The best way to clean the carpet in your home naturally
- Use a vacuum cleaner with a motorised head
- Use a vacuum cleaner with a Hepa Filter
- Be thorough - go over a small area and concentrate on it until it's really clean
- Steam clean every 6 months with a natural carpet cleaner
Back in 2013 I had the pleasure of interviewing Nicole Bijlsma, author of Healthy Home Healthy Family and creator of the Abode Cleaning Products range. We spent the week asking our customers on social media what they wanted me to ask Nicole. A repeated question was about priority - for those that are time poor, what's the most important cleaning job in the home and the answer was a simple one for Nicole, keeping carpets clean.
We all lead busy lives and keepinig the house spotless isn't always possible. In the real world we have jobs, errands, kids, pets, meetings, cooking, relaxation (yeah, what was THAT again?) and we don't have a lot of time for a cleaning regime, whether it's natural cleaning or not!
After my interview back in 2013, I sat back down in my office, barely able to see the carpet for all the dog hair (my cleaning lady broke her hand and I had been a tad under the weather), wrote down some notes and then followed her advice and went and plugged my vacuum cleaner in.
ONE - choose a vacuum cleaner with a motorised head
Without a motorised head, you're only ever going to pick up what's on the surface of your carpet. The longer the pile on your carpet, the stronger and more powerful vacuum cleaner you're going to need to keep it clean. I personally always invest in Dyson for my own home. It's one area that I use the 'buy quality buy once' philosophy. It's a really important tool in the home and they last for years and years.
TWO - choose a vacuum cleaner with a hepa filter
For those with allergies or asthma sufferers in the home, this is absolutely vital. For everyone else, it's a really really good idea. A hepa filter will trap microscopic particles down to 1,5,00 of a pinhead. What's this small? Pollen, mould sports and dust mite faeces for a start. Again, I feel Dyson truly shines in this department. The hepa filters are not a consumable part, they are washed, dried and placed back in to the vacuum cleaner. I have no affiliation with Dyson and this is not a sponsored post. I am just a long standing and very happy customer.
THREE - be thorough
Nicole said that it's much more important to concentrate on a small area and go over it thoroughly to really let the power head brush dig deep in to your parcel pile and pull out anything that shouldn't be lurking in your carpet. While quickly flitting over the carpet once or twice may give the appearance of clean, deep down, there's all kinds of gunk and crap left behind that a really good quality vacuum will pick up, given half the chance.
If you only have time to do all the carpet quickly or half of it more slowly, just vacuum half of it slowly and do the rest another day. The cosmetic appearance of clean on the top and a healthy and thorough deep clean are two different things.
FOUR - Steam Cleaning with a natural product
In 2013 when I did the original interview with Nicole, the product I'm about to mention to you from their Abode Cleaning Products range had not been invented. The original advice was to find a company who use a natural citrus based cleaner, and they're not easy to find. There is far too much greenwashing around such terms to just trust anyone on their word, and I learned the hard way when a cleaner packed with sulphates was used in my home and pitched to me as suitable because it was what they used in hospitals and schools. It resulted in me having to stay out of the carpeted rooms in my home for several days, and I suffered bad headaches and highly inflamed and painful sinus cavities.
The Abode Laundry Soaker High Performance is the perfect product to use in a professional carpet cleaner's machine. It's low sudsing and colour safe. I have spoken with the formulator of the product (Nicole's husband Mark) and also professional carpet cleaners and seen I have seen it in action. It really does clean the carpet. The 1kg tub is enough to do 4 rooms around 20 times, so you can buy it for your laundry soaking and then just hand it over to the carpet cleaner and they won't use that much.
Avoid dry cleaning carpets, they leave chemical powder behind. Choice also have an article on the best ways to clean carpet and their research shows that steam cleaning is a much more thorough clean. Dry cleaning is only a surface clean, and like we mentioned with the vacuuming, it's just not enough. When the Choice article mentions spraying a chemical on and leave to bond with the soil, this is the step that the natural laundry soaker is used.
When having your carpets cleaned using the steam cleaning method, it is vital that the carpet is not over-wet and is allowed to dry well so mould issues don't come in to play.