How to Clean a Carpet or Rug
Before you begin:
First, check to see if your rug or carpet came with instructions on how to care for it. This should indicate whether the carpet can be cleaned, and how. Unless the label says the rug is machine washable, then don’t risk it – incorrectly cleaning your carpet may cause colours to run or fibres to shrink! Many rugs are made from silk or wool, which need specialist care.
Carpet cleaning begins with getting rid of any excess dust and grime – larger rugs or carpets can be thoroughly vacuumed (make sure to use the brush attachment to banish any pet hairs). Smaller rugs can be lifted and beaten outside over a wall or washing line. Don’t forget to brush or vacuum underneath the rug too.
If possible, regularly rotate rugs in heavy traffic areas of your house – this will ensure they are evenly worn.
How to Deep Clean a Carpet
Remember, when you’re using a new product, always read the instructions for the best results. Check the care label on your carpet or rug to determine the best carpet cleaning method (and to prevent any expensive mistakes!).
Carpet powder: Rug cleaning with a specialist carpet powder is the simplest way to clean your carpets, and also doesn’t need time to dry like other washing methods. Here’s how to do it:
Shake the powder liberally across the rug; making sure that it is completely covered.
Leave to rest for at least 30 minutes. The longer you can leave the powder, the more time it will have to penetrate the fibres and lift away any dirt.
Use a vacuum to clean away the powder.
If you don’t have a specialist powder on hand, an all-natural carpet-cleaning tip is to use baking soda instead.
Carpet shampoo: There are lots of carpet shampoos available on the market, so make sure you read the label before use. Many carpet cleaners need to be diluted with water. As with any new product, test on an inconspicuous area of the rug to ensure it is colour fast.
According to the instructions, spray the entire carpet or rug with the cleaner.
Using a cloth or sponge, gently work the solution into the carpet, taking care not to damage the fibres.
Leave the rug to rest until it is completely dry, and then vacuum away any excess product residue.
Machine washing: Once you have checked the label to see if your rug can be machine washed, this is an effective carpet cleaning solution.
Tie together sections of fringing to prevent tangles and place the rug into a mesh laundry bag.
Turn the machine to a cold water cycle on the most delicate setting.
Use a laundry detergent such as OMO Liquid, which has built-in pre-treaters for amazing stain removal first time.
When the cycle is finished, air dry the rug (do not tumble dry, as this can shrink the fibres). Use a clothes airer to dry flat rather than a washing line, which can cause the rug to become misshapen.
Carpet Cleaning Tips – How to Spot Clean Stains
Spot rug cleaning is essential for keeping your carpets looking fresh between deeper cleans. Again, always check an inconspicuous area to see if your rug is colour fast.
Thoroughly wet the stain with cold water.
Dab a clean cloth into liquid laundry detergent, such as OMO Liquid, and gently work it into the stain.
Wait for a few moments then blot away excess liquid with a dry cloth or kitchen paper.
Using a 50:50 solution of water and white vinegar, blot into the damp area to remove any residual detergent that remains in the fibres. Remember to test on a small hidden area first.
Give the site of the stain a final rinse with tepid water, blot away and allow to dry naturally.
* Vacuum away excess dust and dirt.
Regularly spot clean stains between deep cleans.
Opt for deep carpet cleaning to make rugs smell fresh and look like new.
If a rug is machine washable, use a liquid detergent such as OMO to remove deep-set stains.