When it comes to carpet and upholstery cleaning, prevention is going to be your best option. You need proper maintenance to reduce wear and tear. These tips can save you money on professional services.
The easiest way to keep your carpet clean is by not allowing shoes to be worn indoors. Obviously, you don’t have this luxury in every scenario. Floor mats are another great way to extend the life of your carpet. Long hallway rugs should be used in high traffic areas. These should be cleaned more frequently to prevent staining around the edges. There are many commercial carpet cleaners you can rent at such locations such as Home Depot or Lowes. The Rug Doctor is the most popular on the market. It is easy to use and works very well.
Once you have your steam cleaner you are ready to begin. Start at the farthest corner and work backward toward the door so you don’t go back over any already cleaned areas. Identify any problem areas and add spot remover where needed. You are going to want to make sure to use even strokes to ensure one part of your carpet doesn’t get overly saturated. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on cleaning products. This mixture works great and can save you some cash: Start with liquid laundry detergent and pre-mix it in a separate jug. Add the soap to a gallon of water.
The hotter the water, the better it will penetrate. You’ll want to make sure it is well diluted. Add a cup of your diluted soapy water to your hot water. Then add about 2/3 cup of bleach. If you have very dark color carpets, you should use less. Now that you have a mix, you should vacuum and pre-spot any stains. Open your windows to avoid an overpowering bleach odor. Ceiling fans should also be left on to help assist in drying. Diluted detergent is low foaming; this means you won’t have too much foam to deal with. After the first pass, you should empty the reservoir. Also use a strainer when dumping the used water down your drain. This will prevent any plumbing issues.
Do a second run using the mix of hot water, laundry detergent, and bleach. Always clean the machine by rinsing the reservoir completely out. You’ll be amazed at how much better your carpet looks when you are done. If you insist on using store-bought solutions try to only use chemicals that are 100% biodegradable, and only pick ones that say they include oxidizers with enzymes. A good citrus product can assist in spot removal.
To learn more about various procedures used in carpet cleaning, you may also be interested in the: Five Types of Carpet Cleaning
The 6 best carpet cleaning machines (in my opinion)
The Bissell home carpet cleaning machines
• Have a combination of forward and reverses transmission.
• The brushes are powerful.
• Made from eco-friendly materials.
• Bissell spot cleaner can be used to help maintain your carpet.
• Automatic mode.
• The spiral brush is great at removing stains.
• Never loses suction
• Works great on pet hair
• 12-amp motor and clean search feature
• 2-speed brush control
Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner
• Strong suction and handheld motorized brush
• Retractable extension handle
Hoover Extract fh50220
• This unit provides heated carpet dryer assistance.
• Auto conversion tools
Bissell Pro Heat 2x Premier
• Great for high traffic areas.
• Includes heated carpet drying technology
Many people don’t realize how important it is to have their upholstery professionally clean. Just imagine if you wore the same shirt for 6 months. Think of all the particles, dead skin, oils that build up. Neutral-based cleaners should be used.
• Cleaning tools
• Horsehair brush
• 2qt. sprayer
• Citrus spotters
• Solvent bar
• Neutral cleaner
• Drop cloth
• Terry cloth towel
Upholstery cleaning checklist
• Make sure the fabric has no burns, rips or tears.
• Identify the material. Is it a natural fiber or man-made?
• Dust very well with your brush
• Run the vacuum over it to remove any excess dirt that is not attached.
• Spray any cleaning material on lightly, misting evenly
• Use your brush to cleanse
Most upholstery has a cleaning code which can be found on the label. It should tell you what your upholstery is made of and what you can use to clean it. The cleaning codes are as follows:
• W: Agents that have a water base or foam may be used. Distilled water is required – don’t use city tap water as it may contain chlorine.
• S: Only mild cleaning solvents, that contain no water, should be used. No water can be used and dry cleaning is not recommended on all parts. This code is usually found on man-made materials such as polyester and nylon
• WS: Water-based agents, foam, mild cleaning solvents. that contain no water, may be used. No tap water can be used. Distilled water only. This code means you have a blend of natural and man-made materials.
• X: Clean only with a light brushing or vacuum. Never use water. This is very rare, usually on drapes or curtains.
If all this seems a little too much to tackle on your own, you can always hire a professional