Carpet Cleaning TipsHow to Clean Shaggy and Wool Rugs
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If you have carpets in your house, then they’re probably constantly bombarded with all kinds of stains and dirt. So, to maintain a clean domestic environment, it’s always a good idea to learn how to clean carpets without a machine. Keeping in mind that there isn’t a single best way to clean a carpet, we have gathered the best carpet cleaning tips and tricks to help you in your day to day battle with dirt.
So, if you:
Then read on! This article is here to help.
Let’s start by going over the various ways to clean a carpet and when you should use each one:
We’ll also give you some general tips on how to dry a carpet after cleaning, as well as how to keep a carpet clean and maintain its good looks.
Ready? Good! Let’s dive deeper into each of these carpet cleaning methods, starting with…
To achieve the best results in your weekly cleaning ritual, it’s always good to have some order in the way you take care of your carpets. To make sure you’re vacuuming carpets properly, follow the steps below and enjoy a clean home.
The best way to start is to dust all the furniture, blinds, window frames, baseboards, and any other places where dust usually builds up. All the fallen residue will be vacuumed up after.
Go around the rooms and pick up any objects which might get in the way of the vacuum cleaner. This includes mainly the toys of kids and pets, shoes, and small decorative items. Don’t forget to look under the sofa, or any other piece of furniture to make sure you don’t miss anything.
When vacuuming carpets, you will need different vacuum attachments, depending on the area you’re working on. For example, the edges of the carpets and baseboards are the ones collecting the most dust, and they are the places you should start from. You can use a nozzle attachment for them and a cranny extension if there is any furniture you need to reach under to remove accumulated dirt.
Certain attachments can damage some carpet styles, so do your research well before vacuuming. For example, Berber and natural fibre carpets (like wool) should never be vacuumed with a beater bar, as the rotating brush can ruin their appearance.
If you have carpeted stairs, keep in mind that they are not suitable for an upright vacuum, due to their size. Even if you choose to go with a larger head, it would just be too difficult. The way to go is to use a stair hose attachment, or just the hose itself, without extensions. The smaller the add-on is, the easier it would be for you to reach all those hard corners, or between the railing posts, if you have any.
To provide the best airflow and suction, you will have to adjust the height of your vacuum head according to your carpets. If you’re using a beater bar, you’ll want the bristles to just be touching the tips of the fibres, no lower. To be sure which height is the right one for your carpet, check with the vacuum manufacturer, or look up the exact type of carpet and its requirements.
When you start vacuuming carpets, it is essential to ignore all basic human instincts to try and do everything as quickly as possible. Good cleaning takes time. Let your machine suck up all the dirt that has piled up. Always do a second round and slightly overlap the different sections whilst cleaning, just to be sure that you have covered the area properly.
Different households require different frequency in cleaning. If you live alone, surely you wouldn’t need as much maintenance as someone who has a family with kids or pets. But there is a minimum. Once a week is the least you can do to make sure you have a clean home and a fresh carpet.
If the traffic is high (and especially when pets are present), vacuuming carpets should be done around two to three times a week. It’s crucial to get rid of the many allergens, such as dust and pet hair, and to prevent the build-up of dirt, making the carpet easier to clean.
Now that you know all about vacuuming, let’s learn more about cleaning stains off a carpet.
Not all cleaning methods suit every type of carpet out there. To ensure your rugs don’t get irreversibly damaged, you need to know which solutions are acceptable and which ones to avoid when cleaning your carpet.
If you’re wondering how to clean a synthetic rug, the good news is it’s a breeze! Still, there are a few different types of synthetic carpet and knowing which methods to use is important.
Nylon carpets are a popular choice because they are super easy to clean, durable, and stain-resistant.
We recommend that you get your nylon carpets professionally cleaned at least once every two years. Luckily, they can handle most professional cleaning methods, so there’s no need to worry!
When it comes to cleaning a nylon carpet at home, you have a wide variety of solutions available. You can use dish soap, white vinegar, baking soda, lemon, club soda, hydrogen peroxide, and even ammonia. Your cup runneth over with possibilities!
The one thing you really should avoid is cleaners with high alkaline content, as that can make the carpet lose its stain resistance.
These colour-fast and water-repellent carpets are also extremely easy to clean and maintain. However, they are oleophilic, meaning that oily stains can be harder to remove.
So, cleaning a polypropylene carpet – how is it done?
Professional cleaning-wise, any wet technique can be used – steam cleaning, hot water extraction, etc. It’s recommended that you have this done at least once a year.
Want to clean your carpet yourself? You can use dishwashing liquid or, for more stubborn stains, diluted bleach. Yes – polypropylene carpets are bleach-cleanable! Just make sure you dilute it properly. Oily stains should be treated with a product made specifically for the purpose, however, it’s not impossible to do it with eco-friendly methods. Check this post on how to get oil out of a carpet to learn how.
