It happens. Someone drops something on your carpet—or you have pets or kids making messes. Each time you get a stain, you probably don’t want to pay for a professional carpet cleaning service.
Before you start cleaning that stain, you need to know there are some mistakes with carpet cleaning. Do you know what they are? Keep reading so you can avoid these seven mistakes and get your carpet clean.
- Using the Wrong Stain Removal Products
Sure stains don’t look good, but that doesn’t mean you should use any old product when trying to get them out. Plus, not all stains need the same treatment. Some stains will react differently to various cleaning solutions. You can’t remove all stains with general-purpose carpet cleaners.
Be sure you read the label of all the cleaners first. Some chemicals are too harsh for certain kinds of carpet fibers.
You can try some natural remedies like baking soda, vinegar, or clear dish soap. But, do your research before you try something.
- Scrubbing the Carpet Too Vigorously
Sure, a natural reaction is to put some elbow grease into the stain to rub it out. But you don’t want to rub a stain because you can rub it further into the carpet. You can also damage your carpet fibers nearby and also where the stain is. This is because scrubbing will untwist the fibers and cause them to fray.
You will do more harm than good if you rub scrub the stain too hard. You want to blot the stain. It is the most effective way and also the safest way to get out a stain.
- Not Cleaning the Stain Quickly
You want to get to the stain as soon as you can because it is easier to remove a fresh stain from the carpet. If you let it sit on the carpet and dry, it is tougher to remove. The stain can soak deep into the fibers and also get absorbed in your carpet padding. This will make it difficult to remove.
It can also cause odors or even mold depending on the stain. It’s best to grab your carpet cleaning tools as soon as possible to avoid any permanent mess.
Even if your guest spills red wine at a dinner party, don’t wait for them to leave to remove (even if they are embarrassed). Read more information here on how to get tough red wine stains out of the carpet.
- Using Too Much Shampoo
No matter how filthy your carpet is, using too much shampoo will do more harm than good. If you use too much shampoo, you will create another problem trying to get the shampoo out. Getting the soapy residue is extremely difficult to get out and you have yourself a dirt magnet.
If you don’t get all the shampoo out, you may also start to see:
- Gaps between the carpet and floor
- Piles of little tears near the seams
- Pulling of carpet away from the walls
There is no way to repair shrinking carpet—unfortunately, you will have to replace it.
- Wetting the Carpet
Another big cleaning mistake people make when cleaning up stains is getting the carpets wet. You don’t want to soak the carpet when you rinse or shampoo it. You risk getting the padding wet if you use too much water, which causes more problems like mold.
It’s hard to get the carpet dry when the back and padding are wet, and the carpet can discolor if the padding is too wet. Your carpet can also smell musty. And once mold and mildew take over, you have to get rid of your carpet to properly clean the area and remove the mold.
Along with too much shampooing, your carpet can also shrink with too much water. The carpet starts to tear itself up from the floor.
- Not Testing a Cleaning Product
You should always test a new product before you use it. Try finding a spot that is not easily visible such as the closet, under a rug, or in a corner. You want to make sure the cleaner will not bleach out the color of your carpet before you apply a large amount on an extremely visible area.
You need to see how your carpet reacts to this chemical. After you test the product, make sure the fibers are not damaged along with the coloring of your carpet.
- Not Hiring a Professional
Even though you want to save money by cleaning your own carpet, you may end up costing yourself more money if you ruin your carpet. When you hire a professional, you will get an adequate and proper cleaning. Plus, their experience helps them know how to remove just about any stain.
Other benefits include:
- Steam cleaning to lessen any allergens
- Proper treatment to repel and prevent stains
- Using the right cleaners and cleaning equipment
- Re-cleaning areas that you are not satisfied with
Keeping your carpet clean can help your carpet last longer (along with looking better). You may want to schedule regular quarterly, biannually, or annual cleanings depending on if you have children and pets.
Avoid These Mistakes With Carpet Cleaning
As you can see, some of these mistakes with carpet cleaning can cause more harm than good. You don’t want to use too much water or shampoo. You also need to get to your stains immediately and avoid scrubbing stains further into your carpet. This is why it’s best to sometimes leave larger stains to the professionals.
Check out some more great cleaning and home project ideas in our Home Improvement section.