5 (More) Tips for Cleaning Your Carpet (06/06/2016)
Hi again everyone! You may remember our 5 Tips for Cleaning Your Carpet blog we wrote a little while back! Well, we have some more useful hints for you now! Some of these deal more with specific types of stains, others with general good practice...okay, let’s get going!
Update 10/06: If you have a viscose carpet, it's highly recommended to not attempting cleaning yourself but hire a professional - for more infomation, contact us.
1. The Golden Rules of Spot Cleaning
As we mentioned last time, it is important to dab (or blot) a stain instead of scrubbing it, and work from the outside of the stain inwards - however, when it comes to spot cleaning, there are a few additional steps which will make cleaning more efficient:
1) The first and most important thing is to tackle the stain quickly - blot up any ‘excess’ from a spill before going in with any cleaning product.
2) Next, always use a white cloth or towel when applying any cleaning product - sometimes, cleaning products contain chemicals which will cause the colours of materials to run, meaning a red cloth could have a bad effect on cream carpet!
NB: On that note, it is worth testing any product you intend to use on your carpet in an inconspicuous area first - if it is making the carpet colour run, you might want to consider something different.
3) When you have cleaned the area with product, rinse with a little cold water - some soaps can attract dirt if left in the carpet fibres, so best to get rid of them.
4) Always let the carpet dry before walking on it - the best thing to do is to put a nice thick towel (again white is best) over the area and weigh it down with something heavy - it can take a few hours to get it completely dry again, depending on the size of the stain.
5) Once it’s dried, vacuum the area to remove any remaining dirt and, if necessary, gently brush the carpet fibres back into position. You can repeat the process again if necessary, for particularly tough stains.
Of course, for any kind of spot cleaning you will need some kind of product to clean with. Luckily we have something to suggest...
2. Make Your Own All-Purpose Cleaning Solution
Last time we gave advice on how to make your own Carpet Freshener to remove bad odours - but this is for actual stains!
Just mix up a litre of warm water with about a tablespoon of washing up liquid (or other mild household detergent) and a tablespoon of white vinegar, then pop it in a spray bottle. That’s it!
This solution can be used all over the house for most cleaning jobs, and get rid of lots of stains on the carpet including chocolate, fruit, gravy, alcohol and even urine!
3. Hot Wax, Cool Gum
Gum and wax are two of the most annoying things to get on your carpet, but don’t worry- there are simple solutions to deal with them.
They can both be removed by cooling - just take a sealed bag of ice-cubes from the freezer, and rub them gently on the gum or wax for about 30 seconds- that will harden them and allow you to peel it off - do this gently though, you doing want to damage the fibre of the carpet!
For gum, anything which remains can be cleaned using ordinary soap and water or of course your all purpose cleaning spray.
For wax, there is also another method - rather than cooling it, you can heat it! Take an iron, dial is down to a low setting like ‘wool’ and cover it with a white towel - hold it just on the wax to warm it - don’t press on it or let it liquify. The ideal time would be about 10- 15 seconds, don’t leave it on any longer than 30 seconds or you could damage the carpet!
When it’s softened you can scrape off the majority with a pallette knife- if there’s anything left, put a paper towel over the affected area and gently iron the paper - the wax should bind with the paper and allow you to peel it away easily!
4. Blood, Mud and More
Sometimes a home-made cleaner, even a good one, can’t quite go the distance on it’s own - so here’s some suggests for common stains and how to tackle them...
Loosen the dried blood with water mixed with a little washing-up liquid and scrape off as much blood as you can. For any that remains, you are best using a WoolSafe® stain remover for any wool or wool blend carpets; if you have a manmade carpet, your best friend is hydrogen peroxide! This can be found in most pharmacies or online. Dab it this on the stain (it will froth when it touches the blood) and then dry off with a towel.
Again, the key is to tackle the stain with blotting as soon as you can! Apply your home-made cleaner and let it dry - then follow this up with some dry-cleaning fluid - again this can be obtained from most pharmacies of DIY stores, or online. When the carpet has dried out, vacuum the area are normal.
Allow the mud to dry completely and then brush or scrape off as much as possible - after this, the steps are very similar to the coffee method above!
Red wine looks very bad on carpet - but never fear! You can remove it with a few easy steps - first blot the area to remove excess liquid, then add a splash of club soda or sparkling water to the stain - the carbonation will help to lift it. Dab it again. Any remaining pigment can be dealt with by washing with water and a mild detergent like washing-up liquid. Once more, dab at the stain with a cloth until the area is dry - that should take care of your tipsy accident!
Most grease stains, including butter and oil, can but tackled either by dry cleaning solution or a few drops of dishwasher detergent mixed with water (about 120ml) in a spray bottle - just apply the product and blot it up as before.
5. Dealing With Dents
Okay - so, this is not technically about cleaning - it’s more about carpet care.
We all have to deal with dents in the carpet - most of the time they are cunningly concealed i.e. by the thing that is causing the dent.
But after a major reshuffle of furniture or, in these rent-only times, when we need to clear out and make things satisfactory for the landlord, it can be a good thing to know how the get dents out.
The first method is to take an ice-cube and let it melt in the dent - the moisture will make the carpet fibres more pliable - then blot up the excess water and use the edge of teaspoon to tease the fibres up - when it dries it will be almost as good as new!
The second method is to place a damp cloth over the dent and heat it with an iron on a high for about a minute - hold it about 10cm ABOVE the carpet, don’t get too close or it may be damaged! After that, use the spoon as before. Dents, begone!
Well, that’s your lot - if you have any other questions about cleaning or maintaining your carpet, just have a look at our FAQ or you can always contact us!
NB: We got a lot of great information from these sites - have a look and see what else you could find out!
Do It Yourself.Com
How Stuff Works