Having a carpeted home adds comfort and insulation. However, one of the difficulties of maintaining a carpet is cleaning it to keep it looking plush and new. If you notice your carpet looking dirty and grimy or if you have specific stains, spills or spots on the fabric, you can clean it yourself. You don’t need to rent a professional carpet cleaning machine. You just need the right products and a little elbow grease to get it done.
Here’s how to wash your carpet by hand.
- Prepare your materials. You’ll need a vacuum cleaner, a bucket of warm soapy water, a sponge, rag or a hand held scrub brush. Wear pants since you’ll need to get on your hands and knees to spot clean your carpet by hand. If you want, you can also use commercial cleaning products designed specifically for carpet cleaning.
- If you are using a commercial carpet cleaning product, read the package directions carefully. You will also want to spot test the product in a discreet area to check for color fastness.
- Open the windows. You need to have good ventilation especially if you’re going to use commercial carpet cleaning products. Some of these products may have fumes that may cause dizziness and nausea.
- Clear the area of the carpet that you will clean, such as if you need to move the sofa or other furniture. Vacuum the carpet area that you will clean. If it’s a small area, you can use a hand held vacuum cleaner or dust buster. Remove any visible dirt and debris that you can remove by hand.
- Dip the sponge in the soapy water. The water can be a mixture of a few squirts of dish detergent mixed with a liter of water. Your other choice is to make a spray solution in a spray bottle. That way, you can spot treat the area and spray the soapy cleaning solution directly on the carpet.
- With your sponge or rag, gently rub the carpet surface. Use small circular motions when rubbing. Don’t rub too vigorously or you risk pilling the carpet. With another rug or sponge, blot the cleaned area to absorb any excess liquid and cleanser.
- Let the carpet dry. You can place a small fan to speed up the drying process. Another option is to place a dry towel directly on the carpet to absorb the wetness.
- Vacuum the area again, if you have a steam vacuum, use that setting to loosen any dirt.
- Schedule a professional carpet cleaning of your home annually, especially for high traffic areas. Depending on the floor area, you will need to avoid stepping on the area for at least eight hours to dry thoroughly.
To make things easier, immediately clean up any spills so it doesn’t dry and stain on your floor. Also, you may treat your carpet with a silicone protector. However, if you have small children, you may want to avoid using too many chemicals.