No matter how careful you are with your carpet, the normal dirt and spills associated with daily life will eventually begin to show. However, you’ll be glad to know that carpet grime doesn’t have to be permanent. With regular carpet maintenance and a bit of experience when it comes to stain and odor removal, it’s usually possible to restore your carpet to its clean, beautiful state.
Did you know that dirt actually erodes the fibers on your carpet? Regular vacuuming helps remove this dirt and helps keep your carpet looking fresh and clean. It’s typically recommended that you vacuum your carpet at least once per week.
Despite regular vacuuming, dirt will still eventually become embedded in your carpet. This is why it’s important to invest in a professional deep cleaning every few years.
If you have the time and patience, it’s possible to rent a steam cleaner and do your own deep cleaning. If you decide to do this, be sure to follow the instructions carefully in order to make sure that you’re not over-wetting your carpet. Steam cleaning your carpet without properly drying it afterward can lead to mildew growth, which is difficult to treat.
Otherwise, if you don’t wish to do your own carpet steam cleaning, there are many professional services available that will come to your home or business and clean your carpet. In line with the caution above, make sure you’re hiring someone who will take his or her time to make sure that they’re not leaving any soap residue or excess moisture on your carpet.
The principal rule of carpet stain removal is to blot, not to rub. This will help prevent you from working the stain farther into the carpet. In a similar vein, make sure to scrape any spills off the carpet, rather than trying to “scoop” them up in a towel.
Typically, simply using plain water is enough to remove stains. However, if this doesn’t work, try these inexpensive stain removers:
- Club Soda
- Dish Detergent
- Hydrogen Peroxide
Has your carpet been smelling “off” lately? If you know that there was a spill or other accident on the carpet, try simply cleaning the offending substance off the carpet to see if you can remove the odor as well. If there were no recent spills but your carpet smells musty, it’s a good idea to see whether you can lift the carpet to look for mildew.
If you’ve determined the cause of your carpet’s odor but can’t get rid of the smell, try these odor-removing techniques:
One of the easiest and least expensive ways to treat carpet odor is simply to sprinkle a liberal amount of baking soda on the area. Brush the baking soda into the carpet fibers, let it rest for a few hours – or overnight – and then vacuum it off.
Another inexpensive solution is to spray vinegar onto the carpet. Leave the vinegar on the carpet for several minutes, then blot it dry. Once you’ve blotted with vinegar, blot the area with water before drying the carpet with a towel.
If baking soda and vinegar don’t work, you can also try steam-cleaning your carpet. If the odor is localized, you may wish to do a simple spot treatment in order to cut down on costs.
With careful maintenance, a typical carpet can last up to 10 years. However, beyond this point, many carpets begin to show signs of wear and tear that normal maintenance can’t repair.