3 Most Effective Carpet Cleaning Methods
Carpets have a warming influence in any home, creating that comfy atmosphere that makes you look forward to coming home after a hard day’s work. However, they are relatively high maintenance and so need a vigilant and meticulous approach if you want to get the best out of them.
1. Carpet cleaners
A carpet cleaner looks like a formidable, beefed-up vacuum cleaner. They are particularly useful for thicker, shag-pile carpets. They’re particularly effective at removing heavy dirt and entwined animal hairs. If your carpet isn’t particularly thick or old and if you’re not a pet owner, then it might not be necessary to use one. The rule of thumb is not to let your carpet get into that state in the first place; far better to clean it little and often.
Carpet cleaners are nearly as easy to use as vacuum cleaners. However, things have to be done more slowly and progressively. After assembling your new machine you’ll need to ensure you first test-clean a small area to check it doesn’t cause discoloration. Then, being careful not to over-wet the carpet (never use more than four strokes of shampoo on a given section), apply the shampoo without leaving gaps between strokes, so as to avoid streaking.
Your average domestic machine uses quite small water tanks, so you’ll need to refill several times throughout the process, every ten square feet of carpet. There will tend to be two tanks; one for the clean water and detergent mix, another to collect the filth and dirt that comes off of your carpet.
Due to the larger size of the carpet cleaner, it can be a challenge to store it. It might be that you’d be better off using the traditional hands, knees, bucket approach, with some special carpet-cleaning detergent. If you have a variety of pets and children milling about then the carpet cleaner could be a great investment.
It is also possible to rent such machines or even get a professional to do the job for you. If it’s the kind of thing you might only do once every five years then it could be a worthwhile investment, especially as they’ll most likely be using a more powerful professional carpet cleaner rather than a weaker domestic model.
2. Vacuum cleaners
The notion of just one kind of vacuum cleaner is long gone; these days the range is staggering and is constantly being updated. They will all tend to have a variety of suction powers, filter types, and the option of cordless and/or handheld capabilities.
These are perfect for your average home due to their bigger capacity and suction power on a variety of floor types. They’re easy on the back, ie. you don’t need to bend down and towards the carpet. They usually have helpful attachments to help you reach into difficult nooks and crannies.
These are relatively small and light; easy to store and surprisingly powerful. Usually the cable wraps neatly around it and you will often see them in use in institutions such as schools and offices.
A handheld vacuum cleaner is perfect for a quick clean, reaching tricky spots, and pet hair. Charge times can vary, but with an average run time of a quarter of an hour they can suck up a lot of dirt. The powerful motor and various attachments mean they are handy for odd jobs at home, or even your car.
This is a cutting-edge innovation. There are different settings for different floor types, although it’s probably not best for shag-pile carpets. The beauty with robot vacuums is that they are totally hands-free.
Carpet cleaner solution, that is! There are a number of available brands, but it might more effective and fun to concoct DIY cleaner. There are a number of recipes out there (online), and you can try some of the following; see what you prefer:
- Carpet cleaner and conditioner – the most similar to a commercial cleaner.
- An aromatic non-toxic cleaner – for families with kids and pets.
- Window cleaner to make a simple solution – not just for windows!
- A stronger ammonia-based cleaner – more powerful than typical cleaners.
- An easy lemon and peroxide cleaner – hydrogen peroxide is a powerful cleaner, while lemon cuts through grease and leaves a lovely aroma.
- A basic powdered cleaner – ideal for spills and greasy stains.
- Dry baking soda and borax powder – a for more powerful cleaner and deodorizer.
You then transfer a liquid cleaner to a spray bottle, or a dry cleaner to a shaker, which will give you a consistent coverage. Stir the solution to ensure all the ingredients are fully mixed.
Do a spot test to ensure the cleaner won’t damage the carpet or the color. Give it 24 hours before determining if it will or won’t stain your carpet. Then, spray and scrub away. If adding to your carpet cleaner first check the manual to confirm that it won’t damage your machine.