Grubby carpets and rugs? Say no more. Whether you’ve got one of the best carpet cleaners (opens in new tab) or you’re getting the professionals in to do the job for you, you’ll still need to prepare before you can get those carpets looking like new again.
We’ve got tips on how to prepare the floor areas so that they’re ready to clean, how to keep your pets out of the way, and advice for getting the best from your clean.
Cleaning your carpets is not only a good way of getting rid of visible stains, but it’s also a fantastic way to improve the smell of your home. Carpet cleaners often use cleansers or gentle detergents to add freshness and fragrance to your carpets.
Once your carpets have been cleaned though, it’s important to allow your flooring plenty of time to dry. Moving large furniture or curtain drapes onto damp carpet can leave some pretty horrible damp smells, so try to avoid this.
For tips on how to prepare before you clean your carpets, just keep reading.
1. Declutter and remove as much furniture as you can
Any cleaning job is much easier if you have a clear space to work with. Before you can even start cleaning your carpets or let the professionals work their magic, take out any potential trip hazards. Shoes, bags, and clutter that we’re all guilty of leaving around need to be tidied away or simply taken out of the area you need to clean.
Sometimes professionals won’t be permitted to move your furniture themselves, so make a clear floor area by taking bulky furniture out of the room. Taking items out of the room will also prevent them from being damaged or getting wet during the cleaning process.
2. Protect your walls
If you’re getting a professional carpet cleaning company to do the work for you, it’s worth thinking about your walls. As carpet cleaners can be pretty bulky and some come with large hoses, consider using good quality painter’s tape where cleaning cords or hoses could leave ugly black marks. Problem areas normally include baseboards, doorways, and corners.
Likewise, if you’re cleaning the carpets yourself, be extra cautious on tight corners, the base of stairways, or on the legs of furniture if you’re unable to carry it out of the room. Foam padding is also a good alternative to protect edges and baseboards.
3. Hang up your curtains
If you have curtains or drapes that reach the floor, now is the time to protect them from getting wet and dangling on the damp carpet after it has been cleaned. If you’re going all out and want your whole room to be spotlessly clean, now is also a great time to take your curtains down and wash them, or alternatively most carpet cleaners have attachments that are great for cleaning curtains or upholstery.
4. Take your pets out
Your furry friends might be cute, but their hair and fur can get pretty much everywhere - especially when there are damp carpets for them to stick to. If you’re cleaning the carpets yourself, check out our advice on the best way to stay on top of pet hair (opens in new tab). If you’re getting the professionals in, take your pets out of the room and make sure they’re not frightened by any newcomers in your home, as well as the noises and beeps some carpet cleaning machines can make.
5. Get the vacuum out
Not all carpet cleaners require you to vacuum first, but it’s always a good idea to start with a blank canvas. Take your pick from one of the best vacuum cleaners for home (opens in new tab) and take small, slow vacuum strokes to pick up any pet hair or dirt that’s lying deep in the carpet. Removing the top layer of dirt and dust will allow a carpet cleaner to reach much deeper into the carpet threads for a better cleaning result.
For more cleaning tips and ideas, head to our article on how to clean your mattress to help it last longer (opens in new tab).