carpet cleaning

There’s nothing like a freshly laid carpet to tingle your senses and give your interior an instant facelift. It also turns a house into a home, letting owners lie down and relax in their own little safe haven. But as time goes by, your carpet fibres start to lose their lustre. They get stained, full of dirt, and just generally look unkempt.

But as anyone who’s ever owned a carpet knows, they require quite a bit of upkeep to maintain their plushness and cleanliness. That’s why our professional carpet cleaner has put together 15 unique carpet cleaning tips to save time, money and your sanity!

Let’s go through them:

Avoid shop-bought stain removers not formulated for carpets

You know that little bottle of stain remover you bought the last time your coffee spilled? Turns out, it may have done more damage to your fabrics than good. They can actually do the opposite and lock in carpet stains, making them harder to remove.

Many store-bought cleaners are made with harsh chemicals that can eat away at your carpet fibres, causing fading and discolouration. Furthermore, many leave a thick residue that makes your carpet stickier, attracting even more dirt and grime.

Create your own carpet cleaning solution

Carpets come in various materials, so it’s important to find a cleaning solution that won’t damage your investment. A simple mixture of water and vinegar usually works but always test it on an inconspicuous spot first to ensure it won’t cause any damage.

If you have synthetic carpet, liquid detergent mixed with 1/4 water is usually a good option. And for natural fibre carpets, mix 1/2 cup of lukewarm water with one tablespoon of ammonia. This should do the trick for most spots and stains.

Vacuum regularly

The general rule of thumb is to vacuum at least once a week to ensure you maintain clean carpets. Frequent vacuuming helps to keep on top of the dust, dirt and hair whilst ensuring they don’t penetrate your carpet’s deepest layers.

And when you vacuum, be thorough and go over each section several times. We know it’s tempting to give your carpets a quick once-over, but you’ll miss spots and areas of high traffic if you do.

Use an iron to tackle stains

When tackling the toughest stains, a little creativity goes a long way. And in this case, using an iron can help lift stains from your carpet. You see, irons omit a small amount of steam which can actually help to loosen the stain from its fibres.

First, start by rubbing up as much of the stain as possible with a clean, dry cloth. Then, treat the area with a 3:1 water and vinegar solution ratio and wait for five minutes. 

After that, cover the area with a clean towel and set your heated iron. Gently press the iron onto the towel for a few seconds at a time and hold until the stain has transferred to the towel.

This technique is particularly effective against wax, loosening its sticky hold on your carpet fibres.

Get professional help for a clean carpet

Despite your best deep cleaning efforts, there comes a time when you need to call in reinforcements. And no, we’re not just saying that because we provide professional carpet cleaning services!

There are some stains, like red wine or blood stains that can really do a number to your carpet. This is especially prevalent once they’ve had time to set in and dry – which becomes harder and harder to remove the longer you wait.

In these cases, it’s best to contact a professional carpet cleaning service with the knowledge and equipment to deal with the stain more efficiently. And while home remedies are effective, there’s also a high risk of causing irreversible damage if you’re not careful. No need to look further for professional carpet cleaners. Here at Sidepost, we provide upholstery cleaning, mattress cleaning, and many more.

Make sure to blot the stain, don’t rub it (most of the time)

It’s usually our first instinct to scrub at a stain to get rid of it. Unfortunately, the rubbing motion will only spread the stain, causing your carpet’s numerous strands to get matted down and discoloured if you rub too hard. 

Instead, blot the area with a clean and absorbent cloth, working from the outside in. This will help to lift the stain without causing it to travel further around your carpet. After pre-treating the area, blot it again with a paper towel until the moisture is absorbed.

Use salt to your advantage

Salt has absorbing powers which is why it’s often used as a pre-treatment for stains.

Start by generously sprinkling salt over the affected area before it’s had a chance to soak in. Wait 15 minutes and vacuum the area to remove the salt. This should help to lift the stain out of your carpet.

It’s important to note, however, that salt can also hurt your carpet. Salt slows down the drying process as it pulls in moisture from the air. A damp carpet or rug is far more susceptible to mould and mildew, so always vacuum up any residual salt asap.

Remove gum with ice cubes

There’s nothing more infuriating than stepping on gum that’s nestled into your carpet. The elbow grease required to remove it seems like it’s not even worth the effort. But before you go reaching for the WD-40, consider this hack instead.

Put several ice cubes into a pouch or Ziploc bag and hold it over the gum for 30 seconds. The ice will harden the gum, which can be quickly sliced away with a butter knife. Finish the job by vacuuming up any residual bits.

If you’re left with a stubborn gum stain, use a cleaning fluid like 409 to remove the residue.

Use WD-40 for stubborn stains

WD-40 is a petroleum-based lubricant that breaks down the bonds in oily stains. Simply apply WD-40 via a spray bottle to the oil, scrub with a damp sponge and wait until it has loosened. You can then use a clean towel to blot the area and remove any residual WD-40.

Invest in a carpet shampooing machine

Nalzo The Label, a leading Australian pet accessories brand, says that carpet cleaning machines are the perfect investment if your carpets are prone to tracked-in soil, pet hair, poop and pee stains caused by your pets, spills, and other messes. It’s also worthwhile if natural home carpet cleaners aren’t your thing and you prefer a more hands-off approach.

Carpet shampooing machines work by injecting a soapy solution deep into your carpets layers and then extracting it along with all the dirt and grime. This will leave your carpets looking, feeling and smelling fresh and new.

