Most homeowners know routine vacuuming and periodic professional cleanings are important for maintaining carpet. However, some aspects of carpet care aren’t always as clear-cut, and they often require specific, painstaking techniques. To gain further insight, we’ve asked four Diamond Certified Expert Contributors to provide a their carpet cleaning how-tos.
How to Remove Pet Hair
One of the biggest cleaning challenges faced by dog and cat owners is removing shed hair from their carpets. Since pet hair and carpet form a static bond, vacuum cleaners are typically ineffective at removing it, which is why pet owners often have to resort to alternative methods. David Lyall of Save The Green Carpet Cleaning offers a clever technique: use a conventional window-washing squeegee. By creating a magnetic attraction, the rubber squeegee will break the static bond between the hair and the carpet, allowing you to gather the hairs into a single pile for easy disposal. For the best results, use a squeegee with a fresh rubber blade that has a high tack.
How to Prevent a Carpet Stain
Spills on carpet are never anticipated, but knowing what to do when one occurs can help you prevent a permanent stain. Dave Steely of Maximum Carpet Cleaning prescribes the following procedure. First, use a tightly folded, 100 percent cotton towel to blot the affected area, rotating the towel as each section becomes inundated with liquid. Once you’ve absorbed most of the liquid, pour a generous amount of table salt over the area and allow it to sit for 15 minutes. Follow this with a thorough vacuuming.
Next, using a solution of one part white distilled vinegar/two parts water (with a splash of dishwashing liquid), wet a new towel and blot the affected area until you no longer see color transfer (i.e. discoloration of the towel). At this point, place a dry cotton towel over the area and weigh it down with something heavy, like a 1-gallon water jug. Leave that to set for an hour so any remaining residue in the carpet gets absorbed. Finally, after letting the carpet dry for 24 hours, run a vacuum over the area to reinvigorate the fibers.
How to Remove Carpet Spots
A common phenomenon experienced by those with carpet is when a spot continues to reappear after repeated cleanings. Fortunately, this isn’t a hopeless situation: by using the right technique, you can eliminate a recurring carpet spot once and for all.
According to Charlene Locke of Sequoia Oriental Rug Cleaning & Restoration, the first thing you’ll need to do is remove any residual soil in the carpet. After an initial vacuuming (make sure the carpet is completely dry beforehand), use a laundry brush to agitate the carpet fibers, which will bring the soil to the surface. Vacuum again to remove the dislodged soil from the carpet; if desired, repeat this step for further thoroughness.
Once you’ve removed most of the dry soil, it’s time for the next step, which Scott Sunkel of Start Fresh Restoration & Carpet Connoisseurs lays out: using a warm, wet, wrung-out towel, begin scrubbing the area; work from the outside of the spot toward the middle, wiping in one direction all the way around. Next, use a mister to spray a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water over the spot, and use a dry towel to wipe in the same fashion as before. Lastly, get a new, wet, wrung-out towel and (using the technique as in previous steps) wipe all the way around the spot. This thorough procedure should prevent the spot from returning.