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.

1. 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 the 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.

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

2. 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.

3. 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 possible. Carpets are no exception to this rule and will benefit from regular vacuuming. If you put off cleaning too long, you risk accumulating difficult-to-remove build-up.

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

4. 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, carpets do not need to be treated with deodorizer in most cases, and these products should be used carefully.

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 remove deeply set deodorizing powders fully.

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

5. Not cleaning spills immediately

It may be tempting to say 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. Sometimes, you may even allow the liquid to seep into the carpet pad, potentially creating difficult-to-remove smells or causing mold growth.

You want to blot up whatever has been spilled as soon as possible. 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 thorough cleaning is still called for, the job will be easier.

6. 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 hot water supply, while rental units are only hot at the beginning of the cleaning cycle. The clumsy nature of these rental carpet cleaners exacerbates this heating problem. 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 that streaks may appear after cleaning 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.

7. 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 yearly in addition to regular vacuuming. Professional, truck-mounted carpet cleaners can remove deeply embedded dirt that consumer-grade vacuums can’t reach.

A 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 Columbia, South Carolina area, Whitehall Carpet Cleaners can help keep your carpets looking and feeling new! CONTACT US today!

Why Should You Go With Whitehall Carpet Cleaners?

Whitehall cleaning professionals are some of the best in the business. Trained in a variety of specialty areas. (Including residential cleaning, commercial cleaning, and disaster restoration)

We’re certified by the IICRC, we have the knowledge and skills to address any of your problems. We aren’t just skilled: we are the experts on fabric and floor cleaning, as well as damage restoration and mold removal.

Choose The Whitehall Way

Doesn’t matter if you just need regular maintenance or emergency disaster relief in the middle of the night. We’ve got you covered.