Disinfecting your carpet is a necessary task that should be repeated regularly throughout the year. Disinfection helps stop stains from setting, and it makes a huge difference in keeping the place smelling good and free of allergens that can make you sick.
Before you pull out any fancy cleaners or whip up homemade recipes, there are a few things you need to do first and regularly between carpet disinfection sessions to make it easier to maintain a carpet that’s fresh and clean.
Vacuum Before Doing Anything Else
Before you treat the carpet, address stains or rent a carpet cleaner, vacuuming comes first.
Make sure you have a clean bag and/or filter. Cleaning or replacing the filters every few months will help ensure you’re getting everything out of the carpet.
Check for blockages. When you vacuum, you should be able to hear the little dirt particles coming into the holding chamber. If you see little particles falling out of the vacuum after you have rolled over them, check the airflow, and make sure there are no holes in the tubes or blockages.
Set the vacuum at the height that is appropriate for your rug. Many vacuums have settings for low-pile carpets and bare floors. If you have a deep pile rug and your vacuum is set to this setting, it won’t be getting everything at the bottom of the rug. You should feel that the vacuum is almost trying to pull forward when you turn it on.
Slow down. It’s tempting to rapidly drag the vacuum back and forth across the carpet, especially when you know this is the first step to disinfecting your carpet. Slow down to ensure you are getting all the dirt that is ground in; this may require a few passes.
Treat Stains on Your Carpet
There are a number of different solutions that you can apply to your carpet in large amounts on the areas that have been stained. Depending on what caused the stain, the solution may vary. For example, red wine is often spot treated with white wine, and blood can be handily addressed with hydrogen peroxide.
Just remember to:
Use a good amount of your solution of choice. Don’t spritz lightly. Many stains go deep into the fibers, and you want your solution to go just as deep, if not deeper. Saturate the stained area if possible.
Blot; don’t rub. Take a clean towel, and dab gently at the stain to try to remove it once the solution has had time to sink in. Rubbing it will only rub the stain deeper into the fibers.
Let it sit. In some cases, especially if the stain is new, it will immediately come up with spot treatment. However, if the stain has been there a while, it’s a good idea to let the solution sit for at least a few minutes to fully saturate the fibers.
Retreat if necessary. If you saturated the stain, blotted away what you could and let it sit only to re-blot a few hours later and find that the stain is still there, it may be necessary to treat the stain again or try a new solution.
Disinfect Your Carpet
Now that your carpet is thoroughly vacuumed, all loose debris is gone and your stains have been treated effectively, it’s time to begin the disinfection process. There are a few steps to this process, so make sure you have all the supplies on hand before you begin.
Start with vinegar. White vinegar is a natural way to disinfect your carpets, and it’s a simple and cost-effective process. Simply pour white vinegar into a spray bottle, mist it over the carpet and let it sit overnight. If you come into your business and notice a strong vinegar smell, don’t worry. The next few steps will help.
Rent or purchase a steam cleaner. Steam cleaning is a great way to activate the vinegar and raise the temperature of the carpet high enough to kill germs. Operate the steam cleaner according to directions, using one part vinegar to two parts water as your cleaning solution.
Use the steam cleaner correctly. Simply dragging a steam cleaner over carpet is not effective. Make sure that there is a blast of steam at least every 30 seconds and that you cover every inch of the carpet.
Allow the carpets to dry thoroughly. This may be challenging if you are in a business where the carpets are thick or immovable. The whole process can take time, so make sure to do it when the business will be closed to allow for complete drying.
Consider These Things When Disinfecting Your Carpet
Your choice needs to be sustainable. Disinfecting your carpet is
activity. It’s something you need to repeat regularly throughout the year to maintain optimal hygiene.
Letting the total dry time elapse is essential. If you expose carpets to traffic before they are completely dry, you may negate the disinfection process. It can take a long time for carpets to dry, so make sure to factor that in every time disinfection is scheduled.
The process is simple but not easy. The steps to carpet disinfection are easy, but they are also easy to get wrong. Using the wrong solution on the wrong carpet, not allowing enough time for different steps and even doing the vacuuming wrong can mean that the carpets remain dirty.
If disinfecting your carpet feels like another chore you don’t want on your to-do list, Alsco can help. We provide regular carpet cleaning services to businesses on a dependable schedule, so they always have the most hygienic environment without interruption or hassle.
Contact Alsco today to learn more about how we can streamline carpet cleaning and disinfection.