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  • How To Disinfect Carpets and Rugs

    October 16, 2020

    It would be hard to imagine a home without carpets. The right pattern, color, and texture can completely transform a living space and provide warmth and comfort to bare toes. Carpets bring a lot of positive to the home, but beneath their soft fibers can also lurk some dangers. There could be millions are harmful germs, allergens, and bacteria hiding in plain sight, silently jeopardizing the health of everyone in the family, including the furry family members. Thoroughly cleaning the rugs or carpets in the home isn’t enough protection. Periodically, each area should be disinfected and sanitized.

    What To Know Prior To Treatment

    Before you undertake the challenge of removing unwanted particles from your rugs, there are several things to know about carpets and cleaning solutions. Rushing into a project without researching your materials and surfaces could lead to damage. You don’t want to start a disinfecting process but end up with a replacement process because of poor judgment or inexperience. Consider the following information.

    1. Not all carpet fibers react to cleaning solutions in the same way.
    2. Too much product can create fading or discoloration.
    3. Improper techniques can lead to backing separation.
    4. Inadequate equipment can lead to mold or mildew growth from wet carpets.
    5. Insufficient solution applications may not take care of the problem.
    6. Some chemical solutions strip a carpet of its stain-resistant properties.
    7. Too much water can increase the risk of subfloor damage.
    8. Using a disinfectant product could void a warranty on the carpet.

    As you begin to research what it takes to disinfect your carpets, remember that professionals will do it best. The team at Safe-Dry Carpet Cleaning of Knoxville has accumulated years of training and experience, giving you cleaning and sanitation services you can trust.

    What Treatments Are Available

    For those who want to pursue cleaning their carpet without professional help, there are a number of solutions that are advertised as disinfectants. There are commercially sold products and there are solutions compounded from household ingredients.

    • White vinegar: One of the most recommended household solutions is white vinegar, which many will spray directly onto the carpet. Though people have been using this approach for years with some success, the EPA warns that white vinegar isn’t effective against a majority of the germs or bacteria causing serious illnesses. For a disinfectant to be considered effective, it should kill at least 99.9% of disease-causing viruses or bacteria. Vinegar is more useful for removing dirt and as an all-purpose cleaner.
    • Borax, baking soda, and cornmeal combinations: Household products like baking soda or borax can be effective in eliminating odors or moisture from the carpet. These combination applications take longer to work, as the mixture might have to stay on the carpet for hours or overnight to more effectively remove stubborn stains or odors before it can be vacuumed up.
    • Steam power: To eliminate the spread of germs and bacteria through carpet fibers and air dispersion, steam cleaning carpets can neutralize the harmful particles. The cleaning machines heat a reservoir of water to a high temperature to apply steam to the surface of the carpet. As the steam cools, it reverts back to its liquid state. When the machine puts a suction on the carpet, the liquid is removed along with dirt, stains, bacteria, or allergens that were buried within the carpet. Steam cleaners are a recommended way to get rid of dust mites, dirt, and health-jeopardizing pathogens. For the cleansing to be effective, the steam should be at least 170 degrees Fahrenheit when applied.
    • Chemical solutions: There are several commercial products on the market that advertise disinfectant or sanitation properties. These are often applied the same way a household solution would be, although some of the more concentrated cleaners may be diluted or experience shorter application periods. Because of concerns with indoor air quality and chemical toxicity from an application, professional carpet cleaning services are highly recommended for heavy disinfectant efforts. The potential for chemical treatments to stain, erode, or discolor rug and carpet fibers are another reason to leave this option to a professional cleaning company.

    What Steps To Take

    When you have narrowed down your choice for disinfecting, you need to prepare your space. If possible, remove all furniture from the room. Open the windows or turn on a fan for increased ventilation. Start by picking up large pieces of trash, then thoroughly vacuum the entire rug. Prior to applying any cleaning solution, test it on a small area of the carpet to determine if a reaction will occur.

    • Household solutions: For those who have chosen to use a household solution like vinegar, combine equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle and lightly mist the carpet. This acts as a pretreatment for spots and deep cleansers. Allow the vinegar and carpet to dry completely. To steam clean the carpet, combine one part vinegar to three parts water and pour it into the detergent reservoir. Run the steamer according to the machine’s instructions. Allow the carpet to fully air dry, then vacuum the carpet once again.
    • Elbow grease: If you are going to disinfect the carpet without the use of a steam cleaner, you can use household or chemical solutions, but you will need to apply more elbow grease. You can sprinkle baking over the carpet all over the carpet and allow it to sit for 15 minutes. Using equal parts of white vinegar and water, along with a squirt of dish detergent, create a cleaning solution to thoroughly scrub the carpet. After letting it soak for 10 minutes, rinse the entire carpet using fresh water and a clean cloth. Let it dry before vacuuming.

    What Precautions To Take

    To protect your carpet from accumulating more debris or germs, institute new protective practices around the house. Encourage those in the family to remove their shoes at the door, depositing them into a shoe bin or leaving them on a shoe mat. Try to vacuum your carpets at least twice a week to avoid dirt or allergens from getting ground into the carpets. Clean up any spills or accidents immediately, using solutions with vinegar or baking soda to absorb stains and disinfect the spot. Always ventilate the area well when using steam cleaners or liquid cleaners to allow thorough drying and prevent mold or mildew from growing.

    What Treatment Is Best

    The best way to have your carpets thoroughly disinfected is through the experienced and efficient efforts of a professional carpet cleaning company. These teams have everything needed to do the job, whether its the specialized machines, quality cleaning and disinfectant detergents, manpower, or experience. Put your carpet into capable hands by calling our team of professionals at 865-233-9347. At Safe-Dry Carpet Cleaning of Knoxville, our services deliver peace of mind that your rugs are free from harmful pathogens or toxins while still looking great.





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