Most folks are pretty familiar with what it takes to vacuum a carpet, but when it comes time to clean the same carpet, things get a little confusing. What exactly are you supposed to use on your carpet? What are you supposed to avoid? Heavily soiled carpets are sometimes the result of things you wouldn’t expect, such as OTC carpet cleaners, so there’s more to this than at first meets the eye. Before you whip out your cleaners again, think about these common mistakes people make when cleaning their carpet.
1. OTC Carpet Cleaners
OTC carpet cleaners promise something that’s just too good to be true. Not only does the carpet cleaners you buy at retail outlets fail to remove all dirt, it also leaves residue behind that can attract more dirt and debris. That’s the opposite of what you want when you clean your carpet.
Unfortunately spills sometimes happen. When you go to clean it up, you might mistakenly think that you’re going to get everything better by scrubbing harder and over a longer space. In reality, spills are best cleaned up by “blotting” the area is best. And if it’s too much of a mess, professional cleaners are going to be your best bet. For those who have had success cleaning up spills, it’s blotting the stain that is more successful and thorough.
3. Using Colored Rags
Cloths used to clean up spills are great, but if you use deep colors, you might be looking at colors bleeding into the carpet, and that’s no good. Go with white rags if you have to make a go of it, and always stay away from rags that contain colors that don’t match your carpet.
4. Using Too Much Water
Water is a magnificent substance and can help clean spills, but if you use too much of it while you’re cleaning a carpet spill or the general carpet, you might be looking at the water soaking into the bottom of the floor and literally causing it to start shrinking and removing itself from the floor. That’s the last thing you want. Folks who go to clean their carpet are usually well meaning, but when something goes awry in your home and your carpets are at risk, most folks recommend professional cleaning services for a very good reason. When something as harmless as water is a threat to carpet fibers, a professional might be your best bet.
5. Too Much Shampoo
Shampoo cleans surfaces, so people assume that the more shampoo the better. Not so! If you use too much shampoo, you’ve got too much soap leftover from the clean because it’s simply too hard to get all of that icky soap out. Now you don’t just have soapy, dirty water on your hands, but you also have carpet that isn’t properly rinsed and may become a haven for dirt and debris around your home. It’s a virtual haven for germs, dirt, and anything else that is attracted to carpet that’s been over-shampooed and not properly rinsed. If you don’t have professional tools, it might be almost impossible to get all of the shampoo and water out of your carpet, causing a real mess on your flooring.
6. Letting a Stain Sit
When you first get a stain on your carpet, you might reason that you can grab an OTC carpet cleaner later and get it out just as easily. After all, some of the OTC cleaners brand themselves very well and convince you that they can work on even the toughest stains. When you let a stain sit there collecting time on your carpet, things begin to go wrong. What happens is that the stain seeps through into the carpet padding and may even begin to grow a healthy amount of mold. Odors will begin to develop as well, giving you something much more serious than just a stain. If a stain can be cleaned by blotting, get it as best as you can, and then call on a professional to finish the job. You’ll be thankful that you did.
7. Mistaking Deodorizers For Cleaners
Some people buy carpet deodorizers believing that they work to clean carpet as well. Some of these products might claim to clean carpet or at least do a minimal amount of cleaning, but the truth is that most carpet deodorizers are just there to make your carpet smell good. They’re not cleaning products. If you’ve been using carpet deodorizers for years believing that it’s doing a good job of keeping your carpet clean, you’re probably very, very wrong. In fact, while you’re using the deodorizer, you’re probably covering up the odors that might otherwise tip you off that you need a good professional carpet cleaner in your home pronto.
As a final note, people often assume that when they vacuum their carpet, they’re also cleaning it. And while it’s true that you’re getting surface level debris off the carpet, you’re not getting any of the debris that seeps into your carpet over the years. Vacuuming carpet cleans on a surface level, but there’s so much going on with your carpets that vacuuming alone just isn’t enough. The moral of the story is that if you want truly clean carpets, you’re going to need a professional carpet cleaner to bring in industrial grade equipment and get the job done for you.
Every 16-18 months is a good measuring stick for how often you should hire carpet steam cleaning services. And of course, vacuuming regularly keeps your carpets healthier and keeps debris from soaking into the carpet or destroying fibers with their presence, but every 16-18 months you need to pick up a phone and get a professional cleaner to come get the unseen parts of your carpet cleaned. A professional has industrial grade equipment and cleaners that are effective, and they have the knowledge to properly clean your carpets and make them like new.