Carpets which have an important place in home life and decoration are indispensable. But they can get dirty easily. Moreover, when cleaning carpets, you may encounter many different stain and dirt types. So how do you clean carpets in the best and most healthy way?
In carpet cleaning, priority should be to sweep the carpets regularly. However, even you sweep your carpets each and every day, dust, dirt and even molds may develop and accumulate on the carpet, especially on spots where the broom cannot reach. For this reason, more thorough cleaning is required at certain intervals. Deep cleaning can be done at home as well as with the help of carpet cleaning companies.
Carpet cleaning basically consist of 5 steps. First one is sweeping the carpet. Then you apply carpet shampoo. After that you rinse the carpet with water (you can add some vinegar to the water). If there are any stains left, you have to apply suitable stain removal method in order to get rid of them. And the last stage is drying. Be careful to not keep your carpet wet after cleaning.
In this article, I will mention plenty of carpet cleaning techniques including deep cleaning methods and cleaning methods used by carpet cleaning companies. Besides, I will give you fundamental and detailed information about carpet cleaning as well as some useful tips that will open up your horizons, such as the most common mistakes done in carpet cleaning, the best stain removal methods, and natural dry carpet cleaning formulas.
Let us start by answering this basic question: How carpet cleaning is done?
How Carpet Cleaning Is Done?
There are many methods for deep cleaning of carpets. Especially in recent years, the number of carpet cleaning companies that make this work professionally has increased considerably.
However, many people who are sensitive to cleanliness don’t prefer carpet cleaning companies. The reason is generally the quality and the contents of the detergents they use. Actually, your carpet may return to your home contaminated with chemicals. Since those chemicals are mixed with air in time, you may have to breathe harmful chemicals somehow. That is why many people prefer to clean their carpets at home.
If you say that “I clean better myself and at least I would use healthier materials”, carpet washing machines is another option. In accordance with your requirements and financial status, you can purchase a vacuum cleaner with carpet washing option or a carpet washing machine. However, this method really requires a lot of effort and time. To move the carpet washing machine on the carpet, you must have a really good condition. Therefore, my suggestion is to clean the carpets with more natural methods.
Carpet Cleaning at Home
It is important to clean your carpets regularly if you want them to look as new as when you bought them. Read on if you want to learn how to clean your carpets at home. In the following paragraphs, you will learn how to keep your carpets always clean with the help of some practical information.
Before cleaning your carpet, sweep it with a vacuum cleaner and get rid of all hair and dust. You can also use the brushed part of the vacuum cleaner to comb your carpet. Of course, you should consider whether this process is appropriate for the type of your carpet.
The carpet cleaning methods you will use will vary according to the type of the carpet. For example, you should be very careful when cleaning the hand-woven carpets. It is recommended that to apply the vacuum cleaner as gently as possible.
The main material frequently used in carpet cleaning is carbonate. Carpet cleaning with carbonate is a natural carpet cleaning method and also very effective. It is one of the best carpet cleaning materials.
After sweeping your carpet, locate the stains. Take a soft brush, soak in a mixture of carbonate and water. Gently brush the stains and leave for 10 minutes.
Then mix 3 cups of water with 3-4 tablespoons of vinegar and soak a dry cloth into this mixture. Rinse the stain with this cloth.
After removing the stains, let the carpet dry. Once the carpet has dried, pour out carbonate all over it equally, for further cleaning and removing bad odors.
Keep your carpet like that for 1 night. The next day, rinse it with a vacuum cleaner and say hello to your totally clean new carpet.
Carpet Stain Removal Methods
If you still have stains on your carpet, don’t worry! You can remove them with three different methods.
In the first method, you just need mineral water. Pour mineral water immediately as soon as the stain is formed. Mineral water will allow the stain to rise to the surface. Then wipe with a dry cloth until the stain is cleared.
If the stain is dried, you should apply the second method. Pour corn starch over the spot and wait a day. The next day, after sweeping the carpet, you will see that the stain has been cleaned.
If you can not get rid of the stains with either of these two ways, there is another method. In the third method, it does not matter whether the stain is wet or dry. Mix the 1/4 cups of apple vinegar, 1 teaspoon dishwashing detergent and 2 cups of warm water. Then soak a clean cloth in this mixture. Wipe the stained area with the wet cloth and then dry it with a clean cloth. Repeat the procedure until getting rid of the stain completely.
How to Get Rid of Some Common and Specific Stains out of Carpets
Above, I introduced some general methods used for stain removal. Now I’m going to get into detail and tell you what to use to clean specific stains.
