Carpet is a great choice for your home but like anything it needs to be cleaned regularly. It adds warmth, comfort and feels good on bare feet. But because of all the traffic it encounters, it tends to get pretty dirty over time. In fact, according to Men's Health, it's a germ hotspot and can be 4,000 times dirtier than your toilet seat -- ew! "Rugs are botanical and zoological parks," microbiologist Dr. Philip Tierno told the magazine, and mentioned that they can have many different organisms living in them.
So what's the best way to clean a carpet? Well, Men's Health suggests hiring a professional once a year for a deep steam-cleaning. But weekly maintenance is super important as well. TLC's How Stuff Works recommends vacuuming regularly and applying soil retardants and baking soda to the surface.
We knew this wall-to-wall textile could end up spotty, but we had no idea there could be so many creepy crawlers lingering in the fibers. So be sure to pay extra attention to your rugs this weekend if you're doing some spring cleaning.
In the meantime check out these tips!
Wall-to wall carpeting is virtually impossible to clean thoroughly, but here are some tips to help:
Encourage family members to remove shoes upon entrance into the home. Pesticides, pollutants and dirt come indoors on shoes and are tracked onto carpets. If going shoeless is not acceptable to family members, suggest that they wear house shoes (that don’t go outside), slippers or socks.
Vacuum two or more times per week. Frequent vacuuming helps reduce the level of dust mites, which trigger asthma and allergy attacks. It also means getting rid of surface dirt on carpets before it has a chance to get ground in. A vacuum cleaner with strong suction, rotating brushes and a HEPA filter, so the dirt and dust won’t get blown back out in the exhaust, is best. Go back and forth over the same spot several times, especially in high traffic areas, to get all of the dirt and dust!
Clean up spills on carpets immediately to prevent stains. Soak up liquid spills by covering them with clean white (or light-colored) towels or paper towels. Scrape sticky substances off carpets with a spatula or spoon. Don’t rub the spill. That will damage carpet fibers and make the stain spread. To clean the stain, mix 1 cup warm water and 1/2 teaspoon mild liquid soap, such as dishwashing liquid or fine fabric detergent. Apply a small amount, blot by pressing a clean white towel into the carpet and lift. Then repeat the process until the stain is removed. Don’t scrub. Be patient. After stain is removed, rinse the area with a solution a few teaspoons of white vinegar to one cup water and blot with another clean towel.
Use baking soda to remove odor from carpets. Carpet deodorizers and fresheners often contain fragrances that merely mask the smell. Baking soda soaks up the odor. Just sprinkle baking soda over the surface of the carpet. Let it stand for 15 – 30 minutes. Then vacuum.
Ventilate well during and after carpet cleaning. To speed drying time and prevent mold growth, keep windows open and use fans. Avoid carpet cleaning on humid or damp days.