Your Guide to Cleaning Carpets (Part 2)

Your Guide to Cleaning Carpets (Part 2)

Steam Cleaning Carpets

Even the most stain resistant carpets aren’t invincible. Every carpet will inevitably be subject to trapped materials within the fibers. This can include dirt, oils, and bacteria. If they are left untreated, then they can cause permanent damage to your carpet. The last thing you want is unpleasant odors and stains ruining your flooring.  That is why it is essential to steam clean your carpet from time to time. Steam cleaning penetrates the fibers of your carpet with water that removes all trapped substances.

Steam cleaning is an extremely efficient way to maintain your carpet. However, it can be relatively hard work. Before starting the steam cleaning, you should do a test on a small area of your carpet to ensure the cleaner is suitable. You should also correctly vacuum the entire carpet before starting the steam cleaning process. You should run vacuum slowly and be sure to cover the hard to reach areas. This will make the steam cleaning process much easier. You should also ideally move the furniture out of the way so that all areas can be covered. You can then fill the container with water and cleaning solution. You should be sure to pick a solution that is suitable for the type of carpet that you have. It is crucial to follow the instructions on the cleaner as not all steam cleaners function in the same manner.

The best way to steam clean is by doing straight lines and working through the room in a methodical manner. This will ensure that you can complete the work more quickly and also cover the entire carpet. It is important to let the carpet dry out before moving the furniture back. You should also air out the room as certain solutions will carry a lingering smell.

Steam Cleaning Pro Tips:

Always read the manufacturer’s advice before starting and ensure that your carpet fiber will be suitable for use
Clear any pet/urine stains thoroughly before steam cleaning
Always vacuum first
Hire a professional if you need extensive cleaning done
Steam clean during low humidity months
Use non-toxic cleaning solutions
Be sure to steam clean your carpets at least once a year

Recommended Steam Cleaners

There are many steam cleaners for you to choose. They are becoming an increasingly popular cleaning tool due to their high effectiveness. We have picked out two reliable steam cleaners that we would personally use in our homes.

Bissell Big Green Professional Carpet Cleaner Machine, 86T3

The first steam cleaner we recommend is one of the most powerful on the market. This professional cleaner is suitable for larger homes that need heavy duty work. The high-end price is justified due to the incredible deep clean this cleaner provides. Unlike other steam cleaners on the market, it is exclusively designed for use on carpets. It is easy to use and can clean both forwards and backward which can make the job far easier. It is suitable for use on both stairs and regular rooms. The suction is powerful, and the brush is extra large which makes this cleaner stand out from the competition. This is an essential cleaner for larger households that require a complete cleaning solution.

Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Washer FH50150

However, not everyone will require such an expensive option. The next cleaner we recommend is made by Hoover who are well known for their vacuuming products. This deluxe carpet washer comes with a budget price tag, but a cleaner that is powerful and packed with all the essential features that will allow you to keep your carpet in perfect condition. The lightweight design makes it easy to use and means that it can work well on hard to reach areas. The cleaner also comes with its own cleaning solution sample. The 360 spin brush allows you to pick up all the debris that may be left on your carpet. This is the perfect cleaner for regular households and powerful enough to handle all types of carpet flooring with ease.

What is Soiling?

Many people think that soiling and staining are the same things. These terms are even used some of the time interchangeably. However, it is important to understand the difference between these two terms. Both can cause discoloration of your carpet, but they are not the same thing, and they do not have the same cause.

Stains occur when a substance is spilled onto the fibers. It will embed itself within the fibres, and it will be clearly invisible. Coffee and Wine are two beverages that can cause noticeable stains. As we mentioned earlier, certain types of fibers can be more susceptible to staining than others. Stain resistance is added to carpets to prevent staining on fibers. A soiled spot can look very similar to a stain. The difference is that a spoil will be the direct result of residue or the spillage of oil. This initial contact with the fiber will the attract more dirt particles. Residues can occur due to an incomplete cleaning job where a stain was not fully dealt with. Oil spillage can occur when oily products come into contact with the carpet fiber. It can also occur from coming into contact with feet as these also produce oil. Walking barefoot leaves your carpet susceptible to this. Olefin is a type of carpet material that is especially prone to spoilage.

Preventing Spoilage

You can prevent spoilage by dealing with spills as soon as they occur. It is important to have a regular cleaning routine where you check the entire carpet. However, it is equally as important to always use cleaning solutions in the correct manner. Every time a cleaner is used, the carpet must be fully rinsed so that the solution is completely removed from the carpet fibers. You can also wear indoor slippers to reduce the risk of oils spoiling the carpet.

How to Remove Wrinkles from Carpets

After a few years, you may begin to notice some wrinkles in your carpets. Your first instinct may be to call a professional to get rid of the wrinkles. However, it can be fairly simple and inexpensive for you to fix the wrinkles yourself. It is pretty important to deal with wrinkles when they first pop up, as the problems can quickly worsen and it can cause wear in your carpet.

It can be cost effective to rent the tools needed to remove the wrinkles. The tools required are a power stretcher, knee kicker and a carpet knife. This is different from a typical household knife.  It is also widely available to purchase at most department stores.

