Everybody owns some sort of carpeting in their home whether it is a small rug or a fluffy Persian carpet. Which means that if you want to prolongate its life, preserve its colours and save money you need to know how to properly take care of it.
1. What Is Carpet Cleaning?
Carpet cleaning is an activity you perform to get rid of the dirt, dust, pollen and other microscopic particles embedded in your rugs. This will provide you with a healthy living and working environment and protect your health. There are different methods of carpet cleaning which utilise various tools and detergents.
2. What Is Professional Carpet Cleaning?
Professional carpet cleaning is performed by licenced companies and is offered as a service to property owners. Depending on the type of carpeting you own it can include, but it’s not limited to steam cleaning, dry washing, vacuuming, stain removing, etc. The detergents applied in these procedures are not widely accessible as most are marked for professional use only. The equipment needed is expensive and powerful, not suited for day to day household usage.
3. What Are the Benefits of Booking Expert Carpet Cleaners?
There are three main reasons for hiring a professional carpet cleaning service to deal with your property:
- Longevity– Regularly cleaning your rugs is the best way to avoid purchasing new ones. A decent carpet should last you anywhere from ten-to-fifteen years, depending on the manufacturer’s advice. But this is only feasible with proper maintenance and regular, thorough cleaning.
- Health – Your carpet is like a filter or sponge. It absorbs allergens, dust, bacteria and other particles. As the fibres become worn, these elements can be rereleased into your home. And while this is unlikely to cause any significant illness, harmful bacteria can still lead to stomach and digestive issues. Professionally cleaned carpets have far fewer allergens, germs and other potentially toxic particles.
- Appearance – Enjoy your carpets unsoiled in their original colours and textures. Professional cleaners use special detergents that protect the fibres from dirt and damage. You will minimise the chance of discolouration and frizziness.
4. How to Choose the Perfect Carpet Cleaning Company?
It’s crucial you put in some research time and find a company with a strong reputation for excellent customer service. And it’s easier than you think. Platforms like Google and Trustpilot provide people with information from past clients, including a rating system. Essentially, you want to use an agency with lots of five-star reviews and positive customer feedback.
The next task is to request a quote from the companies that have a decent reputation. And it would help if you only consider using providers who offer free, no-obligation quotes. Furthermore, press them to ensure their proposals include the final cost. Some agencies sneak in hidden fees or charge for services outside of the quote. However, to receive an adequate price, you must provide the cleaners with detailed information about the type, dimensions and state of your carpeting. Bear in mind, the charges can change in case you hide or forget some important fact.
And it’s worth testing any prospective carpet cleaning company to make sure they answer all your questions promptly. Please remember this – there is no such thing as a bad question. Ask lots of them and don’t feel like you’re a pain. The Top Cleaners’ team is more than happy to provide you with thorough information, and we’ll assign a contact person for you when you book with us.
5. What Is the Cost of Professional Carpet Cleaning in the UK?
The price of getting your rugs professionally cleaned mostly depends on two factors – room type and size. Four additional aspects can influence the final cost:
- Type of carpet – Different kinds of fibres have different cleaning requirements. Whereas some can be only dry cleaned, others may have to be treated with water and detergents. The used solvents and equipment depend on the method which depends on the type of carpet. Everything is linked.
- Furniture removal – To get the hidden spots sometimes heavy pieces of furniture need to be moved, however, this is both time-consuming and hard. That is why you will have an additional fee.
- Minimum charges – For some companies having to deal with only one room is not worth the time and manpower. So often they will put a minimal charge to the initial cost of the service.
- Carpet stains – To remove stubborn, old stains is not an easy job. Special detergents need to be applied, not to mention how time-consuming the process is. Thus, the additional charge is added to the price.
Overall it’s not expensive to get your rugs professionally cleaned. It is even more budget-friendly to book the service for your entire property, rather for just one room. Below you will find an average estimate of the carpet cleaning prices for the UK in 2020.
|Type of Room/Size of Carpeting||Price|
|Stairs per flight||£20-25|
When we are talking about commercial carpet cleaning things are a bit different. That is why the price is calculated per square meter. The average cost of getting the carpets in your commercial property cleaned in the UK start from £1.25 per sq/m.
6. How to Clean Your Carpet Depending on Its Type?
Depending on the material they are made of, there are two main categories of fibres – synthetic and organic. Each has its own cleaning requirements and characteristics. Check out what kind of fibres your carpeting has and how to properly care for it, explained in a separate detailed guide on carpet types.