Polyester carpets are stain and fade-resistant, easy to clean, and – best of all – inexpensive. However, they are prone to attracting dust and dirt rather quickly.
Cleaning a polyester carpet can be done with ingredients such as baking soda, dish soap, and white vinegar.
Natural carpet fibres can be a bit more challenging to clean than synthetic ones, as they are more delicate and prone to damage. So, read on to find out how to clean natural fibre carpets.
Wool carpets are among the most popular natural fibre types, as they are fade-resistant, fairly durable, and can even be fire-retardant. However, they can be easily stained.
Cleaning wool carpets can be tackled with a wool cleaning detergent, dishwashing liquid, baking soda and white vinegar.
Avoid bleach, bleach-based products, steam cleaning and dry cleaning at all costs.
These carpet types are a great way to bring a natural look to any home. However, cleaning them can be a challenging task.
To clean these types of rugs, you can use a dry cleaning agent. Seagrass carpets can be cleaned with club soda or mild dishwashing liquid, too. Clean jute rugs with baking soda, diluted dish soap, and salt. For sisal, use baking soda or vinegar.
By no means use any wet cleaning method to clean these types of rugs! If using dish soap, club soda or vinegar, never pour liquid directly over the rug, always blot up the excess moisture and dry the carpet immediately after.
Cowhide rugs can bring a luxurious feeling to every home. While they’re not everyone’s first choice, it helps to know how to clean a cowhide rug.
You can use dishwashing liquid or vinegar to treat stains. Dry cleaning chemicals should be avoided.
When wondering how to clean a sheepskin rug, remember that it’s not just about the products – you need to make sure the hairs are properly brushed and detangled to avoid matting.
Sheepskin rugs can be cleaned with a mild dishwashing detergent or dry cleaned. We don’t recommend washing dyed rugs – dry clean them instead.
These delicate carpets should be treated gently. The best course of action here is prevention. However, accidents happen. If possible, leave cleaning silk carpets to the professionals.
If you decide to tackle the stains yourself, you can use club soda, white vinegar, baking soda, or mild dish soap. Under no circumstances use enzymatic cleaners, bleach, or hot water and steam.
Keeping your carpet stain-free needs to be a priority if you want to prolong its life. And here are the most important rules you need to follow if you want to enjoy your rug for years to come.
The number one rule in cleaning carpet stains, no matter the origin, is to take immediate action when a spill occurs (unless it is a mud stain, which you should tackle once the mud has dried). Don’t let a stain dry on your carpet because it will be a lot harder to remove afterwards. When a liquid is spilt, blot it carefully – don’t rub it on the carpet.
The following technique works for the most common spills. Here is how to get rid of carpet stains:
If the spilt liquid is wine or another colourful one, add a bit of club soda before pouring the baking soda and follow the steps above.
Whenever you’re cleaning your carpet, you want to make sure that you won’t damage the fibres or the dye in the process. That’s why, regardless if you are using a homemade cleaning solution or a chemical stain remover, you should always test it out on a small, inconspicuous area.
Does your carpet hold on to its colour even when exposed to heat, moisture, light, and stronger cleaning products? If the answer is yes, then your carpet has been dyed with a colourfast dye.
Performing this test will help you determine what you can use to remove stains from the carpet safely. Here’s how to do it:
We are often tempted to rub the stain as hard as possible in the hope that this is the fastest way to remove it. Unfortunately, rubbing a stain into the carpet will not only prolong the time you will spend removing it but will also make the task a lot harder than it should have been.
The smart way to remove carpet stains is to blot the affected area, barely touching the carpet, rinsing with clean water, and blotting again. Don’t scrub the spot if you don’t want to damage the carpet fibres or permanently soak the stain into the fabric.
For very fresh stains, only seconds old, the best thing you can do is to blot them with a cold, slightly damp cloth, until they are gone. Again, no rubbing or using hot water.
If you want to know how to clean a carpet naturally, worry not, because the solutions to most stains are hidden right in your kitchen cupboards.
You have probably heard many times that tonic and soda water are good at removing coffee stains, or that salt is perfect against dirt and for soaking up fresh stains. Baking soda, on the other hand, is the number one helper in absorbing unpleasant smells, stuck in the fibres of your carpet.
All of the above is true, but these are not the only natural remedies with secret superpowers.
We’ve dedicated several posts on dealing with different carpet stains. See how you can remove them here:
As we mentioned earlier, baking soda is one of the best ways to take care of nasty carpet odours. It works by neutralising them.
A foul smell does not only come from spills and dirt. Sometimes, it can appear even after a deep carpet clean or if the rug is newly purchased. If the latter is your case, take a look at our special post on how to reduce the smell of a new carpet.
So, you’ve got all the knowledge you need to tackle stains on different rug types. But what about deep cleaning a carpet?
Good cleaning does not always include a steam cleaner or any other carpet machine. So, learning how to deep clean a carpet yourself is not an impossible task and will give satisfying results.
