Cleaning your carpets requires more than the occasional pass with a vacuum, and is essential to not only keeping your home beautiful, but to extending the life of your floors and improving the health of your family. For this reason, many homeowners select lower maintenance flooring options – but with these tips from Carolina Flooring Services, maintaining beautiful carpets doesn’t have to be a frustrating chore!
- When using a steam cleaner on your carpets, be sure the machine has adequate suction. Steam cleaners work by spraying hot water, sometimes mixed with a very diluted detergent, deep into the fibers to dissolve dirt and grime. The machine then extractions the hot water using a vacuum. However, if the vacuum is not powerful enough, and the carpet fibers remain saturated, it could cause mold growth in your carpets. Remember: fibers should be damp after steam cleaning, not saturated.
- Always test new stain removers in an inconspicuous area, such as the corner of a room or under a chair. While most cleaners are designed to work on all carpet types, there’s always a chance it could cause discoloration for your carpet – and you don’t want to find that out on a big stain in the center of the room!
- When blotting up a new spill, avoid spreading the stain by blotting from the outside of the stain inward. Also only blot with a white towel or white paper towel, as the dyes in colored towels may transfer to your carpet.
- When cleaning your carpets, remember a general principle of chemistry: like dissolves like. That means that a water based cleaner won’t be able to remove an oil-based stain. Water based stains caused by things like soft drinks, food, and mud, can be removed by blotting with a water and white vinegar mixture. More resilient water based stains, such as those caused by blood or wine, may require a heavily diluted ammonia mixture. There are also several commercial products designed to removed water based stains, as well as time-tested homemade cleaners.
- Fresh oil stains can be removed by sprinkling cornstarch over the stain and allowing it time to absorb the oil. The cornstarch should be blotted up and a wet towel with a very little bit of dish detergent should be used to blot the remaining stain. For oil-based wax spills, place a white towel over the stain and use a laundry iron to apply steam over the towel. The wax should transfer from the fibers to the towel in no time!
- Cleaning your carpets will not always remove foul odors. Fortunately, there’s an easy, inexpensive process that will! Sprinkle baking soda liberally over the carpet surface and allow it to sit as long as possible – overnight if you can. Then, sweep up the top layer of baking soda (this prevents damaging your vacuum cleaner) and vacuum up the rest. It may take several passes of the vacuum to remove all the baking soda.
If you value the unique warmth and comfort of carpets, don’t let the task of maintaining your floors deter you! Contact us today to learn more about our wide selection of carpet styles and our installation services.
Photo courtesy of: Stephani Spitzer