Carpet Cleaning: Different Methods And Their Effectiveness
Did you know there are different ways to clean a carpet? Depending on the type of rug you own, one or a couple could be suitable for your property.
6.1 What Is Deep Carpet Cleaning?
Deep carpet cleaning allows you to remove the dirt embedded in the fibres of your rugs. For example, dry cleaning will only deal with the dust and small particles on the surface of your carpets as opposed to hot water extraction which is a deep cleaning technique.
6.2 How to Properly Vacuum Your Carpets?
There are a few important steps you need to follow:
- Inspect your carpets and remove any sharp or hard items hidden in their fibres – earrings, paperclips, needles, coins, etc. This way, you will avoid damaging your vacuum machine, especially if it has a bag, not a plastic container.
- Clean slowly in sections, don’t rush the brush as you might damage the carpet fibres.
- First, go in one direction and when you finish the section, return from the opposite one. For example, if you are initially moving north to south, turn and start cleaning east to west.
- Use different attachments for the hard-to-reach places.
6.3 What Is Spot Cleaning?
Spot cleaning is a method of stain removal that focuses just on the damaged area and not the whole carpeting. It is done primarily on expensive or water-sensitive rugs. Here is how you perform spot cleaning on a carpet:
- Use a tool to remove any solid particles from the fibres. A plastic knife or a spoon is perfect for the job. Be careful and do not use sharp objects.
- Press a clean, dry white cloth or a paper towel onto the stain to remove the access liquid.
- Working with a soft sponge or a microfibre cloth, start blotting the spot. Depending on the type of carpet you have, you can add a specific detergent.
- Clean from the edges to the centre to avoid spreading the stain.
- Repeat until all are removed.
6.4 What Is HOST Dry Carpet Cleaning?
HOST is an eco-friendly cleaning system that uses 100% natural products and water. It is also known as absorbent compound cleaning. In this method, a wet absorbent that attracts dirt is applied to the carpet. Later, a special machine is used to agitate and buff the mixture. After a couple of minutes, everything is vacuumed up. The major advantage of this method is the carpet will dry up almost immediately. It is also relatively inexpensive.
6.5 What Is Regular Dry Cleaning?
In reality, there is no “dry” cleaning. A liquid solution that pulls all of the dirt is applied to the carpet. Then, using a machine, the detergent and the attached soil are being pulled out. Thanks to a highly absorbent pad the carpeting is left looking fresh and clean. The major benefit of this process is it uses just a small quantity of water. The dry time is also very fast.
6.6 What Is Encapsulation Cleaning?
Encapsulation cleaning is used only on commercial-grade carpets in offices. This method does not apply to household cleaning. First, the carpeting is treated with an encapsulating solution. This detergent is then agitated with a special machine. As it dries, it crystallises and absorbs soil particles. Then the crystals are vacuumed up. Encapsulated cleaning is recommended for carpets that have to be regularly maintained. The major advantage of this method is that some of the crystals remain on the carpeting. There, they will continue to absorb the soil particles until the next cleaning.
6.7 What Is Steam Cleaning?
Steam cleaning is also called hot water extraction method. Here is how it goes. First, the carpet is treated with a small amount of detergent. Then the carpet is given a hot water rinse. Concurrently, a powerful vacuum removes the steam, the cleaning solution, and the attached soil. The dirty water is removed into a waste tank. The main benefit of hot water extraction is it sanitises the carpet. If you want to learn more about this technique and its perks check out our steam cleaning guide.
6.8 What Is Carpet Shampooing?
This method is a mix of dry cleaning and hot water extraction. Special suds based detergents are dissolved in hot water and then rubbed into the carpet using machines with rotating round brushes. Then everything is extracted with a wet vacuum. It is perfect for spot cleaning. Bear in mind that there is always some amount of leftover residue from the carpet shampoo. Thus it’s not a good idea to use this technique on a larger scale.
There is a version of this method called dry shampooing that utilises almost no water.
6.9 Dry Cleaning vs Steam Cleaning
Both methods have their pros and cons, however, when you have to choose only one, consider the type of carpet you own and the characteristics of its fibres. This is the main factor you need to take into consideration, as for the others:
- Price – Due to the specific chemicals used during the dry cleaning process, this service is relatively more expensive than the hot water extraction method.