However, you’ll still need to pre-treat any stubborn stains by spraying them with a carpet cleaner or using another natural cleaning hack before using your machine.

Apply  Scotchgard for carpet protection

Taking a proactive approach rather than a reactive one will save you a lot of time and effort long-term. Applying Scotchgard to your carpets creates an invisible barrier that helps get stains out a lot easier. It also prevents stains like loose soil from properly attaching to your carpet in the first place.

Begin by shaking the can and spraying a smaller, inconspicuous area of your carpet to test for colour fastness. If the colour looks unchanged, proceed to spray a light, even coat over your carpet in a sweeping motion. Wait for 2-6 hours and apply a second spray coat on high foot traffic areas for optimal protection.

Preventing stains is always better than trying to remove them, so consider Scotch Guarding your carpets as part of your cleaning routine.

Use hairspray containing alcohol to remove nail polish

Alcohol works wonders on dried carpet stains, and hairspray is one of the easiest ways to remove them.

Start by applying cold water to your nail polish and spray 10-15 pumps of hairspray over the top. Rub a small amount of alcohol to the stain and use a toothbrush or soft-bristled brush to scrub. Continue until the stain is lifted and then let it dry naturally.

If you don’t have hairspray, a nail polish remover that contains acetone will also work. Just be sure to test it first as acetone can be harsh on your carpet’s fabrics.

Combine vinegar with baking soda

As individual cleaning agents, both vinegar and baking soda pack a punch. But when you combine these two household staples, you get a foaming mixture that can remove all kinds of carpet stains. Baking soda is also a deodorizer, leaving your carpets smelling fresh and clean.

Start by pouring a little vinegar over your stain and then sprinkle baking soda on top. Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes which should foam up and start working on the stain. Rub the area with a damp cloth to work the mixture into the carpet and then vacuum it up.

Use a lint roller for pet hair

Sometimes, no matter how much you vacuum, pet hair still lingers on your carpets. To put a halt on this never-ending cycle, reach for a lint roller. Lint rollers are designed to pick up small pieces of fabric, making them the ideal tool for swiftly pulling off pet hair from carpets.

Simply roll your lint roller over your carpet’s affected areas and the pet hair will cling to the adhesive. You can also use a piece of sticky tape – albeit it may not be as effective to pick up hair. For best results, go over your carpets with a lint roller every week to prevent hair build-up.

Invest in shoe covers or take your shoes off

Tracking dirt and mud into your home is one of the most common ways to ruin your carpets. Even if you wipe your shoes before setting foot on your carpet, the tiny particles of dirt can still rub off and spread across your home. Overtime, this will lead to a dull, matted appearance.

One way to prevent this is by just removing your shoes before you walk in. But if you want to take things one step further, invest in some shoe covers. Shoe covers or caps provide a barrier between your shoes and the carpet, stopping any dirt or mud from seeping through.

Treat stains immediately

As mentioned, stains are a pain in the butt to remove once they’ve set in. Once you’ve spilled something on your carpet, take quick action and use the methods above to try and remove the stain while it’s still wet.

If you’re not able to remove the stain immediately, blot it with a clean, dry cloth to remove as much of the spillage as you can. This will at least stop the stain from spreading and making it harder to clean.

Clean your HVAC filters

Your HVAC filters eventually circulate the dirt, dust and pollen that gets trapped in them back into your home. So if you have a dirty filter, the dust will eventually land on your carpets – no matter how much you vacuum.

To prevent this, clean or replace your HVAC filters every 90 days. If you live in a dust-heavy environment, you may need to do this more frequently. Just be sure to check your HVAC unit’s owner manual for specific instructions on when to replace their filters.

Properly maintain your vacuum cleaner

Your vacuum cleaner is a primary tool for keeping your carpets clean. But if you maintain your vacuum, its suction power will gradually decline and will eventually stop working as effectively.

To prevent this, do the following

  • Regularly clean your vacuum’s filters and canisters
  • Always replace the vacuum bag when it’s full
  • Avoid vacuuming over sharp objects as this can damage the vacuum’s blades
  • Clean your vacuum’s roller brush every 3-6 months
  • Keep an eye on it’s performance and take it in for servicing if necessary

Deep clean your carpets twice a year

Deep cleaning carpets with a carpet cleaning machine or natural methods will help remove any dirt, dust or any carpet stain that regular vacuuming can’t reach. Not to mention, it also maximises your carpet’s longevity.

Most carpet cleaning professionals recommend deep cleaning your carpets at least twice a year. But if you have pets or kids, you may need to do this more frequently to ensure a clean carpet all year round.

Eliminate pet stains and odours with hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is highly capable at eliminating bacteria due to its high oxygen content, especially in porous surfaces like carpets.

Mix 4 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide with 2 tablespoons of water and a teaspoon of liquid dish soap. Mix in a bottle and spray on the affected areas. Let it sit for 10 minutes to work its magic, and then rinse with water and blot with a clean cloth.

Final thoughts

Carpets add a touch of luxury, comfort and style to any interior space. But if they’re not properly maintained, they’ll slowly transform from a beautiful asset to an eyesore.

So if you want to keep your carpets looking as good as new, put in the effort to vacuum, clean and deep clean them regularly. And if you have specific stains such as nail polish or wine, use the methods above to try and remove them immediately.

Take care of your carpets and they’ll take care of you!

If you’re on the verge of giving up on your carpets, contact our professional carpet cleaning service. Our carpet cleaners are highly experienced and routinely use state-of-the-art equipment during the cleaning process without damaging your fabric. Contact 1300 138 499 or book online today for a free quote!