If you’re a homeowner, you know how important it is to keep your carpets in pristine condition. Regular cleaning is essential for maintaining a healthy living space and prolonging the life of your carpets. However, with a plethora of cleaning methods available, it can be hard to determine which is most effective. In this article, we’ll explore the various approaches to carpet cleaning and equip you with the knowledge needed to keep your carpets spotless.
Understanding different carpet materials
Before we dive into cleaning methods, it’s important to understand which type of carpet you have. This will determine the correct cleaning process, and using the wrong method can cause damage. The most common materials are wool, synthetic, synthetic combination of the two, and sisal.
When it comes to choosing the right carpet material, there are several factors to consider.
Wool carpets are stylish, warm and made from a natural material, but difficult to maintain in everyday life. They should be vacuumed regularly to prevent a layer of compacted dust and dirt from forming in the fibres. Wool is very easily stained by various chemicals and the stains are extremely difficult to remove afterwards. Very often they remain visible, even after professional cleaning with special chemicals. You should think carefully about installing wool car pets in rooms where children will play, especially with markers or paints. If you plan to eat in the room or drink soft drinks, red wine, tea, or coffee, you must be extremely careful not to spill anything on the wool carpet. If anything is spilled the likelihood of it causing a stain is very high. The same applies if you have pets, especially if they are still young and not toilet trained. Chemical compounds in urine, poop or vomit will stain a wool carpet and you will have to re-sign yourself to living with a stained carpet.
For these reasons, it is better to install wool carpets only in bedrooms and other areas that do not have a lot of traffic. Do not walk on a wool carpet with shoes, because very often shoe polish leaves stains. The light colors of the carpet may be beautiful and give a sense of volume and spaciousness to the rooms, but keep in mind that in order to enjoy the good look of the carpet for a long time, you will have to take care of it and clean it regularly.
Do not install a wool carpet in homes that you intend to rent out as you cannot expect your tenants to take exceptional care of it. We often find that carpets in rental properties have been badly damaged due to not being cleaned for a long time.
Another big problem in London housing is moths. I can say that in about 30 percent of the addresses where we clean wool carpets, there are signs of damage done by moths. It is extremely important not to ignore the appearance of moths in the rooms. Keep in mind that they started out as larvae and it is very likely that they were feeding on the fibers of the carpet. Therefore, at the first appearance of moths, buy moth-destroying chemicals, and treat all woollen carpets in the rooms, including corners, edges, etc.
Synthetic carpets, on the other hand, are more durable and stain resistant. Yes, they are synthetic, not natural, but on the plus side they are less expensive and easy to maintain, making them a popular choice for high-traffic areas. Synthetic carpets, such as nylon and polyester, can handle higher temperatures and stronger chemicals, which means you can use more aggressive cleaning methods. Usually, we manage to remove almost all stains from synthetic carpets. They are good for hallways, living rooms, stairs, and rented out properties. The more expensive ones look very nice and give the same feeling of warmth and sophistication as the wool ones. Of course, they require the same attention and maintenance as wool. But what makes them suitable for living rooms, dining rooms, corridors and hallways is that stains and dirt are much easier to remove. Usually, the stains disappear completely.
Mixed wool and synthetic carpets are also a great choice. They provide the warmth and cosiness of woollens but are easier to clean and maintain.
Another option is natural fibre carpets, which are eco-friendly and have a unique appearance. Natural fibre carpets, such as jute and sisal, are made from renewable resources and are biodegradable, making them a great choice for environmentally conscious homeowners. However, they are not a very popular choice. On the plus side, they are hard-wearing, suitable for hallways, stairs, and high-traffic areas. They can also be an accent in your home design. and the main drawback is that cleaning them with water and liquids in general is problematic. This is because the fibres do not tolerate water, so if they soak up a large amount, this will leave stains, or the carpet will shrink. This means that the only possible way to clean natural fibre carpets is by dry cleaning. The dry cleaning consists of sprinkling with a dry detergent, which a special machine inserts via a rotating disk into the carpet and then sucks back. Of course, this disinfects the carpet to some extent, but it is not as effective as the methods used with wool and synthetic carpets.
