Carpet cleaning: why is it important?

The cleaning of the carpets is essential if you have these elegant furnishing objects the carpets are precious accessories, which give light and warmth to the rooms; however, at the same time, they constitute a receptacle for bacteriamites and dust, it is, therefore, important to ensure their hygiene, so that the surface always remains shiny.

This operation must first of all be regular: this will guarantee the hygiene of the surrounding environment and preserve the health of the inhabitants of the house.

We must not forget that rugs are often used as a playground for children, attracted by their softness and variety of colours.

Cleaning can be done in various ways and with easy-to-find products, such as baking soda, salt and vinegar: all valid, natural and ecological solutions.

To preserve their original beauty and enhance the design of a room, carpets must be cleaned correctly and with the right precautions.

How to clean carpets in the house

To clean carpets it is advisable to follow some basic rules, thanks to which all the necessary operations can be carried out correctly.

These particular furnishing accessories are known for their delicacy and tend to deteriorate if not treated in the right way. Sometimes it happens to make the situation worse by trying to remove a stain, with the result of damaging the colours of the carpet.

It is recommended, for example, never to rub a cloth or brush on the surface: this would cause abrasions or would cause any stain to penetrate deeply.

An even worse idea is to use a kitchen net, a mistake that some make with the belief that they are scrubbing the dirt away, resulting in an irretrievably ruined carpet.

Instead of rubbing the surface, as mentioned a little earlier, it is important to dab it with a light hand, arming yourself with patience and goodwill. Carpet cleaning is not a quick job to perform, but in the end, your home will be embellished with the bright and vibrant colours of a one-of-a-kind accessory.

You have to dedicate yourself to this task when you have time available, also because it is often useful to leave the detergent to rest on the surface for a few hours. This is the case of Marseille soap, which must be diluted in warm water and distributed with the aid of a common detergent spray.

Furthermore, before proceeding, it is advisable to act on a small part of the carpet that is not too visible, to verify the action and effectiveness of the chosen method. It is necessary to select a corner hidden by a piece of furniture or a sofa, which can be easily covered if there is damage to the fabric and its colours.

Carpets should never be machine washed and should not be hung out to dry in too intense sunshine. There is a danger that they will come out dry and fade. It is useful to turn a carpet over before proceeding with cleaning, to eliminate any crumbs and grains of dust, but always with great delicacy.

Such an object, regardless of material and thickness, should never be slammed forcefully in the house or outside the window, or subjected to a carpet beater. It is a refined, precious accessory to be treated with all due care so that it remains new despite the passage of time.

In addition, it is suggested to use different products depending on the material with which the carpet is made.

Vinegar is excellent for stains, even better if mixed with coarse salt; against traces of oil or grease, many are good with a mixture of baking soda and corn starch. There is also the alternative of the steam cleaner, a versatile tool suitable for carpets.

how to clean carpet in the house

Cleaning carpets with baking soda

Sodium bicarbonate offers a series of benefits in the home and is also highly appreciated for personal care: it can counteract acid thanks to its chemical formula and is, for this reason, often used against bad odours.

Furthermore, bicarbonate has a well-known disinfectant power and is an excellent solution to fight bacteria and mites. This substance is characterized by a pleasant and light scent, a very delicate abrasive power and the ability to eliminate even the most persistent stains.

Cleaning carpets with baking soda is, therefore, a very common practice among those who own such accessories.

There are various methods by which you can proceed. In any case, it is advisable to start with a vacuum cleaner pass, to work on a uniform and slag-free surface: this must be done not only on the front part of the carpet but also on the back, in contact with the floor and therefore subject to dust.

A similar procedure will allow you to air the carpet and revive its shades, giving the room a new touch of light and colour. Any mould stains will be absorbed by the baking soda and vacuumed away.

The ideal would be to let the product rest for an hour or two, to give it time to act completely, before vacuuming.

If, on the other hand, you need to get rid of the most annoying stains, such as those of oil, wine or food in general, it is advisable to dilute a few teaspoons of bicarbonate in warm water, sprinkle the result on the carpet and, as previously pointed out, dab without rubbing.

