How to Clean Carpets

How to Clean Carpets

Having a carpet at home not only gives beauty and style to the place but also brings comfort and helps to create a cosier atmosphere. We all love coming home after a busy day and feeling the softness of a carpet in our feet, instead of the hard and cold floor.

Well, carpets are not a new invention, their history travels for a few thousands of years ago. There’s not even certain of when and where exactly they were invented, but history books always talk about the oldest carpet ever found in Siberia in 1949, it’s called the Pazyryk carpet, and experts have said it could be from around 6000 years ago.

The truth is, just a few hundred years ago carpets became a popular ítem to have in houses, especially after the Industrial Revolution and its boost to manufacturing processes. The invention and development of new machines, including looms, helped small business owners to start making bedsheets, rugs and broadloom carpets until evolution to the big variety of carpets we have today.

Carpets nowadays are used not only at homes but also offices, hotels, academic buildings, and even cars have implemented personalized carpets for almost all models. It’s not a luxury ítem anymore but it articulates smoothly as part of our lives.

It’s very easy to buy carpets now, there are retail stores selling carpets of all types, sizes, materials, and budgets. And there are specialized carpet’s stores that allow you to personalize your order, depending on the exact size of your room, they also offer online shop services and deliveries to make it even easier for you.

But along with the benefits of having the comfort of a cushiony floor, it comes the need for maintenance. Carpets need to be cleaned and stained very often, they get lots of dirty from people walking, furniture moving and from little and some other big accidents with liquid and every kind of substance, sometimes very hard to remove.

Due to the different materials, they’re made of there are several ways to clean carpets and remove stains from them. There’s a large list of products that makes it easier to make them look like new, but also the tools and techniques used should fit the type of carpet, to avoid damages and money waste. Let’s see a few types of carpets, how are they made, and which type is better to have.

Contents

Large brown sofa in living room with grey pile carpet

 

A Quick Carpet Clean

When you’re performing a carpet clean, it’s important to make sure you get all the bits up that you can. The best way to do this is by using a hoover, and to get any better results you’ll need specialist equipment for this. For this method, we’ll focus on what you’ve got at home.

Start with the Tidying

Make sure there’s nothing on the floor at all. This only provides either missed areas of the carpet or causes you to have an uneven clean overall. To prevent this, make sure you’ve cleared the floor from any mess to guarantee that it’s clean and tidy.

Hoover in One Direction

We get used to performing tasks in a certain way. Hoover the room as you would normally, taking care to get into any nooks and crannies.

Hoover Perpendicularly

Perpendicular means to meet at a 90-degree point. Hoover the room in the opposite way you just have, as if you’re making a criss-cross pattern. This will help to release the fibres in the carpet a bit more and give you a better result when hoovering.

Your carpet will be used to being hoovered in a certain direction, so by doing this, it will disrupt the fibres to help get rid of any dirt that’s hidden due to how the carpet lies.

Once you’ve done this, you’ll be ready to tackle and of those pesky marks that remain. See our tips below!

Removing Different Types of Stains

Once you have a carpet at home you always want it to be perfectly clean and you might freak out if someone or even yourself spills a drink on the carpet. But let’s see some good hacks to get rid of dirty, marks and different kinds of stains. All these can be done by you and so you don’t need to call a professional.

