A carpeted floor adds a lot of character to an interior. But it’s also one of the most high-maintenance floor coverings!
If you’re wondering how to clean a carpet to keep it looking great for as long as possible, you’ve come to the right place. Our experts at Tapis André Viau carpet store in Montreal give you the tips you need to maintain and clean wall-to-wall carpet.
How to maintain carpet flooring
Before we look at how to clean your carpet on a case-by-case basis, it’s important to know how to maintain your carpet on a regular basis. The more regularly you take care of your carpet, the more likely it is to last for years to come!
The vacuum cleaner, your best ally for the carpet
If you choose carpeting as your living room, bedroom or basement flooring, you need a vacuum cleaner. This is non-negotiable! Vacuuming will make your carpeting healthier, so it can continue to improve air quality instead of deteriorating it. Once or twice a week is the recommended rate of carpet care.
When you buy a new natural-fiber carpet, it often sheds wool in the first few months. Therefore, consider using a brush or vacuuming more during this time, such as every two or three days.
Shaggy carpet – high pile for a softer effect – requires extra care. Vacuuming with the usual nozzle is not the best option. Instead, choose a turbo brush, which is a brush that rotates. It reaches the beginning of the fibers much better and will be able to remove the dirt that is hidden at the bottom.
Air your carpet out naturally
Carpeting is often accused of being an allergenic environment because it is conducive to the growth of dust mites. However, if you vacuum regularly and ventilate daily, choosing a carpet for your home is not a problem.
Remember to open your windows every day. Proper ventilation takes about 15 minutes. In winter, it’s not so easy! Do your best to prevent mold and mildew, but more importantly, to allow your carpet to breathe.
Daily habits are the real answer
Carpet care is all about establishing small habits. Consider including the following ideas in your routine:
– Take off your shoes. Walk barefoot on the carpet, or if you can’t stand to do so, walk around in slippers or sandals that are for indoor use only. This will limit bacteria and dust mites.
– If you have pets, make sure you always keep them clean, especially on their paws so they don’t dirty the carpet. Buy paw wipes clean your pet’s paws. These are a great investment to make sure your carpet lasts long.
– As a rule, don’t put off cleaning a stain. If you spill a liquid or drop something like crumbs, be proactive and clean the stain or vacuum it up right away. The more time passes, the more difficult it becomes to clean a stain.
What if, despite your daily maintenance, you can’t avoid disaster? A coffee stain on the bedroom carpet when you jump out of bed, a wine stain during a lively meal in the living room, or dirt after a child’s frantic run? Let’s see what solutions are available to you.
Cleaning a carpet: the different solutions
Unlike other floor coverings such as vinyl, carpet can be cleaned in several different ways. In general, as we said earlier, you should always act as quickly as possible when a spill occurs. Take advantage of the fact that the liquid has not yet dried so that it can be absorbed by something other than the carpet fibers.
Avoiding chemicals is always healthier for your home, so here are some natural cleaning tips.
Clean an old carpet stain with baking soda
If you have waited too long and the stain has dried, all hope is not lost. The most popular ally is baking soda, also called sodium bicarbonate. It absorbs stains and bad odors.
It is therefore always recommended to do a little cleaning of the carpet with baking soda, even if there aren’t any stains.
A common and verified home remedy calls for the combination of:
– Baking soda
– White vinegar
– A soft brush
– Your vacuum cleaner
And for the recipe:
- 1. Sprinkle your carpet with baking soda, especially where there are stains
- 2. Then spray with white vinegar and let the chemistry work for several hours, ideally at least 3 hours: the reaction will cause a kind of bubbly foam
- 3. Using your brush, scrub the mixture so that it penetrates the fibers of your wall-to-wall carpet, always insisting on the stained areas
- 4. You can then vacuum to remove the bicarbonate
This trick works especially well for old stains. It also doesn’t cost much, so give it a try before moving on to other methods!
How to remove oily stains from a carpet
If by chance you spill oil, sauce, or anything else greasy on your carpet, don’t panic. Always keep some bentonite clay at home: this highly absorbent clay can recover the grease and save your carpet from irreparable damage.
How to clean wine stains from a carpet
If you spill wine on your carpet, you need to act quickly! Spread talcum powder on the stain and it will absorb the liquid. Place a few sheets of paper towel on top. Then get an iron and place it on the sheets. The combination of the talc, paper and heat will help recover all the mess.
Repeat until the stain is gone. This also works for other stains like grease stains if you don’t have bentonite clay.
Good old soapy water: a classic to remove carpet stains
That’s right! Another very good tip, if not original, is to use soapy water. Mix clear water with black soap or dishwashing liquid, and say goodbye to your stain.
The goal isn’t to soak the carpet, so apply this solution in small quantities or it could damage the fibers. Using a soft microfiber cloth, work in circular motions from the outside of the stain to the center. This prevents the stain from spreading further.
For a deeper carpet cleaning
Once a year, you can give your carpet a deep clean. This really helps to keep it healthy and colorful.
The best way to do this is to rent a machine such as an injector-extractor shampooer, or a steam cleaner. These machines can be rented or purchased if you wish to make the investment. Either way, performing this type of deep cleaning will ensure a long-lasting carpet. While it may be the most expensive cleaning at the time, the cost is well worth it.
You could also use shaving cream to work on a coffee stain, white vinegar mixed with soda water, soda crystals mixed with water… All these tricks usually contain an absorbent and a cleaning agent.