Whether you live alone or with six children, it's important to have your carpet cleaned regularly. After all, your carpet is probably even dirtier than your toilet seat, and it can harbor dangerous bacteria such as E. coli and Staphylococcus. When you have kids, however, there are some unique challenges to take into account when it comes time to shampoo your carpet. How do you get rid of that strange, milky odor? What about that juice stain in the corner? These tips will help you tackle these parent-specific struggles and more.
Tip #1: Do a spot-cleaning session before shampooing the whole carpet.
Arm yourself with a bottle of the best carpet stain remover you can find. Before you set off to shampoo your whole carpet, scan it for stains, and treat them all individually with the stain remover. If there is still a slight stain left behind after you use the stain fighter, don't worry. The cleaner will continue to work as you prepare the shampooer, and when you shampoo, the machine will hopefully suck up the rest of the stain remover and stain, leaving your carpet stain-free.
Tip #2: Use a cleaner made for homes with pets, even if you don't have pets.
Carpet shampoo made for pet owners typically contains enzymes designed to break down stinky proteins found in pet saliva and urine. These enzymes may also help break down proteins in milk spills and other food spills left behind by toddlers, so your carpet smells cleaner.
Tip #3: Keep your kids off of the carpet when it's wet.
If you let them play on it while it's still damp, the wet rug will pull oils and bacteria off of the surface of their skin, essentially rendering it dirty again. Instruct your kids not to walk on the carpet until you tell them it's safe to do so. Block off the room if possible, and don't violate this rule yourself, either. Your bare feet are also covered in bacteria that can cling to a damp rug.
Tip #4: Make sure your carpet shampooer gets the water really hot.
Hot water does a pretty good job of killing bacteria, but unfortunately, not all carpet shampooers get the water as hot as they claim. If yours seems to be spitting out lukewarm water, it might be time for a replacement.
Your kids probably spend a lot of time playing on your carpet, so it's essential that it's clean. Follow the tips above, and your shampooing sessions will be more effective. You may also want to consider having your carpet professionally shampooed once per year. Professional shampooers (such as those from Gulf Coast Carpet Cleaning) are able to reach deeper into the carpet and remove lingering contaminants that your shampooer may not remove.