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Home Carpet Cleaning 101: The Beginner’s Guide

bulldog-lying-on-carpetCarpet is arguably the most comfortable flooring option for a home, especially plush and other cut pile styles. That being said, it’s more prone to stains and damage than other materials, making it challenging to maintain. Knowing the basics of cleaning it is essential. 

Are you a novice? The Portland flooring experts at Floor Factors are here to guide the way. Keep reading for a rundown on how to clean your home’s carpet, including what products to use and how to know if it needs replacing.

Cleaning Best Practices

We probably don’t need to tell you this, but the best way to keep your carpets in good shape is to clean them regularly. In between deep cleans be sure to vacuum. Vacuuming will prevent buildup of dirt, crumbs, bacteria, dust, and other allergens.

Also, while deep cleans can refresh the look of a carpet, it’s still important to tend to spills and marks as soon as they occur. Otherwise, you’ll be dealing with stubborn stains that may or may not come out completely — not to mention odors and a change in the overall texture. 

What Cleaner Can You Use at Home?

steam-cleaner-for-residential-carpetWe recommend keeping a spot-cleaning product on hand for stain removal and more stubborn spills. Bear in mind cleaning solutions are formulated for specific materials, and using the wrong kind can lead to damage or discoloration. Make sure any product you buy explicitly states it can be used on the type of carpet you have.

Wool: For wool carpets, opt for a spot treatment kit, like WoolClean Carpet Spot Removal Kit. Be sure to read the directions on the bottle and follow them carefully.

Synthetic: To get rid of spots and stains on a synthetic carpet, we suggest a non-residue cleaning solution, such as Nylac Carpet Cleaner. Some products in aerosol cans leave a residue, which can lead to rapid re-soiling.

When using a spot treatment product try to be as gentle as possible. Too much elbow grease can affect the structure of loop-pile, plush, and frieze carpeting. As a one-stop-shop flooring resource, Floor Factors carries cleaning supplies for all types of floors, and we can recommend a product for your needs. When in doubt, it’s best to consult with the manufacturer.

Which Carpet Cleaning Machines Are Best?

As we mentioned, periodic deep cleaning will keep your carpets looking and smelling fresh, and it can extend their lifespan. One option is to hire a professional once a year or so. However, if you want to take the DIY route, you can buy or rent a shampooer.

There are quite a few options on the market, but the most effective cleaning machines have dual-tank washing systems with a heating component and significant suction power. This ensures all moisture is removed, preventing mold and water damage.

Is it time for a change?

round-vacuum-robot-on-grey-carpetNo matter how often you clean or vacuum your carpet, it won’t hold up forever. How do you know when it’s time to replace it? You may want to if:

  • There are several obvious stains you’re unable to remove
  • Tears, matting, or fraying is apparent in multiple areas
  • You notice wrinkles or unevenness, which could mean the padding is damaged
  • Unpleasant odors linger, even after cleaning
  • You or your family experience worsened indoor allergies
  • The overall appearance is deteriorating, which may include fading, discoloration, ripples, or a substantial change in texture

Pro tip: If you’re in the market for a new carpet, be sure to review the warranty before you make the purchase. Why? No warranty is alike and you’d be surprised at what’s covered and what isn’t! Please take a look at our blog post to learn more: 7 Things You Should Know About Carpet Warranties

Have questions? Get in touch with our team!

Floor Factors is Family Owned & Operated & Has Proudly Served Portland Since 1980

If your carpet has seen better days and you’re interested in replacing it, Floor Factors would love to hear from you. Our locally owned Portland flooring company has been serving homeowners and businesses for 40 years. 

We offer a wide variety of materials and styles, as well as area rugs and budget-friendly carpet remnants. If your floors are prone to staining, you might consider carpet tiles. Unlike traditional carpet, tiles can be replaced in sections.

From design assistance and custom orders to removal and installation, we do it all —  and it doesn’t end with flooring. Whether you need ideas for finishing your basement, kitchen or bathroom renovation materials, or new window treatments, we’re at your service.

Contact Floor Factors today for a free estimate.