Keeping your living room carpet clean.

Living rooms are usually the most high traffic areas of a house for a typical family. It is undeniably a magnet for all sorts of debris; flotsam and jetsam of the streets, especially the carpet that lie within. While many a intellectuals and inventors have spent many hours of brain time developing gadgets, schemes and contraptions akin to those of Wiley E Coyote, the 1860 invention, the carpet sweeper and the proceeding evolutions and revolutions remain champion.

The Plan

There are several facets to cleaning and maintaining your living room carpet. First and foremost:

1. Ensure to vacuum the carpet at least 2-3 times a week.
2. In case of spillage of any substance that creates stains, spot clean immediately. Usually a little bit of water with vinegar or club-soda will do the trick.
3. Do a thorough cleaning periodically. The most popular method is the hot-water extraction method (aka steam cleaning). You can easily get your hands on a do it yourself machine at your local DIY store or equipment rental.

The Vacuum Cleaner

According to professional cleaners an upright vaccum (as shown in the picture) is best when it comes to extracting dirt which has decided become entrenched. Alternatively a big canister design with a beater bar also has it’s advantages. But the key lies in the suction power of the motor. For instance 180-200 AW is great for an upright, 80-100 AW for a cordless and 300+ AW for a canister type . The higher the suction power you get a more effective cleaning, however the big caveat is the power consumption and a higher electricity bill.

Arresting the stains

While the natural tendency is to rub out the stains from existence the key to an effective removal is blotting. While the most commonly used methods is to use vinegar or club soda sparingly, for especially stubborn stains, dishwasher detergents have been found effective against grease and freezing chewing gum is well known method to remove gum.
But most surprisingly ordinary shaving cream in the form of gel does a fantastic job of taking out most common stains.

The Deep Clean

Before embarking on a big cleaning project taking note of the following should allow you to decide on the most appropriate hot water extraction cleaning solution.

1. Knowing the material from which the carpet is made from will help in picking correct cleaning solution.
2. Test out the solution on a small bit of the carpet to ensure that everything works fine with no lasting damage to the material and fibers.
3. Read the instructions on the machine and the detergent carefully to ensure that optimal treatment is given and to avoid hazards.
4. Dry the carpet as quickly as possible after the cleaning get the moisture out as soon as possible. Big fans, or an air condition are useful .

Machines are usually available for rental, with a purchasing option costing between a few hundred to a grand based on quality of the product and capacity.

Keeping things Fresh

A carpet may appear clean but that does not mean it is fresh. Especially when it ages near a kitchen or pets it can attract and retain unpleasant odors. The easiest solution is to sprinkle the carpet with baking soda and vacuum it up after a few hours.

There are also tons of commercial carpet deodorizers available in the market with varying results and prices. If matters get out of hand there is a little-known method of sprinkling it with grated potatoes and letting it stand for a few hours before vacuuming it up.

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