7 Carpet Cleaning mistakes that will ruin your carpets

Few elements of your home will last forever – eventually everything wears out. However, with the right care you can expect to increase the lifespan of your home furnishings. Carpets are no exception to this rule and will last much longer when properly cared for.

One easy way to increase your carpets lifespan is by having your carpets professionally cleaned regularly, but there are 6 other carpet cleaning mistakes you’ll want to avoid to ensure that your carpets look and feel new for years to come. Let’s take a look at these common mistakes that will shorten the life of your carpet.

A carpet cleaner won't have the same effect as getting your carpets professionally cleaned

Scrubbing the carpet to remove stains

This is one of the most common carpet cleaning mistakes – and we’re all probably guilty of it at one time or another. You might think that the best way to get a stain out is to use a bit of elbow grease, and while that logic might be correct for toilet bowls, too much elbow grease is bad for carpets!

Carpet fibers are durable and long lasting – but at the end of they day they’re still incredibly thin and weren’t intended to stand up to concentrated abuse. If you scrub a stain aggressively you risk damaging the carpet fibers, and in some cases you may even be rubbing the stain into the carpet’s fibers!

Instead of scrubbing you want to be blotting the stain with a clean, white rag. Blotting allows the rag to soak up the stain without damaging the carpet.

Using the wrong carpet stain removal product

This is one of the most frustrating mistakes you can make: imagine that you go to clean a stain and instead of removing it, the cleaning solution leaves behind its own patch of discoloration! Unfortunately, some cleaning products aren’t compatible with all types of carpeting and can actually make whatever stains you’ve got worse.

Before using any new carpet cleaner you should test the cleaner somewhere inconspicuous. A corner inside a closet is a great place to test a new cleaner – that way even if the cleaner turns out to be a dud you won’t be left looking at unsightly stains. This advice applies to DIY cleaning solutions too – just because you made it yourself doesn’t mean it can’t cause discoloration! It’s always a good idea to check with the carpet manufacturer’s recommendations to avoid using the wrong cleaning product.

Not vacuuming often enough

Just like in most areas of life, routine maintenance is always the best way to ensure your stuff lasts as long as it can. Carpets are no exception to this rule and will benefit from regular vacuuming. If you put off cleaning for too long you risk accumulating difficult to remove build-up.

Not only will your carpet look progressively worse as oil and dirt accumulates, but this grime is actually bad for the carpet fibers, causing them to wear prematurely. Vacuuming removes these particles and also renews the loft of the carpet, keeping it soft and fluffy. Not only will vacuuming regularly keep your carpet looking good, it will also extend the life of your carpet!

The right amount of vacuuming will vary depending on how much traffic the carpet receives. Generally once a week is the right amount, although high traffic areas or households with pets or children may require more attention. Animals that are heavy shedders could mean that you’ll want to be vacuuming every other day to keep dander levels down.

Using carpet deodorizers incorrectly

Most cleaning products are scented – not because scents intrinsically boost cleaning power, but because we associate good smells with cleanliness. However, in most cases carpets do not need to be treated with deodorizers and these products should be used with care.

If used improperly, deodorizers can actually cause a build-up of hard-to-remove gunk. If your household vacuum doesn’t have enough suction it may not be able to fully remove deeply set deodorizing powders.

If your carpet doesn’t smell, it doesn’t need a deodorizer. If it is beginning to pick up a bit of a funk then your best bet is to call a professional carpet cleaner instead of a DIY fix.

7 Carpet cleaning mistakes you should avoid

Not cleaning spills immediately

It may be tempting to say that you’ll clean up that spill later – perhaps after the game or in the morning. However, resist this temptation! By leaving stains to set you are vastly increasing the likelihood that the stain will be permanent. In some cases you may even be allowing the liquid to seep into the carpet pad, potentially creating difficult to remove smells or causing mold growth.

As soon as possible you want to blot up whatever has been spilled. Do your best to get as much of the moisture out. This may save you from having to do a deep clean later, or even if a thorough cleaning is still called for at least the job will be easier.

Renting a carpet cleaner from the grocery store

Most grocery stores have carpet cleaning equipment available to rent – and while these products do a decent job at cleaning, they pale in comparison to professional steam cleaning.

First, it is important to recognize that even a perfectly well-maintained rental cleaner will not be able to deliver the same results as a steam cleaner. The truck mounted cleaners provide a constant supply of hot water while rental units are only hot at the beginning of the cleaning cycle. This problem of heating is exacerbated by the clumsy nature of these rental carpet cleaners. The bulky design doesn’t maneuver well in tight spaces and requires constant repositioning to do a thorough job.

It should go without saying that many rental units are not well-maintained – making the performance gap between rental and professional even greater.

Another frustrating problem with rental cleaners is streaks may appear after you’ve cleaned the carpet. In the industry this is called wicking and results from deep seated dirt being drawn from the base of the carpet up to the carpet fibers as they dry. Rental units often fail to remove this dirt and leave the carpet damp enough for this wicking process to take place.

A professional carpet cleaning company will be able to get your carpets cleaner and they’ll stay looking better for longer.

Not getting your carpet professionally cleaned

To have truly clean carpets you need to have a deep cleaning performed by a professional carpet cleaning company. Generally homeowners will want to have their carpets professionally cleaned twice per year in addition to regular vacuuming. Professional, truck-mounted carpet cleaners are able to remove deeply embedded dirt that consumer-grade vacuums just can’t reach.

Regular professional cleaning will keep your carpets looking like new for years to come and will actually make your carpets last longer too!

Getting the most from your carpet

Maximizing the lifespan of your carpet doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, by avoiding these seven mistakes you’ll keep your carpet looking great for years to come. Remember to blot and not scrub, test new cleaners, keep up with regular vacuuming, clean spills immediately, avoid deodorizers and rental carpet cleaners, and have your carpets professionally cleaned regularly. If you’re in the South Carolina area, Whitehall Carpet Cleaners can help you keep your carpets looking and feeling new!