Your Guide to Cleaning Carpets (Part 1)

Your Guide to Cleaning Carpets (Part 1)

Our carpets are some of our most treasured parts of our homes. We pick them out carefully, so they match our tastes and make a statement about our homes. Carpets can complete a room and set the overall tone. Carpets come in a variety of styles and patterns which means there is always a carpet right for your home.  However, when carpets get dirty, they can become a real nuisance and hassle. We’re giving you the best tips that actually work. As we are cleaning experts with years of experience, we have seen enough carpets to know what works best and what doesn’t. So read ahead to find out how you can keep your carpet immaculate without having to strain yourself or hire expensive help.

Carpet Fibre Materials

Nylon

Nylon continues to be one of the most popular choices for carpet surfaces. This is due to its durable construction and high levels of stain resistance. The maintenance of Nylon is comparatively more simple than other surfaces. It can also be easily treated for additional stain protection. It is an ideal flooring choice for those with pets and kids as it can withstand a lot of daily force. Nylon is a very strong fiber that is both resilient and adept at maintaining its original texture. This is the ideal surface for busy families who need a long-term flooring solution that will provide reliability.

Polyester

Polyester is a fabric that oozes a tad more sophistication than Nylon. It is a premium texture that is highly sought after by those looking to add a bit of class to their homes. It is, however, less durable than Nylon which makes it unsuitable for busy homes. But, for those homes that do not have a huge amount of activity it is a great value option. It is significantly cheaper than Nylon because of its decreased durability. The selection of attractive patterns and designs make it a great stylistic choice for any room that is subject to lower levels of activity. Polyester is also relatively easy to clean and maintain.

Olefin

Olefin is a synthetic fiber that is less commonly used for carpet flooring. It has a wool-like texture and is one of the cheapest synthetic fiber options available. It has a lower level of durability than both polyester and nylon. It also has relatively poor resistance to spoiling. It is usually used as an option in damp basements and outdoors. It is suited to areas where there would be less activity. The material is relatively stain resistant; however, it offers little protection against soiling.

Wool

Wool is a natural fiber that has always been a popular choice for flooring. It is generally durable and offers good resistance to spoiling and wearing. It can be available as completely wool or in a blend with another fabric. One of the advantages of a wool carpet is that it recovers quickly from furniture compression. As a natural fiber, it is also environmentally friendly. It is generally stain resistance and easy to clean.

Carpet Styles

There are two main carpet styles to choose from, and they each have slightly different cleaning requirements. A ‘carpet pile’ is the surface you step on.

Cut Pile

One of the types of style is referred to as “cut pile.” This is where the yarn loops are cut to create an upright pile which has a premium look to it. The ends of the carpet fiber are exposed in this style. Currently, they are more popular than the alternative style which is “loop pile.” Cut piles will usually have a degree of twist which allows the carpet to have durability. A heavier twist can be used to hide signs of wear. A high twist style is ideal for high activity areas as it is able to maintain its image. An alternative is the freeze. This is a style that is less formal than a high twist. This has long piles which gives it a deep texture and means it is highly durable.

Loop Pile

Loops piles are a style of carpeting that is not sheared. They are left to remain in the loop form and are then constructed into various weights and thickness. This allows for a flexibility of styles. Loop piles are usually crafted from Wool or Nylon. They are a popular choice in home offices and game rooms as they provide a number of stylistic options. There is always a risk of a loop being pulled out which you should be aware of. A level loop pile is the most durable option, and it is suitable for high activity areas. It also does not show footprints. A multi-level loop pile uses loops in different heights to create unique textures. Loop pile carpets are generally easier to clean than cut pile styles because stains tend to sit on the surface rather than penetrating the fiber.

There are also styles of flooring that combine both loop and cut pile.

Should I Consider Stain Resistant Carpets?

The word “stain resistance” is often thrown out a lot by carpet salesman. Each material of carpet will have its own individual properties that protect it against stains. However, stain resistant carpets are coated with a chemical finish that stops dirt and liquids from setting into the carpet fibers. Essentially it provides a protective barrier on the carpet which keeps out stains. This includes stains left from food, juices, pets, rust and ink polish. But should you consider a stain resistant carpet?

Stain resistant carpeting will be a more expensive option than flooring that does not come with this added protection. The benefits of having a stain resistant are that you do not have to worry about spills and blemishes. This increases the longevity of your carpet as it would not need to be replaced. It can be more expensive to replace a carpet than to invest in a stain resistant carpet. Stain resistant carpets prevent spills from setting on which can halt the potential infestation of bugs. This is an important health benefit to consider. For busy families with children, stain resistant carpets should definitely be a top consideration.

It is important to remember that stain resistance doesn’t mean you can go easy on the cleaning. Stains will still have to be cleaned as soon as possible. Stain resistance just stops the stains from causing damage to the fiber. It is essential to properly maintain your stain resistant carpet if you want it to fulfill the promise of longevity. The protective film can also wear after long-term use, so it is important to keep this in mind. There are also specific substances that you should keep away from the stain-resistant carpet to avoid any chemical reactions. These will be stated in the guidelines.

Removing Stains

It is essential to deal with stains as soon as they arise. Different types of stains will require different cleaning methods. We will go into the most effective methods of removing stains. It is not difficult to remove even the toughest of stains, and most methods only require the use of common household items.

