In the past 25 years, I have heard some really interesting theories on how you should clean your carpet. From Bleach to nail polish I have heard it all. In fact, in many cases, homeowners were calling Advantage Plus after trying out one of these wacky carpet cleaning ideas. These 5 carpet cleaning hacks are things I recommend to my clients, and I use in my own home.
1. Stop Blotting the Carpet!
I am not sure who started this awful rumor, but blotting a spill on your carpet is going to make the stain worse, not better. When you push down on the stain, you absorb a little bit of liquid, but you push a whole lot more down into the carpet. The farther down into the carpet the liquid goes the harder it will be to get out.
Once you push all the liquid down into the carpet it is going to attract dirt and lots of it. Now you not only have a soda stain, you have a dirty soda stain. Mold can also become an issue if all the moisture is not pulled up out of the carpet.
What to do instead.
Instead of pushing the stain down into the carpet, grab a wet/dry vacuum and suck the stain up. The more you can pull up out of the carpet, the less stain you are going to have remaining. Work from the outside of the spill to the inside to prevent the liquid from spreading.
If you don’t have a wet/dry vacuum, gently use a towel to soak up the stain. Again, starting from the outside and working your way in. Don’t scrub or press too hard. Just gently lay the towel in the liquid and allow it to absorb the spill.
2. The Best Homemade Cleaner
Professional carpet cleaners have a host of products available to them and they are probably the best solution to most stain problems. If you aren’t a professional carpet cleaner there are some things you probably already have in your home that will work on most stains.
- Club soda works wonders on beer and wine stains. Sprinkle a little bit of club soda on the stain and let it sit for a few minutes. Then extract it using a wet/dry vacuum.
- Club soda and White Vinegar are excellent for most other household stains. Mix two parts water to one part vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the stain until it is damp and let it sit for about 15 minutes. After the solution has sat on the stain, use a wet dry vacuum to remove the stain and the excess water.
- Sprinkle Baking Soda over the area before applying the club soda and white vinegar solution if you have a particularly smelly spill or for things like pet accidents.
Remember the faster you address any spill or mess, the better chance you have of getting the stain up without anyone being the wiser.
3. Change the Angle
Vacuuming your carpet is the best way to maintain the look and feel of your carpet. Regular vacuuming also keeps dust and dirt from get stuck down deep in your carpet, but it takes more than just a quick once over to make the most of your vacuuming.
If you are the type of person who likes to keep all the lines running one way in your carpet, pay attention to this tip. Running your vacuum over your carpet in only one direction, in straight lines will get some of the dirt but not all of it.
Going over your carpet from multiple angles is the best way to get the most dirt and dust out of your carpet.
Vacuum forward, backward and side to side. Each area of your carpet should like a bit like an asterisk when you are done. If you really want those nice straight lines, save it for after you make the asterisks.
4. Freeze it Off
If you have little ones running around your house, chances are you might have to clean up something very sticky from your carpet. Gum, Play-doh or maple syrup might all find their way into your carpet. When the inevitable happens adding water or chemicals will not help the situation and can actual spread the mess, making more work for you.
The best way to get a sticky mess up is to freeze it. Grab an ice cube from the freezer and set it on the sticky stuff. Let it sit for a few to freeze the surface then grab a knife and scrape the frozen bits off of your carpet. You may have to repeat the process a few times before you get all the gum or syrup up, but this process is the best thing for sticky messes.
Once you have scraped all the sticky mess off, grab your wet/dry vacuum and extract the water that melted from the ice cubes.
5. A Bloody Mess
The one organic substance that works a bit differently than most stains is blood. If you are starting the next crime scene cleanup company, perhaps you want to go with something a bit different, but for your basic finger cuts there is a way you can get most of it up without too much trouble.
Hydrogen Peroxide will make a big dent in blood stains. The quicker you can get to the stain (after bandaging your finger of course) the better. Pour hydrogen peroxide over the affected area, try not to pour too much excess or you can spread the stain. The hydrogen peroxide will foam for a few minutes. Once it is done foaming, grab your wet/dry vacuum and suck up the excess peroxide.
At Advantage Plus we recommend getting your carpet professionally cleaned once a year. These 5 carpet cleaning hacks will help keep your carpet looking great in between your professional cleanings. If you run into a stain that just won’t come up, give us a call and we will be glad to go over and give you a hand.