  • Using baking Soda: This is not supposed to use for removing stains but more for freshening your carpet. If you want it to look like new and maybe get rid of bad smells, you need to mix some baking soda with any essential oil (16 oz baking soda + a bottle of essential oil), mix and apply on the zones where you want the results, then vacuum for some minutes. It will end up looking clean and smelling great.
  • Using shaving cream: This hack works for almost any kind of steam, you need to put a little amount of shaving cream just over the stain and leave for 30 minutes, then blot it up and dry with a towel or cloth. After removing the stain you can apply a mix of vinegar and water for full deep cleaning, wipe away, and see the results in about an hour.
  • Using an iron: Another good way to remove stains and also wax dripping is using an iron. Make sure you first vacuum the area to remove any solid big particles. Then, clean the stain with a mix of water and vinegar (3:1), and to finish the process, place a dry towel on top of the stained area and apply heat with an iron. It’s a great technique, consider doing it every time you get these little carpet accidents, but also be careful of not burning it.
  • Blotting instead of rubbing: When you spill wine on your carpet the first thing you might try is to clean it with a wet cloth. The problem is not the cloth but what you do with it, it’s more recommended to blot than to rub, due to rubbing with only make things worst, it will spread the stain around the fibres. You better blot it, put some pressure on the stain, and then soak it up.
  • Freeze-drying: This one is great for removing gum. Press some ice cubes against the gum and leave it for about a minute, the gum will get frozen and solid, and then it will be easier to remove with a spoon and scissors –worst scenario-.
  • Make your carpet cleaner: There are thousands of products for cleaning carpets, some of them work better than others, the fact is, they all have lots of chemicals that might damage your carpet, so sometimes it is better to avoid those products. Instead, you can prepare your carpet cleaner by mixing some Hydrogen Peroxide (3/4 cup), White vinegar, essential oil, dish soap, fabric softener, and water. It sounds like a lot but once you do it once you realize is not that hard, and it works really well.
  • Using club soda or soda water: Can remove beer and other liquid stains. Find a spray bottle and make a mix of soda water, vinegar, and water. Then spray the stained area and soaking up by using a sponge, then clean with just water and leave it for at least one day. If necessary repeat the process until the stain is totally gone.
  • Using dish soap: probably you’ve done this one before, it’s very common, simple and it works. So, mix some dish soap with water and pour over the stain, then soak and blot with a cloth or paper towels.
  • Advice for all pet lovers: Try to use organic products when trying to remove stains, as your pets could go and get poisoned. So there are lots of organic cleaning products in the market, consider trying them. If you fon’ find them, then you’ll have to closet he door and block Access for your pets to that room.
  • Using alcohol: Especially for removing nail polish, which is one of the hardest stains to remove. But if you do it properly you will make it. The first reaction of you would possibly be taking the stain off with nail polish remover, but unfortunately, that won’t work. Instead, try using some alcohol, you need to let the nail polish on the carpet to dry first, then try removing as much as you can, and finally, apply some alcohol and dab with a cloth or paper towel.
  • Another freshener recipe: Place some Borax, essential oils, and baking soda. Apply on the stain and clean with a cloth. This is a little bit stronger than the recipe just before. It will work and add to that, it will absorb bad smalls, will freshen the carpet fibre and it will kill germs and microbes.
  • Using shoe caps: This is just a short-term measure that you could implement for a short period when you’re having an event at home, or a renovation, or any other situation that means high traffic of people. Shoe caps will prevent the carpet to get dirty and damage with so many people stepping on it.
  • Cleaning Candy: It’s one of the more common stains when you have kids at home. The first thing to do is to remove the bigger amount of particles with your hands. Then, soak the area using a sponge with water and soap, blot with a cloth and that’s it. It’s really simple but works.
  • Steam cleaning: Last but not least, one of the best ways to keep a carpet in good condition for the long term, and it’s actually a need of every carpet, to do some steam cleaning. Steam cleaners are special devices that use a cleaning solution under pressure injected in the carpet. Steamers use hot water and that’s how they enter deeply to carpet fibres and all dust, dirt, and grease can be removed easily. Lots of companies offer this service, or you can also hire a steamer and do it yourself.
Large L Shaped Grey Sofa with grey rug

 

Hiring a Professional Carpet Cleaning Company

Cleaning a carpet isn’t an easy job by any feat. Sometimes the tools required are simply too expensive, or difficult to use, and it’s a tough time. Fortunately, there are many companies out there that offer a professional carpet cleaning service to tackle all of your carpet cleaning needs.

How to Hire a Carpet Cleaning Company

If you’re thinking of getting your carpets cleaned by a professional cleaning company, fortunately for you there are many ways to find the right company for you. Let’s take a look at some!

Searching Online

The web has all sorts of useful information that’ll come in extremely handy when searching for a company online. The easiest (and best!) way to find a company online is to search for the service you’re after and then the town you’re in.

For example, ‘professional carpet cleaners in Surrey’ will pull back a list of all the carpet cleaning companies in and around Surrey. This will help to guarantee you only get the right services in the right area for you, avoiding any companies that are too far out of the way for you.

