How to Clean Heavy Traffic Lanes on Your Carpet
Heavy use of your carpet in certain areas of your home is simply unavoidable. When walking has to happen, so do dirt and stains. This much is a constant. How you deal with the dirt and stains is another story. You can definitely take control of a heavily trafficked area of your home with the right cleaning techniques. Here’s how to get it done.
Vacuuming helps clean the slate for the rest of the cleaning process. It’s important to do this first not just because the carpet will be getting damp later in the process, but because getting little chunks of dirt or other goodies out of the carpet will prevent them from being spread around during the other steps. Vacuum the carpet thoroughly left to right. Then vacuum it again, just as thoroughly up and down, or perpendicular to the first motion. If you feel the dirt is still stubbornly hunkered down, you may want to give it a try diagonally. Either way, you can’t skimp on the vacuuming in an effort to skip to the other steps. This is the foundation for your cleaning.
Apply Carpet Prep Spray
Carpet prep spray will ready your carpet for stain extraction. Spray the solution into the carpet and then work it in so all areas, even those deep in the naps get exposed to the prep material. The prep spray helps loosen the bonds between the stains and the fibers of the carpet. It’s similar to soaking a dish with a little bit of dish soap and water. Let it sit for five to 10 minutes.
Use Carpet Cleaner to Attack Stains
Apply carpet cleaner to the entire area. You can focus a little more attention on the more heavily soiled spots to make sure the cleaning is thorough. Each carpet cleaner has slightly different instructions, so read them carefully and follow them to the last detail.
Vacuum Up the Carpet Cleaner
Use the vacuum to suck everything up. This will give you a chance to have a fresh look at the carpet and see how the cleaning went. If you still notice some spots that need work, start again with the carpet prep spray. Then you can just repeat the steps in order, going back to the carpet prep spray each time you have to spot-treat an area.
What Cannot Be Cleaned
Some carpets experience a yellowing effect, particularly when they are near an entryway. This is the result of a chemical reaction that makes the fibers of the carpet change color. Because the fibers themselves aren’t stained but have actually changed to a different shade, they cannot be cleaned. Working away at this kind of yellowing will waste time and may weaken your carpet.
Using these steps will help you defeat the specter of staining in high traffic areas of your carpeting. Do the above steps about once every 90 days to keep your carpet looking fresh and clean.