How to Clean Carpets
Carpet cleaning is an ongoing job. If you have children, pets, or high traffic areas in your home that are carpeted, then you’ve got a job for life.
But, carpet cleaning doesn’t have to be daunting if you keep a handle on things. Here are some tips on how to clean your carpet.
Whether low pile or shag, carpets need regular cleaning to maintain their great look. Lighter colored carpets will need to be cleaned more often, but all carpets will need something done to if you’ve owned them for any length of time. Vacuuming is your first line of defense.
Vacuuming once a week at least will keep crumbs and dirt from getting ground into your carpet fibers. Choose a vacuum with a high suction capacity. This type of vacuum remove the dirt from your carpet with each pass you make.
Stains on carpets shouldn’t be allowed to set in. Use a spot remover and blot dry. If you must rub to work out the stain, start from the outside of the stain and work your way towards the center in a circular motion. This motion keeps the stain from spreading. If you have a dark colored carpet, spray the spot remover on an inconspicuous area of the carpet first to make sure that it is color-fast.
Vinegar and water (1:2) can be used on pet stains to remove the odor. Using a white rag, apply the mixture to the stain. Blot dry. Rinse with clean water. Blot any excess and let air dry. Repeat the steps as needed until the stain is gone. An enzymatic spray may be needed.
Mud is a nightmare to clean out of your carpet, especially the red clay variety. Cleaning mud stains takes less effort when they are fresh, but can still be cleaned after the mud is dried with a little elbow grease. Use liquid laundry detergent to treat the stain.
The laundry detergent will release the stain from the carpet just like it does with stains on your clothes. Blot the area dry. Pour white vinegar on the stain. Blot the stain again with a clean cloth. Use more laundry detergent. Blot dry. Pour clean water on the area. Blot to remove any excess water and let dry.
Deep clean your carpet with a professional steam vacuum once every three months. If you don’t feel confident doing it yourself, enlist the aid of a professional. Deep cleaning gets at the dirt your regular vacuum cleaner cannot.
Keeping the carpet clean lowers the amount of allergens found there. This is important if you have children with asthma. Overall, cleaning your carpet properly makes the floor a safer place to be.
How to Clean Hardwood Floors
Hardwood floors can add to the value of your home. To keep them looking their best, cleaning on a regular basis is recommended. This will prolong the life of and shine on your flooring.
Before cleaning any flooring surface, always sweep up any dirt and debris first. If the broom doesn’t quite get it, use a vacuum cleaner on the “bare floor” setting. The cleaning job will be easier if there is as little as possible on the floor to begin with.
Apply oil soap, such as Murphy Oil Soap to a clean, dry rag. Always apply the oil to the cloth and not the floor. Pouring the oil directly on the floor can cause uneven coloring because the soap will soak in more in that one spot.
Gently and with the grain, work the oil soap into the hardwood flooring. Once a rag becomes soiled, switch to a new one. Continue this process until the entire floor has been cleaned. You may need an entire bag of cleaning rags.
Let the oil soak into the floor for several hours. You can go over the floor again with more oil to make sure that the coloring is even throughout. Oil soap is best for older hardwood flooring to maintain the shine.
For no-wax hardwood flooring, oil soap is not necessary. You should sweep and/or vacuum as usual to remove all of the loose dirt. Apply warm soapy water to clean these types of floors. Make sure that all the soap is up off the floor and let it air dry.
The above process will leave you with beautiful hardwood floors. If your flooring has gotten stained, a few more steps should be followed. For people with pets, a common problem is urine stains. Stains should be wiped up as soon as they are noticed.
First, blot the stain dry with a paper towel. Blotting the urine confines the stain to one spot on the floor. Rubbing a stain on a hardwood floor will spread the stain and work it into the wood which is not good. Pour white vinegar on the affected area as often as needed. White vinegar will pull the smell out of the floor. The smell of cat urine is particularly strong.
Use warm water to rinse the area clean. Apply a pet stain enzymatic cleaner to break down the proteins in the stain. After the stain dries, clean the flooring as per your usual routine.
Hardwood flooring doesn’t have to present a headache for the owner. Know which type of hardwood flooring you have installed. Cleaning is a snap if a routine is established at the outset. Get into a habit you can stick to.
How to Clean Marble
Marble is beautiful and expensive. If you can afford marble countertops and/or flooring then you should become acquainted with how to care for and clean it properly.
Here are a few suggestions for doing just that. Marble is not as hard to keep clean as one might think if you make it a habit from the beginning. For regular weekly cleaning, stay away from harsh cleansers that could strip the marble of its shiny finish.
For countertops, use a wet cloth to clean off crumbs and food stains. If the stain is tough to remove, try using peroxide or ammonia. When the marble surface is clean, dry it with a chamois cloth like you would use on your car.
Marble is a soft type of stone. Using acids on marble can damage the surface. Foods or drinks that contain any type of acid should be cleaned up right away to avoid surface issues. Using vinegar and water to clean the surface would also ruin the shine. Abrasive or powdered cleaners like Ajax will scratch the marble surface. This is important to remember with marble showers and tubs.
When it comes to marble flooring, no cleaner is necessary. Marble flooring should be cleaned with warm water on a mop. The same agents can be used to remove tough stains on floors that were used on the marble countertops. Drying and buffing the floor with a chamois cloth will maintain the shine and avoid unsightly water spots.
To protect marble countertops in the kitchen, take preventative measures. Use trivets for hot pans out of the oven. A spoon rest on the stovetop will keep you from spilling food and sauces onto the counter. Use coasters for cups and mugs. Slice fruits and vegetables on a cutting board and not on the countertop surface.
Area rugs are a great idea for marble flooring. Area rugs reduce the amount of flooring that is actually treaded by shoes. Area rugs underneath of furniture avoid scratches to the marble when furniture is moved. Children shouldn’t play with toys in a marble-floored room. Having your family remove their shoes at the door will also cut down on the dirt on the marble flooring.
If any marble surface does sustain scratches call a professional. You shouldn’t try to repair these types of problems by yourself. Anything that you would do could cause further damage that may be unable to be repaired.
Marble surfaces are beautiful and add elegance to your home. To maintain the beauty, keep it cleaned on a regular basis. This will ensure your investment lasts.