Even though carpeted floors look absolutely fantastic in most any household, and even though they may feel great under your feet – especially bare feet – and protect your hardwood or other solid surfaced floors, they can be at times a real challenge to keep clean.
Despite your best efforts, it’s inevitable that your carpets are going to become clogged with all kinds of dirt, dust, and debris – through absolutely no fault of your own. Household carpets are also going to naturally attract spills, messy pet paws and anything that you track into the home on the bottom of your shoes.
At the same time, it’s absolutely critical that you keep your carpets as clean as possible. Clean carpets are going to dramatically improve the quality of air in your home as well as help your place smell a lot nicer than it might have otherwise. Decluttering is also a big helper in making your home seem a lot more spacious and clean. Not only is there a wide range of benefits of clean carpets and decluttering for your family, your guests will certainly notice a massive difference too.
There is a whole host of other big benefits to keeping your carpets nice and clean (some of which we are going to highlight below), but the bulk of this guide is going to focus on providing you with the kind of inside information carpet cleaning professionals understand to shortcut this process.
These tips and tricks are going to help you remove much of the heavy lifting involved with keeping carpets clean, and to give you an almost unfair advantage over the dust, dirt, and debris you’re trying to get rid of.
Let’s get right into it!
1. NEVER try to rub out stains
No matter what you try to do to prevent them, accidents are going to occur and the odds are pretty good that something like red wine, spaghetti sauce, or another dark liquid is going to be dumped on your carpeted surface and you’re going to have to race against the clock to stop it from staining.
Unfortunately, a lot of people (in their haste to prevent the spread of this stain) jump on top of the accident and start scrubbing away like crazy. However, that’s the absolute worst thing you could do!
When you scrub, you’re going to force the particles that you’re trying to get rid of to ground themselves in towards the carpet, and because of the friction you’re going to generate quite a bit of heat – setting those stains in place along the way.
Not only that, but you’re also going to end up breaking down the fibers that you’re trying to keep looking brand-new and fresh. Even if you are able to get the stain out (magically), your carpet will look incredibly worn out in that particular area.
Instead, you’re going to want to remember to blot these stains out of your carpet, applying only a very small amount of pressure and looking to soak up the material that would have otherwise caused a permanent stain.
A trick that the professionals use is dampening the cloth that they are using to blot in the first place, as the water will work to draw the stain out of the fabric and down in towards your cleaning cloth.
2. Don’t forget about club soda!
A pretty critical component in some tasty cocktails, you’re going to want to keep some club soda on hand in case someone has one cocktail too many and causes an accident on your carpet.
Club soda is tremendous at getting beer and wine stains out of carpets and fabric, but you need to be certain that you’re using club soda the right way to really maximise its full potential.
First of all, plain old club soda is going to do a reasonable job at destroying the stain before it has an opportunity to set in. However, club soda mixed with one part white vinegar and one part water dumped into a handheld spray bottle will dramatically increase the cleaning capacity you’re able to enjoy.
Just give the bottle a shake before you spray it directly onto a stain, allow the club soda mixture to sit there on the stain for about 10 or 15 minutes, and then start to blot the area with a clean cloth or sponge.
You might have to rinse and repeat the process of a couple of times to clean everything up, but it’s one of the most effective ways to get the results you’re looking for – especially if the stain is created by a notoriously difficult to remove staining liquid in the first place.
3. Good old-fashioned shaving cream for stain removal
Professional carpet cleaners probably aren’t going to share this secret with you, but only because you may not decide to hire them and instead choose to tackle tough stains all on your own from here on out. That’s how effective shaving cream is!
Regular old-fashioned shaving cream works wonders at getting rid of even the toughest stains, but the newer “shaving gels” can work even faster and are a bit more reliable.
To get the most out of shaving cream when it comes to pulling up tough stains you’re going to want to apply a liberal amount directly to the stain (even older and dried in stains). Leave it sit on the carpet for 30 minutes to one hour.
After the shaving cream has had an opportunity to set up and dry, you’ll want to blot it away to remove the stain. You may have to finish off this stain removal by spraying the area with a little bit of water and vinegar mixed together, but most of the time that isn’t going to be necessary.
4. Here’s how to get chewing gum out of your expensive carpets
It happens more frequently than you would think. You’re cruising down the street with your brand-new shoes or boots, and before you know it, you step onto a small chunk of chewing gum.
Not thinking all that much about it (mostly because 99.9% of the time you don’t even notice that you did it), you go walking into your house and end up squishing that gum directly into your carpets.
Trying to get that come out of your carpet when it is still sticky is almost impossible. You can try peeling it out, but it’s almost always going to spread and stick anyway, and trying to rub it out is only going to work it deeper and deeper into the fabric.
The easiest way to get rid of gum that has been stuck in a carpet is to simply freeze it with ice cubes. Pull a couple of ice cubes out of your freezer, place them on top of the gum for about 30 seconds to a minute and a half, and then use a spoon to pull the entire frozen clump of gum right out of the carpet.
The odds are pretty good as you won’t be removing any stray fibers or strands with this approach, and you won’t notice the damage.
5. Trying to get candle wax out of a carpet?
Believe it or not, getting candle wax that has melted into a carpet and then solidified is a lot easier than most people think it’s going to be.
Professional carpet cleaners know that the best way to get rid of candle wax isn’t to try and rip or tear it out of the fabric that it has solidified around, but instead to simply reheat the wax and then pull it out when it is in its liquid state.
What you want to do is place a clean cloth over the wax that you need to get rid of, and then place your household iron on top of it, gently ironing things until the wax releases. The wax is going to bind to the cloth that you have applied thanks to the pressure of the iron, and after a couple of quick passes, you should be able to get rid of the majority of the candle wax.
If anything remains you’ll almost always be able to appeal the little bits and scraps of wax away with a butter knife. Just make sure that you do not iron for any longer than 30 seconds at a clip. If you do, you run the risk of burning or melting your carpet, and that’s going to be almost impossible to repair.
You are now armed with enough inside information to tackle almost every carpet cleaning issue you are going to come across. This is the kind of information that professional cleaners have known about for years, but also the kind of information that most homeowners never stumble upon until it’s too late.
Of course, in certain situations you aren’t going to be able to get rid of a stain even if you use all of the tricks that we outlined above. Some of those stains are going to be set in, and without the tools and technology that professional cleaners have access to – as well as the solvents and chemicals that only they can purchase – you stand next to no chance of succeeding.
Accidents happen all the time, however, it’s important you equip yourself with the knowledge to be able to deal with stains and accidents. Simply Maid cleaners are always happy to provide professional cleaning advice for our customers. Don’t be afraid to ask us next time we’re cleaning at your house!