Can you Clean the Carpet Yourself?
With a live-action Disney adaption on Aladdin on the horizon, we can’t help it but sing along… I can open your eyes, Take you wonder by wonder, Over sideways and under, On a magic carpet ride
Still, this is not going to be an article about the movie, the song, the book or any magical creatures but one dedicated to carpets, although those we have in mind usually don’t fly around… unless there’s a hurricane in town.
So if you own a precious piece of carpeting, the chances are you want to keep it in its best condition as long as possible, that’s why we’ve gathered some pieces of advice which may come in handy. But first please note that if you own an antique carpet, Persian rug or other delicate pieces, you should definitely leave them to the professionals. These types of rugs are way too expensive to replace and pretty easy to damage completely – so please don’t DIY them.
Taking Good Care of Your Carpet
Despite your best efforts at cleanliness, your carpet will eventually become the victim of drops, spills, accidents, and whatever's on the bottom of your shoes. Busy lifestyle, kids, parties, pets or all at once, no matter what, there’re 8 simple rules you must follow in order to ensure the longevity of your carpets.
1. Vacuum them frequently
What do we mean by frequently? – In this case, the synonym would be every single day. Yes, you read it right, it’s the only way to actually pick up all the hidden dirt, soil, and hair particles, especially if pets are involved. Otherwise, all of this will remain stuck into your carpet fabrics.
2. Dust in the house
The household dusting is one of the biggest irritants, especially if you’re allergic, since there’s no cure… The dust, however, is harmful to your carpeting as well. That’s why everyday dusting is part of this list. A new air filter installed in your furnace can be one of your biggest allies along with replacing the dust cloth regularly.
3. Dust in the air duct tonight
You shouldn’t forget to clean your air ducts. It’s the most common place where dust, bacteria and allergens are trapped and can easily make their way through your home’s air vents and onto the carpeting (which in this case sounds like a minor problem).
4. Don’t let it dry
Anytime when there’s a mess on your flooring, don’t let the stain dry before taking care of it. We’ve listed some of the most common blots and how to treat them while they are still fresh below.
5. Choose wisely
Invest in area rugs or oriental rugs in order to prevent the wear and tear on the spots where heavy traffic is likely to occur. This will help you to keep your carpets looking like new longer.
6. You shall not pass
It’s strongly advisable to create some sort of a clean-up station for your family and guests. In other words, set up an area where everyone should remove their dirty shoes before being let in your home. In the long run, this will save you a serious amount of vacuuming and dusting and will reduce the risk of diseases, especially if you have small children crawling on the floor. Well, it will probably reduce the number of visitors you get on your home parties but you can’t have it all you know.
7. Invest in Doormat
There’s such a rich choice of fabrics and adorable quotes that it’s hard not to have one in front. But if you don’t consider this a quite good investment, then you should...
8. Leave it to the professionals
No matter how hard you try to keep everything under control and manage all the chores yourself, sometimes you should take your time and enjoy yourself and the buzzing life around you. That’s when the professionals come in handy. Actually, it’s an unwritten rule that the carpeting has to be cleaned professionally at least twice a year. This is the ultimate minimum and it’s quite necessary not only for prolonging the life of your rugs as much as possible but because of hygienic matters as well. There’s simply no way to achieve the high level of cleaning, which the professional services can offer. At the end of the day, health is what matters the most, so never underestimate the need to trust the experts in the field.
Erasing Filthy Marks on Your Own
We’ve promised you some extra pro tips on how to treat the most common stains on your carpeting while they’re still fresh with household supplies - so here they are:
1. Don’t Rub Blot
Blotting is your key move. So instead of rubbing the stain and making them even harder to clean (because of the particles that get grounded directly into the carpet fibers, which can lead to their permanent breakdown), dab the stains with any sort of cleaning solution and a clean cloth, paper towels, or a sponge – whatever lies around at the moment of the accident. By blotting the stain it will soak up in the texture you’ve just chosen. Remember to always blot from the outside of the stain inward, the other way around can spread the stain instead of minimizing the damage.
2. Let the bubbles float
The chances are that by now you’ve already used club soda on stains of some type, since it’s one of the most commonly mentioned household products when it comes to DIY methods. However, the truth is that this trick only works if it’s done correctly. If blotting the area with a soda on cloth doesn’t quite get the job done, try to mix one part white vinegar with one part water and pour it into a handheld sprayer. Now log into the social media account because after spraying the solution on the affected area you should let it sit for at least 10 minutes to soak in properly.
After posting some hilarious memes on your friends' wall (the ones on social media not on their real estate property) press a clean sponge or cloth or paper tissues or whatever, onto the area to soak up the solution and the stain… And then do it again, and again, and basically repeat until the whole stain is eradicated. But that’s not all folks. Once the stain is finally gone for good, rinse the spot with warm water and use your hand or some sort of comb to brush the carpet strands into their natural direction. And now the final step of this long complex process takes place. Lay white paper towels over the area and weight them down with something heavy like an edition of Encyclopedia Britannica, for example. The towel will absorb the dampness from the carpet in about 24 hours…
Well, that’s it but if you want to save yourself all that hassle just call us and leave the dirty work to our professional cleaners. We promise that the results will amaze you.
