The best way to clean a carpet by hand

Grubby-looking carpet can let a whole house down. A large stain or a few dirty marks make a room look neglected and tired. Dirty carpet can pose a health hazard, harbouring germs and putting those with respiratory diseases at risk. It pays to keep your carpet clean for your wellbeing and the ambiance of your home.

Whether your carpet looks soiled or could do with a freshen-up, these tips will help you keep your carpet and your home looking immaculate. Bear in mind that the easiest way to keep a carpet clean is to tackle spills and fresh marks immediately.

When cleaning a carpet by hand, be careful. Using the wrong tools or chemicals on delicate carpet fibres can damage them. Never use tools with brushes or bristles and ensure any cleaning solution used does not contain bleaching agents. For best results, follow these top tips…

Cleaning up spills

Spills are part of every-day life. But if you knock over a drink and it marks your carpet, act fast. Use paper towels or a clean cloth to absorb moisture. Once you have removed excess liquid, use a mild detergent or cold water and another clean cloth to blot the spillage area. If you choose to use a carpet cleaning solution, make sure it is suitable for your carpet. Tip: never use hot water on a stain. It will ‘set’ it, making it impossible to remove.

If you are not sure about the suitability of a cleaning solution on your carpet, test it first. Try it on carpet out of sight, such as in a cupboard or wardrobe. When removing a stain or clearing up a spillage, do not rub or press hard. This will only drive a stain further into your carpet’s fibres. Blot gently and remove detergent with water. Pat away excess liquid.

Spot cleaning

Spot cleaning is a really great way to keep on top of hygiene in your home. Vacuum thoroughly before starting. Use a clean cloth and carpet cleaner designed for cleaning up small patches of dirt. Test it first. Be careful not to use too much liquid – it could end up creating an even larger stain. Using copious amounts of water in the rinsing process, for example, can seep into a caret’s underlay and later cause mould and mildew.

Spray a small amount of cleaning fluid onto the stain. Use a damp cloth to gently blot the mark. Once the areas is clean, dab with a damp cloth to remove all trace of the detergent. Pat dry. Ensure no trace of the detergent remains – or it can dry sticky and attract dirt that will be hard to shift.

Be aware that some types of stains require specialist cleaning chemicals. Pet urine, blood and other bodily fluids should be cleaned using recommended fluids.

Looking after your carpet

Regular vacuuming is important to keep your carpet clean and fresh. You can avoid making a mess on your carpet by not wearing shoes indoors, only eating food in non-carpeted areas and making sure drinks are placed where they are least likely to be knocked over or spilled.

If you follow these handy carpet cleaning tips, your home will always look fresh and clean.

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