Carpet Cleaning Methods

There are many cleaning methods that most professional carpet cleaning services often use. And just like any tasks, each technique has its own pros and cons. But how can you make the final decision between them? Review their advantages and disadvantages to decide how to spot clean carpets. In general, carpet cleaning techniques can be divided into 2 main categories: dry cleaning and wet cleaning. Dry cleaning uses chemical foams or powders with the help of special machines such as cylinders, pads, and rotating brushes. Wet cleaning, on the other hand, involves hot water extraction and absorbent pad.

1. Cleaning with absorbent pads
Also known as the bonnet cleaning method, this carpet cleaning technique is widely applied for minor routine maintenance. First, the carpet should be vacuumed, then a chemical solution will be sprayed onto the surface with an electric sprayer or hand pump. You should allow the solution to stay idle on the carpet for a couple of hours to ensure a suitable reaction or dwell time.

– Inexpensive and simple to prepare – Quick process to save your cleaning time – Great results with a lightly soiled carpet

– Leave chemicals and dirt to build up at the carpet’s bottom

2. Wet cleaning
Wet cleaning or steam cleaning is one of the most popular methods in many professional services. The carpets are pre-conditioned first with a chemical reagent which liquefies oil-based substances and soils in your carpet fibers. After that, water will be heated to the boiling point, pressurized, and injected into the carpets. After approximately 15 to 20 minutes, extract the solution with a vacuum.

– Get rid of soiling from the deep are of a carpet – Allow for the use of chemical concentrates, pressures, and high temperatures to clean effectively – Permit extended dwell time for cleaning solvents to react

– Take a long time to dry – Require expensive equipment for maximum efficiency

3. Rotary shampoo or dry foam cleaning
In this method, a cleaning agent will be used for the carpets to help suspend debris and dirt. They are basically whipped into foam and operated in the carpet fibers with the help of special rotating brushes. After 10 or 15 minutes of dwell time, use a vacuum to extract the foam.

– Rotating brushes allow for excellent agitation – Fast, simple to apply – Inexpensive method without complex equipment – Fast drying time thanks to a low level of moisture

– Excessive wetting with equipment malfunction

4. Dry cleaning with absorbent compounds
This is perhaps the simplest methods to clean a carpet in your home. First, a powder mixed with cleaning agents and solvents is applied over the entire. It will work into the fibers and absorb soil inside the carpet thanks to the help of machine with counter-rotating brushes. Wait for 15 to 20 minutes and vacuum up the solution.

– A simple method with no complex tools or special technical skills – Very quick drying, only 20 minutes

– Possible excessive dust accumulation inside the house



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Vacuuming is Important

Vacuuming is an essential task when maintaining a clean home. While this job can keep allergens and dust at bay, it ensures that your floors, area rugs, and carpets look fresh and bright for years to come.

How can vacuuming reduce allergens
Indoor allergens including dust mites, mold, cockroach droppings and so on, can trigger asthma and allergy symptoms among millions of allergy sufferers. Allergens are carried through the air and can be found on floors, furniture, and other surfaces in the house. While no home or carpet can be entirely allergenfree, thorough vacuuming or regular cleaning can help lower the number of allergens to which you and your loved ones get exposed.

But how often should you vacuum your carpet? Or, how will you know whether you need to clean once a week or every day?

As mentioned above, vacuuming is a crucial factor when it comes to keeping your house clean. Apart from removing any dust, pollen or dander flying within your living room, regular vacuuming will help extend the lifespan of your rugs and carpets. But how?

Well, when debris is left on a carpet or rug for an extended duration, it sinks further into the fiber material used to make the carpets. And as you tramp over them, you not only add a little more soil but also force grime and dirt further into the carpet. If you do not address this promptly, it may require you to carry out a somewhat cumbersome deep-cleaning later. Furthermore, there is the likelihood for the unchecked filth to ruin your floor treatments completely. As area rugs, as well as carpeting, tend to run on the expensive side, you probably don’t desire this to happen to you.

When to vacuum
The answer to the question “How often should you vacuum?” depends solely on your household.

For instance, if your home is relatively active with pets and kids, you may vacuum high traffic areas – such as mudrooms, hallways, dining and living rooms – every day or a couple of times each week. For other essential spots in the house including your bedroom, you can vacuum them once a week. Also, it is crucial to clean guestrooms biweekly.

