When your carpet becomes dirty – or damaged by a spillage of some kind, there is often a great deal you can do yourself to try to clean it.
But always attempt this with caution and in each individual case weigh up the situation carefully to see whether, in fact, you ought to call in the carpet cleaning experts.
A Dirty Carpet
If your carpet has just become grubby then the chances are you can have a good go at cleaning it yourself, trawl the supermarket shelves or scour the internet for a product that seems to meet your needs in terms of the type of dirt that has accumulated and the material of the carpet itself.
Remember most of the products out there are chemical-based and so it’s important to ensure you choose the right ones.
Wet carpet cleaners in particular have to be used with caution as they can cause shrinkage, especially if your carpet is made from a natural fibre.
Some carpet cleaning products also contain bleaches and solvents, which may damage the fibres or take out the colour.
Always read the instructions on the bottle carefully. If the product does contain harsh chemicals then try diluting it before use. Try testing it out on a small hidden corner of your carpet, perhaps under a rug or behind a sofa.
If the product does seem to be damaging the carpet then rinse it out quickly and pat it try with an absorbent towel.
Do not leave any product on the carpet any longer than the instructions say. Spray the carpet with clean water and gently pat dry.
Steam Cleaning Your Carpet
If you have a steam cleaner, you may well find that brings your carpet up beautifully. As the steam works its way into the carpet it should loosen the dirt. Alternatively, you could hire a carpet cleaning machine.
Before using a steam cleaner yourself, check with the carpet manufacturer that their product can be cleaned this way.
Once again, carpets made of natural fibres should really be dry cleaned. Steam cleaners come in various specifications. The better the technology, the more effective they will be.
A professional cleaner’s machine is likely to give the best results as it is likely to be of a higher quality and used in tandem with professional strength cleaning products.
Expert Help for Carpets
If the dirt is ingrained you may do better to call in the experts. See how deeply the dirt penetrates by gently pulling the fibres apart. If the dirt has saturated the fibres and runs right through the carpet, then it could be worth taking the decision to call in professional cleaners immediately.
Give the measurements of your carpet and they should offer you a quote, which could vary a lot depending on the size of the room. The cleaners will come and assess the situation and take a decision as to how best to tackle the problem. A small room should take no longer than a couple of hours to clean and will be dry and fine to walk on within 24 hours.
If your carpet needs cleaning because of a Stain or spillage, however, then assess how bad the damage is. If it has had time to work its way in, has penetrated deeply, is of a strong colour or seems to have damaged the fibres then call in the professionals.
If you have spilled food or drink, you may find you can clean it yourself – but proceed with caution. Scrape off the worst of the mess then use paper towel to gently absorb as much of the rest as possible. Then use a damp cloth or a baby wipe, patting gently.
Once you have removed the worst of the stain, seek out your carpet cleaning product as quickly as possible. Once again, dilute the product then gently press it into the carpet.
Do not rub. If, however, you have spilled paint, nail varnish, bleach or another strong product on your carpet you should seek the advice of a professional as soon as possible.
You may find you actually have to replace the carpet – and you may find your home insurance covers this. But the experts will be able to advise you on this.