Word of Mouth

One of the most reliable methods of finding information about a company is by talking to your family and friends. People that you trust will be more than happy to provide some information about companies they’ve worked with so you’ll get the right information about a company and no waffle.

If someone you know has had a great experience, then great! You may even be able to see the results they’ve gained from the company they’ve used to give you a first-hand experience in what the company can offer you. This will help you make a judgement call on whether the company is suited for you or whether you’re better looking elsewhere.

Social Media

Social media is a fantastic network to allow us to communicate with people all around the world. Why not use it for your own needs? If you post within a group for your local area, or you put a status on, your friends and family will be able to see this as well as other people within the groups you post in.

People on social media are more than happy to share thoughts and provide recommendations, so this may be a great way to get the results you’re looking for.

Local Newspaper/Advert Bulletin

Take a look in your local newspaper or wherever your local adverts may be. You’ll hopefully find a cleaning company near you that can provide the service that you’re looking for, and may even be offering a discount. Win-win!

Why Hire a Carpet Cleaning Company?

A cleaning company is a great way to guarantee great results for your carpet. However, this isn’t the only benefit that you can expect to achieve when working with them.

They’re Reliable

You know that using a professional cleaning company, you’ll get good results. They’re in business to clean carpets and they must be doing well if they’re a thriving business, therefore you’re pretty safe to assume they’ll do a good job.

You can always look online for customer reviews to see what others think of their experience. This will help you to get the best overall understanding of how your carpets will look once they’ve been cleaned by a particular company, and what your experience will be like when working with them.

It’ll Save You Time

Because you’ll not be the one cleaning the carpet, you’ll save time! You won’t need to worry about getting the right equipment, or getting experience in cleaning carpets to make sure you can do a good job. You just need to get the right company in and let them get to work!

Longer-Lasting Results

A cleaning company will strive to deliver the best results possible. For this reason, they’ll use the top range equipment that’s designed to deliver the best clean possible and leave your carpet lasting cleaner, for longer.

With the equipment they’ll use it typically means that you’ll get much better results for your carpet than if you were to tackle it yourself, which means it’ll stay looking good for longer.

Red carpet cleaner

 

Replacing a Carpet

Sometimes there is just too much ageing on the carpet or a stain that won’t go and it’s the perfect excuse to get it replaced. To save some money, perhaps you could tackle this yourself?

Before choosing the right carpet for your room or any other part of your house, think first about what are your needs and budget. These two things will help define easier the carpet for you, as they vary on the materials they’re made of and the technique of how they’re made, which goes directly related to their durability.

There are two main types of carpets, woven and tufted. Woven ones can be quite more expensive as sometimes they’re hand-made, or built with traditional techniques to make them and the materials can be of much better quality than others. Tufted carpets, on the other hand, are more common in the market and the process to make them is more automated. The good thing about these is the variety of styles and materials, which makes them a good option for lots of people as they can choose from a wide variety of designs.

Depending on the way the pile is made there are also two other types of carpets: loop and cut pile. But before explaining each one let’s say the pile is the way individual fibres are attached to the carpet backing. So, looped piles are the ones where the fibres loop back into the backing material, and cut ones are cut off at the top.

There are a few styles on loop pile carpets: Berber (loops are short, they’re dense carpets but smooth), Level loop (loops are also short but strictly the same length), and Multilevel loop (the heights of loops can vary). Also, the cut loop ones come in a few variations: Saxony (the fibre ends are cut as even as possible and packed tightly together), Textured (the yarn used is twisted and then cut), Frieze (fibres are short and curled in different directions).

Now, let’s talk about materials. And this is what most will help you to make a decision, some synthetic materials can be cheap, but some other natural ones can last longer. Let’s see the most common carpet materials and their pros and cons.

