Rug or carpet cleaning should be done regularly. Carpets can become laden with dust mites and grime long before they appear dirty. A build-up of dust and dirt can have dire consequences for anyone who suffers from hay-fever or asthma. Asthmatics are sometimes advised to have slate or tile floors. Keeping a carpet or rug clean also affects the life of the carpet.
As well as impacting on the health of a family, dirt and dust particles have an abrasive impact on carpet fibers. Regular, thorough vacuuming removes grime. Carpets last much longer and appear newer and cleaner. To be effective, vacuuming cannot be done in a hurry. Go over each section in every direction a couple of times. Empty or replace the vacuum bag often. Occasional deep-cleaning has much to recommend it. Either hire a machine and do it yourself or approach a commercial company to do the job.
Much of the dirt that gets walked into carpeted areas can be stopped at entrances by having a mat. This is especially so at doors to the exterior. Have mud scrapers as well at these points. Most people now are happy to remove their shoes on entering a house. You could perhaps have some slippers in the hallway for guests. Stains and spills should be treated immediately. Blot up spills as rubbing will spoil the surface. If stains are dealt with instantly, you may need nothing more than water.
Commercial companies may use a dry compound method of carpet or rug cleaning. Biodegradable cleaners are brushed or scrubbed into the surface. These cleaners are absorbent and were once manufactured from corn husks. Synthetic polymers are now commonly used. After allowing time for the compound to absorb grime, it is vacuumed up. Commercial vacuum cleaners are much more powerful than household models.
The Bonnet method uses a carbonated water and cleanser mix. This is misted on and scrubbed in with a round buffer or bonnet. The rotating absorbent pad attracts dirt but needs to be rinsed often. Drying can take a long time.
Manufacturers most often recommend steam cleaning or hot water extraction. This uses advanced technology. An acid based detergent is used to pretreat floor coverings made of natural fibers while an alkaline based product is used for synthetic materials. The product is removed by rinsing. Agitation of the surface with the wand assists in releasing grime and dirt.
If you use cleaning methods other than vacuuming, be aware of safety issues. Most rugs have a manufacturer's tag which gives details of the composition of the rug. If you buy cleansers, read and adhere to the suggestions. Hydrofluoric acid and butoxyethanol are two of the powerful chemicals which might be used in cleaning products. You may be advised to wear gloves and goggles. Good ventilation is also important.
If you intend hiring a commercial rug or carpet cleaning company be sure to ask to see references. Floor coverings may be a very expensive investment. Protect it by looking after it well. When it's time to sell your house, your floor coverings will still be looking good.