Many solutions for muddy carpet
A rainy — and muddy — summer has left many homeowners dealing with mud-soiled carpet.
Jeannie Wildin at County Seat Home Decorating Center in Marion said frequent use of an efficient vacuum is crucial for carpet care.
“Many times we go into customers’ homes and find vacuums with broken belts or plugged up intake tubes,” Wildin said. “These require easy fixes, and with regular maintenance and cleaning of your machine, can keep them working properly.”
Wildin said carpets should be vacuumed weekly, or more often in heavy traffic areas, with pets, and when needed because of usage.
“Soiling from the very wet, muddy season we just encountered is best dealt with by allowing the mud to dry,” Wildin said. “Use the bowl of a spoon or other smooth object to loosen the dirt, then vacuum. It’s also important to deal with spots as they happen. Using an approved spotter to clean spots as they happen is important.”
Wildin recommends cleaning carpets every 12 to 18 months to prolong the life of the carpet.
“Hot water extraction, also known as steam cleaning, is the recommended method of cleaning your carpet,” she said.
According to Better Homes and Gardens, steam cleaning machines are often available at grocery stores. They clean carpet by washing it with a carpet cleaning solution and vacuuming dirty solution into the tank.
Besides renting the machine, it is necessary to purchase carpet shampoo and defoamer solutions. Spot remover and odor remover are also available.
It is important not to overwet the carpet, which can cause carpet shrinkage or discoloration, damage to the carpet pad, or odor.
Wildin said professional carpet cleaning is a combination of the equipment, cleaning solutions, and knowledge on the part of the person cleaning the carpet, but rental machines or machines sold for home use can help homeowners keep on top of stains.
“Use an approved cleaning solution, don’t use more than the instructions allow, and make certain you are extracting as much liquid out as possible,” Wildin said. “Using more product than recommended can actually attract soil. Using good ventilation and air movement to speed drying is important. Only replace furniture after carpet is dry.”
Marion County extension agent Tristen Cope recommends protecting carpets and floors from muddy grime by using a rug or mat for wiping off shoes when entering the house. Gritty soil tracked in on shoes will scratch hard-surface floors and cause deterioration of carpet fibers.
“It is also important to wipe up spots and spills on floors immediately,” Cope said. “On carpet, blot the spill, then treat accordingly.”
Last modified Aug. 22, 2019