Horror story takeaways: How to clean a carpet
This blog was inspired by an old Facebook post that we stumbled across, which gave us a good chuckle – and reminded us how important it is for everyone to know how to clean a carpet (and where to get a professional carpet shampoo service).
As the story goes, way back in 2016, Jesse Newton was woken up at 3am by the unmistakable smell of dog poo when his toddler climbed into the master bed. He got up to investigate, following his nose into the living room.
Curiosity quickly turned to horror when Jesse discovered the Roomba vacuum, fast asleep after its 1:30am cleaning duty, entirely caked in puppy mess.
And that was only the beginning.
It turns out, the helpful little vacuum had run over a stinky accident left by the Newton’s new puppy on the living room rug. It had dragged the mess throughout the entire home, across the carpets, tiles, hardwood floor, and, worst of all, Jesse’s wife’s favorite rug.
An exhausted Jesse spent the rest of the night cleaning, attempting valiantly (but failing) to save the rug with a home shampoo.
In the end it all worked out, and Jesse’s story became a hilarious cautionary tale about unsupervised Roomba use. For us, it’s also a good case study for knowing how to deep clean a carpet, whether or not you have a pet mess catastrophe to contend with!
Why you should deep clean your carpet
Whether or not your home has been the victim of a Roomba-gone-rogue situation, deep cleaning your carpet is something that should be done at least twice a year.
Every day, dirt and dust gets trapped in the fibres of your carpet. As you walk around, those particles grind into the fibres, causing your carpet to wear down and lose its quality. The more dirt, the quicker the deterioration. Without regular deep cleaning, your carpet will start to look matted and become more susceptible to stains.
And it’s not only the quality of your carpet that’s impacted – a dirty carpet can affect the atmosphere in your home. Dust, dirt, bacteria, allergens, and other particles that are trapped in carpet fibres can cause health issues, especially for young children (who spend more time close to the floor) or those who struggle with conditions like asthma.
Professional deep carpet cleaning will remove these intruders, improving both the quality of your carpet and the air in your home.
How to deep clean a carpet
Deep cleaning a carpet involves a series of careful steps, in order to protect the quality of your carpet and all the other furniture in your home.
- Remove all small items: Do a clean sweep of your home. Pick up toys, books, magazines, slippers, and any other typical household clutter. Move small items like tables, chairs, and footstools.
- Vacuum like a grownup: Vacuum thoroughly to remove as much dirt, dust, and debris as possible – learn how to vacuum like a grownup.
- Protect big pieces of furniture: Place protective sheeting and furniture pads underneath, to prevent moisture from seeping into the furniture or rust stains on your carpet.
- Pre-treatment: The carpet should be evenly and carefully coated with a detergent that is compatible with your carpet’s fibre type.
- Rinse: A very specific amount of water should be used to thoroughly rinse the detergent without saturating and drowning the carpet.
- Extract: Using suction equipment, the water will be extracted from your carpet. The equipment must be powerful enough to absorb as much moisture as possible, to prevent mould and mildew from growing.
- Dry: Open windows and doors, or use a fan, dehumidifier, or air conditioning to thoroughly dry your carpet.
- Wait: Don’t replace and furniture and avoid walking on your carpet as much as possible for at least 6-8 hours. Depending on the air flow in your home, it can take up to 12 hours for your carpet to dry.
Why use a professional deep clean carpet cleaner?
Professional carpet cleaners don’t only save you time and effort. They’ll bring specialized equipment and a unique skillset to your home, to comprehensively clean your carpets while also protecting their quality over the long-term.
Many articles online offer instructions about renting a carpet cleaning machine performing a DIY carpet deep clean. We always get a little nervous about this – if you do it wrong, a DIY deep clean can destroy your carpet.
Rental machines do not have comparable horsepower to the commercial ones used in carpet cleaning, which are much stronger with incredibly powerful suction. If you can have a casual conversation while your rental machine is operating in the same room, it isn’t strong enough to remove all the water you’ve put into your carpets.
Even if you’re able to pull it off, the carpet steam cleaners that you rent from the supermarket or other retailers don’t do a truly thorough job and won’t eliminate the allergens that are buried deep in your carpet’s fibres.
You should also never attempt to deep clean a rug at home – rugs are completely different from carpets and must be treated in an off-site facility (the Roomba story is a sad example of rug cleaning gone wrong!). Anyone who claims they can clean your rug without removing it from your home is probably a scammer.
If you’re in the San Francisco area, you can also benefit from knowing you’re making a better choice for the planet. Our carpet cleaning service is environmentally-friendly – we use natural detergents and eco-conscious practices that conserve water and energy use.
Learn more about what to do before and after the carpet cleaners arrive.
How are carpets professionally cleaned?
Our professional carpet cleaning service involves:
- Pre-inspection: We’ll assess your space and make note of any stains, odors, and noticeably worn areas
- Small item removal: We’ll move smaller items like chairs, tables, and plants and place protective pads underneath bigger pieces of furniture.
- Carpet pre-treatment: We’ll apply an all-natural detergent to your carpets.
- Clean and rinse: Our advanced hot water extraction method will clean and rinse the entire carpet, simultaneously tackling dirt and allergens.
- Final grooming and inspection: We’ll make your clean carpet look even more beautiful and talk you through the treatment to ensure you’re satisfied.
- Drying time: Be sure to keep your windows open or turn on the AC for 6-12 hours. Keep foot traffic to a minimum and leave protective pads underneath heavy items for 24 hours.
How do I take care of my carpet?
When you make carpet care part of your routine, you’ll notice a huge difference in the overall feel of your home – and your carpet will maintain its quality for longer.
- Vacuum at least twice a week: Make sure to use the appropriate attachments to get into all the nooks and crannies of your room.
- Take shoes off at the door: Avoid tracking in extra dirt, dust, and debris.
- Make pro cleaning a habit: Book a professional carpet cleaning service once every 6 months.
What can I use to clean my carpet?
Be very careful when selecting products to use on your carpet. Off-the-shelf cleaners and chemicals can do much more harm than good and leave behind ugly stains, discoloration, and damage.
The best thing you can do for your carpet is vacuum regularly and trust the professionals to perform a deep clean when the time comes.
We know that, sometimes, life (or your Roomba) has other plans – if you’re facing a carpet disaster or trying to treat a stain, you might not be able to bring the pros in right away.
- Stop and think: Consider the material your carpet is made out of – synthetic carpets can be exposed to water, but natural fibres shouldn’t be saturated.
- Blot the area: Start by blotting the stain with a clean white cloth and warm water (only use a little bit of water if your carpet is made out of wool or another natural material). Work your way from the outside inwards and repeat until you’ve lifted as much residue as possible.
- Test a natural method: In a spray bottle, mix distilled white vinegar with one cup of cold water. Test the solution out on an unnoticeable area of your carpet first, to check if it causes the color to fade. If it does cause fading or changes the look of your carpet, stop and call the pros as soon as you can.
- Loosen the mess: If the spray bottle solution doesn’t have any negative effects on your test area, spray the solution on the stain until the area is wet. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
- Work the stain: Dab and tap the stain with a clean white cloth.
- Repeat: Repeat this process until the stain has lifted.
- Absorb: Press a fresh, clean white cloth into the area to absorb any remaining moisture.
If the stain persists after attempting to treat it yourself, get in touch with a professional cleaning service as soon as possible – the earlier we can get to a stain, the better chances we have at making it go away.
Regardless of whether you’re facing a Roomba-related cleaning nightmare or your home just needs a little extra TLC, we’re here to help – learn about our professional deep carpet cleaning service and get in touch with our friendly team for more info.