How to Clean Carpets and Rugs Without Professional Help
On your own, with this helpful guide.
Livspace Editorial Team
May 27, 2020
While nearly all carpets come with a care instructions tag, there are ways to clean your carpet without having to call in the professionals. Here is a rundown of how to clean carpet fabric or rugs that are looking worse for wear.
#1: Gather your supplies to get started
To begin cleaning your carpet, ensure you have all the necessary supplies. You’ll need a vacuum, a dust beater, mild dish soap, a sponge and a bristled brush. Depending on the kind of rug you have and the fibres it’s made of, you’ll need to use one or a combination of these items. Ensure you have access to outdoor space and bright sunlight before you embark on your ‘how to clean carpet’ adventure.
#2: Remove loose dust and grains using a carpet beater
Before tackling your carpet with a brush, it’s best to remove dust and food crumbs so you have a cleaner surface to work with. To do this, take to your carpet with a vacuum cleaner on high. Ensure you empty the bag out periodically, to ensure dust doesn’t get trapped. If you don’t have a vacuum cleaner, hang your carpet up in the balcony or yard and beat at it with a carpet beater. You might see some fibres coming out– these are generally excess fibres so don’t fret!
#3: Wash your carpet or scrub out tough stains
Not all carpets can be washed– it’s important to identify whether yours can, before proceeding with this step. Carpets with cotton or synthetic fibres can be washed in the machine on a slow cycle. If your carpet is a non-washable type, you might instead want to spot-clean with a sponge and lid dish soap. This will loosen up spills and make them easier to remove. You could also use vinegar and baking soda solutions to spot-clean– but it’s best to test it out on a hidden area first, to prevent damage to your carpet.
#4: Dry your carpet out in the sun
There’s nothing like good old sunlight to dry your carpet and kill lingering microbes. When setting up to dry your carpet, consider laying it flat instead of on a rack, lest it loses its shape. Using artificial heat such as irons are a strict no-no because it could cause fading or set stains that you missed. When drying your carpet, consider rotating it periodically so each part gets enough sun. This will prevent areas from fading unevenly.
Good habits to follow if you have carpets & rugs
For general upkeep, consider vacuuming your carpets or beating the dust off twice a week. Avoid washing your cotton or synthetic carpets too often because the rubber backing will inevitably start to crumble. Wipe off spills instantly so they don’t leave stains by dabbing at the area with a wet cloth. To extend the life of your carpet, you can take it to the professional cleaners once a year.
If you’ve been feeling like your carpets have seen better days, arm yourself with these handy ‘how to clean carpet’ tips and give them new life! Read this for more information: Buying a Rug? Here’s What You Need to Know.
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