- Stain removal – Steam cleaning is a technique that extracts dirt from the depths of your carpet fibres. As such, it’s more effective when it comes to removing stains.
- Time-consumption – Dry cleaning is a relatively fast process, mainly because it does not involve the usage of much water. Hence, the carpets don’t need to be dried off afterwards.
- Convenience – Both methods have some cons in this department. Steam cleaning machines are quite noisy, and the detergents used during the dry treatment of your carpets can cause irritations to the skin and eyes. However, the hot water extraction doesn’t leave a residue after the process is done, as opposed to the other method.
- Level of sanitisation and germ kill – Here steam cleaning wins the prize, as this is one of its most popular and desired features.
- Long-lasting effect – Steam cleaning is less invasive and gentle to the fibres. It’s a deep cleaning method, meaning all the layers of dirt are being removed. Thus, your carpets will stay clean longer.
- Eco-friendly – Since steam cleaning uses minimal quantities of detergent if any, it is the greener option.
According to recent polls, hot water extraction is currently the most recommended method of cleaning by carpet manufacturers.
Disclaimer: Steam cleaning is suitable for synthetic fabrics and woollen materials. Dry cleaning is recommended for natural fibres.
6.10 Shampooing vs Steam Cleaning
These two methods are used for deep carpet cleaning, and depending on the type of carpet you own can remove the embedded dirt and dust. If we use the same ranking factors here is how they perform:
- Price – The machines needed for carpet shampooing and the detergents used in the process boost the cost of this service. Steam cleaning is more budget-friendly of the two.
- Stain removal – Shampooing is the preferred method of spot cleaning, as you can concentrate on a particular stain. In this sense, it’s a better method.
- Time-consumption – If we include the dry off time, shampooing can take up to a couple of days if applied on larger carpeting. So steam cleaning is definitely faster.
- Convenience – Shampooing uses a lot of water, thus the carpets need more time to dry off. This can sometimes cause the development of mildew and mould. Steam cleaning leaves almost no moisture behind, so it’s a definite winner.
- Level of sanitisation and germ kill – Because steam cleaning inserts hot vapour in between the carpet fibres killing up to 99% of all bacteria, fungus and dust mites, our London pros vouch for this method. Shampooing is just not that good when it comes to deep germ removal unless very heavy chemicals aren’t involved.
- Long-lasting effect – Both are deep cleaning methods, and in this sense, the level of dirtiness depends on the type of carpet and its placement. So here is our first tie.
- Eco-friendly -Again, the winner is the hot water extraction method, as the ingredients used in the making of carpet shampoo are rarely natural.
If not performed by professionals shampooing can cause serious damage to your carpet fibres. This is not something you want to try on your own. On the other hand, steam cleaning is suitable both for private and commercial use.
6.11 Shampooing vs Dry Cleaning
Each method has its strong sides, however, keep in mind they are not suitable for all types of carpeting.
- Price – Shampooing is the more expensive method of the two.
- Stain removal – Dry cleaning only removes dirt from the top layer of your carpet. Thus shampooing is the better choice.
- Time-consumption – Alto effective, shampooing takes longer. If you need to deal with your carpets fast, dry cleaning is a good option.
- Convenience – The amount of leftover residue is bigger when carpet shampoos are being used. In addition, the shampooing machines cause more damage to the fibres than dry cleaning.
- Level of sanitisation and germ kill – Shampooing is better as it kills the bacteria and fungi embedded in the carpet fibres.
- Long-lasting effect – Shampooing is a deep cleaning method, so your carpets will stay relatively dirt-free for longer.
- Eco-friendly – It depends on the type of detergents used for the cleaning process. Both methods are not perceived as “green”, however dry cleaning uses less water, and in this aspect, it’s better for the environment.
Shampooing is a great way to clean heavily soiled carpeting spotted with old stains. However, it is not applicable to more delicate fibres. The best solution for natural carpets is dry cleaning.
7. How to Remove Different Types of Stains from the Carpet?
There are many techniques you can apply depending on the kind of stain, the level of dirtiness and the type of carpet fibres. However, to use them correctly, you need to know the distinction between staining and soiling.
7.1 What Is the Difference Between Staining and Soiling?
One is caused by spilling liquids on your rugs and the other – by leftover residue. It is important to understand the nature of your carpet’s stains, before attempting to clean them.
