Your carpet can have as much as 200,000 bacteria per square inch. To put that into perspective, that's more bacteria than a toilet seat.
Regular carpet cleaning can eliminate most of these bacteria. Professionals recommend having your carpet cleaned at least once a year. Do these cleanings more often if you have children, pets, or smokers in your house or if the carpet is in a high-traffic area.
Regular cleaning can eliminate germs and dirt, but can it make your carpet look brand new? How do you know if your carpet needs a thorough cleaning or whether it's time for a new carpet?
Matted, stained, dull, or discoloured carpets are all signs that it needs cleaning. A professional carpet cleaner can look at your carpet and recommend the best way forward. Read on to learn more.
The Stains That Can Affect Your Carpet
Many types of stains can affect your carpet. The treatment for each is dependent on the type of stain. This is important to know, as home remedies can sometimes make a stain worse.
Here are some of the stains that can affect your carpet:
These include alcoholic beverages, fizzy drinks, latex paint, fruit, and jam. They are usually easy to clean but should be cleaned while they're still fresh.
Some water-based stains are also protein-based, and this makes them more difficult to clean. The enzymes they contain become darker with exposure to heat or acidic items. They also tend to adhere more deeply to the carpet.
They can include dairy, blood, bodily fluids, meat, and meat juices.
Fat and Oil-Based Stains
These include lipstick, cooking grease, petroleum jelly, and salad dressing. Fats and oils naturally stick to other fats and oils, making them difficult to remove. These types of stains grab on to the petroleum found in synthetic fibre carpets.
Many of these types of carpets have treatments and coatings added for this reason. This makes cleaning the stain easier.
Wax and Gum
Wax and gum are two of the most dreaded materials to adhere to a carpet. The best thing to do is to avoid them getting grounded into the fibres if they do fall on your carpet. Trying to peel them off can damage the carpet.
No matter the type of stain you may encounter, the best approach is to not panic.
Sometimes vigorous scrubbing can make a stain worse or badly damage your carpet. Even if the stain does come out, you may have broken down the fibres. This can contribute to the carpet's wear and tear and make it vulnerable to future stains.
If in doubt, call a professional carpet cleaner.
How Can Professional Carpet Cleaning Services Help You?
A professional carpet cleaning company can remove excess dirt from your carpet. They have the cleaning agents and equipment that minimise damage to your carpet and flooring.
Carpet cleaning is an intricate process that includes:
Dry Dirt Removal
This is the first step in the process that includes hoovering with a powerhead. This type of commercial hoover lifts more particles from the carpet than a regular hoover. It can also lift the carpet pile after crushing, tangling, or matting occurs in high-traffic areas.
This eliminates the dirt that the hoover doesn't remove. This is usually the dirt that has adhered to the fibres of the carpet. The dirt suspension process separates this dirt from the fibres and uses four methods:
1. Chemical Activity
This uses specific detergents to lift the dirt from the carpet fibres. The detergents used do not damage the fibres or leave any toxic residue. The type of carpet determines the detergent used.
2. Heat Treatment
Heat or a warmer temperature for the detergent makes the cleaning process more effective.
This usually entails agitating with a rotary scrubbing machine fitted with brushes that rotate. Badly soiled areas would require the use of larger brushes.
The detergent needs time to work.
Suspended Soil Removal
This entails the removal of the loosened dirt from steps one and two. Removal methods include dry carpet cleaning, wet hoovering, steam cleaning, rinsing, or dry cleaning.
Grooming with a carpet rake can improve the overall look of the carpet, distribute protectors or deodorants, minimise crushing or mashing of the carpet pile, and help lessen the evaporation time.
The carpet should be dried quickly after cleaning. This helps reduce the transfer of dirt from foot traffic, slip and fall accidents, or microbial growth which can result in odour.
Carpet cleaning takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes for an average-sized room.
Benefits of Carpet Cleaning
One of the most important benefits of having your carpet cleaned is that it looks brand new and smells clean. It can make a great difference to any room in your home.
Some other benefits include:
Regular cleaning can extend the life of your carpet. Dirt can cause the fibres to split and deteriorate. Removing the build-up will extend the life of the carpet.
Dust and debris tend to adhere to a dirty carpet.
Removal of Dirt and Dust Build-Up
Cleaning gets rid of any build-up of dust, dirt, pet dander, and other allergens. This will help improve the symptoms of allergy sufferers.
A dirty carpet can also impede the airflow in your home. Dirt, dust, and debris clog the carpet and compromise the airflow, especially near the walls where air needs to move the most. This can cause stuffiness and make the rooms in your home unpleasant.
Regular cleaning improves airflow as well as air quality.
Removal of stains can improve your carpet's appearance and can protect it from future damage.
Removal of Bacteria
Bacteria can create odours. This can make being in your room unpleasant. It also makes it more difficult to breathe, especially for family members suffering from allergies or asthma.
Traffic Lane Reduction
Traffic lanes are where dirt is more noticeable due to high foot traffic. These areas of the carpet are usually darker. Cleaning slows down the effect of traffic lanes by restoring fibres and removing the dark areas in the carpet.
Most professional cleaners recommend that you hoover your carpet at least twice a week and have it professionally cleaned at least once a year. You should, however, clean high-traffic areas more often.
If you do this and your carpet still lacks lustre and doesn't look restored, it might be a sign that you need a new carpet.
Signs You May Need a New Carpet
Try a professional cleaning before you explore purchasing a new carpet. However, if you have the following tell-tale signs, you may have no choice but to invest in re-carpeting your home.
These are usually deep into the carpet and can't be removed, even by a professional. They can include tea, wine, or a bleach stain. Sometimes home remedies can also make these worse.
These include stains from pet urine, vomit, or faeces. If they aren't treated properly, they can cause a build-up of mould and mildew. It's better to get rid of the carpet to avoid health problems.
Wear and Tear
This can include opened seams, delamination from the backing of the carpet, and other tears and rips. If you find yourself covering certain parts of the carpet with furniture, this can be a sign that it's time to change your carpet.
If there is a smell from your carpet even after cleaning, sometimes the only way to get rid of it is to remove the carpet. The stain has probably penetrated too deeply into the sub-foot fibre pad even for professional cleaning to be effective.
Padding is found under the carpet and is what makes it comfortable to walk or lay on. It also improves insulation and buffers sound. Padding can absorb spills which make them harder to clean.
Old padding can contribute to the carpet's odours. It can also make the carpet look uneven, wrinkled, or cause it to make a crinkling sound when stepped on.
Carpets lose their texture after 8-10 years, even if they're well-maintained. This causes cleaning to be ineffective. High-quality carpets like wool can last for 15-20 years or longer.
It can cost thousands of dollars to re-carpet an average-sized home, so get advice before you purchase.
Choosing a New Carpet
The good thing about modern carpets is that they have a more resilient design. The technology used in manufacturing them includes built-in resistance to stains in each fibre. This helps them to last longer.
Most manufacturers also apply protectants. It helps the carpet look better for longer.
It is also recommended that when it comes to the type of carpet that you choose a nylon carpet over polyester. Nylon responds better to carpet cleaning and is more resilient.
Cleaning or Buying New Carpet
You should ensure that you have exhausted all possibilities before deciding to purchase. New carpeting is quite a substantial investment.
The best way to know is to have a carpet cleaning professional assess your current carpeting, and determine if cleaning is the best solution. Sometimes, all it takes for your carpet to look like new is a professional cleaning.