The carpets in your home receive a great deal of wear from constant foot traffic from you, your family, and any pets. Keeping your carpets clean can be a constant battle as you regularly vacuum and spot-clean them by hand with a cleaner and rag. To keep your carpets as clean as possible, a regular do-it-yourself or professional carpet cleaning service can do wonders for your home's interior appearance and smell. Here are some tips to help you prepare your carpets for this process.
Before you can clean your carpet using steam cleaning, you need to make sure it is free of lint, hairs, and free dirt that has settled between the carpet fibers. If you use the carpet cleaner directly onto your non-vacuumed carpets, it can overwhelm the carpet cleaner, possibly clog its cleaning mechanisms, and lessen its effectiveness. You want to allow the carpet cleaner to use all its cleaning ability to remove the build-up and stains that your vacuum can't remove.
Remove all furniture and other items from the floor to make way for the carpet cleaner. If you are completing the carpet cleaning yourself, run your vacuum thoroughly over the carpets you plan to clean to pick up as much loose debris as possible. Be sure to vacuum up around the edges of the carpet, as well, as they can collect dust and lint. If you plan to hire a professional carpet cleaning service, ask them if they will take care of this or if you need to vacuum the carpets.
If there are any stains in your carpet, you can use a stain treatment to help lift them during the cleaning process. There are various stain cleaning products, especially for carpet cleaning you can find locally. Check at your local store in the carpet cleaning department for some great products for pets and food stain carpet cleaning treatments. Old stains on the carpet can be difficult to lift, but with some preparation and pre-treatments, you can lighten them and sometimes remove them completely. You can apply your own treatments of vinegar and water, or apply an oxygenated cleaner that will remove many stains from food and other substances.
If you are dealing with old pet urine stains, you will need to moisten the stain with water, then blot up the now-wet stain with a towel. Next, apply an enzymatic cleaner onto the stain and let it sit for its recommended time before you machine-clean your carpets. The enzymes in the cleaner will break down the material in the stain that creates the odor, neutralizing the smell. Dogs will repeatedly mark the same area in your home because they can smell their urine, so this helps prevent your pets from re-staining the carpet again because the smell is gone.