Carpet Cleaning Guide
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To keep the carpet in your home looking good, lasting long and remaining hygienic, you have to clean it regularly. If you have an active house with kids and pets, you probably find yourself fighting an uphill battle trying to keep your carpets clean. After you check with your carpet's manufacturer for any particular cleaning instructions, you can compare the different carpet cleaning methods to determine which is right for your carpet.

Buying or renting

You can do a reasonably good job with the carpet steam cleaner that you can buy or rent to clean your carpet yourself, according to an article in "The Washington Post." The advantage of buying or renting a steam-cleaning machine is the money you save. You can clean the carpet about nine times doing it yourself versus what a typical professional carpet cleaner charges for only doing a part of your home, according to "The Washington Post."

Considerations

Professional steam-cleaning carpet cleaners typically do a better job than you can do yourself because they are less likely to make amateur mistakes. Common mistakes the do-it-yourself cleaner makes are using too much detergent and not rinsing away all the residue. Professionals also use hot water that comes from their truck-mounted equipment. The water you use will probably cool off during the process. The professional system is more powerful and can remove more water, leaving your carpets dryer than you can leave them.

How often

Most carpet manufacturers recommend that you professionally clean your carpets once every 12 months. If your carpets regularly get dirty because of pet stains or sticky spills, consider buying a carpet cleaner to use on a regular basis and calling a professional when you need a more thorough cleaning, recommends "The Washington Post."

Less-effective types

Besides steam cleaning, dry chemical cleaning and bonnet cleaning are other options. Dry chemical cleaning does not wet your carpet, although some dampness may occur, according to the Home Hints website. Dry chemical cleaning works by dusting chemicals onto the carpet, working the chemicals into the carpet with a brush and then vacuuming. Bonnet cleaning is used typically for commercial buildings. After putting detergent onto the carpet, a rotary pad attaches to the bottom of a machine, agitates and removes the detergent. Dry chemical and bonnet cleaning are generally not as effective as steam cleaning, according to "The Washington Post."

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