Carpeting in a bathroom can add warmth and make the atmosphere cozy and homier. However, keeping carpet clean in a bathroom can be a real challenge, and it demands more attention on the part of the homeowner than hard flooring. If neglected, carpeted bathrooms can quickly become smelly or dirty and make the room inhospitable. Below are several hints for keeping your bathroom carpet clean, odor-free and long-lasting:
Immediately and properly address messes and spills
One of the most common mistakes made by homeowners when it comes to carpeting is to neglect accidents and spills for too long. In the bathroom, where bodily fluids and other noxious substances can be present, failure to act immediately is even more detrimental. Waiting too long can allow stain-causing substances to penetrate the fibers in the immediate vicinity, including those not originally affected by the spill, and even soak down into the carpet pad. Worse, if some spills dry, the chances of the stain becoming permanent increase and make full clean-up less likely.
That is why you should take fast action to properly address a spill before it has a chance to work its destruction on your carpet. If the mess is primarily liquid in nature, immediately evacuate as much fluid as possible from the carpet. This is to prevent deep soaking that can lead to fiber staining or weakening or mold inside the recesses of the carpet and pad. You can use a stack of bath towels or a shop vacuum to remove the liquids.
You will also need to remove solid spills in a prompt manner. Scoop up solid substances with a spoon and avoid scrubbing the area with a brush or towel, as these actions can spread the stain and unravel the fibers. Once the material is removed, use safe spot cleaning chemicals such as white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide to remove residual stains. Just be sure to blot, not rub, chemicals and spills with a white cloth or paper towels, and also spot test any chemicals used on inconspicuous areas first.
Restrict certain activities from the bathroom
Another way to keep your bathroom carpet clean is to refrain from high-risk activities that can cause carpet damage if an incident occurs. For example, instead of applying nail polish in your bathroom, work over a solid surface that makes clean up much easier in case of a spill. Some other activities that you should consider avoiding include using hair color dyes or bleaching products, tanning sprays, and applying certain types of makeup. In addition, try to purchase dye-free bath and body products if possible; these are less-likely to stain carpet and make cleanup a lot less stressful should an accident occur.
Get professional cleaning annually and when major spills occur
One of the best things a homeowner can do to add longevity to their carpet is to have it professionally cleaned on an annual basis. Professionals possess the specialized equipment and cleaning chemicals that are designed to be both effective and safe for your bathroom carpet. Carpet cleaning chemicals that are available in retail stores are often full of detergents that are difficult to wash out of the carpet. This can leave a hidden residue that later attracts and holds grime. Instead, the use of steam cleaning tools by a professional carpet cleaner can provide the type of deep, yet gentle, cleaning that leaves the nap of the carpet soft and also prevents fraying of the strands.
If you have a major accident inside your bathroom, such as a sewage backup, overflow of a bathtub or a broken pipe, then obtaining the help of a carpet professional is definitely important. They will be able to quickly remove large volumes of water and help with the cleaning of the carpet. In some cases, the carpet and pad may need to be temporarily removed to allow for a full and complete restoration of the flooring materials. Be sure to ask your carpet cleaning professional for help in recommending a qualified carpet installer should this be necessary.