New Year, new cleaning problem.
While polished floorboards, marble tiles and even bamboo flooring are growing in popularity when it comes to flooring types, carpet and rugs remain a popular choice in households across Australia. Despite the wide variety of choice now available, of the four companies holding the largest market share in Australia’s total flooring market, two of them sell only carpets. There’s no denying, however, it can be the toughest floor type to keep looking like new.
Whether you want some tips on ensuring that the day-to-day cleaning of your carpet is a breeze, or you need to know more about a do-it-yourself deep clean, we break down the top hacks for keeping your carpet fresh and dirt-free.
The first thing to bear in mind when it comes to ensuring the longevity of your carpet is to act as quickly as you can. While it can be tempting to leave a spill after it’s occurred, the sooner you act, the easier it will be to get out. From a dropped drink to muddy footprints, getting the spill out while it’s still wet will guarantee a much better result.
Blot don’t rub
Blotting is the best and most effective way to treat carpet smudges and stains. Rubbing will break down the particles of the spilt product, subsequently driving the stain further down into the fibres of the carpet, but blotting means you can soak the stain up quickly and easily, When a stain or spill first happens, resist the urge to immediately start scrubbing – that’ll only drive the stain down into the carpet. Instead, gently dab stains with a cleaning solution and a clean cloth, paper towel or sponge.
Also, always blot from the outside edge of the stain inwards toward the centre; blotting outward can spread the stain further across the carpet.
Raid your store cupboard
From white wine vinegar to bicarbonate of soda, chances are you’ll have a number of ingredients in your pantry that are effective carpet cleaners. There are two ways in which you can use bicarbonate of soda to freshen up your floor – either by sprinkling it liberally on the carpet, leaving it for a few hours and then vacuuming it up or, for a more thorough clean, by mixing a solution (one part bicarbonate of soda to 10 parts water) and spraying the solution onto any dirt or debris you want to remove, leaving the solution to soak in and then vacuuming it up.
Vinegar is also a store cupboard essential that most of us will have at home, and it’s great for getting rid of odours without using carpet-cleaning products laden with chemicals. Simply mix one part vinegar to two parts lukewarm water and spot clean any stains, allowing it to sit for several minutes before blotting it with a clean cloth. Mix the solution with a little lemon if you’re not a fan of the smell of vinegar.
Try this unusual hack
Got a can of shaving foam lying around the bathroom? Try squirting it directly onto the stained carpet and leaving it to sit for 30 minutes, before blotting the affected area with a dry cloth. An easy and inexpensive solution that will work on a range of stains – including tough-to-remove grease – it’s said to be down to the soapy and foamy nature of the cream.
DIY deep clean
If your carpet needs a deep clean but you don’t want to fork out for professionals, there are ways to do it yourself. Start by sprinkling the area you want to clean with table salt and bicarbonate of soda, before spraying a small amount of washing detergent with water over the same bit of carpet. Using a scrubbing brush and a fair amount of elbow grease, then start brushing the carpet in one direction to rid the fibres of any dirt and debris. Finish by pressing some towels into the carpet, letting them soak up the moisture, and voila! Your carpet will be as good as new.