Did you know that most carpet companies will consider your warranty void if you don’t get your carpet professionally cleaned every year or two?
That’s right — just vacuuming and spot cleaning won’t cut it. Your carpet can be hiding dirt, grime, and even pests without regular deep cleaning. Luckily, it’s (almost) never too late to clean a filthy carpet and get it looking like new.
Wondering how to deep clean carpet, and whether or not you can tackle the task on your own? We’ve got the details for you here — keep reading before you start spring cleaning!
How to Deep Clean Carpet: The Prep Work
First, let’s go over the basic prep work you’ll need to do before deep cleaning. Although vacuuming doesn’t count as deep cleaning itself, vacuuming and other familiar techniques can be an important part of the deep cleaning process.
Vacuum Early and Often
The deep cleaning process starts with when and where you vacuum. It’s important to vacuum frequently — but don’t stress out: it’s easier than you might think.
The key is to think of your house in sections when you vacuum, rather than covering the whole house every time you rev up the machine. If you vacuum your entire home once a week (or even more often), you’re doing it wrong.
Instead, focus that weekly vacuum on the places that really need it, like your entryway. Less-used paths can get away with being vacuumed less often. However, your high-traffic areas might need attention more than once a week.
Approaching vacuuming in this way will save you time, but that doesn’t mean you can rush the job. Instead, spend more time covering those small but dirty areas.
Go over each section more than once so you really suck out all the grime. Also, make sure to push the vacuum slowly, so it has time to do its job.
As carpets accumulate dirt, they can also start to smell. Keep odors from building up and becoming serious by sprinkling the carpet with baking soda periodically. After 15 minutes, vacuum up the baking soda and you’ll see that most of the odor disappears with it.
Just like with vacuuming, you should also focus this baking soda treatment on the areas of carpet that need it most. High-traffic areas will collect odors faster than other places.
Never Neglect Stains
The next important part of your basic carpet maintenance involves how to clean carpet stains.
Staying on top of vacuuming and stain removal means you’ll get more out of your deep cleaning when you do it. Knowing how to deep clean carpet doesn’t just mean scheduling a professional cleaning once a year — it also means knowing what to do in between.
The best way to handle stains is to treat them right away. Just like in your laundry, the longer you leave carpet stains, the harder they’ll become to remove.
When a stain starts, blot the area before the liquid can sink in. Newer carpets actually resist letting liquid sink in, so you have time to blot most of it away. However, take care not to push or rub as you blot; otherwise, you’ll grind the stain into the carpet.
It’s also good to keep a basic stain remover on hand — just make sure to spot test it in a hidden area before you use it. If your home is prone to a certain kind of stain (like oil stains in a carpet near the kitchen), get a stain remover designed for that specific purpose.
Deep Cleaning Methods
Hopefully, you’ve kept up with this prep work when it comes time for a deep cleaning. But whether your carpet is well-maintained or seriously neglected, it will still need to get deep cleaned sometimes.
There are a few different methods to choose from — let’s take a look at the top ones.
In this cleaning method, the carpet gets vacuumed, then sprayed with cleaning chemicals. This solution is left on for long enough to work, then absorbed with a pad attached to a rotary floor machine.
This method cleans the upper surface of the carpet well but doesn’t reach to the bottom. Also, some people may not want these chemicals in their homes.
Steam cleaning offers a popular alternative to chemicals. This method involves spraying the carpet with high-pressure hot water. The pressure helps the water penetrate all the way through to the bottom of the fibers, picking up dirt along the way.
The hot water has cleaners mixed in to really get the carpet spotless. After it’s applied, the mix of water and detergent gets vacuumed up to reveal fresh, clean carpet.
Yes, carpets can be dry cleaned — though not in the same way as your clothes.
There are actually two ways to dry clean carpet. First, it can be cleaned with foam or shampoo (it’s “dry” because there’s no water). A cleaning machine works the foam into the carpet, then it gets vacuumed away.
Next, there’s the dry powder method. A special cleaning powder gets poured on the carpet, then brushed into the fibers with a machine. The powder is left in place so it can absorb grime, then vacuumed up.
Both of these methods run into the same problem as chemical cleaning, though: they don’t penetrate deep into the carpet, and they use chemical detergents that some people would rather avoid.
Which Method Should You Choose?
Deep cleaning a carpet should happen once a year, or every other year at most. However, the method you choose will depend on your preferences and the type of carpet you have.
You might choose steam cleaning if you’re sensitive to chemicals, or one of the other methods if you’re not. However, you’ll also need to consider what kind of carpet you have. Some cleaning methods are great for one kind of carpet, but damaging to another.
It’s best to contact professional cleaning services for this task — they can help you decide how to deep clean carpet best in your home. Looking for the right professionals for the task? We can help: contact us today!