The following method can be performed with either baking soda or dish soap. The steps are the same; you only change the main product. If you wish, you can also use a product made for steam cleaners.
You will need: an old toothbrush, a clean cloth or a towel, warm water
So, here is how to clean a carpet with baking soda:
To learn more about the different carpet cleaning methods, including professional and DIY, read our post on the best cleaning method for your carpet.
Disinfecting a carpet is just as important as keeping it clean, especially if you have kids and/or pets who use it as a playing ground, a bed and a table all at once. It’s a fast way to get rid of outside bacteria and allergens while giving your carpet a fresh look and smell. Doing it does not require much time and it’s a good alternative if you do not have the time for an actual deep clean.
So, here is how to disinfect a carpet:
It’s also recommended to use this method after a good clean as it will help keep your carpet clean for a longer time.
The frequency of usage depends on how much traffic you have in the specific carpet area, but once a week or fortnightly is usually more than enough.
Remember that if there are any stains or piled up dirt, spraying with this mixture won’t get rid of them. This is simply used to freshen up and disinfect your carpet.
Making sure that the carpet is completely dry is just as important as the cleaning. A damp rug can very often be the new home of many kinds of fungi, bacteria, and mould. So, leave all the windows and doors open to ensure strong air circulation.
The drying time shouldn’t be more than 24 hours. However, if you are washing a sheepskin rug, know that it will take a bit longer.
If leaving the windows open is not possible, then leave the door open and set your air conditioner to moderate. Basically, anything along the lines of fans, blowers, dehumidifiers, air movers, and carpet dryers can help you speed up the drying process of your carpet.
It usually takes from 6 to 12 hours, depending on what you are using as a tool. Whatever it is, no walking on the carpet or moving the furniture is allowed whatsoever.
If you have some sort of protectors on the feet of your heavier furniture, you can remove them only after the carpet has thoroughly dried.
Getting rid of singular stains or having a deep clean every once in a while is not enough to keep your carpet clean and looking new. The little things you do every day are just as important, and now we will tell you exactly what they are.
If you want to avoid the long process of stain and dirt removal, the easiest thing you can do is to be careful and thoughtful. Don’t keep rugs or carpets in places where spills occur, like the kitchen, and try to keep eating and drinking in carpeted areas to a minimum. You will make regular carpet cleaning a lot easier, and it will save you a lot of problems in the future.
Maybe it will take a bit more effort, but consider having a special place to take your shoes off before you enter the main parts of your home. The best one will be just after the door. We’re sure that you don’t want to bring all the outside dirt and bacteria into your lovely home.
You can place doormats either inside or outside of the main entrance. By being able to wipe your feet before entering, you will reduce the amount of outside dirt and bacteria and prevent them from spreading around the house. The bigger the doormat is, the better.
If you tend to move your furniture a lot, you have to be aware that it may affect your carpet fibres. You can avoid the damage by fitting castor protectors or felt pads to the feet of your furniture.
If you have furniture marks on your textile floor covering, check out our post on how to get dents out of carpets to see how you can fluff your rug back up.
If your carpet reaches areas with a lot of traffic, such as the corridor to the front door or the kitchen, consider protecting those areas by placing plastic carpet protector mats or throw rugs. This extra layer will not only protect the actual carpet but will also make cleaning a lot easier when you can pick up the mat and throw all the dirt outside.
In addition, plastic carpet mats are also see-through, so by using them, you are just protecting your carpet, not adding another piece of carpeting that may interrupt the design of your room.
If you have a pet, you have to do your best in training them not to use your carpet as a toilet. If they use a litter box, place it in a non-carpeted place like the bathroom, or anywhere else as long as it’s easy to clean, like tile or laminate. Sometimes you might not have a choice other than putting it in a carpeted area, so if this is the case, place a rubber mat below.
The rule of thumb is to vacuum twice a week, and have your carpets deep cleaned once per year. However, different households have different needs. So, make your own carpet cleaning schedule, depending on your circumstances, and make sure to stick to it; otherwise, it’s all for nothing, right?
It’s okay if you don’t have the time to clean the carpet by yourself. Alternatively, you can buy or rent a carpet cleaning machine, but by doing so, there is still the issue with time – you will have to invest some of yours.
The most time-efficient way to clean your carpets is to have them professionally cleaned. Fantastic Services offers two carpet cleaning solutions – hot water extraction and dry cleaning.
Hot water extraction, also falsely called steam cleaning, is suitable for synthetic and woollen materials, while dry cleaning is suggested for more delicate items made of seagrass, jute, and sisal.
Find a professional to rid your carpet of dirt today!
We hope you found our article on how to clean a carpet helpful and please, do share your experience with similar situations in the comment section below.
No matter the cleaning method, remember to always do a small spot test on a hidden part of your carpet. Depending on the size, nature, and age of the stain, some of them might be impossible to remove. We cannot take responsibility if any of the above-mentioned methods do not work on your carpets. Read our disclaimer here.