Carpets are a big investment. And while they make our homes look plush and luxurious, they’re also at high risk for mould growth. From everyday traffic to pet accidents and food spills, they’re exposed to dirt and stains which, over time, can damage fibers.
But with proper care and maintenance, your carpets can last for years. Unfortunately, there are certain misconceptions when it comes to carpet cleaning.
To avoid carpet damage and extend its life, we have identified the most common carpet cleaning mistakes.
Cleaning a carpet may seem simple but you may unknowingly be killing it. Avoid these common mistakes to make your carpet last longer.
Not all carpet cleaners are the same, and improperly using them can result in damage. Remember, every stain requires unique treatment so as not to damage the carpet’s fibers. Using the wrong cleaning agent can make the stain appear darker, instead of removing or fading it.
Stains such as oil, gum, adhesives and paint require solvent-based cleaners, whereas acid-based ones are used to remove tea, coffee and water stains. In order to make sure that you’re using the right cleaning agent for a particular stain, consult a professional carpet cleaner.
Contrary to instinct, scrubbing a carpet stain vigorously is a bad idea.
Two things happen when you do:
i) You’re actually pushing the stain molecules further into the carpet fibers and carpet base.
ii) Scrubbing causes the carpet fibers to twist, fade and fray.
Instead of rubbing, use a clean white cloth to blot and absorb as much of the staining substance as possible.
If you’re waiting until you have noticeable dirt and debris on your carpet to vacuum, that’s too long. Try vacuuming at least once or twice a week to keep mould from forming. If you have pets, every other day is best.
Dust, dirt and allergens are deposited on your carpet through everyday use. Although you can’t see it, these particles are wearing down your carpet fibers. If you go for a long time without vacuuming, your carpet will start looking dull and distressed. Vacuuming not only lifts dirt and debris from the carpet but also makes it look soft and plush.
The trick to shampooing carpets is to use the right amount. Applying too little shampoo won’t clean them well enough; too much can incur other serious problems. Over-shampooing occurs when you either use too much shampoo or the carpet isn’t rinsed thoroughly. If the carpet backing and padding remain damp, they will start to smell musty and mouldy. Soapy residue build-up is almost impossible to remove, which results in the following damages.
Unfortunately, if your carpet starts to shrink or tear, there is no way to fix it so must be replaced.
Many of us equate a pleasant smell with cleanliness. That’s not necessarily the case when it comes to using powder deodorizers on carpeting. These deodorizers may give your carpet a nice smell, but the powder can build up to form mould and gunk. This also gives it a chalky white appearance. A carpet that mostly smells fresh may trick you into thinking it’s clean and doesn’t require frequent vacuuming.
Runners are long rugs intended for use in heavy traffic areas. They protect specific areas of your carpet against uneven wear and tear For example, using carpet runners on staircases, in hallways and for entrance ways will minimize damage and save you the cost of replacing a carpet. Area rugs and runners are also easier and more economical to replace.
Usually, rented machines need to be serviced and cleaned between two uses, so they do not carry germs and dirt from one user to another. If the one you rented isn’t clean, then your carpet is at risk.
As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and avoiding these cleaning mistakes will prove helpful in the long run. Aside from extending the life of your carpets, you’ll save money on expensive carpet replacement, so be sure to use the right cleaning techniques to make your home healthier.