Carpet Cleaning Tips from a Pro Carpet cleaner!
Proper Vacuuming means bi-weekly!
That greatest of those bi weekly tasks we all love to do huh! Notice I said bi-weekly. Folks that how often most of us should be doing it. If there are 2 adults living in the home with 2 or 3 children, then yep, bi-weekly. First use that thin device that came with your vacuum cleaner, called a crevice tool and vacuum those edges next to the baseboards. This is very important as it will prevent those unsightly black lines, known as filtration soiling, that may form around the perimeter of your carpet if not kept cleaned through your scheduled vacuuming. They are often not noticed until there is a build up, and by then it is too late. Once you can see them, it's time to call a professional carpet cleaner. The best way to prevent them is to keep the edges clean and therefore free of soil buildup.
Ok, so now that you have your schedule, lets discuss how to do the actual vacuuming properly. Moving your Vacuum over the carpet or rug should be completed very slowly. Make those carpet fibers stand tall and taking the time to suck out all that dirt from deep down in the fibers. Remember that dirt has worked its way down into the carpet webbing at the bottom of the individual fiber strands and it does not come out easily. This happens whether you walk on it or not. remember there is pollution in the air all the time, and it settles right on the horizontal surfaces of your home. While it is acceptable to vacuum in one direction only for the areas not walked on or perhaps underneath the furniture, traffic areas must be vacuumed in both directions, north to south and east to west. By going slowly over an area, and vacuuming in both directions you are getting much more of the dirt out than just going quickly over it in one direction. Vacuuming slowy and in both directions will go a long way in preventing traffic, wear patterns, and therefore prolonging the life of your carpets. This method and volume of vacuuming will also prevent matting the pile and therefore the early ruination of your carpets. Be detailed in your work. This task should be completed from right to left and then North and South. Both ways every time. Furniture should be moved and vacuumed underneath every other time.
Lastly if you are not using a good vacuum cleaner you are destined to have a dirty carpet and your time spent trying to clean it will be wasted. A good vacuum is a must.
Blot those stains asap!
Stains must be attacked asap. Use white towels, or perhaps paper towels depending on the size of the stain to blot up any spills as they happen. Remove any bulk matter with a spoon or spatula then working from the outside in, pressing lightly at first and hard as you can at the end. Do not rub, as rubbing just spreads it around and pushes it in deeper. Depending on the stain you may get more out by lightly re-wetting and blotting some more. Do not wet excessively as you may spread the stain out. If your mate has a shop vac in the garage use that to get any large volume of liquids out. After cleaning is completed, always use a fan to accelerate the drying process. This will assist in preventing those water stains if you did not get enough of the water sucked out.
While it is always best to call a pro as soon as possible, some of the so called, home remedies do work well and you can try them. The basic cleaning steps are to blot dry, then spray with soap, blot, spray with clean water and blot. Use caution and common sense, and remember to rinse, rinse, and rinse some more, ensuring to get any cleaners and soaps completely out of your carpets. Remember soap can be extremely hard to remove from carpets and can lead to dark spots.
When using soap do not use anything creamy or it may leave a sticky residue that may cause a whole different set of problems. Clothes detergents are too alkaline and not suitable for carpets. We find Dawn works well and as you may know it only takes a drop for a spray bottle filled with water. Use distilled or purified bottled water to fill your spray bottle if you have it available.
Vinegar which is safe to use on carpets is a very good cleaner, and also a great bacteria killer. Use the distilled white version, and mix with water 50/50. Ammonia is another good cleaner, but do not use on wool carpet or rugs. Mix 1 table spoon to 1 cup of water.
While not all encompassing, here is a list of homemade remedies for some of the more common stains:
Blood = Hydrogen Peroxide
Cat Urine = Vinegar
Ketchup, Cough Syrup = Ammonia ( Do Not Use on Wool Rugs)
Tar and Grease = Rubbing alcohol
Fat, Oil, and wax = Paper towel and iron on warm setting
Glue = Rubbing alcohol
Dirt and Stain prevention!
Most all the dirt in a house comes from just a few areas. Peoples shoes, and then their dirty socks or feet spreading it from the outdoors to the inside is probably the biggest. The next one is the dirty air, either indoor or outdoor air pollution, which has several cause factors. Here are a few ways to stop, or at least cut down on the spreading of dirt.
1. Take off the shoes, and make sure everyone else does. This doesn't mean go barefooted either, bare feet has your body oils, which transfers to the carpets. So keep your floors clean and then wear clean socks.
2. Place good quality door mats or small area rugs at all outdoor entrances to your home. Keep these clean. It's a real pet peeve of mine to arrive at someones house and have a mat so dirty out front that if I use it to wipe my feet they may actually be dirtier than they were before I wiped them on the mat.
3. Have a Tiled or Wood section as the floor covering for the entrance to your home and not carpet. Having carpet as the entrance just accelerates the spreading of dirt into all areas of your home.
4. Keep your kitchen floor clean and free from grease and cooking oils. If you are like me you cook fried foods: American fries, pork chops, fried chicken, fried okra, green tomatoes, mushrooms and so forth. And of course you get those splatters on the counter tops and floors. You can place a rug at each entrance/exit to this space to prevent those oils from tracking onto your carpeted areas.
5. Have your Hvac system and air ducts professionally cleaned. Most people don't realize it but this is a huge culprit in having a dirty home. It can also create personal health issues, and trigger allergy attacks for the occupants.
6. Never have Carpet in your bathroom. This is sooooooo unsanitary, "I cannot believe people do this in this day and age", as my grandmother would say. The only people I know of who do this are Californians, and no one knows why.
7. Keep the food and Drinks out of the carpeted areas. If they are not there they cannot cause a spill.
8. Keep your fireplace as clean as possible. Below is a Video on the subject.
9. Re- apply the Scotch Guard to your freshly cleaned carpets and rugs.
Cleaning Fireplace soot!
"Don't forget to have the Scotch Guard re-applied after you have had your carpets Professionally cleaned. It is the most important factor in being able to remove the traffic area dirt, the filtration soiling, and the stains, the next time you have it cleaned!"