Carpets are wonderful. They keep the floors warm in a Dublin winter and provide a soft and comfortable area for walking and for children to play on. But carpets need regular cleaning. A good vacuuming will do the job on a regular basis, but it’s not enough to keep your carpet in its best condition. To extend the life of your carpet and keep it in its best shape over the years, carpets should receive a thorough cleaning every 12 to 15 months.
Routine Carpet Care
Dirt and debris wear out the fibres in your carpet. To ensure you get the most life out of your carpet, use dirt mitigation techniques that will prevent mud, snow, road salts and other debris from getting into your carpet. Rubberized mats in entry ways. Vacuuming high traffic areas daily and thoroughly vacuuming all areas weekly will help to keep your carpet clean. Spot cleaning for spills is also good routine care.
Even the best vacuums and spot cleaners cannot remove all of the dirt, debris, allergens and bacteria that get into your carpet with regular use. Spot cleaners may remove a stain from the surface fibers but often stains extend into the base of the carpet and the underlay beneath and over time, can wick back further damaging the carpet.
All carpets require annual cleaning, every 12 to 15 months, depending on traffic, wear, and fibre type. In Dublin, there are a number of options for deep cleaning your carpet including doing it yourself with a rental or purchased carpet steamer, dry cleaning or steam cleaning carpet. There are advantages and disadvantages to each method.
Rental/Purchased Carpet Steamers
The advantage to a rental or purchase carpet steamer is that, per use, they are going to save you some money.
However, these machines are not as powerful nor does the water become as hot as the steam cleaners that a professional will use and so will leave more dirt, bacteria, and stains in your carpet than the professional machine. Because they are not as powerful, rented and purchased steamers also tend to leave more water in your carpet, requiring more drying time and increasing the risk of damage. Finally, different stains require different treatments and methods to remove, treatments and methods that a professional cleaning service can remove much more effectively.
Dry cleaning your carpet involves applying a powder to the carpet, allowing that powder to settle and absorb the dirt in the carpet and then using a circulating vacuum to remove the absorbent powder. Dry cleaning uses little to no water, leaving your carpets dry and useable quickly. Dry cleaning services are usually relatively inexpensive and are a good method for intermittent cleaning.
Dry cleaning only cleans the surface of your carpet and does not clean deep. Also, some of the powder used can be left in the carpet, causing dust issues and building up with repeated use. The buildup itself can wear and break down your carpet.
Professionally Steam Cleaning Your Carpet
Professional steam cleaning tends to be more expensive than the other options and requires that your carpet be allowed some time to dry before being used again. The time involved will vary depending on the type of equipment used and Dublin’s humidity. Fans may be used in some areas to allow the carpet to dry more quickly.
Despite the additional cost, a professional steam cleaning, every 12 to 15 months or so, is the best way to ensure a thorough cleaning. The temperature of water used helps to ensure that bacteria built up in the carpet is killed and removed. The more powerful steamer also allows the water and cleaner to reach deeper into the carpet, removing the maximum amount of dirt, debris which damage carpet fibers and stains. Deeper cleaning means that stains are less likely to wick back up the fibers and return.
Experts and manufacturers agree that regular deep steam cleaning of your carpet is the best method of maintaining and extending the life of your carpet.
There is an added benefit in using a professional steam cleaning service in that the service you hire will know how to deal with different stains to ensure they are removed most effectively. They will also know how to reduce or eliminate any risk of colour change in most carpets.
Keep in mind though that there will be some stains that just cannot be removed by any method.