The carpets in your home take a lot of abuse. They get walked on, spilled on, and they absorb pet dander, odors, smoke, or anything else that might be specific to your area. (Like allergens) Most of the time you probably only think about cleaning your carpets when it’s time to vacuum, or when you have a huge mess to clean up.
It makes sense that you probably don’t overthink what goes into cleaning a carpet or unknown things about carpet cleaning. You’re busy with life, and carpets are easy to overlook. But if you have ever wondered (even just in passing) if your carpets are truly clean you’ll want to keep on reading. Here are five things you didn’t know about carpet cleaning.
1. They’re Dirty Even If You Vacuum A Lot
This one isn’t fun but it’s definitely still true. Carpets can play home to dust mites, skin cells, bacteria, pollen, and just general dust. Not all of these things are eliminated just with a vacuum, and even if your carpets look immaculate most of these things are still there resting under the surface of the carpet.
One study even found that Norovirus could live on an uncleaned carpet for up to a month before dying. Uncleaned means something different to almost everyone so it’s never really easy to know if your carpets qualify as clean or not.
While typically you truly can maintain a clean (and healthy) home by just normal carpet maintenance like vacuuming, having your carpets cleaned by a professional at least once every 12 months or so is a great idea.
2. Salt Can Help Brighten Your Carpet
This might sound a little crazy but it’s a great DIY tip to refresh a carpet between deep cleans. You can sprinkle salt on your carpet or mix it with a little water to dampen it slightly. Let it sit for a little bit and then vacuum it up. Your carpets will look refreshed and a little brighter with some pretty minimal effort on your part.
Salt can also be used to help get out muddy footprints. While the offending footprint is still wet, sprinkle some salt on it to dry up the mud and water. Once it’s dried you can vacuum the salt and mud up to see a cleaner carpet underneath. This can be a real headache saver if you live somewhere that has a lot of wet weather.
3. Regular Deep Cleaning Makes Your Carpet Last Longer
It’s pretty easy to get busy and involved in other things in your life and take your carpet for granted. This might not be the best way to make sure you’re getting the most out of your carpet, though. If dirt is allowed to build up on your carpet it can cause some bigger problems down the road.
Packed in dirt or other things like gum you couldn’t quite get out can break down the carpet fibers and result in having to replace your carpets sooner and more frequently. No one wants to have this added expense especially if it can be avoided. The best way to do this is to make sure you’re deep cleaning your carpets regularly.
While a professional clean may only be really needed about once a year as you read earlier, you can rent a carpet cleaner or buy one for your home and use that in between professional cleanings. Carpet cleaners get out more than just the surface dirty a vacuum is handy for and will help you keep your carpets lasting longer and looking better.
4. Club Soda Really Does Work
You’ve probably heard people say to use club soda to get out carpet stains before. This tip isn’t a new idea, but if you’ve never tried it you’ve probably always wondered if it was really true or just an old wive’s tale. In reality, club soda actually does work for some carpet stains.
The key with club soda is to use it right away. If you spill something and want to get the stain out asap, club soda is a great option. Dab (don’t scrub) or blot as much of the liquid up as you can before pouring club soda onto the stain. Let the soda sit and soak for a few minutes and then blot that up too.
Remember, do not scrub. Blotting soaks up the liquid, scrubbing pushes it into the fibers of your carpet and you don’t want that. If you have set in stains you probably won’t find much luck with club soda, but in the right setting, it really is a great tip for at home DIY spot cleaning on your carpets.
5. Vinegar Can Do A Lot
Do you have a stain you want to get out of your carpet that isn’t responding to club soda? Try vinegar. Let it soak into the fibers just like the club soda trick, then blot out. You can repeat this until the stain is lighter or completely gone. If you want to really kick up the stain removing properties a notch, you can add some baking soda to the vinegar to lighten a more stubborn stain.
You can also use vinegar in a steam cleaner instead of harsher cleaning chemicals. Replace the cleaning solution in the steam cleaner with 100% vinegar and clean as you normally would. Yes, your home will smell like vinegar while you’re cleaning but the smell should go away once the carpets are dried.
Does your carpet smell like it could use a quick freshening up? You can mix a tablespoon of vinegar with a tablespoon of baking soda and two cups of warm water. Shake the mixture together in a spray bottle and once it stops bubbling spritz it over your carpet then let it dry. Not only will the vinegar smell be gone, but so will the carpet odor you wanted to be rid of in the first place.
There are a lot of things you probably don’t know about cleaning your carpets, and in reality, that’s okay. If you’re cleaning your home on a regular basis, and you aren’t letting things like dirt and stains build up your carpets are going to be okay. Keep the tips you read about in mind for when accidents like mud and other stains happen but don’t stress too much.
Remember to spend a little more time every few months giving your carpets a deep clean, and don’t forget about the value of a professional cleaning either. Giving a little more time to your carpets every once in a while will save you a world of headache in unexpected expenses later. No one will ever regret that, even if it does take a little extra time out of your day once in a while.