How to maintain carpets
Carpets, like everything in the home and in life in general, require an effort to maintain to enjoy the warmth and comfort they provide for a long time.
This includes vacuuming regularly, including around the corners and edges, avoiding walking on them in shoes, and preventing pets from coming into the room with muddy or wet paws after walking outside.
Choose good, powerful vacuum cleaners. Cheap or battery-operated ones do not have the power to extract the dirt and hair packed into the carpet. After a while, you’ll notice spots appearing where you get the most foot traffic – in the hallway, around the dining table, in front of the couch, around the bed, in front of the bathroom. Sometimes there are so many hairs stuck in the carpet around the mirrors and in the bedrooms that we must remove them mechanically.
Vacuum carpets regularly. Do not use washing up liquid to clean the carpets or stains. Instead, buy a carpet-cleaning chemical but use only small amounts and rinse well with a sponge and clean water afterwards so that it does not remain inside the fibres. Do not use dishwashing detergents. They are very concentrated and very difficult to remove from the carpet. Sometimes carpet-cleaning chemicals can leave a bigger stain than there was originally.
Professional Carpet Cleaning
No matter how regularly you vacuum a carpet, it will still get dirty over time. This is the time to call us to clean it professionally. We have special machines that clean the carpet in depth, not just on the surface. The principle of the operation is as follows:
The machine works with water heated to 60°C max. There is often a built-in heater in the machines themselves. The machine’s pump ejects the water and detergent under high pressure through the metal wand and the liquid penetrates deep into the fibers of the carpet. Because the pressure with which the water enters the carpet is high, it gives the impression that steam is coming out of the wand. That is why carpet cleaning is often called steam cleaning. The water and detergent inserted into the carpet breaks down the accumulated dirt. The machine has powerful vacuum motors that pull the dissolved dirt and water through the wand back into the dirt tank. These motors are so powerful that the carpet is only slightly damp after cleaning. However, as such powerful motors are noisy, we recommend booking such cleaning only during normal working hours so as not to inconvenience your neighbors. Once the dirty water tank is full, it must be emptied. This cleaning requires access to water (preferably warm), to electricity, and to a drain or toilet to dispose of the dirty water. Sometimes the water coming out of the tank is black, re-vealing just how dirty the carpet was and how unhealthy it is to live in such rooms.
Preparing your carpet for cleaning
Before you begin cleaning, it’s essential to prepare your carpets. A clear workspace will ensure we can access every area of your carpet and easily manoeuvre our cleaning equipment. Here are some steps you can take to prepare your carpet for cleaning:
Clearing the area
Remove all objects, small furniture items and decorations from your carpeted areas, including rugs and floor coverings, to expose as much of the carpet as possible. This will help the car pet cleaner to clean every area of your carpet thoroughly and identify any stains or damage. It’s important to note that some furniture may be too heavy to move, so we may need to work around it. Additionally, it’s a good idea to sweep or dust the surrounding area to remove any loose debris that may have accumulated around the furniture or other objects.
Vacuuming the carpet
Before the start of the cleaning, a vacuum cleaner should be used to remove loose debris, dust, and dirt from your carpets. This will help to reduce the dirt and grime which has built up before the main cleaning process begins. It’s important to vacuum in multiple directions to ensure that as much debris is removed as possible.
It’s also a good idea to use a crevice tool to clean the edges of the carpet and baseboards. This will help to remove any dirt or debris that may have accumulated in those hard-to-reach areas.
The cleaner can vacuum the rooms before cleaning the carpets, but there will be an extra charge for this.
Identifying stains and problem areas
The cleaner will inspect the carpets for stains, spots, and problem areas. This will help them to prioritize the cleaning process and give extra attention to difficult-to-remove stains.
Some common types of stains include those caused by pets, food and drink, and mud/dirt. It’s important to identify the type of stain before cleaning, as different types may require different cleaning methods.
When there are high-traffic areas, large stains, etc. it is often necessary to spray the carpet with a detergent before cleaning.
Once this is done, the main cleaning will begin.
Keeping your carpets clean and well-maintained is essential for a healthy and visually pleasing living space. By understanding the different carpet materials, preparing your carpets, choosing the right cleaning method, and following proven stain removal methods, your carpets can be kept in excellent condition for years to come.