How to clean your carpets

Carpet is cozy and warm on our soles on a chilly morning, but the fact is that carpet gets stained and dirty. Because we can’t live without the fuzzy feeling it gives, we have to learn how to clean carpet properly. I gave Corpus Christi Carpet Cleaning Pros a call to ask the owner if he could provide me some tips for cleaning your carpets. Here’s what Steve Gonzalez offered up from the questions: First, vacuum regularly. Even carpet care professionals will tell you that vacuuming twice a week reduces the look of wear and tear on your carpet, even in high traffic areas, and it removes the larger particles of dust and dirt that settle on top of the carpet fibers. If you are vacuuming often, you won’t feel the need to “shampoo” carpets as often.

Second, know how to handle a stain. Acting quickly is the key to most stains. Something like wine, coffee, or juice will take a moment to sink into the carpet. Take advantage of that time by grabbing a towel and blotting the surface of the spill to collect all you can. Remember never to rub a spill into the carpet. You’ll most likely just push it deeper into the fibers. Blot until the towel comes up clean.

You’ve done pretty much all you can do for some spills after blotting. Things like permanent marker, fingernail polish or grease may need a professional’s expertise. Do your research and know your limits. Calling a pro might be your best option in some cases.

If you feel like you got most of the liquid absorbed, you can then clean the carpet with a soap and water solution or a vinegar and water solution if it is a smelly stain (such as milk). Dab a clean towel or rag into the solution, press it onto the stained area, and dry it up with another towel. Never pour a solution onto the carpet. You can’t control how much makes it through the fibers, giving mold a chance to set up residence in the deepest part of the carpet.

Once you have decided to treat a stain yourself, the next step is to choose the correct stain remover. There are many products on the market. Just be careful not to use a bleach product on dark carpets.

Finally, after pretreating any stains, it’s time to clean the entire carpet. Be prepared to have all furniture moved before you start. You can rent a powerful industrial machine from grocery stores and other retail businesses, or you can purchase a smaller commercial version. You can either use a store-bought shampoos, or you can look up a number of DIY concoctions.

When shampooing the carpet, be sure to work in small sections, making sure to suck up as much water as you possibly can out of the carpet. This reduces drying time, and (as we mentioned before) keeps mold and mildew from growing.

A general guideline is to clean carpets once a year. For less-used areas, you could possibly go 18 months to 2 years between cleanings. But if you have light-colored carpet, high traffic, kids, pets…or all of the above…you may need deep cleanings two to three times a year.