For everyday cleaning, simply vacuuming your carpet should do the trick. When you want to treat your carpet to a deep cleaning, though, consider renting or buying a steam cleaner if you don't already have one. Steam cleaners have the power to thoroughly clean carpeting, reaching deep down into the fibers to remove dirt, debris and even pet stains and odor.
The heat from the steam will help lift even long-standing dirt out of the carpet fibers, while the cleaner's suction will whisk the debris away into a tank. While the hot steam alone has the ability to clean the flooring, adding a specialized carpet shampoo to the machine will pack an even greater punch.
How often you need to steam clean your home's carpeting depends on how much use and traffic the flooring gets, and if you have any pets and young kids that frequently play on the ground. For homes that have low traffic, deep-cleaning your carpet once a twice a year should suffice. Steam cleaning your carpet is worth the time and effort as it can make your entire home feel and smell fresher.
Here are some tips for steam cleaning your carpet:
1. Vacuum the Floors
You may think that you don't need to vacuum the carpeting if you'll be steam cleaning it, but it's important to remove any solid debris, such as food crumbs or cat litter, first. The water from the steam can turn these things into a bigger mess.
Another thing you'll need to do before steam cleaning is move furniture out of the way. Have someone help you move the big items, such as a couch or coffee table, since you'll want to clean under them as well. Stains, pet odors and other debris may be lurking under these items, so you don't want to just clean around them.
3. Treat Stains
Prior to steam cleaning, treat any stubborn carpet stains for best results. Allow the stain remover to rest on the carpet for the recommended amount of time, and then lift it out of the fibers with the hot steam.
4. Add Carpet Shampoo
Steam cleaning is a highly effective, eco-friendly way to freshen up your carpets, but you may need to use soap if the flooring is especially dirty. You can either use a shampoo designed for carpet use, or make your own non-toxic solution by adding one tablespoon of vegetable oil-based castile soap to every gallon of hot water, and putting that into the machine.