  • Polypropylene: It’s a synthetic material and one of the cheapest, it’s also stain-resistant, with exception to oil stains which can be hard to remove. It’s usually used as a wool’s substitute as they’re appearance is very similar.
  • Nylon: One of the biggest advantages of this material is its stretchy characteristics, it also is one of the more durables. On a negative side, it can produce static electricity if you’re abrasive on it.
  • Polyester: One of the best things about polyester is you can find it in lots of different colours, and its fibre is non-allergenic, which is a great advantage. Nowadays it’s chosen for thousands of people due to it’s eco-friendly as it’s made from recycled plastic bottles and other recycled materials. Polyester has high stain resistance.
  • Wool: One of the most durables and expensive due to it can resist dirt and for its great appearance. But wool is most of the people’s favourite for being a natural material and for its softness. There is other less expensive wool but they’re more susceptible to stains.
  • Acrylic: Also known as synthetic wool, it looks and feels very similar to wool but prices are very affordable. It’s not a very durable material though, and not high-resistant to high traffic areas, also it’s not very resistant to stains and it can get easily damage with the use of cleaning products.
  • Triexta: Fibres are strong and resist even kids and pets being around, it’s very popular due to their resistance, but it also can be quite expensive.

After studying which one of these types and materials are the best for your home you’ll be ready to install the carpet. This is a process that should be done by a professional, to avoid bad calculations when buying all materials, and also for them to take all the precautions before installing the carpets on your house’s floor.

The people who work within a carpet company will have all the knowledge and expertise to help you get the right information for choosing your carpet in case you’re unsure. Let’s have a walk-through of the carpet installation process, the tools and things to do before and after.

Computer generated living room picture with yellow sofa

 

Installing a Carpet

Wall-to-wall carpets are the ones that cover the whole room’s surface. For installing this type of carpet you’ll need to get the space ready, the new carpet on hand, and a few tools as well. Let’s see what tools you might need and check step by step of the process.

Tools

  • Carpet knife
  • Hammer
  • Measuring tape
  • Stair tool
  • Wall trimmer
  • Tackless strip
  • Carpet stretcher

A Step by Step Guide

  1. Clean the floor and remove any staples, scrape up any paint and do a deep vacuum to have a clean and smooth surface,
  2. Remove doors if possible, this prevents you from having to work around them.
  3. Place the tackless strips around all room’s perimeter, they should be around a finger away from the wall. Nails should be facing up and towards the wall, make sure you use the correct size of strips.
  4. Roll out the underfelt or carpet pad in the same direction you plan to place the carpet. To make it sit over the tackless strips you need to cut underfelt, and then cut it to size by cutting along the inside edge.
  5. Use the hammer to secure it to the floor and stretch the padding so the pieces are tight enough.
  6. Now you can place the carpet on the floor, remember to keep it as straight as possible and leave 3″ extra next to the walls. Make a seam where the edges of the carpet join, using a seaming tape and an iron.
  7. Dry-fit the carpet and use a carpet knife to trim the carpet around the obstacles –if there’s any-.
  8. Attach the carpet to the tackless strips on one of the ends, then stretch the other ends and attach to the strips too.
  9. Cut carpet excess with a wall trimmer and press the cut edges underneath the baseboard trim.
  10. Use a power stretcher to stretch the carpet and attach to the missing strips on the other ends, and cut out the vent openings.

Installation Tips

Several different tips will help you to guarantee a great result when installing a carpet. It may be that you need to remove a section of carpet, or you want to replace some. Either way, the below tips will come in handy to make this happen.

  • One of the tools that make the job easier is the Carpet stretcher, you or the person installing the carpet should have one of those if you want to get a good quality job, as this little instrument will avoid wrinkles and lumps formed during the installation.
  • Remember the padding or carpet pad shouldn’t lay over the tackless strips, but instead, it should just touch the edge of the tackless strips. Otherwise, it might cause lumps forming around the carpet’s edges.
  • If you want to get perfect seaming you should keep in mind your carpet’s patterns (if it has one), then, the way you should place one piece next to the other should follow the pattern direction. This will give it a more professional look.
  • Take in mind the space temperature, humidity shouldn’t be higher than 65%, so make sure to control that before starting.
  • If your floor is wood-made, make sure to protect it before installing the carpet. A good way to protect it is by placing a sheet of Masonite.
  • Some houses use floor heating if you have this in yours make sure you turn it off for at least two days after installing the carpet. This is to avoid the carpet to shrink.
  • Avoid placing heavy furniture or walking, if possible, on the carpet after the installation. You should leave at least two days for it to dry completely and be ready to use.

Carpet’s installation can last a few hours or depend on the size of the room where you’re installing it. If you’re doing it to several rooms it might take a couple of days. Anyway, always be prepared with all the proper tools and a plan B for if there’s an accident during the installation, or if you have to take it back to the store for any imperfection.

