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Tips on How to Clean Your Carpets

For the first time in over 20 years, I am taking back my lounge and, after painting, etc., carpet cleaning a very dirty carpet.




The carpet in my DIY workshop has coped with dust and sawdust... lots of sawdust; it has endured sealer, varnish, and paint spills. It has withstood glue spills, sticky tape and so much more, and is still in good condition.



I gave up my lounge over 20 years ago to be able to host DIY Divas workshops from home. Luckily, I had an upstairs lounge that we could use but it was hard having visitors tromp up and down the stairs every time they came to the house. Now it is time to pack up DIY Divas after 18 years and i am also very glad to be reclaiming my lounge.









Fixing up the walls and ceiling were the first steps with painting shortly after, letting the paint dry for a couple of days before it was time to hire a carpet cleaner and get stuck into the very, very dirty carpet.



The carpet has been vacuumed regularly, but anyone who attended the DIY Divas workshops can attest to the fact that the carpet was in the room for comfort, and it had to put up with a lot from the weekly Saturday morning workshops. It has coped with dust and sawdust... lots of sawdust, it has endured sealer, varnish, and paint spills. It has withstood glue spills, sticky tape and so much more, but believe it or not, the carpet is still in good condition.





This was the carpet in 2012 when I had to remove several dried on paint spills in various spots on the carpet. Even after two years of DIY Divas, the carpet still looks in good condition. It's nice to have the carpet in the workshop and it makes it feel cosier and more comfortable underfoot, especially in winter.  Find out how I removed the dried paint spills. Keep in mind that Plascon removAll eco-friendly paint stripper is no longer available, but there are now plenty of alternative eco-friendly paint strippers that are safe to use on carpets. Before using, do a test on an inconspicuous area of the carpet.









As mentioned above, the carpet is covered in paint spills and splodges of glue and since I cannot afford new flooring at this stage, I would like to carpet to be presentable as it will be covered with large rugs until I can look at putting in new flooring. In the image below, you can clearly see all the paint spots, sticky tape and glue that is all over the carpet.





To Do Before Cleaning the Carpet



Step 1

Remove all furniture from the room. It is difficult to clean carpets thoroughly and to let them dry properly if there is still furniture in place.



Step 2

Before using the carpet cleaner there is some preparation to be done in advance. Give the carpet a good cleaning with a vacuum cleaner and do it twice. Any dust trapped in the carpet needs to be removed or it will become embedded in the fibres and may even turn to mud, wasting your effect at cleaning.



Step 3

After removing the furniture, you may find that there are areas of carpet that are flat by furniture pressing on the carpet fibres. I have heard that placing an ice cube will help lift the fibres but have previously used a damp cloth and steam iron to lift the carpet fibres. Do this before you start cleaning so that the carpet cleaner can also get to work on the previously flat areas.







How to Remove Paint Spills, Glue, Sticky Tape, etc.



Step 1

Whatever spills or stains you need to remove from a carpet, do this before you clean the entire carpet. For dried paint or glue, I pour a little hot water over these to soften it up and make it easier to remove. I do not recommend using a scrubbing brush as this will damage the carpet fibres and leave them looking fluffy. Rather use an ordinary cutlery knife that has a serrated edge and run this over the dried paint in the direction of the carpet fibres. This will break through the dried paint and allow you to gently scrape it away.



Step 2

Apply carpet spot stain remover over the treated areas or smaller paint stains. Leave the stain remover on for the specified amount of time or for at least 30-minutes. Then use a soft scrubbing brush - I use an old toothbrush - to agitate whatever is stuck on the carpet and release it from the carpet fibres. When using the carpet cleaner over these areas, do extra vacuuming to remove any excess moisture in the carpet.





Spot treatment is necessary for removing paint spills, chewing gum, glue, or sticky tape.





Tips for Using a Carpet Cleaner





Follow the suppliers' instructions for setting up the carpet cleaner. They should supply you with a bottle of carpet cleaner, but you can request more if you are cleaning more than one carpet. I only needed a 750ml bottle to clean a room of 36 square metres.


Tip 1

Work in small sections at a time, first wetting the area (with the vacuum off) and then going over it again (with the vacuum on) and spraying with water. Then vacuum only and push the nozzle hard forwards and backwards to suck up excess moisture. Keep an eye on the inlet suction to check when no more water is being sucked up and this will give an indication that there is very little moisture left in the carpet and it should dry quickly.





Tip 2

Over heavily stained areas, you can repeat the process of wetting and removing water until the stained area is no more. Always be sure to go over with the cleaner on vacuum only to remove excess water. 



Use the method above to clean even very dirty and stained carpets in the home.









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