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Purdue Extension: Expert Resources for COVID-19

Home Carpet Cleaning

May 3, 2021
Home Carpet Cleaning

Carpets get a lot of abuse, especially during the winter months. And with us spending more time at home in the past year we may have added to the abuse our carpets have had. How can you get them clean? The Soap and Detergent Association gets asked this a lot, especially during spring cleaning season. By treating them now with some TLC (that’s “tender loving cleaning”), you can help prolong their beauty and their life according to the Soap and Detergent Association.


Regular Maintenance

              The first step to good cleaning is frequent and thorough vacuuming. “Frequent” means at least once a week. “Thorough” means going back and forth six to eight times on each section of the carpet. For the most efficient pickup, use and upright vacuum or a canister style with a power nozzle.

              If your carpet is left untreated, dusty airborne particles can dull the colors, causing them to appear to change. For example, a soft rose shade might turn to taupe; light blue might take on a dull green hue. Fortunately, the original color is usually there under the soil. But if oily soils are left on the carpet for a long time, they may be absorbed into the fibers causing the carpet to have a yellow cast that can be difficult to remove.


Stains Be Gone

              Spots and stains should be treated promptly. Many of today’s carpets are treated with a stain-resistant finish, which means that with immediate treatment many spots and stains can be removed. Here’s what to do:


The Big Clean

              If a good vacuuming doesn’t restore your carpet to its natural tones, or if your carpet has spots or stains that have been left untreated, it’s time for a more thorough cleaning. You can choose between a deep extraction cleaning and heavy-duty professional cleaning. For light soil, a do-it-yourself deep extraction cleaning requires special equipment that is for sale or rent. The first step is to remove as much furniture as possible from the room. For pieces that are too heavy to move, you’ll need to protect the furniture from rust and stains. To do this, use plastic film. Place it around the legs and, if possible, under them too. Vacuum thoroughly. Then follow the extractor’s cleaning instructions, using the recommended cleaning solution. Avoid over-wetting the carpet as shrinkage, discoloration, mildew or separation of the backing or seams may result. Allow about 12 hours for the carpet to dry before returning the furniture to the room.

              For deeper soil or for set-in stains, or if your carpet hasn’t had an extraction cleaning in the last 12-18 months, a professional carpet cleaner is your best bet.

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