Disinfection helps to destroy harmful microorganisms (viruses, bacteria, fungus) that can cause dangerous infectious diseases. Home disinfection is a very important process that should not be neglected. Rugs with the long pile in traffic areas are prone to various sorts of bacteria and fungus, so you need to learn how to disinfect carpets properly.
Major types of carpet disinfection:
- Preventive disinfection should be done regularly and permanently (cleaning carpets with special antibacterial agents, antiseptic remedies, etc.);
- Emergency carpet disinfection is done when there is a permanent source of bacteria (e.g. if one of the family members or a pet is sick) to neutralize the pathogens. Final disinfection – usually after the elimination of the main source of infection (for example, if the patient has been cured) to completely eliminate the pathogens you ought to repeat carpet sanitization;
How to choose a professional carpet disinfectant?
Shampoos, gels, powders, and liquids – there are so many carpet disinfectants in the U.S. market. But how to pick the best remedy that will be effective and not very dangerous at the same time?
A key role in carpet disinfection is to choose a disinfectant. It is important to understand that any household carpet detergent (cleaning shampoos) sold in supermarkets doesn’t disinfectant properties. Such products can only do the carpet cleaning from dust and dirt, but they are unable to destroy bacteria and fungus. Professional cleaning and disinfecting products for carpets are sold in specialized stores online and offline.
Things to look for in professional carpet disinfectants:
- It has a wide range of antimicrobial action – it is effective against most bacteria, viruses, fungus;
- They must be suitable for disinfection of carpets;
- Does not distort carpet’s colors;
- Can also be used to disinfect rugs indoors;
- Opt for a concentrated product, with an economic use rate;
The disadvantages of such products are high price and consumption. You may need a whole bottle of the product to disinfect one large carpet.
How to disinfect the carpet at home?
Professional disinfection of all carpets must be done at least twice a year. However, if you need to sanitize a carpet at home sooner, here is what you can do:
- It is necessary to prepare a solution by adding the carpet disinfectant to water. Just follow the instructions;
- Wear rubber gloves, a medical mask or respirator, and protective clothing while preparing the disinfectant solution and applying it to the carpet;
- Before disinfection, the carpet should be cleaned from dust with a vacuum cleaner;
- Then proceed directly to disinfect the carpet. Turn the carpet over to the backside. Use a brush to apply a carpet disinfectant and let it sit for the time period, according to the instructions. When the exposure time has expired, use a soft brush to start cleaning the rug from the corner. Gradually move to the rug’s bottom;
- Then turn the carpet over to its front side. The front has the pile, that is why its disinfection often takes most of the time. Distribute the carpet disinfectant with a brush. After the disinfection, clean the whole front side of the carpet. And, at last, let the carpet lie or hand outside if the weather is sunny and dry. When the rug is completely dry, bring it into the house and put it back on its original place;
How to disinfect carpets with soda ash?
Do not forget that some professional disinfectants for carpets can be dangerous for pets and small children. If you need to do regular disinfection once a week, you may use one of the homemade carpet disinfectants. One of them is soda ash or sodium hydrogen carbonate recognized as a multi-purpose, universal disinfecting remedy. Soda ash is often used as a carpet sanitizer and natural deodorant. This is how you can use it at home:
- Add a few drops of aromatic oil with antimicrobial properties (cedar, juniper, lavender, spruce) to the salt pack;
- Soak the carpet with the prepared mixture. Apply an even layer all over the carpet;
- After 3 hours, use a soft brush soda from the edges to the center;
- Then vacuum the surface. The bonus of such disinfection is additional cleaning of dirt;
How to sanitize carpets with disinfectants?
High and low temperatures can kill many germs. For instance, a steam cleaner that combines high temperature and pressure will help to successfully cope with the task of carpet disinfection. Before using the steam cleaner carpet should be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner. To prevent “over-wetting” of the carpet pile, apply a steam cleaner from the rug’s center to the edges. As an alternative to the steam cleaner, an iron with a steam generator can be used. To work with it an extension cord is needed. It is not necessary to touch the carpet surface with an iron.
The winter season provides an additional opportunity to disinfect a carpet with a low temperature outside. You may take out a carpet on a dry frosty day outside and leave it unfolded for several hours. If there is snow, you may cover the carpet with it.
Cleaning recommendations for carpets after disinfection
For the rugs with the delicate and thin pile, carpet disinfectants like Vanish is the right choice. They will gently remove impurities and then dissolve without leaving a trace. To remove old dirt, it is better to use a ready-made solution or powder.
No carpet cleaning and disinfection can be done without a vacuum cleaner. If you have a good carpet cleaning machine, you can forget about dirt. You should choose powerful models with special nozzles for different types of the pile. However, too powerful machines can damage the structure and deform the delicate thin pile. If the rug is to be cleaned at home with such a device, it is better to hire professionals.
A more gentle option with a special technique is a steam cleaner. You can buy the device for home use. The price of steam cleaners starts at $100, but if you have more than one carpet in your home, it makes sense to think about buying such a useful device. Consider investing in a steam cleaner if you have carpets with a long pile.
How to sanitize carpets with a long and thick pile?
Long pile rugs are the most laborious carpet type to clean. Long pile absorbs the dirt, dust, dander and fine garbage. In such a “soil”, bacteria often start to multiply. Vacuum cleaners do not always cope with long pile carpets, that’s why you need to provide additional care. Sanitize long pile carpets at least once a month to prevent the spreading of bacteria and fungus.
During disinfection, never pick hard brushes, especially for long pile rugs. Such a brush can rip out the pile and break the glue layer. The affected carpet may have an ugly interlacing. Long pile carpets require the use of active foams and chemicals that penetrate deeply to the base. Once the cleaner dissolves the dirt, it is easy to clean with a vacuum cleaner.
Common tips for disinfecting carpets:
- If you vacuum the carpet regularly, it will simply not have a chance to get dirty;
- Dry cleaning of carpets is ideal for most products (especially the rugs made of wool). If you are using water, dry the product thoroughly to prevent mold and fungus;
- Too hot water should not be used at all. Also, forget about using the brushes that are too stiff, as they can be very damaging to the thin pile;
- If you use professional cleaning products (foam and powders), be sure to read the instructions: most cleaning solutions are not suitable for all types of carpets;
Do not forget to open windows while your vacuum cleaner is working. Do not rush to close them after turning off the vacuum cleaner.
Instead of final thoughts
Prevention is the best way to keep your pets and family members from different bacteria in carpets. Regular fresh air, UV-effect and daily ventilation of the room where the carpet is placed will be an effective way to deal with most microbes. And use professional assistance and carpet disinfectants every 6 months to prevent the spreading of dangerous bacteria and fungus.