Carpets are great to have in your home and can add beauty and comfort to any room. Unfortunately, along with that comfort comes the possibility that your carpets will get stained or grow dirty as they age, even from normal use.

You can deal with some of these problems yourself using items you may have around the house, but for more serious situations, you may need help from carpet-cleaning experts. In this article, we’ll discuss a few methods for stain removal and weigh the pros and cons of professional carpet cleaning versus doing it yourself.

How Often Should I Clean My Carpets?


Most carpet manufacturers suggest having your carpets cleaned every 12-18 months. At Loudoun Valley Floors, we know that in addition to helping your house look great, having your carpets cleaned twice a year can reduce your risk of colds and flu. Also, if you have allergies to dust or pollen, cleaning your carpets can improve the way you feel, especially during allergy season.

Keeping Your Carpet Clean


The thing that causes the most damage to carpets is dirt itself, and not just dirt you can see. Every time you walk on a carpet that already has dirt on it, that dirt continues to wear the carpet down. The best way to prevent your carpet from looking dirty is to vacuum regularly, so that dirt doesn’t accumulate.

Vacuuming


The most obvious place to start when thinking about the cleanliness of your carpets is with large particles of debris. Therefore, the first step of carpet cleaning is to vacuum.
  • For a high-traffic area like the foyer or living room, we recommend vacuuming twice a week
  • For other areas such as bedrooms or rec rooms, once a week will suffice
  • Make sure you clean your vacuum filter regularly, once every three months
  • Also make sure you empty your vacuum bags regularly, once the bag is nearly full; a bag that’s too full will make the suction less effective and leave more dirt behind


Dealing with Stains


When food, wine, or other items fall onto a carpet, you run the risk of leaving behind an unsightly stain. Here are some tips for dealing with stains:
  • Act quickly. As soon as a spill occurs, deal with it right away. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to remove.
  • Try water first. Many stains can be removed with normal tap water, applied with a plain white cloth.
  • Blot instead of rubbing. Rubbing tends to work the stain deeper into the carpet.
  • Use as little liquid as possible. Don’t over-soak your cloth, as that can cause the stain to spread.
  • Vinegar and Water Solution. If plain water isn’t doing the trick, the next step is to try a solution of 1 part vinegar to 1 part warm water. A mixture of warm water and vinegar can go a long way, especially toward removing odorous stains from your carpet.
  • Club soda. Club soda has a special ability to pull up certain stains, especially those caused by the tannins in red wine and coffee.
  • Dry thoroughly. Moisture trapped in carpets can cause mold to form.


Are Carpet Cleaning Machines Good For Cleaning?


It has become relatively common to see carpet cleaning machines for rent, either at appliance rental centers or supermarkets and hardware stores. Customers often wonder whether they should be cleaning their carpets themselves.

While these machines may seem like a less-expensive but equally effective solution, in reality they aren’t nearly as powerful as those used by professional cleaners.

Here are some of the downsides to renting your own machine:
  • The water doesn’t get as hot, making it less effective
  • The vacuums aren’t as powerful, leaving more liquid behind
  • Risk of adding too much/too little detergent


Professional Carpet Cleaning


There are some obvious benefits to having your carpet cleaned professionally, not least of which is having someone else do the work for you! Our high-powered machines provide a deeper clean than rental machines do. Our machines send a combination of hot water and cleaning solution into the carpet, and then immediately suck the solution back out, removing leftover dirt along with it. In addition, our carpet-cleaning professionals know exactly what to do to get the best results and leave your carpet looking brand new.

If you want your carpets to last longer, look better, and prevent cold, flu, and allergies, contact our experts at Loudoun Valley Floors today for your free cleaning estimate.