Similarly, if your living area consists of; say one or two people, consider cleaning it on a weekly basis. Again, if you have pets you can increase the frequency of your cleaning, more so if they are susceptible to shedding.
Dust accumulates at a rate of about six milligrams per square meter in a given day. In fact, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), recommends homeowners to adhere to the schedule below: • Vacuum rugs and carpet at least once a week. • Vacuum upholstered furniture, drapes, and mattresses regularly. • Vacuum bedrooms and high-traffic areas twice a week

Wrap Up
As you have seen, vacuuming offers lots of benefits to your flooring and home in general. And an active household requires more vacuuming than a less active one. Also, vacuuming is not only limited to your carpet but also in any area in your home that accumulates dust.




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How Does Carpet Get so Dirty??

The first thing you as the home owner needs to understand is where the dirt on your carpet comes from. Contrary to popular belief, a dirty carpet is no only one with visible stains. In fact you can have a stainless carpet that is dirtier than one with a stain. This is because most of the particles responsible for soiling the carpet are tiny and very hard to visualize making it seem like they are not there. Below is how these get onto the carpet making it dirty.

1. Dirty shoes
If you are one of those people who doesn’t take off their outdoor shoes when the walk into the house then you might just be the source of all your carpet’s problems. Dirty shoes drug in everything from soil and mud to germs and all other sorts of weirdness from the great outdoors. For the most part, these contaminants are hard to spot and might have you thinking that you are not costing your carpet’s clean freshness.

2. Dirty house slippers
Most people do not realize this but dirty house slippers could also be a cause of dirt on carpets. In this case, the slippers transfer things like dust, food particles and other contaminants from different parts of the home to your carpet. In this case, the best thing for you to do is to ensure that you wash your slippers on a regular basis.

3. Pets!
If you have a pet like a cat or dog then this will be the number one source of dirt on your carpet. Balancing being a pet owner and having a carpet in your home is hard but not impossible. All you have to do is to ensure that you go out of your way to clean up after your furry buddy as often as possible. One of the most common ways pets make carpets dirty is by shedding fur. The hair itself acts as a sort of trap for other particles including dirt which makes the situation a whole lot worse. They also soil the carpet by drugging things like mud from outside and saw dust from litter boxes onto the fibers as they walk around. Finally, with pets you always have to worry about poop and pee messes on the carpet.

4. Food spills
Food is another reason why carpets tend to get very dirty very quickly. On one hand, you could have a visible stain from spilled food or drinks. On the other hand, it could be tiny invisible spills like bread crumbs that do not really seem to be there at all. Whether conspicuous or discrete, there is no denying the fact that food can and will make your carpet dirty with time.

5. Human hair and skin
This might be gross but it is one of the leading sources of dirt on carpets. Like the airborne particles, these tend to be invisible to bare eyes and therefore tend to go unnoticed. However, with time they will make your carpet super dirty and gross.




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How to Make Your Carpets Last

From reliable research, carpets get replaced after seven years. These carpet replacements mostly revolve around home remodeling. This is mostly after a home has been sold or after it has been purchased.

The following are five tips on how to care for the carpets in your home so they last as long as possible:

1. Cleanliness
Yes, you will have to leave all the dirt outside. Many people have a culture of leaving their shoes outside. Adopt this good habit and have your carpet looking new for long.

If you cannot leave your shoes outside, then invest in quality door mats. Entry mats reduce the amount of dirt that will find their way in your house dirtying your carpet.

With time and without you realizing it, dirt that accumulates onto your carpet sifts down and eventually grinds your carpets’ fibers.

This causes your carpet to wear out. Surface soil is another thing that makes your carpet look dull even after numerous washing and scrubbing. This is because the fiber surface has been distorted.

2. Vacuum
Of course I cannot over-emphasis the importance of vacuuming your carpet. So you bought the best vacuum cleaner?

That is not enough if you do not put it into frequent use. Ensure that your vacuum cleaner is working properly. The brushes should not be worn out and they need to be tight enough.

You will need to do more than just vacuum up the visible dirt and crumbs. If you have an active family and young kids, you will need to vacuum your carpet at least twice in a week.

