Homeowners frequently fail to recognise that shampooing isn’t always the best method of cleaning carpets in their homes, and that they have more rug cleaning options than ever before. Some carpet cleaning methods involve a light and inexpensive rug cleaning, whereas others are better for removing tough stains and ground-in dirt and debris.
Steam cleaning is usually the best method for cleaning carpets because it removes over 90% of dirt and bacteria from carpeting. Dry cleaning carpeting is also useful for getting carpets ready for foot traffic as soon as possible.
To keep your home’s carpets and area rugs, as well as all other flooring materials, in good condition and looking their best, take note of a few key differences between carpet cleaning methods, as well as some floor-cleaning tips. When the time comes to have your carpeting and floors professionally cleaned, you can discuss your options with a carpet cleaning company near you!
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Various Carpet Cleaning Services
Take note of the most popular carpet cleaning services for your home so you can better understand the benefits and drawbacks of each option:
- Hot water extraction, also known as steam cleaning, involves using a high-pressure wand to apply hot water to carpet fibres. Both the hot water and the pressure work to dissolve thick dirt, mud, dust, and other debris from carpeting, making it easier to extract. Steam also “fluffs up” matted carpet fibres, making your carpet look newer and feel softer underfoot.
- Carpet shampooing, like shampooing your hair, involves the use of specialised detergents and a large amount of water. Rotating brushes can help scrub shampoo into the carpeting and loosen dirt and debris. The shampoo is extracted with clean water until the carpets are clean and residue-free.
- Carpet dry cleaning employs the use of a special powder detergent or similar chemicals, which are applied with a small amount of water. A rotating brush pushes the powder into the fibres, and a specialised extraction tool removes the detergent, as well as any trapped dirt and debris.
- For particularly filthy carpets, foam cleaning carpeting or encapsulation is frequently used. A special foam is applied to carpeting, where it begins to bubble and expand, trapping dirt and debris and bringing it to the carpet’s surface. The foam and dirt are then removed by steam extraction.
- Bonnet cleaning involves the use of a specialised carpet cleaning machine with a thick towel or bonnet over the front. This bonnet rubs rug shampoo along the surface of carpet fibres, and the shampoo, along with trapped dirt and debris, is then extracted.
What Is the Most Effective Carpet Cleaning Method?
There is no “best carpet cleaning method” that is suitable for all types of rugs and addresses all types of dirt and stains, and all rug cleaning methods have advantages and disadvantages. Consider the benefits and drawbacks of the most popular carpet cleaning methods so you can make the best decision for your home.
- Hot water extraction is an excellent choice for those who have detergent or shampoo allergies or sensitivities. Steam also kills bacteria, germs, mould, mildew, and other irritants, which is great for those who suffer from sensitive sinuses! However, removing all traces of water after a carpet steam clean is difficult, so carpeting may not be ready for foot traffic for several hours after cleaning.
- Carpet shampooing is effective at removing stubborn stains, but it requires thorough, proper extraction. Sticky detergent residues left behind after shampooing will trap and lock more dust and dirt along the surface of carpeting, making a home’s rugs appear dirty very quickly after shampooing.
- Carpet dry cleaning is preferred for offices and busy families who cannot wait for a carpet to dry! However, the detergents and chemicals used for dry cleaning carpets can be somewhat pungent, so proper ventilation is essential, and this carpet cleaning method may be unsuitable for those with allergies or breathing problems.
- Bonnet cleaning only removes surface dirt from carpeting, which is inconvenient for floors that require a thorough cleaning. The benefit of bonnet cleaning is that it is a quick and inexpensive method. Consider bonnet carpet cleaning if your carpets are not particularly dirty or matted down, and if you require light carpet cleaning on a regular but affordable basis to ensure your home’s rugs always look their best.
Avoiding DIY Carpet Cleaning Mistakes
Call a carpet cleaning service near you to ensure that your home’s carpets are thoroughly but safely cleaned! Carpet cleaning professionals have the tools and expertise required to clean tough stains and ground-in dirt from rugs without damaging the fibres. However, if you decide to clean your rugs on your own, keep the following common DIY carpet cleaning mistakes in mind:
- When brushing or scrubbing a carpet, avoid using too much pressure. Pushing a rotating brush into carpet fibres can cause those fibres to become loose, giving the carpet a threadbare or fuzzy appearance.