The first step you must undertake is to pull the carpet free. You can do this by grabbing the carpet from the baseboard and gently pulling it up. You should loosen the carpet from all sides of the wall. You should then adjust the length of the tool. This can be done by tightening or loosening the screws attached to the space bar. The teeth should only be grabbing the carpet pile. The pad should be stretched.

The correct way to stretch out wrinkles from your carpets is by starting from the center of the carpet. You will be pulling it at an angle towards a corner. You should set up your power stretcher at an angle. The tooth depth on the stretcher should correspond with the carpet pile depth. The next step is to place the teeth of the stretcher into the carpet and then push down on the handle. The stretched carpet should then be fixed into position. You can then begin to operate the power stretcher by using the lever and taking out the excess carpet. The excess carpet can be cut off with use of a carpet knife. You should only cut this once the carpet has been properly secured and the wrinkles have been properly removed. Wrinkles can develop to a wide variety of reasons. They can be caused by certain interior conditions or improper fitting. Although a professional can get rid of these for you, it can be worth attempting to take them out yourself. You can also save yourself some significant money by carrying out the task yourself.

General Carpet Cleaning Tips/ Do’s and Dont’s

We have compiled some general carpet cleaning tips as well as giving you some pointers for things to look out for.

DO’s

  • Do a regular deep clean – It is important to have your carpet steam cleaned about once a year. This will keep it in its optimum condition.
  • Always treat stains as soon as they appear – The longer you wait before treating the stains, the greater the chance of them causing permanent damage to your carpet.
  • Remove as much solid material as you can from a food spill
  • The best way to deal with stubborn stains that remain after cleaning is to moisten the tufts in the affected area with 3% hydrogen peroxide. You can let this stand for an hour and then attempt to clean the stain again.
  • Try shaving cream – A can of shaving cream can be very effective for some nuisance stains.
  • Use dishwasher detergent against grease
  • Vacuum often – It is important to cover the entire area when vacuuming
  • Rotate furniture – If it is possible you should try and rotate furniture so that dents are prevented
  • Create new traffic paths – Consistent traffic paths can cause wear and switching these up every so often can increase the longevity of your carpet
  • Invest in high-quality mats – This can reduce the wear on your carpet.
  • Have a stiff brush in your cleaning disposal
  • Spot test any new carpet treatment – It is crucial to conduct this test on a small area before you begin any new treatment

DON’TS

  • Blot Stains – You should never rub stains as this can make them worse
  • Wear shoes on your carpets – The outside dirt on your shoe can cause permanent staining
  • Walk barefoot too often on your carpet – The oils from your feet can cause spoilage
  • Over-Shampoo
  • Over-wet the carpet
  • Let wood furniture come into contact with a wet carpet
  • Use a powerful cleaning detergent
  • Don’t let your kids or pets play on recently treated carpets

Maintaining the Color and Texture

The wear and tear of a carpet can lead to discoloration and a change in texture. There are a number of methods that you can apply to keep your carpet in the perfect condition. Vacuuming your carpet regularly can help to maintain its original texture. It is important that you carefully vacuum the entire area so that every fiber is covered. The type of vacuum you use will differ, depending on the type of carpet you have. You should avoid using vacuums that have a sealed or highly concentrated suction. It is also advisable to use a vacuum with large wheels on softer carpets.

As we mentioned above, deep cleaning and professional cleaning can be conducted on a yearly basis to keep the color and texture looking its best. The time frame between cleans will depend on how much activity is done on the carpet.

It is important not to pull on any snags and sprouts that might appear. These can quickly ruin the texture of the carpet. Instead, you should cut these with scissors. It can be tempting to pull on them; however, this can damage the carpet fibers.

You should deal with carpet burns as soon as they appear. Minor burns can often be removed with curved scissors. However larger burns will usually require a patch or replacement.

The dents from furniture can have a major impact on the texture of your carpet. You can deal with these dents by stroking them with the edge of a coin. You can also use a steam iron on the dented area.

All water damage to the carpet must be tackled in a thorough manner. If you suspect there is significant water damage, then it is advisable to contact a professional. They can dry the entire carpet and prevent any discoloration or permanent texture changes.

Soft Carpet Guide (low denier)

A soft carpet can be incredibly comfortable however it does come with a tradeoff. A soft carpet will have a low denier. This is the thickness of the carpet material. The high softness comes from the thin material. These carpets can be trickier to clean the regular carpets, and the durability of these carpets is also reduced. Most soft carpets will be made out of thin Nylon fibers. Nylon is one of the most durable fabrics (usually) but when it is cut this thin that is reduced. But, a fine crafted soft Nylon fiber can still last you a few good years. That is if you take good care of it. There are ways that you can keep your soft carpets in excellent condition.

Vacuums tend to stuck in soft carpets. It can also be harder to navigate a vacuum with this type of flooring. The airflow can also become restricted which can reduce the effectiveness of the vacuum. You should pick a vacuum cleaner that has a good adjustable height, large wheels, and softer bristles. This will allow you to clean your soft carpet in a more effective manner and in a way that doesn’t damage the fibers. In many ways you have to follow the same guidelines for soft carpets; they just require a more measured approach because they are more susceptible to permanent damage.