It really isn’t possible to keep your home’s carpet in order without regular deep cleaning. No matter how careful you are, spills and tracked in dirt are inevitable. For those that have small children or pets, keeping carpets clean is even harder. It goes without saying that at some point, your carpet is going to need cleaning on a higher scale than vacuuming.
Fortunately, cleaning your carpet really isn’t that hard. Those that want to tackle the job themselves have a number of options including renting a carpet cleaner/shampooer or tackling the project in a DIY fashion. You might even consider buying your own carpet cleaner/shampooer if you live in a dirty household (such as one with small children or pets).
If you’re not eager to take on cleaning your carpets yourself, there are a wide variety of professional companies out there that offer residential carpet cleaning services at affordable prices.
DIY Carpet Cleaning
Those with a DIY (do-it-yourself) bent might consider cleaning their carpets themselves. This is also a great option if you are not willing to shell out the money for a professional service.
As mentioned above, there are two primary ways to go about DIY carpet cleaning. The first, and easiest, is to rent a carpet cleaner. These devices can easily be rented at home improvement stores as well as many grocery stores. The cleaners used in the machines can be bought at these locations as well. Most carpet cleaner rentals leave you with a professional quality steamer.
The other DIY method only works for smaller spot cleaning jobs. It is not feasible to use them to clean your entire carpet. In this method, you mix one-teaspoon dishwashing liquid, one-teaspoon white vinegar, one-teaspoon baking soda, and one cup of warm water in an empty spray bottle. Spray the solution directly onto the stain you are dealing with. Rub and dab with a dry and clean towel. You will notice immediate results. Continue rubbing until the stain is removed.
Tips for Using a Carpet Cleaner
The first thing you need to do before using a high-quality professional steamer on your carpet is make sure your carpet will not bleed, fade, or change. This is called testing for colorfastness.
The best way to test for colorfastness is to dampen a cloth with a small amount of the cleaner you intend to use in your steamer. Rub it onto a small part of your carpet in an inconspicuous area, such as inside of a closet. Leave for an hour and then rub the area of carpet with a dry white cloth. If the cloth becomes stained with any of the cleaner, you should continue testing different cleaning products until you find one that does not cause the carpet to bleed.
After finding a cleaning product that works, it is time to protect your furniture. Remove all the furniture from the room that the carpet is being cleaned in. This protects the furniture and also makes the entire cleaning process easier and more effective.
The next step is to thoroughly vacuum your carpet. Now that your carpet is free of furniture and vacuumed, you can use your rental carpet cleaner. These carpet cleaners generally use the water extraction method. They inject a wet solution into the carpet and then pull out the dirt. The more powerful the machine you use, the easier it will clean your carpet.
Make sure to wait for at least twenty-four hours after steam cleaning your carpet before moving furniture back into the room. This allows the carpet to fully dry and prevents the growth of mold.
Hire a Residential Carpet Cleaning Service
Many homeowners choose to hire a residential carpet cleaning service to clean their floors. This is a great option if, like most people, you only need to clean your floors once a year.
When you hire a professional, you will have the choice to select between steam cleaning (wet extraction) and the dry extraction method. After visiting your home, a professional will be able to tell you which will most benefit your carpet.
Professional carpet cleaners have special equipment and cleaning products. This allows them to get the job done far more thoroughly than a rental carpet cleaner can do. Professionals additionally have extensive experience removing stains. This knowledge and experience helps them do the best job possible.
It’s important to note that prices for professional carpet cleaning services vary widely. Unlike other home renovation services, carpet cleaning is generally the same from one company to the next. For this reason, it’s best to do a little shopping around so you can select a high-quality company that doesn’t overcharge for their services.
Green Carpet Cleaning Services
A number of residential carpet cleaning services are popping up that specialize in green technologies. These services use environmentally-friendly cleaning agents. Their employees are all highly trained in green cleaning techniques.
One trick that many of these green companies use is to leave a neutralizing rinse in your carpet. This leaves very little residue and a neutral pH. It keeps cleaning even after the cleaners have left. And it does so in a way that is safe for you, your family, and your pets.
Finding a great green carpet cleaning company is easy with the Internet at your fingertips. These services are available in almost every major city and the majority of smaller ones as well. They are a great choice for those that care about staying green during their home renovation projects.
Final Thoughts on Residential Carpet Cleaning
If your home has carpet in it, then you’re going to have to clean it at some point. Most experts recommend that you shampoo and steam your carpet at least once every twelve to eighteen months. If you have light colored carpet or kids/pets, you might need to clean your carpet two or three times per year.
Fortunately, you have a lot of different options available. You can rent a carpet cleaner, use a DIY method, or hire professionals. Each method comes with its own set of pros and cons. It is important to understand what your individual needs are before selecting a method to use.