No wonder the carpets are always a fright! The never-ending, visual landscape of fluff and dirt is created by everyday traffic of kids running around like little hooligans, the dog and cat shedding their winter coats, and the husband snacking on crackers and flaky pastries while he watches TV. It seems that no matter how often you hoover or shampoo the floors you are constantly bombarded by the mess.
It is okay to go into the other room and scream into a pillow; that is just Therapeutics 101. It is sound practice to release your tension, but just know that when you return to the living room, the crumbs and pet hair will still be there. Oh, the futility!
So, what if you just give up or go a cleaning hiatus or house-cleaning strike? Shut the door to the offending room and go on holiday—um, er—probably not. What happens if you neglect your carpets and don’t clean them regularly? Assuming this is not a rhetorical question, let’s look at the potential issues and risks if you were thinking about neglecting one of your home’s most relied-on commodities.
Dust and dirt, soil and soot, grease and grime. No matter what banner it flies under, filth is all the same, because it is all unwelcome. Another commonality is that it can be harmful and damaging if left to fester. Hoovering the floors once per week will not stop the build-up in moderate to high foot-traffic areas.
Smells seem to permeate in a carpeted environment. The tight weave of the fibres act as a woollen breeding ground of sustainability for ‘pongy-ness’. It might be amazing the rate of the unidentified scent that infiltrates the home, but wouldn’t you rather be impressed by a fresh spring breeze wafting through the home?
Food and Beverage spills are inevitable. Life! It is made for living, and a house is meant to be lived in. But the laissez faire attitude is not recommended when it comes to whether or not you should clean up that spill tonight or tomorrow morning. Be proactive with stains before they really take a strong-hold.
With the seasons come different problems that can cause irreparable damage to our carpets. In the wintertime, the use of sand and salt products to de-ice the pavement can get tracked in. These are heavy abrasives that can cause ‘delamination’ to the glue and backing of carpets.
No matter what season it is, dripping water is not a carpet’s friend. If the kids are constantly running back and forth between the sprinkler/pool and the house, the carpets are sure to suffer.
Respiratory problems, e.g. asthma, and other allergies caused by dust mites and other micro bugs, and mental health, e.g. depression, have been linked to dust mites — nobody needs this headache. Allowing dust to stick around can spread viruses, e.g. Norovirus. Moisture can cause mould and mildew to grow as well as harmful bacteria and viruses causing sickness, e.g. Campylobacteriosis and Salmonella.
For dirt build-up: there are some easy steps you can take to keep that carpet and home fresh-er and clean-er. Keeping spaces neat and tidy go a long way to helping stave off the dust and dirt.
The ‘no shoes’ policy may seem uptight and annoying, but it really does cut down on the tracking-in. Keep a pet-designated cleaning towel by the back door to intercept those muddy paw prints. Don’t forget to clean under the furniture too.
Smells: There are a lot of options when it comes to deodorisers on the market. The type of smell and its cause will need to be considered, e.g. mould and mildew from humidity and the damp, stale food and garbage. For pets, you might need an enzyme-activated or non-ammonia-based cleaner. Stay away from formaldehyde-based air fresheners.
Stains: Blot up spills straight away, spray water and white vinegar (4:1 ratio) to separate the stain from the carpet, re-blot the area to remove excess moisture, and repeat the process until the stain is successfully removed. To dry the area, put an absorbent towel over the area and put a heavyweight overtop to soak up the moisture. You might need to seek a professional if a stain is extra stubborn.
Irreparable Damage: Be wary of using wire-bristled brushes or vacuum cleaner attachment heads, such as a rotary brush known as a ‘beater bar’, that may not be designed for the type of carpet, e.g. wool and natural fibres, in your home. Also, wipe your feet and incorporate some easy tips scattered throughout this article, e.g. removing shoes at the door, and cleaning up any liquids, spillage and stains immediately.
Germs, Disease, and Ill Health: Keep your carpets clean from dust and dry from moisture. Deodorise your carpets.
Purchasing harsh chemicals and household poisons can be a recipe for disaster. They are not safe options and their use might have unknown long-term effects. Why take the unnecessary risk? But if you do choose to use such items as bleach, ammonia, and methylated spirits, keep these locked away from children and pets, and only use in well-ventilated spaces.
Look for home remedies and natural solutions to replace chemical cleaners with chlorine, lye, phosphates, heavy metals, and ammonia. Non-chemical cleaners will be user-friendly and better for your in-home environment as well as the outdoors environment.
For instance, healthy, homemade flea treatment for dogs try a wormwood, lemon and rosemary water spritzer. Or tea tree oil, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar are all astringent-product forces to be reckoned with. Anything baking soda -related; ask your grandma — she knows.
Although vacuum cleaners are not the only tool you need in your cleaning cupboard, they are an important one. Not all hoovers are created equal. If you have a pet, for instance, you will need a pet-specific appliance and attachments to pick up the hair-shed. The hoover will need to have shampoo capability for the stains and the smells that come as a package deal with your beloved family pet.
Also check your carpet materials, e.g. wool or synthetics, and the manufacturer care instructions. You can’t treat all carpets in the same way when they are not made in the same way.
It is recommended that you get your carpets steam cleaned by a commercial cleaner twice per year, but less than once is a crime against your carpet. But professionals need to use responsible cleaning agents as well. Commercial carpet cleaners on the market often use naphthalene and perchloroethylene. These are carcinogenic and you need to say ‘NO THANKS’ to these. Look for eco-friendly carpet cleaning companies close to your home.
To preserve the longevity of your carpet and the health and wellbeing of your family, it is crucial that you employ a professional carpet cleaner to deep clean your rugs on a yearly basis. Maintain personal health and home cleanliness by incorporating as many of these helpful suggestions as possible into your house-cleaning regimen. You, your family, and friends will enjoy your living space and feel at ease in your home.
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