Carpet cleaning can feel like a real back-breaking chore. And for people with children or pets, keeping your carpet clean feels like an almost impossible task.
But did you know that your carpets can harbor bacteria for longer than you think? Carpets can trap mold, pollen, and dirt for weeks on end.
Although it might seem difficult, taking care of your carpets is easier than you think. Read more to find out about how you can keep your carpets bacteria-free.
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How to Clean Your Carpet
The first and most important step for maintaining the quality and cleanliness of your carpet is to vacuum. Vacuuming frequency varies from household to household. It depends on multiple factors, such as the usage of your space and if you have pets, kids, or any hobbies that might leave stains on the carpet.
For areas that don’t get much foot traffic, you should only need to vacuum around once a week. For areas that see more traffic, you should vacuum at least twice a week. Households with pets and children should vacuum daily, or, at minimum, twice per week.
If you have a special type of carpet, check any care manuals you may have or contact the manufacturer. Certain types of vacuum features or cleaners may be recommended for or possibly harmful to your carpet.
Most people vacuum and leave it at that, but that’s only one step to properly cleaning your carpet. Spot cleaning as stains appear will decrease the amount of time and effort you have to put in down the road. You should also deep clean for tougher stains.
There are a few different ways to deep clean using household items such as baking soda and salt, or water and vinegar. For a more thorough clean, you can use hot water and a pro-level cleaner machine. There’s also the option of shampooing the carpet, which uses a detergent and brushes to agitate the dirt in the carpet.
How Often Should You Clean Your Carpet?
Knowing how to clean your carpet is half the battle. You’ll also need to deep clean along with consistent vacuuming and other maintenance.
As a general rule, those with light-colored carpets, pets, and/or children should deep clean their carpet every six months. For those with allergies, you should shampoo the carpet every 2-3 months to help eliminate the buildup of allergens.
Even if you’re on top of your carpet maintenance, every home could benefit from a professional carpet cleaning. Professional carpet and rug cleaners are experts who have both the proper equipment and knowledge of cleaning techniques. They know their way around multiple types of carpets and have the best products and equipment for your specific type.
Carpet Cleaning for Households With Children
If you have children in your home, you know it’s important to keep them away from toxins and other hazards. The same goes for when you’re considering the chemicals and cleaners you use to clean your carpets.
The most important thing is to avoid harsh chemicals. Make sure that the cleaners you use aren’t labeled as hazardous, dangerous, highly flammable, or irritating. Any of these if ingested or otherwise misused by children can lead to serious illness and danger.
The second to last step of cleaning a carpet is letting it dry. If the carpet remains damp it can lead to mildew and mold growth, which can damage children’s respiratory systems, and aggravate the allergies of children and adults alike.
Carpet Care With Pets
Pets bring a lot of joy and frustration into our lives, especially regarding the carpet. A good rule to follow is to vacuum 1-2 times a week to avoid excessive dander and hair buildup on the carpet, making sure to clean up any staining as soon as possible with a high-quality pet stain remover.
Like children, pets have delicate lungs that can be harmed by improper cleaning products. Some commercial products release toxic fumes that can cause long-term damage.
While adults may be less affected or not at all, children and pets are lower to the ground and often play on the carpet. They may inhale these fumes or ingest objects that could have residue from the cleaners and become very ill.
A great option in a household with pets is to upgrade to a stain-resistant carpet. Several of these types of carpets repel pet stains, and some can even help avoid their claws getting caught in the fibers.
If replacing the entire carpet isn’t an option, using a stain-repellent spray can be a tremendous help in protecting your carpet. It protects against most household stains and can be applied right after a steam cleaning, so as soon as the carpet is dried, the repellent is set.
Extra Tips for Cleaning Your Carpet
There’s more to cleaning your carpets than the basics of vacuuming and spot cleaning. Here are a few extra tips to jumpstart your routine.
Not only are these products more child and pet safe, but they’re also made to reduce the harmful impact that harsh cleaners have on the environment. They’re often biodegradable, plant-based, non-toxic, and/or unscented.
These can be helpful for those with allergies or sensitivities to certain chemicals as well. Buying environmentally friendly cleaners doesn’t have to be expensive or mean a trip to a specialty grocery store. Plenty of common pantry items are both effective and eco-friendly, such as baking soda, white vinegar, and cornstarch.
- Use a lint roller or a pet hair carpet rake
You might think that lint rollers are just for your clothes, but they can also help pick up crumbs and other small debris on carpets. The adhesive allows you to pick up dust and dirt quicker and quieter than a vacuum, but they’re best used on smaller portions of carpet.
A pet hair carpet rake, also known as a pet hair squeegee, is similar to a window squeegee. You can use these to rake up pet fur and other thin hairs on small sections of carpet as a daily or weekly chore.
Ready, Set, Clean
Carpet cleaning doesn’t have to be a hard task. With this advice, you can feel more prepared to tackle the carpets in your home. But nothing beats a professional touch.
Even if you DIY, make sure to hire a carpet cleaning service at least once a year for a truly deep clean. And if this article helped motivate you, be sure to check out more house cleaning tips.