Did you know a carpet can hold more bacteria than your toilet seat? Carpets add comfort to our homes, we walk on them every day, kids play on them, yet they can be one of the filthiest items in the home.
Don’t freak out; area rug cleaning is not something that needs to be done every day, but it should definitely be added to the regular chore list. And if doing chores ain’t your thing, there are professionals who can help.
We have compiled some of the top tips for cleaning a dirty carpet, which should help your rugs maintain their dignity as one of the centerpieces of your home.
1. Vacuum Regularly
You should vacuum your area rugs as often as you sweep your floors.
Regular vacuuming will keep dirt from accumulating in the deepest parts of your rug’s fibers. Once the dirt has accumulated in the base of your rug it is time for a more serious clean.
Running the vacuum over the rug once or twice a week should help extend the time between deep cleans.
If you are fly enough to own a shag rug your options for vacuuming are limited. A regular vacuum floor attachment will damage the long shag fibers. You’ll need to use a thin vacuum attachment to get to the base of the carpet and slowly traverse the rug row by row.
2. Spot Clean Spills. Immediately!
Spot cleaning spills and stains as soon as they occur will keep your carpet from looking nasty and will prolong the life of your rug. Don’t panic. Reach for the rug cleaner, as some cleaning agents may affect the dyes in your rug leaving behind a permanent stain.
Instead, blot up all excess liquid. Then use club soda and mild soap to blot up the remainder of the spill. Castille soap or dish detergent works well for this task.
Use a dry towel to blot up all of the excess liquid. Repeat this process until the stain is removed. This method should work for food spills and the carpet’s worst enemy: red wine.
3. Daba-Daba Do!
When spot cleaning a rug, remember to use a dabbing motion rather than a scrubbing motion. Scrubbing will actually open up the fibers of some rugs and force the stain from the surface of the carpet further into their nooks and crannies.
Dabbing will help lift the stain, transferring it from the surface of your area rug to your cleaning towel.
4. Rinse Animal Urine
If you’re wondering how to clean a rug that’s been soiled by a beloved pet, the process is slightly different. Break out the club soda, grab a bucket and elevate the stained area over the bucket.
Flush the club soda (or clean water) through the rug until the stain has been thoroughly washed out. Give it the ol’ smell test, then leave the rug off of the floor until it has dried completely.
5. Hire a Professional Cleaning Service
Professional steam cleaning is the most effective method for cleaning a carpet as it will remove 97% of dirt and debris. And it will certainly save you time and effort.
A professional rug cleaning service will come to your home and, using professional-grade equipment, remove the dirt and allergens that have lodged themselves in your rug.
Their specialized machines will soak your rug with hot water to loosen dirt and debris, then extract the water removing the dirt. The machines are strong enough to suck out most of the water, so your carpet will not be left saturated.
Professional cleaners will also offer pick-up and drop-off services, cleaning your rugs off-site.
6. Area Rug Cleaning at Home
Renting a steam cleaner is another effective method for cleaning a dirty carpet. Keep in mind that steam cleaners are recommended for synthetic fiber rugs, as the heat of the steam may cause wool fibers to shrink.
Rental steam cleaners will not suck up as much water as professional machines, so it is important to let your rugs dry completely before placing back on the floor. Wet rugs are perfect environments mold and mildew, which can cause permanent damage to carpets and wood floors.
7. DIY Rug Cleaning
If you have the time to spare, take on the project of cleaning your rug at home.
You’ll need an outdoor area in which to work and a hose, along with a few household cleaning supplies.
First vacuum your rug to remove loose dirt. Do this to both the top and bottom sides of the rug.
Then mix a mild detergent with warm water in a bucket. Test your cleaning solution on an inconspicuous part of the rug to ensure the colors do not run or fade.
Next, take a brush and rub your detergent into the fibers until it begins to foam. Let the cleaning solution sit on the rug for a few minutes before rinsing.
Then rinse your rug out using a garden hose until the water from the carpet runs clear. Stop when you no longer see suds.
To help your rug dry you can use a squeegee to remove excess water. Let your rug dry completely before placing it back in the house.
8. Clean Your Rug Using Snow
Did you know you can clean carpets using snow? Using snow to clean your rug is a natural way to remove dirt, eliminating the use of cleaning solutions that may strip down the natural fibers in your rug.
Pile enough snow on your rug to cover the surface and spread it evenly with a broom. Let it sit for a good 20 minutes before beating the snow off. This is a fun method that even the kids will enjoy.
Lather, Rinse, Repeat
These area rug cleaning tips are excellent know-how for regular cleaning, or in case of accidental spills.
However, there are as many methods for cleaning as there are types of rugs.
If you are unsure what to do for your rugs contact the professionals. Professional rug cleaners will know what will work best to keep your carpets clean and cozy. We also offer free pick up and delivery services, taking area rug cleaning off of your hands and mind!