Carpet Cleaning Tips, Carpet Care
Keeping your carpets clean is not only a simple way to rid your home of hidden dust and allergens, it also keeps your carpets looking better and in better shape for longer, so you won’t have to shell out a hefty chunk of change to have them replaced before their time has come.
Angie's List, the nation’s leading provider of consumer reviews on local service companies, went to its highly rated carpet cleaners for advice on the different cleaning methods available and tips on hiring the right cleaner for the job.
There are several different types of professional cleaning available:
- Dry cleaning and steam cleaning are the two most popular types of carpet cleaning techniques. Some companies use a combination of hot water extraction – or steam cleaning – followed by a dry clean pass, in which a removable pad lifts any lingering soil.
- Steam-cleaned carpets can take 4 to 6 hours to dry, whereas the dry system by itself takes about an hour. A combination of both helps reduce the drying time and offers a more effective cleaning. If a dry cleaning can’t clean a heavily soiled carpet by itself, a steam cleaning usually can.
- Other companies use a non-toxic carbonation-based cleaning system that requires 1/6th of the water steam systems use. Those typically dry in 2 to 3 hours.
- With so many carpet cleaning techniques available, it’s important to check which method is approved by your carpet’s manufacturer to prevent from voiding your warranty.
Angie's List tips for hiring a carpet cleaner:
- Before work is done: Check the status of the company on Angie’s List. Obtain a written contract with the total prices and statements of guarantees that the cleaning company offers. Most reputable companies will return if stains show back up after they leave, so ask about any guarantees before you sign a contract.
- Prepare your home: If you can take a few steps to prepare your home for the carpet cleaners, it will help shorten processing time and return the carpet to normal use sooner. Move as much furniture out of the way as you can, and remove small items and breakables from tables and floors.
- Note areas that need extra attention: Show the company any problem areas and spots or pet stains that need special attention.
- Watch those coupons: Read the fine print on coupons offering discounted room cleanings. Ask the carpet company for their definition of a room size. Typically, a room is considered a single-purpose area less than 250-square feet. Stairs and hallways are not considered part of a room.
- You should call on them, not vice-versa: Be wary of companies that solicit business door-to-door or via telephone. Most reputable carpet cleaning companies don’t resort to these tactics. If their work is good, they stay busy.
- The number one way to keep your carpet looking fresh between professional cleanings is to vacuum regularly with a good (but not necessarily expensive) vacuum. This keeps dry soil from settling in and making the carpet look dirty. Try to remember to vacuum three times a week for optimal results.
- Avoid too much exposure. Bare feet on carpet can transfer body oils and contribute a considerable amount of grime, so keep your feet covered by slippers or house shoes whenever possible.
- Different types of carpet require different spot-treatment stain care. The majority of carpet is nylon, which is durable and easy to clean. It stands up to most treatments, as well as some of the harsher stain-removers on the market. But if you have wool carpet, you’ll need to be careful because natural fibers are a little more delicate and respond best to pH-neutral products.If you have acrylic carpet, avoid exposing it to too much moisture because it won’t absorb and will sit on the carpet backing. Whatever type of carpet you have, NEVER scrub a stain—just blot it out.
- If your carpet looks dirty, then you’re overdue for a cleaning. If you can spot the trouble, just imagine the microscopic grit that you can’t see. Dirt can be sneaky. Be sure to check places where dirt might settle in easily and clean there regularly.
- Schedule regular professional cleanings about twice a year. It’s better for the carpet and for your health. Professional cleaning gets up a lot of the dirt, dander, dust and dust mites that regular vacuums can miss