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How to Clean Carpets at Home

Carpets act as filters, trapping dust, dirt, and allergens in their fibers. Carpet Cleaning El Dorado Hills CA helps them look better and reduces airborne pollutants, especially for those who suffer from asthma or allergies.

Carpet Cleaning

A professional cleaner uses detergents that are mixed to suit a particular type of fabric and is familiar with the best way to remove specific stains. They also have the equipment needed for hot water extraction, known as steam cleaning.

Dirt and other debris are the scourge of carpets, both residential and commercial. It can stain, discolor, and even degrade fibers. A carpet cleaning machine uses water, heat, and sometimes detergents to loosen ground-in dirt from the pile. Technicians also use specialized tools you won’t find at the hardware store, such as UV lights for spotting pet stains and powerful vacuums to remove the dirt afterward.

Professional cleaners also have access to the most advanced equipment available, such as hot-water extraction machines. This technique uses highly pressurized water heated to a temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit or higher to rinse away the most stubborn dirt and stains. The pre-conditioning solution that is applied to the carpet before this process helps to loosen stains and soils that are otherwise too deep in the fibers to be removed by vacuuming alone.

If you can’t afford to hire a professional, try the following tips for removing dirt and other debris from your carpeting:

Vacuum daily (at least once per week) to keep dust, dirt, and other particles from matting down your carpet fibers. This will not only help keep your carpeting clean, but it will also prevent premature wear and tear that could require a costly replacement.

Using doormats at every entrance to your home will help keep some of the dirt and other debris from being tracked onto your carpeting. If you have pets, keep them groomed regularly so that hair doesn’t get trapped in your carpeting.

If you notice that there is no residual dirt visible on the surface of your carpeting but a stain still exists, it may be time to employ a more intensive stain removal treatment. Mix a solution of one quarter teaspoon of detergent and a cup of warm water in a spray bottle. Dampen a cloth with this mixture and then apply it to the stained area. Repeat this blotting process until no more of the stain transfers to the cloth.

If your carpeting still appears stained, it may be necessary to use a more aggressive treatment, such as an enzyme-based carpet pre-spray or carpet shampoo. These chemical treatments typically require a little more effort to apply than traditional carpet cleaners, but they are often more effective at breaking down stains and odors.


Stains are the number-one reason homeowners turn to professional carpet cleaners. But there are many stain-removal techniques that can be used in the home to keep your carpets looking fresh and clean. The first step to removing a stain is blotting the affected area of the carpet with white paper towels or cloths to absorb as much of the liquid as possible. This can help reduce the chances of color change from the dye in the cloth or paper towel reacting with the cleaning solution.

Next, vacuum the area to remove any physical debris from the stain, and then wet the spot with a rag or sponge with cold water to prevent it from spreading. Once the stain is damp, apply a solution made from a tablespoon of mild dish soap like Dawn, a cup of white vinegar, and two cups of water to the affected area. Apply the solution to the stain using a soft brush or cloth, working from the outside of the stain inward to avoid spreading. Then, blot with a dry washcloth to remove any soapy residue and allow the area to air dry completely.

If the water and dish soap solution doesn’t work, try a solution of hydrogen peroxide and cold water. This works well for older stains, particularly those caused by red wine or pet urine. Start by blotting the affected area with cold water to remove any remaining liquid from the carpet, then use a spray bottle to apply the peroxide solution over the stained area. Use a clean section of blotting cloth frequently, and be sure to use only cold water to avoid the potential for color change from the dye in the washcloth or carpet fibers.

When the stain is removed, you can use a brush or steam vac to revive the carpet pile and then vacuum once more to remove any remaining traces of the stain. To prevent future stains, be proactive in keeping your carpets stain-free by installing doormats at all entranceways and by requiring residents and guests to remove their shoes before entering the house. A good stain prevention plan also includes keeping a bucket of water and a sponge with you at all times to soak up spills as soon as they occur.

Delicate Fabrics

There are many kinds of fabrics, each with its own care requirements. Using the wrong washing technique for delicate fabrics can result in them becoming tattered, discolored, or worn down. Lingerie made with silk or lace, thin knitted jumpers, and scarves are all examples of fabrics that can easily be damaged by a regular wash cycle. There is often a symbol on the label of these garments that will tell you to wash them on the delicate cycle.

You should also be careful when handling and sewing delicate fabrics. It is best to test your thread, needle, and tension settings on a scrap piece of your chosen fabric before you use it to make sure that the materials can withstand the stress of being sewn. If you use a machine to sew your delicate fabric, set the bobbin tension to a low setting. This will prevent the bobbin from catching and pulling on the delicate fabric. It is also best to backstitch for a few stitches when you are completing the seam, but be careful not to do this on too many occasions as it can cause the fabric to stretch and become pulled.

For general stains, you can remove them with household products such as hydrogen peroxide. Simply saturate the stain with the liquid and let it sit for a few minutes before blotting it clean. This solution is also effective for removing blood, wine, and coffee spills.

After cleaning your carpets, you can speed up the drying process by putting aluminum foil squares or wood blocks under all of your furniture. This will keep rust from metal casters and other stains from your furniture from transferring to the damp carpet. It is also a good idea to open windows and run ceiling fans, as warm air will help the fibers of your carpet dry quickly.

For extra help with keeping your delicate fabrics clean, you can purchase various types of stabilizers to use on your projects. These range from tear-away and dissolvable options to spray starch, which works well for projects that need a little support while still being very delicate.


Allergies can be triggered by a wide variety of things. These include dust mites, pet dander, and mold spores. Dirty carpets are magnets for these allergens, and they tend to hold them far longer than hard floors do. Allergens can irritate your respiratory system and cause headaches, and they may also trigger conjunctivitis (pink eye). They can also contribute to fatigue.

Allergens can build up in the fibers of most carpeting, including low- and high-pile styles like Berber and Saxony. They can also settle in the padding of the carpet. Allergens can be a problem for individuals with asthma, as they can trigger an attack when breathed in.

Carpet cleaning can help remove the buildup of these irritants and prevent them from circulating in the air. It’s important to vacuum your carpet on a regular basis, and it’s a good idea to use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. The HEPA filter can remove more allergens from the carpet than a standard vacuum bag does.

Other ways to reduce the impact of allergies on your home and family are to install hardwood floors or use area rugs, as these do not collect as much dirt. It’s a good idea to clean area rugs on a regular basis as well.

Using an allergy-rated vacuum cleaner and regularly vacuuming your carpet will greatly reduce the impact of allergens on your health. It is also a good idea to spot-clean stains as soon as they occur. This will help prevent bacteria and mold from growing in them, which can trigger allergic reactions. Investing in an air purifier that has an allergy rating can also pull harmful pollen or mold out of the air before it gets on the carpet, further mitigating the need to deep clean your carpets on a regular basis. Taking these steps will also extend the life of your carpet and keep it looking its best.