The first thing you should do with any stain is blot the spot and then dry it. You should then rinse it with water and blot it again. You should never attempt to scrub the carpet or handle it in an aggressive manner as this can cause stains to soak into the fiber. This method should get rid of most basic stains; however, we have stain specific advice below:

Regular Water-Soluble Stains

These types of stains are usually relatively simple to remove. They can include alcoholic beverages, wet paint, sodas, food dyes, and other soluble liquids. Their solubility makes them relatively easy to remove without leaving any permanent damage to your carpets. To clean up these stains, you can use ¼ teaspoon of white vinegar mixed with 32 ounces of water.

Tougher Water Soluble Stains

These stains will present a tougher challenge. These tough stains can come in the form of blood, tea, vomit, wine, and chocolate. The first thing that you should try when dealing with this type of stain is a tablespoon of ammonia mixed with 1 cup of water. If you have a Nylon blend carpet, then you should use mild detergent instead. This should work effectively at smaller stains. However, if that doesn’t work, you can try a stronger solution of one part bleach to one part water. However, you should be aware that this solution can only be used on solution-dyed carpets. You should, therefore, check beforehand and see which type of carpet you have.

Fat, Oil and Wax

These types of stains require placing a paper towel over the stain. You can then iron over the paper towel, and the stain should come right off the carpet. These types of stains generally cannot enter the fibres, and therefore this method is effective as the paper towel should soak up the stain.

There are also other specific types of stains that can be difficult to treat, but there are effective methods for tackling these.

Cigarette Burns – You can get rid of these burns by rubbing on the carpet pile with the edge of a surface that is both hard and flat. A good example of this surface is a blunt knife. You must be sure to apply pressure gently; otherwise, you risk damaging the carpet pile.

Glue – The key to removing glue is by moisturizing it before it drys out. You can do this by using a wet cloth or cotton ball. You should then press it gently on the affected part of the carpet. When the glue becomes wet, it should be relatively easy to wipe off.

Wax & Gum –  Wax & Gum can be particularly difficult to remove and can become a frustrating stain to handle. The best method of dealing with them is to freeze them with ice. You can then break up the frozen pieces with any common kitchen utensil. You should be sure to sweep up all the frozen particles with a vacuum before they start to soften. You should blot the area of the carpet with a white towel.

Nail Polish – The key to removing nail polish off a carpet is the same as removing nail polish from other areas. Nail polish remover is effective on carpeted flooring. You should blot the are affected in a rag that is dipped with nail polish remover.

Urine –  When you have babies and pets in the house, there can be a risk of urine stains. It is critical to remove urine as soon as possible since it poses a health risk. The first step is to clear up as much of the urine as possible with a white towel. Then you should blot the area with a solution of one part white vinegar to one part water. The last step is to apply a solution of ½ non-bleach detergent mixed with 32 ounces of water. You should rinse the entire area that is affected and blot dry. This will remove the health risk and also reduce the risk of any permanent damage to the carpet fibers.

Best Cleaning Agents for Carpets

We believe in using organic, eco-friendly products. They can be just as effective as other alternatives. These our are personally recommended cleaning agents for carpets.

Arm & Hammer Baking Soda

The first cleaning agent that we recommend for carpet cleaning is baking soda. This is a substance that is easily available and relatively inexpensive. It is a green cleaning product which means it does not cause environmental damage. It is effective at cleaning and deodorizing your carpets. It has been a long time popular cleaning agent, and there is good reason for why baking soda continues to be a household staple.

Baking Soda is very easy to use as a cleaning solution. You can apply it to your carpet and let it sit for a while. You can then easily vacuum it away and enjoy a cleaner and more refreshed carpet. You can also mix in some scents with the soda to give your carpet a nice refreshing smell.

 

Better Life Natural Stain & Odor Eliminator

Better Life are experts at making environmentally friendly cleaning products that pack a punch. This particular combination of plant-based materials is excellent at removing stains and odors from your carpets. It is safe to use around children and pets. You can spray the solution directly on the affected area and then blot with a damp towel. It is effective at dealing with tough stains such as blood.

The fresh scent and powerful, non-toxic cleaning action mean that this cleaning agent is one of our top recommendations for keeping your carpets in an excellent state.

 

Biokleen Carpet & Rug Shampoo

Our final cleaning agent recommendation is made by Biokleen. They specialize in non-toxic cleaning solutions and have developed a reputation for their high powered solutions. This solution is excellent at powering through tough stains to leave your carpet in excellent condition. It is safe to use on all washable fibers. The solution is highly concentrated which makes it even more environmentally friendly due to the lower amount of packaging required. A common complaint of powerful cleaners is their tendency to leave behind residues. This is not a problem with this product as the only thing it leaves behind is a clean finish and a fresh scent.

We highly recommend this shampoo cleaner for carpets that need a robust solution that is effective and non-toxic.

Do We Still Need Professional Cleaners?

DIY cleaning can be great for smaller households, but larger rooms will usually require some professional help. There also some risks to DIY, especially when novices are involved. Professional cleaners are able to bring a portable machine that will deeply clean your carpet. The benefit of using a professional is that they will cover every single fiber and you can have peace of mind that your carpet has been adequately cleaned. It can seem like an unneeded expense, but it is good value for money when you consider that it can boost your carpets longevity.If you are put off by the cost, you can arrange a cleaning that only deals with “high traffic areas.” This means you can leave your furniture in place and only deal with the high impact areas of the carpet. This can save you significant money when compared to having the entire carpet floor cleaned.