How To Clean Carpet
There are three ways for the average person to clean large areas of carpet: (1) carpet shampoo; (2) dry powder; and (3) water suction\steam cleaning. If you are trying to remove animal urine stains and odor, see more about urine removal. If you have a smaller stain, you may be able to spot treat for the particular stain. However, if you have a large stain or a very dirty carpet, it may be best for you to hire a professional carpet cleaner (in the end, it may even be cheaper, after you factor in the cost of cleaning products and your time).
- Carpet shampoo is essentially a "foam" that is worked into the carpet which attaches to dirt, then dries and can then be vacuumed out of the carpet. Although this technique works, it is not the best technique for several reasons. First, this option only gets dirt near the surface of the carpet. Second, carpet shampoos can be "sticky," which can cause carpet to become dirtier, sooner. Third, carpet shampoos can contain "brighteners" which make carpet appear cleaner than it actually is. One example of a quality carpet shampoo is Woolite Heavy Traffic Carpet Shampoo.
- Dry powder is another option, although the term "dry" is a misnomer, because dry powders contain some moisture, and are therefore not completely dry. In this method, a slightly damp, powdery cleaner is applied to the carpet. Next, the cleaner is worked into the carpet with a brush. There, the powder attaches to the dirt, and the powder is left to dry. Finally, the dry powder (once fully dried) is vacuumed out of the carpet, picking the dirt up too. Dry powders are good because they dry quickly. However, they do not clean "deep" into the carpet. Therefore, dry powders are best used as an "in between deep cleans" solution. One example of a dry carpet powder is Resolve Carpet Powder.
- Steam cleaning, or "water suction" cleaning is another option that works best to get deep stains or odors out of carpet. For this method, you will need a machine such as a Bissell Proheat. However, more expensive models are available, such as a Rug Doctor. This method is the most effective method, but it is the most time consuming. Also, this method applies water to the carpet, and then sucks the water out of the carpet. However, some of the water will remain in the carpet. Therefore, you must wait for your carpet to dry completely before use. So, even though this method is the best for cleaning, there are some drawbacks.
- For small spots, other options may be more useful, as you can directly target the specific kind of stain or spill. The correct method for cleaning spot stains from carpet depends on what you're trying to remove from the carpet. Below are some examples of how to fix specific problems. However, one of the best products out there (for multiple types of spills) is Kids & Pets. It really is a miracle product.