains: Bloodstains are tough to avoid and hard to remove. Thankfully, there is a solution! Use a mixture of two parts hydrogen peroxide and one part dish soap. Wet a cloth with the mixture, then blot the stain. You can also try using cold water and white vinegar.
- Wine spill: Blot the area without delay, then add salt or baking powder on the stain and vacuum it.
- Paint stains: If you have children at home, you know painting is not just confined to sheets. Carpets are also their canvas! To effectively treat the stains, first check whether the paint is water-based or oil-based. Water-based paints can be removed by using water towels to blot the area and scraping the remainder. You can also rub alcohol or use thinner if any is left. For oil-based paint, use paint thinner and a ratio of 1:1 of dish soap and warm water.
Deep Cleaning Your Rug With a Machine or by Hand
Deep cleaning your rug periodically is an important step to remove the embedded dirt, dust and stains that regular vacuuming might not properly address. You can use a machine for the process or do it by hand.
Follow the given steps to yield the best results:
- Choose the suitable rug cleaner: Use a carpet cleaning machine designed for home use. Look for one that has adjustable settings to accommodate different rug types.
- Prepare the rug: Clear the rug area of any furniture or obstacles. Vacuum the rug thoroughly to remove loose dirt and debris.
- Pre-Treat stains: If there are any visible stains, pre-treat them with appropriate carpet spot-cleaning chemicals according to the product’s instructions.
- Prepare cleaning solutions: Mix a gentle cleaning solution using a teaspoon of mild dish soap with a cup of lukewarm water.
- Start cleaning the carpet: If using a carpet cleaning machine, move the machine back and forth over the carpet to release the dirt. If doing it by hand, dampen a cloth or sponge with the cleaning solution and gently scrub the rug in a circular motion over small sections.
- Rinse thoroughly: After cleaning, go over the rug again with plain water to rinse out any leftover cleaning solution. Remove the moisture properly.
- Dry the rug: Use fans and open windows to help dry the rug quickly. Avoid walking on the dampened rug. You can also use carpet dryers for the same.
For delicate and valuable rugs, consider professional deep cleaning to avoid potential damage.
Regular Maintenance Checks: Ensuring Optimal Performance of your Cleaner or Shampooer
Regular maintenance checks are essential as carpet cleaners or shampooers work hard to keep your carpets clean. Their proper maintenance enables them to function efficiently. Here are some tips to ensure optimal performance-
- Read the user manual: Start by thoroughly reading the user manual, as it contains valuable information on maintenance, troubleshooting, and safety guidelines.
- Clean the dirty water tank: After each use, empty and clean the water tank to prevent bacteria and mould growth.
- Rinse and clean the brushes: Regularly cleaning the brushes ensures effective carpet cleaning and prevents clogs.
- Check and clean the filters: Cleaning the filters help improve the suction power and prevent dust and dirt from entering the machine’s motor.
- Replace worn parts: Replace any worn or damaged parts promptly to maintain the machine’s efficiency.
- Schedule professional maintenance: Professional service can identify and address any potential issues, clean hard-to-reach areas, and extend the machine’s lifespan.
- Use recommended cleaning solutions: Using improper solutions can damage the machine and void the warranty.
- Test the machine periodically: This helps in detecting any problems early and allows for adjustment at a quicker pace.
Removing Excess Water from the Rug
After deep cleaning the rug, it is important to remove the excess water to facilitate faster drying and prevent potential damage to the rug.
Some of the methods to effectively remove excess water are:
- Towel-blotting: Use absorbent towels or clean cloth over the wet areas of the rug. Press down firmly to absorb the excess water. Repeat this process until the area dries up.
- Wet-dry vacuum: Use a wet-dry vacuum cleaner to extract excess water from the rug. Go over in overlapping sections to remove the moisture.
- Carpet extractor: Carpet extractors are specifically designed for deep cleaning and water extraction from carpets and rugs.
- Avoid heat sources: Avoid using direct heat sources such as heaters or hair dryers to dry the rug. Heat can damage the rug’s fibres and may cause it to shrink or lose its shape.
It is essential to remove excess moisture to prevent the risk of mould and mildew growth. It can damage the rug and create an unhealthy environment.
Air Drying or Using a Dryer on Low Heat Setting
When you are removing excess water from the rug, there are two options–air dry or use a dryer on a low heat setting. Let us take a look at the pros and cons of both methods:
Dryer on a low heat setting
Both air drying and dryer on a low heat setting can be effective methods for drying a rug after cleaning. While making a choice, consider the material and condition of your rug.
Drying and Finishing Your Rug Cleaning Process
After removing the excess water, it is important to properly finish the rug cleaning. Here are some of the steps to ensure efficient drying and cleaning:
- Check for dryness: Touch the surface and the backing to ensure it has dried.
- Grooming the rug: After it has completely dried, gently groom it using a soft brush or carpet rake. This will help restore the rug’s appearance.
- Spot check: Inspect the rug for any residue of cleaning solution or stains. If you notice any, use a damp sponge to remove it.
- Apply fabric protector: To provide extra protection to your rug, use a fabric protector. This will help repel stains and make future cleanings easier.
- Return the rug to its original place: Return the rug and ensure the floor underneath the rug is clean and dry.
Cleaning your carpet or rug at home will never seem hard again.
Following the above-mentioned step-by-step process will allow you to sail through the process without breaking a sweat. After all, a clean rug makes for a beautiful house, and a beautiful house makes for a happy you!