- Staining – Caused by different substances that spill on the carpet, attaching themselves to its fibres and altering their appearance — discolouration, loss of softness, etc.
- Soiling — It’s caused by two things, either a leftover residue or an oily substance, that came into contact with your carpet. The first is probably the result of improper spot treatment where there is still product on the fibres. The residue then coats them and starts to attract all sorts of dirt. The latter can be caused by different oil-based products or the natural oils emanating through your body.
7.2 How to Clean Basic Carpet Stains?
The rule of thumb of stain cleaning is to attend to the matter as soon as possible. Don’t let the spillage, be it food, beverage, or pet “presents” settle into the fibres. Once a stain has dried out, it can become impossible to remove. Otherwise, these types of spots come off easily. All you need to do is mix a small amount of dish detergent with warm water, dab some onto the stain and clean it. If this happens to not work, our professional London cleaners recommend you immediately follow one of the methods described in our stain removal guide.
8. How to Clean Your Carpets with Pets At Home
There are a couple of easy carpet cleaning tricks that can save your rugs. They don’t include the use of heavy chemicals which makes them perfectly safe for animals.
8.1 How to Remove Pet Hairs from the Carpet
If you own a dog, a cat or just a very fluffy rabbit, you have a pet hair problem. If you only vacuum your rugs, you can’t properly remove all the hairs and are just wasting your time and efforts. The best way to clean your carpet is by simply using water and your rubber gloves (or flip-flops). Wipe the rug or the carpet with the wet rubber surface, and all hairs will stick to it. Cleanse it with water and repeat a couple of times until all is gone.
8.2 How to Clean Pet Urine?
When your pet urinates on the carpet, the first thing to do is to get some paper towels and try to soak as much liquid as possible. After that, treat the stain with an enzyme cleaner. This is a special detergent that uses enzymes to destroy the proteins in biological fluids and prevent them from embedding in the carpet.
8.3 What You Can Do to Protect Your Carpets from Pet Incidents?
- Stain-resistant carpet – It might be more expensive, but it will last longer and remain spotless as it has a protective layer applied to the fibres. It can also withstand frequent vacuuming.
- Scotchguard – Thanks to its formula, this product coats the fibres and repels the dirt, dust and hairs.
- Pet-safe carpet spray – It is a fast and easy solution when your animal companion gets the rugs soiled. All you need to do is remove the dirt or urine, spray your carpet and then wipe everything with a clean cloth.
- Carpet powder – Sprinkle it on your rugs and thoroughly vacuum the area twice. It will clean everything, as well as extract all the pet hair embedded deep in the fibres.
- Steam clean monthly – This process not only thoroughly cleanses the carpet but also removes all debris, hair and particles. It is best to use a mild pet-friendly cleanser to freshen up the carpet.
- Get professional help – The benefit of hiring experienced carpet cleaners is they have access to a wide range of equipment and products. A team of experts who know how to clean the carpet properly will not only ensure it is spotless but will also add new life to it.
9. What Are the Biggest Carpet Cleaning Mistakes?
There are many mistakes people can make as they are in a hurry or simply because they don’t have the necessary knowledge. Here is a compilation of the biggest and most common carpet cleaning oopsies you can make:
9.1 Letting Spills Unattended
Carpets usually absorb spillages almost instantly, but don’t always dry up that fast. The longer you wait, the harder will be to wash out the problem so don’t delay it. And in case the spot is dry London professionals, who specialise in rug cleaning, advise using a small amount of warm water in order to “revive” the stain and ease the extraction of the dirt.
9.2 Scrubbing Instead of Dabbing
Never use a rubbing motion when attending to a stain. This will not only make it bigger but will also damage the carpet fibres. The motion will help distribute the spilt substance on a wider area and will worsen the situation. The correct way to wash the dirty spot is to gently dab on it as if you’re treating an open wound.
9.3 Soaking Stains
While using small amounts of water to clean up a carpet is good, over-using it will have the opposite effect. Drowning a rug is never necessary as it could result in damages – discolouration, damp odours or even shrinking.
This also applies to over-using rug shampoo. More is not always better. Using an extra amount will leave hard-to-clean the soapy residue, and this is simply a dirt magnet.
9.4 Coloured Cloths for Cleaning
Always use white, clean towels when washing your rugs. The coloured ones will most likely leave their print on them, and you will end up with a bigger colour spot. If this happens maybe, it won’t be a bad idea to seek out a professional carpet cleaning company as the stain is now more complex and it will need special treatment.