It is essential that the amount of water is not excessive, which would be counterproductive and would make it difficult to dry the carpet.

A valid alternative is a mixture of bicarbonate, corn starch and borax: the latter is a crystal with antiseptic properties and often contained in soaps and household cleaners.

By mixing these substances you will obtain a malleable compound that will be spread on the stain and removed after about four or five hours, always with the help of a vacuum cleaner.

A few drops of essential oil can be added to this compound so that the carpet is perfectly clean and scented at the same time. You can choose the sweet and familiar smell of lavender, the sparkling one of lemon, the exotic one of orange or the sugary one of vanilla, according to the personal tastes of each.

The important thing is not to overdo it, because a too intense aroma, in the long run, would end up tiring and the carpet would remain soaked for a long time.

How to clean carpets with vinegar

Another foolproof method for cleaning carpets is to use half a glass of white vinegar to be diluted in a bucket of water. It is one of the most traditional cleaning techniques, adopted since ancient times but no less effective today.

Just think that traces of vinegar have been found in a vase that dates back to about ten thousand years ago: in fact, this substance has accompanied the evolution of mankind since the time of the Egyptians.

Vinegar eliminates even the worst odours, such as that of smoke where the air is particularly stale. It is antibacterialdisinfectantinexpensive and easy to find in the most common supermarkets.

To clean carpets with vinegar you need to get a few, simple materials: a plastic bucket and a cotton or microfiber cloth will do just fine. The water must be lukewarm: in fact if it is cold the effect of the vinegar would be reduced, if it is boiling the carpet could be damaged.

At the end of this first phase, you must gently pass the cloth soaked in water and vinegar on the surface, following the direction of the fabric and without ever limiting your hand too much. A third step consists in rinsing everything, using a second slightly wet cloth.

If excess water is used, it can be safely eliminated by squeezing the carpet lightly or treating it with a practical window cleaner.

If you decide to let the precious accessory dry in the sun, you have to pay attention to the hottest hours of the day; alternatively, especially if the affected area is minimal, you can use a fan or a not too hot hairdryer.

If the stain is particularly persistent, it is advisable to use a spray for detergents to be filled halfway, i.e. a quarter of water and a quarter of vinegar.

It may be necessary to spray the solution several times and dab with a clean cloth – again, never rub!

Vinegar can also be mixed with baking soda to form a thick, pasty compound, to be spread on stubborn stains with a soft-bristled brush. You will then have to use a vacuum cleaner to remove everything.

If you decide to use the sprayer you have to clean it thoroughly, as otherwise, it could contain residues of previous detergents. Some cleaners are made with chemicals, which can damage the carpet even if used in small quantities.

It would be better to use a new sprayer, which can be purchased in many stores and reused for the same cleaning operations.

Not many people know that cleaning a carpet using vinegar can also be done with the help of steam. In this case, in the steam machine tank, instead of the classic detergents, vinegar will be added with the addition of a little water.

Other natural methods for cleaning carpets

Overall, natural methods are among the most common for carpet cleaning: in fact, the products mentioned so far are not expensive at all and give the house a faint, delicate and pleasant smell. In addition to baking soda and vinegar, other substances can perform this important task.

The lemon

Fruit with a slightly sour scent and sparkling aroma can be used to remove stains from white or light-coloured carpets.

Better to avoid the darker ones, as the whitening action of lemon is well known, a bit like that of bleach. Just a few drops poured on the area to be cleaned and distributed with the help of a soft cloth.

An alternative idea is to add a lemon peel to the solution of water and bicarbonate or water and vinegar, to combine the sanitizing effect of all these substances. Lemon juice can also be mixed with hydrogen peroxide, but only in the case of a white carpet.

Salt

Salt is in turn an excellent method against stains: this time we are talking about those caused by liquids, especially red wine. The latter is very dangerous for the appearance of a carpet, as it is difficult to remove. It is therefore advisable to act immediately, as soon as the stain has formed.

You simply need to distribute a handful of coarse salt over the area to be treated, which will soon turn red and can be dabbed with a cloth soaked in saltwater.

You may need to go through this process a second and third time, but eventually, the stain will go away. If, on the other hand, the red wine has dried up, it is preferable to use vinegar.

