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As much as we love vacuum cleaners for helping our cleaning tasks so much easier than it is supposed to be, cleaning and maintaining a carpet does not really require one.
Besides, these mean cleaning machines are not always the friendliest. They can be extremely bulky and difficult to store and very noisy, too. Not all of us (especially your pets) are big fans of having these vacuums around.
But, if you have a beautiful rug or carpet to maintain, what do you do? How do you make sure its beauty and quality lasts a long time even if your most useful tool is not around to help out?
Step 1: Follow a regular surface cleaning routine
A popular quote goes, “Prevention is better than cure” and it goes true even for carpets and rugs.Making sure that you remove any surface dirt by sweeping or shaking the rug (or small carpet) outside already does wonders.
Doing it on a regular basis helps lessen, if not prevent, the accumulation of dirt and debris that might otherwise become harder to remove later on.
Simply picking up big morsels and keeping food and drinks away from rugs and carpets helps add weeks, months or even years into its lifespan.
Step 2: Packaging tapes are great for furs and hairs
Vacuum cleaners are best used to remove fur and hair that may have gotten tangled around the fibers of your rugs and carpets.
However, if you currently do not have the machine or are not planning on getting one, there is still another solution. Take out your rolls of packaging tape and press it on your carpet or rug to pick up loose hairs, fur and even dirt much easily.
You can then discard the tape once it no longer allows the debris to stick. It definitely is not the best way to deep clean your rugs – it is not the most efficient and it can be time-consuming as well – but it does help rid the surface of dirt and debris.
Step 3: Remove the stain right away
When stain gets into your rug or carpet, the best thing to do is prepare warm water and two pieces of clean cloth. Using cold water will only allow the stain to set in which is why warm water does the job better.
To do this, simply dip a clean cloth into the warm water and then dab it around the stain area. Press lightly until the stain becomes lighter and is no longer visible.
Be very careful not to spread the liquid so as not to spread the stain in the process. To dry off the spot, use the other clean, dry towel to take out the water that was added earlier.
When cleaning stains in a rug or carpet, remember to simply blot the stains, not rub them in. The best type of mixture used to clean carpets is a combination of baking soda and water. Vinegar and dishwashing soap are also great alternatives.
If you like, you could also use commercial cleaners but you have to make sure that they were specially designed for the type of material your carpet or rug is made of.
Step 4: Wash your carpet with water
Just because you do not have a vacuum cleaner does not mean that you should avoid letting water into your rugs and carpets.
Washing with water is possible as long as they are done in very minimal quantities.
For example, you can dip a scrub brush into a pail of clean water and then work on a small area at a time. Frequently changing the water and the brush (or sponge) is also recommended to prevent rubbing in dirty water.
Then, block off any form of traffic in the newly cleaned area and let it dry overnight. Setting up fans to blow on the wet area also helps speed up the drying process. Be sure to clean during dry, low-humidity days to prevent mold build-up.
See? Cleaning and maintaining carpets and rugs does not have to be so difficult even without your trusty vacuum cleaner. As long as you follow our tips, you can be sure to add more years into your precious carpet’s lifespan.
Or if it’s too much for you, hiring out professionals to do the job on your behalf is a great option, too.
Gemma Tyler is a freelance journalist with 15 years of experience writing for consumer publications. She has tested and reviewed a wide range of household items from vacuum cleaners to washing machines and dehumidifiers to steam irons. Her attention to detail and exhaustive testing certainly makes her an expert in her field.