Water stain: The water on the carpet is wiped with an absorbent cloth. After it has completely dried, it is buffered with carpet shampoo or white spirit.
Milk stain: Buffer the stain with a paper towel and clean it with a carpet shampoo. Then buffer with 5% ammonia-water mixture or white spirit. If it remains, you can use thinner or perchloroethylene.
Tea stain: The stain is buffered with paper towels and cleaned with carpet shampoo. If it does not get out, you can buffer it with white spirit or a mixture of water with 10% ammonia.
Coffee stain: Buffer the stain with a paper towel and clean it with a carpet shampoo. If it does not get out, try buffering with white spirit or 10% ammonia-water mixture.
Chocolate stain: Buffer with warm water or 5% ammonia-water mixture. If it is still stained after drying, repeat the process.
Juice stain: Use a paper towel to absorb the liquid and buffer with warm water. If it does not get out, use thinner or perchloroethylene.
Sauce stain: After washing with thinner or perchloroethylene, clean the carpet with shampoo. If it is still stained, buffer with 5% ammonia-water mixture.
Egg stain: Collect the egg starting from the center without letting the carpet to embrue it. Then buffer with white spirit or 5% ammonia-water mixture, and wash with carpet shampoo.
Tomato paste stain: After buffering with thinner or perchloroethylene, clean the carpet with shampoo. If the stain remains, use 5% ammonia-water mixture to buffer.
Sugar stain: After cleaning with warm water, wash the carpet with shampoo.
Ink stain: After drying thoroughly with blotting paper, buffer with 30% white spirit and 70% water mixture. Then clean it with carpet shampoo. Pure lemon juice also gives good results.
Oil stain: The stain is collected with paper towels without letting the carpet to embrue it, after cleaning with thinner or perchloroethylene, wash the carpet with shampoo. If it is still stained, buffer with 5% ammonia-water mixture.
Grass stain: Wipe from the center without applying too much pressure with white spirit. Then let the carpet dry. Repeat the process if the stain is not removed.
Oil paint stain: Collect the stain starting from the center. Discard excess oil paint and buffer with thinner. Then wash the stained area with carpet shampoo. If it is not removed, repeat the last two processes.
Mustard stain: First, add 10% ammonia to water, then wipe with perchloroethylene. If it is still there, clean with carpet shampoo.
Beer stain: Absorb with a paper towel, without letting it penetrate into the carpet and buffer with 3% white spirit-warm water mixture.
Yoghourt stain: Clean the stained area with carpet shampoo. Then buffer with white spirit or 5% ammonia-water mixture. If it does not get out, use thinner or perchloroethylene to clean it.
Wine stain: Absorb with a paper towel, without letting it penetrate into the carpet and clean with 50% water-vinegar mixture. Then, wash with carpet shampoo.
Ketchup stain: Wipe first with 10% ammonia-water mixture, and then with perchloroethylene. If it is not removed, clean with carpet shampoo.
Mold stain: Buffer with ammonia water mixture.
Mudstain: Allow it to dry, then sweep with a vacuum cleaner. If there is a stain left, wash with carpet shampoo.
Glue stain: Take the excess amount of the glue without letting it penetrate into the carpet with the help of a spoon. After wiping with thinner or perchloroethylene, buffer with warm water or use shampoo to wash it.
Bloodstain: After buffering with cold water, clean the carpet with shampoo.
Rust stain: Wipe with 3% potassium oxelate-water mixture.
Useful Tips About Carpet Cleaning
• The water should be warm, ie not hotter than 50 degrees.
• Methanol (aka white spirit) can be used and can be obtained from pharmacies.
• Ammonia can also be used and can be obtained from pharmacies.
• Potassium oxalate is another chemical that can be used to clean carpets and it is available at chemical stores or pharmacies.
• Perchloroethylene, also known as the dry cleaning liquid, can be purchased from dry cleaners or stores selling chemicals.
• Carpet shampoo is important. This should not be confused with the hair shampoo we are familiar with, it is the carpet shampoo sold in grocery stores. It is used with a little water to gently wipe the carpet. Detergent foam can function as the same.
• Buffering technique is a method of cleaning with a clean cloth, towel or paper towel, folded several times and pressed on a wet carpet for drying.
• A vacuum cleaner is a household appliance which we routinely use for cleaning carpets. Sweeping should be performed at least once a week in the direction that the yarn does not resist the vacuum cleaner.