The latter is sometimes mixed with coarse salt to obtain a sort of compact paste, to be distributed on the stains by hand or with a soft-bristled toothbrush.

In the end, everything must be cleaned with a cloth soaked in warm or cold water. Those who feel sceptical about it should only think that salt is widely used for all types of household cleaning: it is generally indicated for steel surfaces, for the fridge, to eliminate mould and even to treat flues.

Shampoo and shaving foam

Few are aware of it, but products such as shaving cream and shampoo are also suitable for cleaning carpets. The latter is one of the cheapest solutions and is convenient if you don’t have a lot of time.

The important thing is that the foam is not aggressive and that the stains on which to act are not too stubborn: in this case, a simple shampoo may not be effective.

Another mousse that some use for surface cleaning of carpets is shaving foam, provided it is not coloured and does not have particular chemicals in it.

Once again, just spread the product on the dirt and leave it to act for an hour or two. In the end, you will have to remove the residues with a wet cloth or a non-abrasive sponge.

How to deal with wool and silk rugs

Wool rugs

For wool rugs, a separate discussion must be made. The products used for other types of fabric are usually not as effective with them.

Wool offers numerous advantages from an aesthetic point of view, thanks to its peculiar softness, the variety of colours and shades, to the evident link with furniture more tied to tradition. On the other hand, it is more complicated to clean, as it tends to absorb water quickly and often undergoes unsightly shrinkage.

how to clean carpet
Girl dancing with a vacuum cleaner. Woman in a striped top. Lady cleans the house

For this reason, the first important rule is to avoid vinegar or bicarbonate diluted in water and to proceed with dry cleaning instead. You must also be very careful with exposure to the sun, even more than other types of rugs: excess heat and light damage the wool fibres without the possibility of remedying.

To clean wool carpets you can also use only the vacuum cleaner, once or twice a week, making sure that the inner bag is empty at the beginning of the process.

In case of stains, it is essential to use a neutral pH detergent, to be distributed with a handkerchief or cloth without adding water. The ideal solution, however, is to dry clean the carpet, using the previously mentioned home methods.

Silk rugs

With silk rugs an even greater delicacy is required, considering the high sensitivity of this fibre to humidity, heat and steam. Instead of a vacuum cleaner, it is suggested to use a broom with not excessively hard bristles, with which to treat the accessory on its entire surface.

Being very light, a carpet of this type can be easily shaken out of the window or in the garden, to drop any possible crumbs or debris to the ground.

Such treatment is more than good for periodic cleaning: in addition, if you leave the carpet in the air for a few hours, in a position sheltered from the sun, all bad smells will be eliminated.

Instead, solid dirt should be removed with common tools, including for example a kitchen spoon to lightly scrape the affected area. We must proceed with caution, but with the necessary precautions, even a seemingly trivial gimmick can be valid.

Types of particular stains and the main remedies

Speaking of how to clean carpets, it is important to at least mention the different types of stains. These must be treated differently depending on the entity.

It can happen, for example, to spill some paint on the carpet: it must be removed with a scraping tool, such as a spoon or a dull knife. Against milk or fruit juice stains you need to dab with a little ammonia and, in the end, dry with a clean cloth.

One of the greatest enemies of carpets is ink. It requires a slightly different treatment: the soiled area must be covered with a spray of hairspray and then gently brushed with a solution of water and white vinegar.

If the stain cannot be removed at all, it is advisable to take the carpet to a specialized dry cleaner.

The do-it-yourself remedies are always among the best due to their eco-sustainable character and the low cost they involve. However, if serious difficulties arise, it is preferable to rely on experts in the sector to avoid the risk of doing damage.

Conclusions

A carpet is an excellent investment, it is a precious object and must be treated as such: it must retain its natural lustre, elegant appearance and colour tones over the years. This is only possible thanks to an adequate cleaning, carried out with natural products.

In addition to cleaning, however, prevention is essential to avoid having to intervene too often against mites and bacteria. For example, it may be useful to occasionally spray a moth-repellent spray on the carpet and keep it away from all sources of heat and humidity.