Rugs and carpets are often overlooked in even the cleanest homes. A brisk sweeping or quick vacuum is usually the norm involved in “cleaning carpets” for most folks. “Deep cleaning is reserved for accidents that involve heavy soiling, or if someone’s dust allergies crop up. Unfortunately, carpets are known for harboring bacteria and germs deep down in their fibers. They can blow in through doors and windows, or float down from your Air unit. These germs and filth come in on your pets, the shoes and clothes of people, and items carried in your home. Constant traffic grinds these elements deep into your carpets fibers and the smell and illness that can result should be enough to make you want to clean them regularly.
Even if you vacuum regularly, before cleaning your carpets they need a brisk sweeping, and should be re-vacuumed as well. Sweeping helps to loosen the embedded dirt and brings it to the surface so that the vacuum can lift it away.
An efficient way to rid your rugs of the accumulated germs and filth is to use “hot water extraction”, also known as “steam cleaning”. There are many portable models for rent at local variety and hardware stores. There are also home models that you can buy. If you employ a professional service most likely, they will have a highly efficient truck-mounted system. All types of these units can all be used with specialty chemicals designed to remove stubborn stains, deep grime, and odors from your rugs.
A steam cleaner has a setting that extracts the water from the rugs and this can help the rugs dry quicker. It is best to let professionals handle this task, but if you DIY you can ensure dry rugs with the use of fans or dehumidifiers. Quick drying is important to inhibit the growth of dangerous mold and bacterium that can infest your carpets. Keep all foot traffic on the rugs to a minimum until drying and final steps are complete.
If you did not use a protectorant in the cleaning stage (chemical added to the steamer to guard against staining) you can use one now. After carpets are completely dried, sweep and vacuum the carpets again to lift the fibers and shake loose any remaining dirt. These steps allow a final purging of remaining dirt to be carried away, fluffs the fibers, and gives your carpets a fresh, light, look. Maintained carpets not only last longer, but also promote a healthier home.
To maintain proper carpet “health” you should deep clean your carpets twice per year, especially if you live in an area prone to mold or allergens, have family members with respiratory problems or allergies, or have a lot of foot/pet traffic. This simple step cannot only make your house a cleaner place; it can save your family form health problems, and extend the life of your carpets.