Once installed, it will remain in good condition for some time but this also depends on the use and maintenance you perform. But after a few months it’ll probably need deep cleaning, so keep in mind the following tips for removing different types of stain, in case you want to do it yourself and not having to call an expert every time you spill a drink.

Pros and Cons of Having Carpets

After knowing details of how carpets are installed and the hacks to clean them and maintain them in good conditions you may have doubts if it’s really a good idea to have them at home, or if it’s just too much effort.

Here’s a list of pros and cons of having carpets at home, it might help you to make a final decision:

Pros

  • Good for hiding dirt: Usually tiles need to be cleaned daily or very often, instead if you have carpets at home you will only have to clean them once every week or every two weeks, or you can do it only when you see they’re really dirty and they need some steam cleaning.
  • Reduce noise: People looking for reducing noise or echo from their homes get carpets installed and see the difference very quickly. Carpets absorb noises and so if you live at an apartment building it will be great to reduce the noise produced in your place and make sure you won’t bother your neighbours.
  • Softness: This is one of the best reasons for people to buy carpets, the cosy feel when they walk around the house. Additionally, during cold seasons they help to keep the place warm on the inside.
  • Easy installation: they’re cheaper than installing another type of flooring, so they save you a good amount of money. And it’s also more affordable than a normal floor/tiles installation.

Cons

  • Need replacement: This is one of the biggest reasons why house owners decide not to install carpets, as after some years of use they will have to go through the uninstall and install process again, which makes it a bit annoying.
  • Needs maintenance: As you read before, it needs to be frequently cleaned to avoid damages and disgusting smells, so it does require a little bit more of work than having a normal floor.
  • Not suitable for the whole house: For example, it’s not a good idea to have a wall-to-wall carpet in the kitchen, as it will get very dirty in just one or a couple of days. Bathrooms for their constant humidity can’t also handle a carpet.
  • Cause allergies: Not all of them, but a few ones can cause allergies to some family members, due to they are susceptible to allergens.
Old style living room

 

Summary

A carpet has several different benefits that it can bring to your home and some cons that may make you want to steer clear. Let’s recap on these to help you make sure you’ve got all the required knowledge about carpets.

  • It’ll bring comfort to families and help to create cosy atmospheres. They’re ancient inventions that became popular just a few hundreds of years ago, after the Industrial Revolution. First carpet manufacturers started creating other items like bedsheets, rugs and broadloom carpets until evolution to the big variety of carpets we have today.
  • There are lots of carpets are made of different materials and they’re built using different techniques. There are two main types of carpets: woven and tufted. Woven are usually handmade or at least their producers continue using traditional techniques, tufted carpets are modern and their creating process is more automated.
  • The carpets are also different materials of which carpets are made, some of them are Polypropylene, Nylon, Polyester, Wool, Acrylic, and Triexta. This brings a whole different range of feeling, as well as how easy they are to clean.
  • Our recommendation for installing carpets is to ask a professional or expert to do it. It doesn’t mean you can’t do it yourself, but hiring them brings lots of benefits, like: they’re quicker, they’ll save you time and money, and their job will be a quality job.
  • If you’re planning to do this yourself, the process of installing a wall-to-wall carpet is not hard to do as long as you have the proper tools and knowledge to do it. You’ll have to clean and vacuum the floor before starting and remove doors, if possible, for a better installation finish.
  • The padding or carpet pad shouldn’t lay over the tackless strips, but instead, it should just touch the edge of the tackless strips. You will need to stretch and cut the edges to have a very straight carpet.
  • Once it’s installed, you can enjoy the benefits of a cosy carpet, you’ll also have to program frequent maintenance for it though. Some products like baking soda, vinegar, soda water, and shaving cream are products that you can easily find and home and they’re very useful for removing stains.
  • Having carpets at home can give you some work to do by cleaning every time someone spills a drink, but they’re also an amazing thing to have at home and have that feeling of cosiness, so consider having a carpet can be a really good idea for those having the idea rounding around their heads.

We hope this comes in useful in getting rid of those nasty stains. We understand just how annoying a stain can be and how you’ll continue to notice it forever, so if we’ve helped you to get rid of that stain then we’re more than happy!

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