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How to Clean a Heavily Soiled Carpet

how to clean flooded carpet
March 23, 2023

Having a carpet in your home is great. There is nothing like the sense of warmth and beauty that it brings to the room and it can be especially great if you have children to roll and run around on the soft carpet fibres.

But there is one very important thing to remember: no matter what size, colour, type or brand of carpet you have, it is going to require a lot of cleaning and maintenance. It is safe to say you are even going to need professional carpet cleaning services from time to time, as that is the best way to clean the area of all impurities. 

If the instructions below sound like too much work or time, you can always call us - our professional cleaners would be happy to help you with the cleaning. Give us a call at 07557914387 or 02036215221.

Apart from vacuuming the carpet, which is the essential routine cleaning process, you are going to have to do some deep cleaning. If you have ignored those duties, then your carpet will become heavily soiled. The same is when you have an emergency, such as flooding and you need to clean your carpet. We will cover useful tips for such cases and more in the following guide. 

How to clean heavily soiled carpet after a flood?

woman manually cleanign a wet carpet by hand

Heavy rain or pipe problems can lead to a carpet being flooded with water. Every carpet cleaner can tell you this - excess moisture during a steam clean process or flooding always spells trouble for carpet fibres. Depending on the level of flooding, you may need to replace certain parts or consider getting a new carpet. It is helpful to get professionals on the job, as they know how to deep clean carpets in case of such an emergency. 

You may need to remove the pad 

If the damage is serious, you have to remove the pad underneath the carpet. Sometimes, it is glued to the floor, so you will need professional assistance for this step. Getting a replacement is usually the case when the backing has been damaged by the water and replacing it is the only option moving forward. Depending on how long the water sits on the carpet, the carpet may develop mould and mildew spores, which calls for disinfection. 

Dry the carpet thoroughly

Excess water can not only heavily soil the carpet but also cause mould and mildew to grow. Allowing the carpet to dry naturally may not be an option, considering the severity of the issue. You want the area to dry quickly or else moisture can be damaging to carpets. You may need to employ fans and ensure the place gets as much ventilation as possible. 

Follow up with an anti-microbial solution 

When the water is gone, you will have to disinfect the entire carpet. Using a cleaning solution to remove microbes and bacteria from the area is necessary, in order to restore the carpet and sanitise it. Then, a special cleaning machine can be used to deep clean your carpet and restore it. 

How to deep clean carpet? 

man cleaning up carpet by hand

While it is great to use your vacuum cleaner to remove ground-in dirt with the vacuum on a regular basis, cleaning old carpets this way is not going to restore their 'like new' look. Here are a few methods for you to consider: 

Deep cleaning without a machine 

A carpet-cleaning machine is your best option for a thorough clean. If you lack one, you can go the DIY route. Here is a recipe you can follow for some homemade carpet cleaning solution: 

  • Sprinkle a cup of baking soda over the carpet or area rug 
  • Create a mix with a carpet shampoo that has been colour-tested and warm water in a spray bottle 
  • Spray this cleaning detergent over the carpet 
  • Use a carpet brush on the area 
  • Blot with a clean cloth 
  • Spray with water only 
  • Blot again 

This process may take some time, but it will clean your carpet naturally and save you the need to rent a carpet cleaning machine. For more information, check out our blog about how to clean an area rug at home.

Use a carpet cleaning machine 

People used to stray away from carpet cleaning apparatus, which was considered too big and uncomfortable to work with. But nowadays there are more compact machines that can do wonders on matted carpets and against dirt and stains. The way you deep clean rugs and carpets with a machine is simple. Just follow these steps: 

  • Clear the room of furniture items 
  • Vacuum your carpet first to remove dirt 
  • Check for tough stains that will require more attention 
  • Pre-treat the stained area and do some spot cleaning 
  • Add the right cleaning products to the machine. You may want to consult with a professional carpet cleaning company on this one
  • Start from the farthest corner of the room and work your way around the room till you cover the entire area 
  • Rinse and repeat with clean water. You may not need to go over this step again, but it can really restore carpet appearance 
  • Let it dry. Open all doors and windows and wait for several hours before returning furniture back to the room and walking on it 