Make sure to have a few white towels in handy and when dabbing onto a dirty spot do not forget to change the sides.
9.5 Using the Wrong Detergents
Not every detergent is suitable for all types of carpets. A big mistake is using a solution without reading the label carefully and not testing it beforehand. A small piece of the rug from the time it was installed is perfect for this task. If you don’t have such a patch, choose a small hidden area and try the detergent there. Proceed with the chemical only if nothing wrong happens to the tested part.
9.6 Experimenting with DIY Cleaners and Methods
Removing a stubborn stain isn’t a good time for experimenting with DIY solutions. They can be very effective, but if you don’t know for certain they will work – do not risk it. Better be safe than sorry. Calling up carpet cleaning services in this situation will be the best decision.
9.7 Bleach on the Carpet
This one is a big No-No, and yet for some reason, it is maybe the most frequent mistake people make. Bleach is an acid-based detergent that can literally burn a hole in your rug. Very few materials are able to uphold a bleach wash. Do not use this dangerous liquid. Nowadays, the shops are filled with different detergents that can be safely used in the home and perform much better than bleach when it comes to stain removal.
10. What Are Some Useful Carpet Cleaning Tips?
Our pros are here to spill the tea on some of the easiest and most effective carpet cleaning tips everybody can use on their property.
10.1 Clean Your Vacuum Machine
If you want your hover to perform at its best, you need to take care of it. Empty its bag or container at least once a month. Pet owners should do that every two weeks, as the animal hairs clog the vacuum cleaner. See for yourself the big difference this simple act makes.
10.2 Use Baking Soda to Remove Smells
Sometimes carpets attract the strongest odours. A fast tip is to use baking soda to get rid of the stench. After you have performed your usual cleaning routine, sprinkle the rug with sodium bicarbonate. Let it sit for around 30 minutes and do its magic. After that, vacuum the carpet once again to remove the baking soda.
Disclaimer: If your carpet continues to smell funny, you might have a serious mildew problem. Contact a professional to get a second opinion as more serious measurements might need to be put in place.
10.3 Do a Patch Test When Using New Products
Avoid damaging your carpets by performing a simple patch test before you start cleaning. Choose a spot hidden under your couch or in the corner of the room. Put a couple of drops from the detergents onto the fibres and let them sit. After about 15 minutes, go and check it. If everything seems normal, and there are no discolouration or burn marks, you can safely use the solvent on your carpets.
10.4 Remove Your Shoes before Stepping on the Carpet
Protection is all about prevention, so you shouldn’t enter your house with shoes on. This way you’ll limit the amount of dirt and debris brought from outside. As a bonus, your carpets will require less harsh cleaning, which will preserve their texture for longer and will save you some scrubbing.
10.5 Use Doormats
Yes, having a plain doormat is a no-brainer, and you probably already have some in front of your entry. However, it’s a good idea to place a second one on the inside of the room as well, especially when the weather is bad. So, take the advice of seasoned carpet cleaners, go on a shopping spree and buy a couple of mats for each doorway. Believe us, the market is rich with cheap and cute options, and your purchase will pay itself off several times.
10.6 Vacuum Your Carpets at Least Once a Week
If done correctly, vacuuming can prolongate the life of your carpets, maintain their condition and keep the colours vibrant. Try and do it at least once or twice a week, so the dirt and dust can’t accumulate. Not to mention, this will create a healthy home environment minimizing the risk of triggering your allergies or asthma.
10.7 Check Care Instructions
Before you purchase a carpet, find out as much as possible about it. What it is made from, is there any specific maintenance requirement, etc. Basically, read the user instructions of your rug, so you will know how to deal with it correctly. Applying the wrong detergent or cleaning method can be very costly, so do your best to get to know your carpet.
10.8 Get Your Carpets Professionally Cleaned Annually
The only way to increase the life of your carpet and keep it damage-free is to deep-clean it at least once a year. Now, you can do this yourself by renting a specialised rug cleaning machine, but it’s best to leave this task in the hands of professional carpet cleaners. If you still want to attempt it yourself, make sure you know what you’re doing.
If you feel overwhelmed by all this information and don’t know where to start, contact our friendly carpet cleaning team. The Top Cleaners pros are always ready to help you and bring back the colours of your stained rugs.