Carpet Cleaning Tips to Protect Your Investment

Whether you need to spot-clean your carpets or deep-lean them, carpet cleaning and care is something virtually everybody has to deal with. Dirty carpets don't last as long, harbor bacteria and grime and make your home look much nicer. Even if you call a carpet-cleaning service for periodic deep-cleaning, you still have to know these carpet cleaning tips to clean up spills and spots when they happen.

Spot Cleaning Your Carpet
Spills and grimy spots should be cleaned up as soon as possible before they dry and become stubborn stains. If there is any solid material, like spilled food, vacuum or scrape up all that you can. Then arm yourself with some clean white or very light-colored towels and rags. Colored rags may further stain your carpet. You will also need a spot cleaner. This can be one of the commercial spot cleaners or a homemade solution of vinegar and hot water.

Never scrub a stain on carpet. Scrubbing at the stain can work it further down into the carpet fibers and pad and may damage the carpet fibers. Instead, blot it. Lay a rag over the stain and press down or even stand on it to lift as much of the liquid up as possible. Repeat until most of the stain is gone. Then lightly spray the area with your cleaner of choice and blot again. Try to avoid soaking the carpet, especially if the spill is large. It could stretch and wrinkle as it dries. Finally, lay down a heavy dry rag or a thick wad of paper towels and blot as firmly as you can. If it comes up dry and perfectly clean, you are all done.

Cleaning High-Traffic Areas
Vacuuming regularly will prevent grime and dirt from damaging carpet fibers and creating a visible, well-worn path of dirty carpet throughout your home. To consistently maintain a fresh, clean wall-to-wall carpet, a home carpet shampooer comes in handy.

When you see high-traffic areas getting grimy, do a light cleaning using only hot water. Applying detergent too often ensures that it is left in both the carpet and pad, which will actually attract and hold grime. A quick pass with a home carpet cleaner in high-traffic areas will extend the life of your carpet and make it easier to do the heavy-duty cleaning later.

Hiring a Carpet Cleaning Service
All carpets should get an occasional deep-cleaning. The frequency will depend on your lifestyle. If you have children and pets and a busy household, this may be once or even twice a year. For more sedate, low-traffic households, you may be able to go as long as two years before cleaning your carpets. Waiting too long between cleanings will shorten the life of your carpet.

If you choose to hire a carpet cleaning service for this chore, be sure to hire a reputable company. Make sure that they use only powerful, professional equipment and will guarantee their work, coming back later if stains should reappear.

Deep-Cleaning Carpet Yourself
Though the home carpet shampooers do a great job at light cleaning and maintenance, you will want a machine to deep-clean your carpet that can extract as much dirt and residual water as possible. Grocery stores and rental yards will have industrial-strength carpet cleaners for rent. Generally, you can purchase the carpet shampoo and spot lifters from them at the same time. A common mistake is to use too much shampoo and not rinse enough. A good rule of thumb is to make one pass with the hot steam and shampoo, followed by three passes with water and extraction only. Let the condition of the water in the tank be your guide. If it is dark and dirty looking, repeat the rinse and extraction until the water is clean.

If possible, choose a warm, dry day so you can open windows and get a fan going to dry the carpet as quickly as possible. Using a dehumidifier will help as well.

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During the course of our house-cleaning activities we may often be faced with a perplexing dilemma regarding a stain or odor that conventional methods and cleaning supplies simply cannot resolve. There are a multitude of tips to be found on the web, but sometimes the search can be daunting if you are unsure what to enter into the search query box, and who wants to wade through a tidal wave of results that yield no reliable information? While this list of helpful tips and solutions is by no means comprehensive of every problem you may face, it does encompass some of the most common, and each solution presented here has been found to be the most reliable method.
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