DIY Carpet Cleaning and the Best Time of the Year to Clean your Carpets
Have you ever wondered why we associate spring with cleaning? I mean, we clean all the time throughout the year, but what makes spring so different from any other season? And when should we invest a little money to get our carpets cleaned? Letting your carpets air out and dry after a cleaning is too hot during the summer and way too cold for the winter. Spring is a great time to get the job done!
Throughout the summer and fall, we traipse in sand and dust from our shoes and leave odor remnants on the carpet from our bare feet. During the winter we trudge through our home with dirty wet soles. Fast forward to spring when your carpet has had enough of the muddy paws and feet that have been building up in the carpet.
Spot treatments when something spills are helpful, but carpets need a deep clean to retain their luster and lushness. If you’ve treated small stains as they’ve occurred, you still need to consider cleaning the entire carpet. Spring is the best time to shampoo carpets. You can hire a professional carpet cleaner to do the job, or you can do it yourself with the aid of a carpet cleaning machine.
Specifically, the end of spring is the best time to clean your carpet for a few reasons:
- Windows can be opened to let the crisp, cool breezes dry your carpet.
- The ground has started drying out reducing the amount of mud that finds its way through your doors.
- Allergens like dust and mites that live in the carpet are removed; one less thing for allergy sufferers to worry about.
- With the holidays far behind us, tough food stains and spills will be eliminated.
If you decide to clean the carpets yourself, you can rent or buy a cleaning machine. Research the pricing and rental options at the stores in the area and always follow the directions specifically for that machine.
8 Steps to Shampooing your Carpet
- Remove the furniture from the room you will be cleaning. If you have heavier items, place furniture sliders under the legs. For all other large, immovable items, do your best to protect the legs and castors; wrap with plastic if necessary.
- Thoroughly vacuum the entire room.
- Walk the room looking for stains. Pre-treat the stains with hot water. Simply pour a cup full of hot water over the stain and scrub lightly with your fingers or a brush. This will begin loosening the stain. Do not use carpet spot treatments as they add too much soap to your carpet. That soap will get sticky and continue to be an area on your carpet that attracts dirt and grime. You’ll be using soap with the machine.
- Set up the machine according to the manufacturer’s directions. Add the recommend soap to the tank as instructed.
- Start shampooing the carpet along the wall and back corner of the room. Work in a very slow, straight line. Pull or push the vacuum wand as directed, but do not use it like a normal vacuum. When you use a carpet cleaner, you need to go in the same direction giving the machine time to dispense the soap into the carpet, agitate the fibers, and suck it back up.
- Once you have shampooed the entire area, do it again, but this time…without the soap. The second pass allows the machine to rinse out any soap and dirt left behind.
- Open the windows and position fans to help dry the carpet. Do not let any person or pet on the carpet until it is completely dry.
- Once you are confident that the carpet has dried entirely, you can move the furniture back into place. If it is not dry, the paint-stain on the legs will bleed into your carpet. If you are unsure, place plastic or aluminum foil underneath the legs of the furniture.
In 8 simple steps, you’ll have refreshed your carpet and eliminated the dirt and odor that has built up throughout the year. Your home will smell fresher and be cleaner just in time for the summer. With regular maintenance, you’ll extend the life of your carpets saving you money on replacing them. Need help from a professional? Take 2 minutes to fill out a carpet cleaning questionnaire and you’ll receive responses within minutes.