Common Mistakes in Carpet Cleaning and How to Avoid Them
In this section, I will address the mistakes made in carpet cleaning. In fact, we can also briefly refer to it as a general carpet usage guide.
• Regular cleaning is essential for carpets. If this is not done, dust starts to accumulate in the carpet.
• Do not beat or vacuum the carpet every single day.
• Do not wash the carpet. Use carpet shampoo. Just clean with shampoo foam according to the instructions for use. After cleaning, dry the carpet immediately. Do not leave it damp or do not dry it under direct sunlight.
• Do not use substances such as detergents, hard surface cleaners, bleach or hydrochloric acid. Carpet shampoo will be sufficient for general cleaning.
• Light colored carpets get dirty easier and are more difficult to clean. Choosing the carpet color according to the color of the floor where it will be placed will be useful for subsequent use.
• Please note that no stain remover will remove all of the stains completely without damaging the stained item.
• Do not leave hard objects that you put on the carpet in the same place for a long time.
• Avoid contacting the carpet with materials hotter than 70 C like an iron.
• The liquid which is spilled onto the carpet should be absorbed immediately with an absorbent cloth, paper towel or vacuum broom and the procedure should be done as in our stain removal instructions according to the type of spilled material.
• Consult a carpet cleaning specialist for persistent stains on the carpet.
• If the carpet is not used, keep it in a place that is not moist, without folding, and place it vertically without putting anything on it. You do not need to put naphthalene between the carpets which you will use in a few months. For durations longer than this, use naphthalene to avoid moths.
• Do not scratch the surface of carpets with a frequency of more than 500,000 ends with sharp-pointed objects. Because the ends lying flat between the straight oriented piles will not be able to fix themselves due to the frequent use of the carpet pile. This will cause deformation of the carpet pile in long term.
• Do not leave the carpet under direct sunlight for a long time.
• If the carpet under a weight is to be removed by dragging during cleaning, it should be ensured that the overlock and backplane are not torn.
• Care should be taken to ensure that the hard and sharp objects do not damage the carpet during transportation.
• It is inevitable that there will be differences between the areas that have a high density of use (traffic) on the carpet surface and the areas with low usage density. To avoid this, you need to change the direction of the carpet at certain intervals. In this way, you can prevent shadow forming as well.
• It is inevitable to have some hair loss on carpets made of staple fiber (wool and acrylic). If you regularly vacuum those carpets with a strong vacuum cleaner, this situation will be reduced in a very short time.
• Footprints can be seen on carpets with cut edges. This is directly proportional to the brightness of the yarn used in the manufacturing of the carpet. Therefore, especially in areas with a high density of usage (traffic), avoid buying cut edged carpets.
Natural Dry Carpet Cleaning Methods: The Miracle Formulas
Method 1: Easy Carpet Cleaning Method (Recommended for Weekly Cleaning)
What you need:
Mix the carbonate, corn starch and mint, and sprinkle them on the carpet. After waiting for at least 1 hour, sweep it thoroughly with a vacuum cleaner. Then wipe with a mixture of soft soap and hot water and rinse with the water-vinegar mixture.
What you need:
2 cups of carbonate
½ cup of corn starch
½ cup of corn flour
4 pieces of dry bay leaf or powder
1 tablespoon clove
A large container
Materials such as carbonate, corn flour, corn starch, and cloves help you to clean your carpet, where the bay leaf is responsible for fragrance. After thoroughly mixing all ingredients in the blender, place in a container and sprinkle them on the carpet.
After sprinkling, wait at least two hours. In this process, the carpet will absorb the cleaning material you have prepared. If possible, sprinkle the material on the carpet before bedtime and start cleaning in the morning. After the carpet has absorbed the material, vacuum the carpet with a vacuum cleaner.
If there are stains on the carpet that are too large and old, the homemade cleaning material may not help to remove these stains. However, it will be a sufficient solution for cleaning which a normal carpet will need.
What you need:
1 cup of baking powder or carbonate (Softens dirt and allows it to be removed easily).
1 cup of corn starch or 1/2 cup of cornstarch + 1/2 cup of corn flour (absorbs dirt).
1 cup of dry mint (instead of mint, thyme, rosemary or bay leaves can also be used) (They give good odors, as well as having germicidal properties).
1 tablespoon of powdered cloves (gives odor and has germicidal properties).
1 tablespoon of borax (Both a cleanser and disinfectant).
Mix the materials together and obtain a homogeneous mixture. Sprinkle the mixture all over the carpet in equal amounts and let the carpet absorb it. You can use a brush for this.