- Thoroughly remove all traces of shampoo, detergent, foam, and carpet cleaning chemicals. As previously stated, residual detergents are sticky and trap and lock dirt against carpet fibres, so it is critical to take the time required for proper carpet cleaning agent removal.
- Use fresh water with each steam or extraction wand application, and don’t rush through a carpet cleaning. Allow the steam to penetrate the carpet fibres and keep removing dirt and detergents until the water in the tank is clear.
- Walking on damp carpets can crush the fibres and cause the rugs to look flattened and worn.
- Don’t overlook the importance of adequate ventilation during and after shampooing or steam cleaning to ensure that the carpet and its underlying padding dry completely. Increased ventilation reduces the risk of mould and mildew growth caused by trapped moisture under your home’s rugs. To remove excess moisture, open windows and bring in fans and, if available, a dehumidifier.
How to Clean Tile Floors
When you schedule a professional carpet cleaning for your home, you may also request that the cleaning professional clean the floor tile and other surfaces. A professional clean will remove ground-in dirt, mud, and other residues that a regular mopping will not. Here are some tips on how to clean tile and other common flooring surfaces for everyday cleaning in between professional visits:
- On ceramic tile, use gentle abrasives to avoid etching and other damage. To avoid trapping more dirt and debris along the floor’s surface, use an all-purpose cleaner and thoroughly rinse with a fresh mop before drying it.
- Flagstone and slate flooring tiles are best cleaned with a specialised buffing or floor polishing machine. Stone floors must also be stripped and resealed on a regular basis to keep dirt and mud out.
- Hot water and solvents should never be used on linoleum flooring because many of these solutions are harmful to the coatings used to seal linoleum. Use a cleaner designed specifically for linoleum tile, and make sure the water you use is cool or lukewarm, never hot.
- Although marble tile is porous, it requires buffing to maintain its overall lustre. Clean and polish your marble floors with diluted fabric softener, and have those stone slabs resealed as needed.
Simple Carpet Cleaning Methods
Professional carpet shampooing is the best option for keeping a home’s rugs clean and pristine, but here are some practical yet simple tips for keeping your home’s floors in good condition in between professional cleanings:
- Trim your pet’s nails and claws to avoid pulling on carpet threads and fibres as well as reducing the amount of dirt they may track over the carpet. Loosened threads allow more dirt and debris to become trapped, so trimmed nails can result in cleaner interior carpeting!
- Purchase an air filter or air purifier for the entire house, or at the very least for the rooms you use the most. An air purifier will trap and lock airborne dust and dirt, preventing it from settling onto carpeting and keeping your floors cleaner overall.
- Examine your home’s window and door screens. If the mesh of those screens is very wide with large openings, invest in smaller mesh screens to keep airborne dust and other debris out of the house.
- Power wash the exterior surfaces of your home on a regular basis. Dirt, dust, and other debris that has accumulated outside the home can become airborne and make its way inside, settling onto carpets and other flooring materials.
- Replace the furnace filter at least once a year, if not more frequently throughout the year, and have the home’s ductwork professionally cleaned as well. Dirt and dust settle into ducts and are then blown onto carpeting, and an old and clogged furnace filter will not trap as much airborne dust and debris, allowing it to settle onto the floors.
- Never assume that regular vacuuming harms carpets because it removes dirt and dust that would otherwise mat down fibres and cause extensive wear and tear on rugs. Invest in a powerful vacuum cleaner and use it on a daily basis to keep your carpets looking their best in between professional cleanings!
Is it possible to ruin carpets by cleaning them?
Improper use of scrub brushes, as well as the use of too harsh shampoo and detergent, can damage carpet fibres; however, ground-in dirt and other debris flatten carpet fibres, requiring replacement rather than cleaning.
How do you clean a carpet thoroughly by hand?
Blotting a stain with a white rag saturated with white vinegar is the best method for cleaning carpets by hand. Vinegar dissolves a wide range of food and pet stains, as well as other debris. A thorough rinse with another wet rag should remove any remaining stains.