Healthy Home article

How to clean your carpet

From stain removal to whole-home cleaning, James McCrea and Dr Calum Robertson share tips and methods for how to clean a rug or carpet properly.

  • vacuum carpet clean test

  • Even when attended to daily, it can be difficult to maintain a clean carpet without the right methods and tools. Dirt, fine dust and stains can become embedded in carpets and rugs, posing a challenge to remove. “At Dyson, we have almost 30 years of research into how best to clean flooring, including carpets” says James McCrea, Senior Mechanical Engineer at Dyson.

    The range of vacuum cleaners and accessories at Dyson have been developed using advanced engineering, to solve the problems that others ignore. Floor types differ around the world, which is why at Dyson each vacuum has been rigorously tested across different forms of flooring. “In our Pick-Up Laboratory, we test how effective our machines are at removing dust, dirt and hair from your home using many different floor types – from industry standard carpets to tatami matting commonly found in Japan”.

How to clean carpet from day-to-day

To effectively remove dust and maintain the material’s appearance, a vacuum for carpet should be your first port of call. While many wait until dust becomes visible, to effectively keep carpet clean, it’s important to create a regular vacuum roster.

“Carpets can hide dust and dirt between their fibres, as well as harbour microscopic life – such as dust mites, moulds and allergens – all of which can impact your wellbeing. So, it’s important not to wait until your carpet looks visibly dirty before vacuuming”, says James.

As James explains, “using a Dyson carpet cleaner on high-traffic areas twice a week and all other areas once a week will effectively remove dust and dirt from carpets and rugs.” For how to clean carpet at home the right way, there are some engineer tricks that will make sure you successfully remove particles and allergens with every clean.

1. Vacuum slowly and purposefully

To create the best vacuum cleaner for carpet and rugs, Dyson has developed technology which combines suction and agitation with powerful cyclone technology and engineered brush bars. Vacuuming slowly allows the brush bar more time to “agitate” dust and dirt embedded into carpet fibres. Repeated passes over each area will also give your Dyson machine the best chance of complete dust removal, but any more than three times provides minimal gain, according to our research laboratory.

2. Have the right accessories handy

To remove dust and allergens from hard-to-reach areas or capture pet hair, dander and mites without loss of suction, accessories help to clean carpet fully. Keep tools handy for exposing dirt and particular removal challenges, to ensure a complete clean every time. Among our tools are the Low-reach adaptor, which adjusts the angle wand up to 90° to reach under low furniture. For how to clean a rug or carpet with coarse materials, the Stubborn dirt brush helps to dislodge ground-in dirt via its stiff nylon bristles.

Explore our entire range of accessories.

3. Cover every area

Exposed surfaces aren’t the only areas that harbour dust and dirt. Particles, including potentially millions of dust mites and their faeces can be found underneath sofa cushions, in furniture and curtain creases. If neglected, they can easily become airborne and inhaled, triggering allergies, and reducing the health quality of your home. Use accessories such as Mini-motorised tool, Soft dusting brush tools and Combination tools to gently remove dust without disturbing and displacing it.

How to get stains out of carpet

Stains are varied in their components, so a number of different methods might be required to address them. Many people use multiple cleaning products to try and remove a stain but doing so mixes a range of different chemicals – which is potentially dangerous. “While it can be tempting to try and deal with a stain as quickly as possible with as many cleaning products as possible, it’s vital not to mix cleaning products” explains Dr Calum Robertson, Chemical Research Scientist at Dyson.

Instead of mixing chemical products with a range of formulas, Dr Calum suggests approaching a stain with the lightest treatment first and following with more abrasive methods where necessary. This also protects the carpet from damage too.

  • Vacuum if the stain is dry: Wiping dry substances can be counterproductive – if you’ve spilt ground coffee or another dry product, try vacuuming first. Moisture can damage the mechanics of a Dyson carpet cleaner, so if it’s a wet stain avoid this step.
  • Start lightly: Most carpet or rugs are dyed, so strong cleaning products can potentially lift dye in the cleaning process. Begin with soap and warm water, which works well in breaking down oil and usually won’t damage your carpet material.
  • Try a biological formula: Some stains – like grass, chocolate and blood – are made of proteins and starch. These compounds can be broken down effectively via enzymatic solutions like warm water and biological laundry detergent.
  • Only use bleach sparingly: Other stains require bleach – especially compounds that discolour carpet materials like coffee, tea or wine. To clean carpet or rugs with these types of stains, test bleach on an inconspicuous spot first, and be patient when cleaning. Applying too much at once can cause irreversible discolouration to both the stain and your carpet.

Explore Dyson tips on removing pet hair in the home next.

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