Make sure that the material is absorbed by the carpet well and wait at least two hours. If you wait one night instead, most of the bacteria and mites will die. The next day, clean the carpet thoroughly with a vacuum cleaner. Removing the head of the vacuum cleaner and cleaning the carpets with only the rounded part will provide better vacuuming. Continue vacuuming until the corn starch disappears.
With the procedure above, the carpet should have got soften and most of the dirt should have been cleaned. However, if there is serious contamination, you need to prepare a second mixture.
Take a large amount of soft soap and put it into hot water. Wipe the carpet with a cloth soaked in this mixture. Then, put some vinegar into a container full of warm water and start rinsing. At the last stage, dry the carpet with a dry cloth.
Carpet Cleaning Methods Used by Companies
Until now we have only talked about cleaning carpets at home. Now I am going to take you the journey of a carpet to be cleaned by a company step by step.
1 – Carpets which are collected by service vehicles are brought to the carpet washing factory.
2 – Special carpets (hand weaving, wool, silk) and the carpets to be overlocked are separated from others. This is due to the fact that the washing technique of such carpets is different from other carpets. This carpet washing technique will be elaborated in the following paragraphs.
3 – After the separation stage, the carpet washing processes are carried out with application differences as follows:
a – Dusting process: This process, which is done before carpet cleaning, is generally applied in two ways named as buffeting forging method and vacuum pumping method.
b – Skipping dusting process but applying intense rabbling during the carpet washing: In recent years, due to the price competition parallel to the increasing demand for carpet washing, many carpet cleaning operations have been carried out by removing the dust during the carpet washing process with an intense rabbling in order to decrease the time and equipment cost.
4 – Choosing the right cleaning agent: One of the most important processes in carpet washing is choosing the right carpet shampoo. The minimum requirements for carpet cleaning shampoos, one of the essential elements for achieving superior quality, are:
Should not harm human health and the environment.
Should have antibacterial content.
Should be easy to rinse.
Should be in concentrate form.
Should have a rich foam formulation.
Should have a formula that revives colors.
Should not leave any residues on the carpet after washing.
5 – Brushing:
a – Brushing with hard floor polishing machine: After the carpets are laid on the washing area (with dust removed), all carpets are wetted and carpet shampoo is applied to them. Then the scrubbing process of the brush machine with its oval rotation on the carpet starts. In the manual scrubbing process, there is a great chance that the carpets can be treated locally. This feature is not very developed in automatic machines.
b – Brushing with automatic carpet washing machines: It is an alternative carpet washing process with industrial carpet washing machines.
6 – Rabbling (Rinsing): Rinsing process is carried out after washing carpets.
7 – Wringing: This dewatering process is carried out by means of carpet wringing machines. There are two types of carpet wringing machines in the market named as boiler type and tube type.
8 – Hanging: Dewatered carpets are opened and placed on hangers of 22 to 25 cm to dry.
How to Store Carpets We Won’t Use After Cleaning
There is no need to use carpets in certain seasons. In such cases, the carpets should be stored by applying certain methods after thoroughly cleaning.
It is important to keep the carpet wrapped in the form of a roll, not to fold it, to prevent a trace. At this point, it is necessary to make sure that the hairs on it are rolled in their original direction.
If storage is to take a long time, it is important to take precautions against moths. You can use naphthalene.
After wrapping the carpet as a roll, tie it with a rope or tape. You can prevent contamination with an old sheet or cloth bag. If the storage period is too long, it is useful to open and clean the carpet in certain periods.
How to Clean the Hair from a New Carpet
If you buy a brand new carpet, and it sheds hair, it will not be enough to sweep the carpet. You can get rid of the hair of the new carpet with a flat, medium-hard carpet brush.
Get a bucket of water and a carpet brush. Start by picking up the hair from the top of the carpet with the help of the brush. Make sure that the brush does not wet the carpet too much.
Get rid of the collected hairs, put them into another bucket. Pour some carpet cleaner or carbonate dust into your dry carpet. Sweep your carpet with a vacuum cleaner the next day.
As you can see, you can keep your carpet clean without much effort. When you use the methods described, you won’t have to send your carpet to a carpet cleaning company.
Cleaning carpets is a difficult task in itself. However, it has to be done periodically. In order to do it right, you have to apply the right method according to the situation. If it is a weekly cleaning, you may just sweep, but if it is something like seasonal, you have to perform an extensive cleaning. Moreover, the cleaning method for each stain is different. But there is not the shadow of a doubt that with all the information above, your carpets would be as clean as a new one!