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Cleaning and maintaining your carpets is no rocket science


Carpet is a floor covering that is used for a variety of purposes. It adds decor to the room, it is comfortable to laze on, prevents kids from getting hurt when they fall, and insulates your bare feet from the coldness of the floor. It comes in many colours and designs. Carpets are made from different types of fibres and can be either hand-made or machine made.

Carpet making, using natural materials, is popular in many countries. These are mainly in Iran, Afghanistan, some other middle-eastern countries and India. In India, the industry is mainly in Kashmir; its products are sold all over India and are quite popular. Synthetic carpets are made in most industrialized countries; while hand-made carpets are almost unique pieces and, therefore, in demand by connoisseurs, the synthetic ones rule in the commercial space.

Carpets come in large sizes as against rugs that are smaller in size and not as detailed in its manufacture and cover a large area in the room, in many old houses. In many palaces, large apartments and palatial bungalows you can find such carpets, which would now cost a bomb to own. The synthetic carpets are easier to maintain but the hand-made ones take a lot of care.

Carpets, like many household items of furniture, tend to get dirty if not maintained well. A shabby, stained and worn out carpet is almost a disgrace to the room and detracts from its ambience. It is also a place where mites or other allergens congregate, invisible to the naked eye, causing many respiratory problems.

It is also advisable to instruct people not walk on the carpet with dirty shoes, especially during the rains. In such cases, it would be prudent to roll up the carpet till the rains are over. Another thing to note is that during hot summer months, unless your house is air-conditioned, the carpets will tend to add to the heat of the room.

So how does one clean the carpets?

If your carpet is on a regular maintenance schedule, you have fewer problems unless it gets stained or the tufts come loose. As said earlier, synthetic carpets are less of a problem. Plain soap and water or carpet powder and shampoo may be enough to clean it but when it comes to the expensive woolen ones, these may not be enough. Note that any carpet if not thoroughly dried after a wet treatment is likely to emit a foul odour and this is distasteful.

For recent spills and fresh stains

Blot the affected area by dabbing a clean cloth over it. Use a wet cloth and wipe it clean. Let it dry after the area is cleaned out. If the stain or dirt persists, use a mild shampoo or carpet cleaning powder over the area. Let the cleaning solution rest over the area for some time and then using a clean wet cloth rub the affected area vigorously. Do not use a hard-bristled brush as this could damage the fibres.

Cleaning with shampoo

Vacuum the carpet thoroughly and ensure that there is no dust left on the carpet. Use a mild shampoo, following the directions indicated on the container. Do not make the carpet soaking wet as this would make it difficult to dry it. Scrub badly affected area with a soft or medium-soft brush. Dry the carpet in the sun, if this is possible, however, harsh sunlight may damage the carpet. A wet-dry vacuum cleaner is best, if you have it, otherwise use fans or dehumidifiers and keep windows open.

Cleaning with powder

Sprinkle the carpet cleaning powder all over the carpet and leave it for sometime (leaving it overnight is best) and then vacuum it thoroughly. Make sure you do not leave any residue of the powder on the carpet or this might lead to some allergic reactions.

Club soda is effective to remove beer and wine stains. You may also make a solution of one part vinegar and one part water and spray it on the stained area. Let it soak for 30 minutes and blot the area using a clean white cloth or sponge.

Use a carpet deodorizer that may be commercially available, if your carpet emits a funny smell; sprinkling baking soda and leaving it overtime can also help. Finally, if nothing works get professional help.

Stanley Varghese for IndiaProperty.com

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