3. Do it Sweeney Todd’s way
Try to clean the general stains on your carpet with any kind of ordinary shaving cream. All you have to do is to apply the shaving cream directly to the stain and let it work its magic for about 30 minutes. Once the shaving cream has set, blot it away with a dry white cloth. For glamorous results finish by spraying the area with one part vinegar mixed with one part water. Then repeat the blotting procedure and wipe it away with a dry cloth.
4. Chewing, chewing, chewing all they long
Probably Violet would appreciate your blueberry flavoured gum, unlike your carpentry. So if you’re in the middle of a sticky mess, head to the freezer, pour yourself a drink and grab a couple of ice cubes. Freeze the gum for about a minute and once it's hard, use a spoon to lift the shapeless thing and cut the strands of the carpet as close to the gum as possible… Sounds barbaric, doesn’t it?! Unfortunately, this is the only way if you’re aiming to DIY this yourself, so why don’t you call us instead – just saying.
5. Grease not in John Travolta’s way
The best method against the nightmarish grease stains is to mix a cup of water with a few drops of grease-cutting dishwashing detergent. It's supposed to cut through the grease on your damaged carpet just the way it does on your dishes. You can make it slightly easier by putting the solution in a spray bottle and spray it directly on the stain. You already know the rest… Take a cloth and blot it up. Probably it won’t work the first time, so prepare to repeat the procedure multiple times until you achieve some sort of satisfying result. Or call us instead – it’s up to you.
6. All we need is candlelight…
and a bottle of fine wine. This sounds quite romantic until the heat wax spills onto your carpeting. It dries and gets embedded faster than you can say Save tonight and to be honest, the procedure to remove it is quite unreliable since a specific sort of leftover stains tend to remain. Still, here’s what you can do to minimize the damage.
Place a white cloth over your iron and put the iron on top of the wax to warm it up. Then make toast and try to scrape off the wax with the butter knife. When you’re done, lay a paper towel over the stained area and iron on the paper trying not to set the room on fire (don’t apply it for more than 30 seconds). If everything goes according to the plan, the wax should melt and bind to the paper. A few more applications may be needed until the wax vanished. Have in mind that if you use a colourful cloth it may transfer its pigment to the carpentry, especially if you’re dealing with a light-coloured rug, so it should be white or nothing at all.
7. Raining Blood
Maybe a good song but when it comes to carpets, it’s really a tough one to get rid of. Still, there’s one thing that you can use and we’re really hoping that you won’t use the following information to get away with murder (which is another good song btw). All you need is hydrogen peroxide (the same that almost all unnatural blonds tend to use). First, apply water mixed with a mild detergent onto the dried blood. And try to scrape off as much blood as you possibly can from the carpet fabrics. Then use the hydrogen peroxide directly on the stain. Don’t be surprised when the solution immediately foams when it contacts the blood, it’s called a chemical reaction and it’s normal (as long as anything of this makes sense to you, of course). Then take a cloth and dab the hydrogen peroxide.
8. In the case of pets
If your fluffy friend accidentally damaged your carpet, because you didn’t walk the poor thing on time, try to use organic cleaner. It may be quite costly though but it will definitely be much more useful than any chemistry. Spray the solution and prepare for scrubbing. The odour won’t be a pleasant one so it’s best to open the windows as well… Or call us instead.
9. In the case of kids
At some point, those adorable angels will certainly make you question the whole parenting thing and the accidental candy crushed on your carpeting will be the smallest of all problems that are set to come. Still, if you want that stain clean, it’s time for toast again, because your butter knife will take the spotlight again. Try to scrape the leftover candy from the rug and then apply water mixed with a mild soap, using a sponge, while whistling the main theme from Sponge Bob Square Pants (your infants will appreciate that). The key here is to get all of the sugar out of the carpet. If you didn’t quite manage to do that, the area will attract dirt and debris easily, plus, it will remain sticky as well. You know how to end the procedure – cloth and blot.
Tools and Preparations
Here’s a compact list of tools you should have if you’re still determined to clean your carpeting all by yourself:
- Rug shampoo (or mild dish detergent)
- Soft-bristle brush or sponge
- Rubber gloves
- Garden hose
- Wet-Dry vacuum
Remember to always do a Color Test. Before you start scrubbing, make sure that the cleaner you’re about to use doesn’t cause the colours to run. Start small and test the solution on the corner of the rug to make sure it is colourfast. If the colour doesn't bleed, it's safe to move on.
If you want the job to be done properly by a professional cleaning company, surely the amount of cash you’re about to spend is what comes to mind at first, so let us answer What are the pricing factors?
- First, stands The Square Footage – and are we talking about a house, apartment or office?
- Then we head to The Area Type - floors, stairs or walls?
- The Cleaning Method of choice – hot water steam/deep or dry cleaning?
- Do you want to include a Stain Protection?
- Last but not least - Should an Anti-insect Treatment take place as well?