There are so many carpet cleaning myths floating around that it’s hard to know what is true and what isn’t. When it comes to your carpet, you can’t afford to rely on faulty information. Using processes or tools incorrectly can permanently damage your carpet, ruining the look of any room in just an instant.
Carpeting is an investment that adds to the value of your home, makes spaces more comfortable for your family and enhances the design and style of your rooms. We’ve busted some of the most common carpet cleaning myths so you know the best ways to clean and care for your carpets.
Despite your best efforts at cleanliness, your carpet will eventually become the victim of drops, spills, accidents, and whatever’s on the bottom of your shoes. To learn how to save your carpet from the premature decay, take a look at these things you should NOT do.
Wearing your outdoor footwear inside
Coming home from work after the graveyard shift and crashing directly on the couch while still wearing the outdoor apparel – including those muddy boots – has numerous negative consequences for your carpeting. But even when you’ve just returned from a morning jog and the streets are perfectly clean, the soles of your sneakers still accumulate dust, debris and in certain cases, chemical agents; for instance, driveway sealant. Make a mental note to always take your footwear off at the door and your carpets will thank you.
Applying cleaning solutions created for different purposes
The chemical agents in products designed for wood or natural stone aren’t only ineffective in terms of cleaning textile fibers in rugs, but may actually cause extensive damage. Even the notorious “all purpose cleaners” should be avoided, because they generally aren’t as universal as the manufacturer claims. There is an exception however: extremely diluted, clear and mild dishwasher soap.
Use a home steam cleaner once a month.
I know you love the convenience of your steam cleaner, and why wouldn’t you? It is saving you money right? Well, no not if you are cleaning your carpets once a month. First, manufacturers recommend you clean your carpet once every one to two years. At most, your carpets should be cleaned twice a year when you have really heavy traffic. If you are cleaning your carpets monthly there are a few things working in your favor. If it starts to look dirty every month, the products being used are attracting dirt back to the carpet. Secondly, each time the carpet and pad get wet for long periods of time, they start to break down, giving opportunity for mold spores to take hold. Mold spores cause darkening, and are a dangerous health concern. You may also start to see wrinkles. A carpet that is cleaned to often is sure to wrinkle. Besides being unsightly it’s also a safety hazard. Avoid the nonsense of having a carpet that lasts a long time, steam the hell out of it.
Vacuum, Vacuum, Vacuum!
Did I mention that you have to vacuum your carpets? Buying the “best” vacuum isn’t enough— you have to take it out of the closet and use it on a regular basis. First, make sure it works properly: the bag (or bagless cylinder) should be less than half full; the belt that turns the brushes should be tight; and the brushes shouldn’t be worn or full of hair/lint. Vacuuming up the visible crumbs and dirt isn’t good enough, either. With an active family, you should vacuum two to three times a week. You’ll need to use 4-6 passes in the high traffic lanes, 2-3 passes in the low traffic areas.