New Carpet Cleaning Guidelines
If not attended to, carpets can become collectors of dust, microorganisms, and even insects. In addition, because carpets cost so much money, it is essential that you take care of the ones inside your house. Even new carpets need cleaning.
To begin with, minimize the accumulation of dirt on your carpets by removing your shoes after you enter your house, and ask your guests to do the same.
Next, vacuum your carpet frequently. Doing this daily is preferable, but once or twice a week is acceptable. Periodically, the carpet should also be shampooed, either by yourself, or by using a commercial service.
One option is to use the “rent-a-cleaner” machines that are commonly available at the service desks in many grocery stores and discount marts. Remember that you need to add the cost of supplies into the rental cost. They can be quite noisy, so you may wish to wear earplugs while you are using one. I will also caution you not to wear leather shoes while you are using the cleaners, because the cleaning solvent can cause the leather color to transfer to the carpet. An alternative to do-it-yourself is to hire a professional company.
Even with regular maintenance, stains can occur intermittently. When cleaning up a stain, there are two words to keep in mind: “Quickly” and “Blot.” Begin to clean the stain as soon as possible. Use paper towels or napkins to soak up as much liquid as possible. Don’t scrub the carpet, but instead blot it repeatedly. When blotting, work from the outside in. If you start at the center and work towards the edges, you are more likely to cause the stain to spread.
Depending on the carpet material composition, you can try spraying the area with a weak mixture of dish detergent. Other household chemicals that you can try are vinegar, ammonia, club soda, or hydrogen peroxide. (Note that these liquids should NOT be mixed together but rather tried sequentially.) Spray afterward with water, and then follow this with additional blotting.
Do not use bleach, and do not use chemicals on wool or silk until you verify that they will not damage the material. Before using any cleaner, you should test it by putting some on a cloth and then, in an inconspicuous location, press the cleaner against the carpet for a few seconds. If the carpet color does not transfer onto the cloth then the cleaner is probably safe to use.
If you get wax or gum on the carpet, use an ice cube to solidify the material, and then gently scrape it away with a butter knife. Then proceed with the previous instructions.
If you have a water leak which saturates your carpets, you are at risk for mold growth. If the water is contained, then use a wet-dry vac to remove as much water as possible. Use fans and dehumidifiers to dry the area as quickly as possible.
If you have pets, you should have one of the several enzyme-containing cleaners on the market that are manufactured specifically to clean up after animals.