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How to Keep Your Carpet Clean

Carpet warms a room, provides great insulation, and holds onto dirt, dust, and debris. Frequent vacuuming helps, but regular carpet cleaning is important for extending the life of your carpet and keeping it looking fresh.

Carpet Cleaning Rogers AR removes heavier soil reduces odors, and brightens colors. It also sanitizes and improves indoor air quality, making breathing easier for people with breathing issues.

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Dirt and soil are inevitable elements in a home, and carpets tend to collect them more than hard-surfaced flooring. Hair, skin cells, sand, dirt and dust can all get trapped in the fibers of your carpets. It’s important to vacuum regularly and use a lint roller or rubber-edged squeegee to remove as much of the dirt as possible from the carpet.

When stains occur, use a cleaning product recommended by the carpet manufacturer for your type of flooring. A few tips on using these products: Always vacuum before and after spraying. Use a scrub brush or sponge dipped in the cleaning product to loosen dirt and stains. Blot with a clean, white cloth to remove the loosened debris and the cleaner. Rinse the area with cold water and blot dry with another clean cloth.

If a spot doesn’t respond to this treatment, hire a professional. Hot water extraction, also known as steam cleaning, uses a machine that heats water to its boiling point and injects it into carpets under great pressure. When done correctly, this process is very effective at removing deep-seated stains and dirt that shampooing alone may miss.

Often, a rug will look and feel clean but will show signs of dirt when examined close up or scraped against. This is because dirt is embedded deeply in the carpet fibers. A good, thorough vacuuming is a must, and you can supplement this by employing other tactics:

Baking soda. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the carpet every month to help deodorize and brighten it. This is particularly helpful if you have pets, which track more mud and dirt into the house than other family members.

If you have a pet, it’s a good idea to have your carpet professionally cleaned more frequently. Pets can carry more odorous bacteria, and if they urinate on the carpet or leave behind solid poop that isn’t picked up with a scooper, it can stain and linger. It’s also a good idea to implement a “no shoes in the house” rule, and keep a supply of slippers or flip-flops near doorways for guests to wear while they’re inside.

Allergens can cause respiratory irritation and make it difficult to breathe. They include pollen, pet dander, dust mites, mold, and more. While it’s good to keep allergens to a minimum, it is impossible to eliminate them entirely. Regular vacuuming and dusting will help, but professional carpet cleaning is essential for allergy sufferers. Allergens tend to stick in and around carpet fibers and the padding. This can make them airborne when disturbed. Carpeting and the glue that holds it together are ideal environments for dust mites to thrive. These little creatures love to live in warm, humid spaces where they can feed on the tiny flakes of skin that people shed throughout the day. The droppings of these little monsters are the biggest culprit for allergic reactions in humans.

Mold spores also can trigger allergies. They grow in damp or moist environments and are able to stick on most surfaces, including carpeting. Those that are sensitive to mold may experience itching, sneezing, runny nose, and other symptoms when these spores are exposed. Similarly, the presence of mildew can lead to the same effects. Both of these types of allergens can be easily removed with the use of a properly maintained carpet cleaning machine that is designed for the job at hand.

In addition to having a professionally cleaned carpet, there are many things you can do to reduce allergy-causing substances. Installing a HEPA air filter on your furnace and running it frequently, using a dehumidifier to keep humidity levels below 50%, washing your bedding and curtains frequently, and keeping shedding pets brushed and bathed can all make a difference in controlling allergens.

Those with allergies should have their carpets professionally cleaned at least twice per year. This should be done in conjunction with other preventative measures. By following these tips, you can greatly reduce the number of allergy-causing irritants in your home. Those that can’t afford to have their carpets professionally cleaned should take care to clean up as much as they can and use a hypoallergenic cleaning solution when doing so. This will prevent the spread of allergens and allow them to be wiped away instead of being stirred up into the air where they can cause respiratory issues.

Stubborn stains can make an otherwise clean carpet appear unattractive and even smelly. They can also be difficult to get out, especially with a vacuum or other commercially available cleaners. A common culprit is grease, which can be particularly stubborn when it has had time to set into the carpet fibers. Fortunately, there are several easy and effective ways to tackle this issue. First, it’s important to remember that blotting (not rubbing) is always the best way to remove any type of stain from carpet. Rubbing can cause the stain to spread, and it may penetrate deeper into the fibers.

Next, a simple solution of water and liquid dishwashing soap can be used to help break down grease. Leverette recommends mixing a solution of one teaspoon dishwashing liquid in two cups of water. Dip a clean white cloth into this solution and apply it to the stained area. Work from the edge of the stain to the center, and blot as you go.

This should be done several times until the spot is completely gone and the stain has been soaked up by the cloth. Next, the carpet should be rinsed with cold water. Leverette notes that this step is especially important, as any soapy residue can attract more dirt and stain.

After the carpet is rinsed, blot it dry with an absorbent towel. This step can take a while, but it is necessary to prevent any residual moisture from damaging the backing or attracting more soiling. Finally, the carpet should be allowed to air dry.

Another simple and inexpensive home remedy that can be used for removing stubborn stains is hydrogen peroxide. This safe, slightly alkaline substance can break down carpet stains and can even deodorize old odors. It’s recommended to follow safety precautions when using this method, and to only use a 3% concentration of the solution.

For red wine stains, Leverette suggests first blotting — never rubbing — the stain to get as much of it up as possible. After that, a mixture of equal parts borax and warm water should be applied to the stain. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes, and then blot away the solution and the remaining stain.

Whether you clean your carpets yourself or hire professional cleaners, there are things you can do ahead of time to make the job go more smoothly. Vacuuming before and after the cleaning helps to loosen soil that would otherwise be ground into the carpet by the machines. You can also help by placing doormats outside and inside all entrance doors to catch soil as people walk over it, and removing shoes before entering the room. If you have heavy furniture, place aluminum foil squares or wood blocks underneath the legs to prevent rust from metal casters and staining from finishes on wooden frames. You can also wrap and tape protective plastic sheeting around furniture to protect it from water, dust, sand and other debris.

Most hot water extraction carpet cleaning services start with a preconditioning step in which an alkaline solution (ammonia for synthetic carpets, or dilute acetic acid for woollen ones) is sprayed over the surface and agitated with a grooming brush or automatic scrubbing machine. After this, a pressurized manual or automatic cleaning tool passes over the carpet to rinse away the preconditioner, soil and particulates. A final rinse with clear water flushes out the carpet.

Wet carpet takes a long time to dry, and even with a good vacuuming job, it can leave behind moisture that attracts mildew and mold. To speed up the drying process, open windows and use fans and a dehumidifier to increase airflow, and try not to walk on your carpet until it’s completely dry.

Many professionals offer a deodorizing treatment that can help eradiate lingering odors, particularly from sources like pet urine, cooking oils and production and automotive fluids. This can be especially helpful in commercial or industrial environments, where lingering odors can affect work or living conditions for employees and customers.

There are also post-spot treatment options that can be applied after the deep clean to make it more resistant to future spills and stains, although these can’t make your carpet completely stain-proof. You can find these products at some specialty rug stores and from reputable carpet manufacturers.