Carpet cleaning is not always an easy task. How do you even clean a carpet effectively? It’s almost like they’re designed to be hard to clean. When cleaning your carpet, you need to approach the task from different angles depending on the type of cleaning you need done.
Spot cleaning requires a certain methodology in order for you to get all of the stain out, while whole carpet cleaning requires a steam cleaning machine. With the following tips, hopefully you can clean your carpet without needing to bring out a carpet cleaning service. The tips provided throughout this article are all-encompassing, so you can use them for whatever carpet cleaning needs you may have.
Spot Cleaning Your Carpet Tips
Have you ever wondered what the best way to spot clean a carpet is? Probably not, until you spilled something on your carpet that you couldn’t get out. Understanding how to spot clean can help you deal with all sorts of carpet stains, from red wine to mud or dirt, much more efficiently. There are various levels to spot cleaning, including blotting with water or a cleanser to utilizing a steam cleaner. Spot cleaning is easy and effective if done right, so pay attention to these tips for the next time you have a stubborn stain.
Start with a White Towel and Some Water
When spot cleaning your carpet, the best way to start is just with some water. Most stains can actually be removed with water, but if you’re reviewing this guide, you’ve probably already tried that. Most importantly, make sure that you are using a good towel while spot cleaning. A clean, white towel that has absorbing properties is the best to use when spot removing. Start by trying to spot clean with this towel and some water and see if that will do the trick.
The Blotting Method
While spot cleaning, make sure you blot, don’t rub. Rubbing is bad for your carpet and will likely make the stain worse. To blot properly, use your absorbent towel and dab from the outside inward to control any spreading of the stain. This method is the best way to remove the stain without any unnecessary spreading throughout the surrounding carpet area.
If Water Doesn’t Work, Use a Cleanser
If the blotting method with water doesn’t work, try grabbing a spray bottle of your favorite all-natural cleaner. Then follow the steps above to attempt the blotting method with a cleanser instead of water. Using a good cleanser while doing the blotting method may just be the extra cleaning power you need to get that stubborn stain out.
When Blotting with a Cleaner Doesn’t Work, Use a Steam Cleaning Machine
If your stain is persistent, you’re going to need to take more drastic measures than just the blotting method alone. A steam cleaning machine is a great tool that can help to remove the stain for you. To use a steam cleaning machine, fill the steam cleaner with hot water and your go-to organic cleaner. If the cleaner you use requires dilution, make sure to follow the scale in order to dilute it properly. Read the directions for your specific steam cleaner and use the cleaner in the specific area that needs extra cleaning, and this will likely be powerful enough to get your carpet clean.
Note: Some carpets are not meant to be steam-cleaned as shrinking can occur. Double-check that your carpet is steam cleaning safe before using a steam cleaning machine.
Steam Cleaning Your Whole Carpet
Steam cleaning is a great way to thoroughly clean your carpet yourself, and it can make your carpet look almost as good as new! Before attempting to steam clean your entire carpet, remember that not all carpets are created equal. Again, make sure your carpet is steam-cleaning safe and will not shrink in the process. Depending on how dirty your carpet is, sometimes you’re going to need a carpet shampooer or steamer to get the job done. In this section, we will explain exactly how it’s done.
Grab the Supplies You Need
Before getting started with steam cleaning your carpet, make sure you have all of the necessary supplies for steam cleaning. Here’s some of the things you’ll need for steaming/shampooing:
- Hot water
- Shampoo (a cleaner will also work, we prefer an all-natural multipurpose cleaner)
- A steam cleaner
Start by Vacuuming Your Carpet
While a steam cleaner can perform acts of magic on a dirty carpet, it cannot clean up large particles like food or hair. You want to make sure that any large particles are cleaned up and out of the way before steam cleaning, so take the time to thoroughly vacuum your carpet and suck up those large particles before beginning the steam cleaning process. Once you have vacuumed your carpet, it is time to begin the steam cleaning process.
Prepare Your Steam Cleaner for Battle
To prepare your steam cleaner for use, start by filling it with hot water. Then, add your soap or cleanser. Check the cleanser’s label and be sure to follow your dilution guide if you choose to use a cleanser that needs to be diluted. After you have added your water and soap, you can plug your steam cleaner in and begin steaming your carpet.
Follow Your Steam Cleaner’s Instructions
Before steam cleaning your carpet, make sure you read the instructions for the specific steam cleaner that you will be using. Some steam cleaners work very differently than others. If you don’t follow the instructions and use your steam cleaner properly, you can completely ruin your carpets. So, as you can see, reading the instructions is very important. It is important to note that some steam cleaners need to be pushed forward to push water into the carpet and then pulled back to suck the water back in, while others just need to be pushed slowly. Be sure you understand which type your cleaner is and act accordingly.
Start in the Farthest Part of the Room from the Door
There is absolutely nothing worse than cleaning a part of your carpet, and then stepping over it afterwards. Make sure you strategically steam clean, so that you can ensure that this doesn’t happen. The best method is to start from the outer rim of the room and work your way towards the door, to avoid stepping on your freshly steamed carpet. If you finish steam cleaning with the last piece of carpet next to the door, you can exit the room without walking over all of your nice and clean carpet.
Don’t Be Afraid to Go Over One Area Multiple Times
Sometimes steam cleaning will not pull the stains and grime out of your carpet right away. If you’re not getting the cleaning satisfaction you need from a certain area of your carpet, don’t give up. Don’t be afraid to clean a certain bad spot multiple times until the stain comes out. Sometimes steam cleaning will take a couple tries and some perseverance, so never hesitate to go over a spot a couple times.
The Zamboni Method
If you’ve seen hockey, you know what we’re talking about here. Start from the outer edges, move inward, and be sure to go in a straight line so you don’t miss a spot. If you follow this pattern, it will ensure that you reach every inch of your carpet in the most efficient way possible. Steam cleaning in a well-thought out pattern will save you more time in the end, so try to use the zamboni method while steam cleaning.
Once You’re Done, Let it Dry, Or Else
Walking on wet carpet is sacrilege. You’ve worked so hard, so don’t get your carpets dirty again so soon! You want to wait a while, up to 24 hours, before walking on your freshly steamed carpet. In order to help your carpet dry as quickly as possible, get your AC going, use a dehumidifier, or turn the fan on. If you live in a dry state where there is not much humidity, open up your windows to help dry your carpet out! If you must, walk over your carpet barefoot after cleaning your feet, so that you don’t track dirt or grime over your freshly cleaned carpet.
Carpet Cleaning Mastery
Whether you’re spot cleaning or steam cleaning an entire dirty carpet, these tips are here to help you get it done. When spot cleaning a stain, start with water and a towel and use the blotting method. If water alone isn’t working for you, try a cleanser or even a steam cleaner to get out the stain. When steam cleaning your entire carpet, make sure you have all the proper supplies and read the instructions for your specific steam cleaner. Steam clean in a strategic way, so that you don’t walk over freshly cleaned carpet, and give your carpet plenty of time to dry after you clean it. If you follow these tips, you’re on your way to a just about perfectly cleaned carpet!