How to remove stains with baking soda and other natural methods? 

woman cleaning carpet stain

The best time to remove stains from carpet is to deal with the issue as soon as possible. The longer a carpet stain remains within the fibres, the more difficult it will be to remove it. The thing that professionals always advise is to act quickly and never scrub a stain. Instead, you should blot up as much of the stain as possible with a clean cloth. Here are several cleaning methods for dealing with the most common stains: 

Remove pet stains with white vinegar 

If you have a pet in your home, you need to be ready for accidents. If there is poop, urine or vomit on the carpet, you can remedy the situation with a combination of quick action and using your own carpet cleaner. White vinegar is a good solution that can help with pet accidents on the carpet. You can clean a carpet by hand with a solution of 50% white vinegar and 50% lukewarm water. It works to neutralise the stain and also remove the odour. Shake the mix in a spray bottle and apply it to the stained area. Work the solution into the fibres and use a clean cloth to blot. Repeat until your carpet looks restored. 

Remove a red wine stain

When a red wine stain occurs, tend to it as soon as possible. Blot it up and sprinkle some table salt on it. You want to absorb as much of the liquid as possible before it has had the chance to set in. Pour some water onto the stain to dilute the wine and continue blotting. Use baking soda paste to address the stain further. Baking soda is a great tool you can use in a regular carpet cleaning routine, which also helps against red wine. Mix 3 parts baking soda and 1 part water, then apply it to the stained area. Let it dry completely and then vacuum. Repeat the process if the wine stain is still visible. 

Remove a coffee stain 

Many carpet owners who like to drink coffee like to be prepared in case their favourite drink ends up on the carpet. First, you have to blot up excess moisture. Again, try to be quick, before the liquid gets to the carpet backing and damages the carpet. Mix 2 teaspoons of dishwashing liquid into 2 cups of water and apply on the stain. Work the solution into the fibres, starting from the outside of the stain and moving to the centre. Blot with water to remove the solution and treat the stain. If the stain persists, you may need to apply a stronger solution, such as oxygen bleach. 

If your carpet can be cleaned by bleach, you can read our guide on how to clean bleach cleanable carpets.

Remove an ink stain 

Rubbing alcohol is a great tool for any sort of ink. Soak a sponge with rubbing alcohol and start blotting at the ink stain. After several tries, it should start to lift. Continue till the stain is removed completely. Hydrogen peroxide can help you if you find an old ink stain. Blot it thoroughly till it comes out. Then flush with water to remove the hydrogen peroxide and let the carpet dry out completely. Repeat if the stain is still visible. 

Remove nail polish stain 

First, remove as much of the polish as possible with a solid object, like a knife or a spoon. Then, test a small inconspicuous area of the carpet for how it tolerates acetone. This is the best tool to use for the job. If your carpet is fine, you can apply some acetone on the area with a cotton swab. Dab the area and apply again until the stain lifts up. Rinse with water thoroughly and then use a carpet shampooer to finish the job. 

Knowing how to address stains and other issues with a heavily soiled carpet can help you restore the area. Remember, proper cleaning is important for the long-term sustainability of the carpet. 

Is vacuuming mandatory for carpet cleaning?

The answer is yes. Vacuuming is absolutely essential for routine and deep cleaning alike, as it removes caked-on dirt from the carpet pile. You can go over your carpet one or two times if there is a lot of traffic and it will really make a difference to the stains and dirt present there. If you have a cleaning lady coming over, always instruct them to go over the carpet with a vacuum cleaner. While dry cleaning and rinsing the carpet can be effective at cleaning a heavily soiled carpet, proper vacuuming will prevent the soiling in the first place. 

How often to clean your carpet? 

Carpets accumulate dust, dirt, grime, pet hair and dander over time. That is why you have to do regular cleaning with a vacuum. Vacuuming once a week is generally enough for most areas. If there is heavy traffic, you may need to do one cleaning session with a vacuum frequently. You can then go with professional carpet cleaning of the whole every few months. 

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