3. Rotate your furniture
Squirming feet will eventually have a toll on your carpet. This wears your carpet on a confined area in an un-even manner.

If you have ample space and your room allows it, rotate your furniture regularly. If you can rotate your furniture every six months, do it to prevent premature wearing of your carpet.

4. Clean your carpet professionally
By now you must have noticed that most carpet warranties will require that you clean your carpet professionally every 18-24 months. The same way your car needs maintenance, so does your carpet.

Save your cleaning receipts just in case you need to make a claim under your carpet’s warranty.

There are various ways which you can clean your carpet professionally. Some of the major carpet mills will insist on you cleaning their carpets using a method that uses hot water extraction.

This method is commonly known as steam cleaning. This method is preferred because it removes more soil and other types of spots compared to most cleaning methods.

However, note that if not done correctly, hot water extraction can ruin or harm your carpet. That is why you will need to enlist the use of certified carpet cleaners.

They will use chemicals that are not only safe for your family but also for your carpet. A certified carpet cleaner will ensure that your carpet dries in hours and not days. This is because they remove all the excess water from your carpet.

5. Remove any spot on your carpet
Despite the fact that most carpets come with stain warranties, you will have to remove spills and spots on your carpet. Spots left indefinitely on your carpet can oxidize and form permanent stains on your carpet.

Always remember to gently blot your carpet to remove a spill. This should be obvious since carpet fabric is a delicate fabric.

Apply a minimal spotting solution on your carpet and gently blot it. You may require doing this repeatedly before your carpet is fully cleaned. Ensure that you do not over-wet your carpet.

Follow the above simple steps and save yourself money from premature carpet replacements.




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Different Types of Carpet Pile

Before we delve into how to keep your carpets clean we though it was important to go over the different types of carpet that you could have in your home so you have a better understanding of what you’re working with.

What is carpet pile?
Simply put, carpet’s pile refers to the density of fibers – shaggy (long) or flat (short pile). It goes hand in hand with pile height, that is the thickness of the carpet measured from its surface to the backing.
Here are the various carpet piles and what they are used for.

Twist Pile Carpets
The most popular carpets found in many homes are the twist pile carpets. These carpets are created from yarn that is twisted tightly together. The fibers contain a rough finish, giving them a textured and rustic appearance. They come in heathered or plain styles. The heathered carpets are less likely to show up marks as they combine yarns of complimentary shades to create a flecked multicolored effect that makes it suitable for heavy-traffic areas.

Loop Pile Carpets
A loop pile carpet is ideal for busy rooms due to its durability. It is made up of heavy and wide uncut loops of yarn that creates a more textural feel and look. It adds style to landings, hallways, and stairs. If you have several children and pets around your home, a loop pile carpet will work well to help cover stains. Although it requires less vacuuming, the loops might be snagged by claws of your pets.

Saxony Pile Carpets
If you need a carpet that is dense and luxurious, then this is the best choice. Saxony pile carpets have similar characteristics as the shag pile. However, with this one; the pile is a bit longer, flattens more efficiently, and can show footprints. Therefore, it is not ideal for busy areas that will expose them to quick wear and tear such as stairs, main rooms, and hallways. However, if you just want to wake up every morning and sink your bare feet into a thick pile, the Saxony got you covered on that!

Velvet Pile Carpets
As the name suggests, velvet carpets are smooth and soft when touched and have a well-designed cut pile finishing. They are straight with cut ends at the top, which create an excellent velvet surface. Since they are luxurious and soft to touch, they look great in various rooms, more so formal rooms, and bedrooms.

Natural Carpets
People from all walks of life are increasingly considering natural fiber carpets to decrease the impact on the environment. Materials like Jute, wool, Sisal, Seagrass, and Coir are durable and stylish. However, some fibers have little resistance to stains. So, it is recommended to pick an ideal color for areas that are heavily used.




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Hiring a Cleaning Service

We aren’t going to spend a lot of time on this topic but we wanted to talk briefly about hiring a cleaning service.  If you have a busy schedule they can really make the difference in your home by taking care of all the maintenance tasks that need to be completed all the time or even handling a deep clean a couple of times a year. The video below has some tips for what to look for in a cleaning service if you’re interested in hiring one:


Be sure to come back next week where we’re going to get into some of the nitty gritty details about carpets!