Typically when facing stained carpets, people either opt to go it alone, relying on elbow grease water and basic ingredients, or they hire a professional carpet cleaning service to effectively and efficiently remove the stains for them.
There is, however, a middle ground of off-the-shelf products that claim to help clean your carpet, but not every product that claims to effectively clean your carpet will clean every stain, and in some cases can cause damage to the pile and fibres that are only noticeable later down the line.
Particularly with the advent of social media and the rise in popularity of cleaning ‘hacks’, a lot of mixtures and products not designed to be used on carpets are being used to clean stains, which can lead to a range of side effects ranging from annoying to potentially dangerous.
Here are cleaning products you should avoid using on your carpets.
Primarily used to clean solid materials such as stone and metal, abrasive cleaners such as bicarbonate of soda, salt and other products you can buy are often effective at tackling tough, baked in stains, which leads to the temptation of attempting to use them on your carpet.
Technically, abrasive cleaners can work, but so can using a knife to cut away the affected bit of carpet. Abrasive cleaners often damage the carpet fibres on a fundamental level, which can lead to a carpet that looks frayed and damaged.
An extremely powerful chemical used when powerful cleaning and unblocking is needed, bleach has been used with astonishing regularity in homemade cleaning products. However, this is almost always a terrible idea.
One of the actions bleach has is to remove colour, which is why it has been used to whiten clothes. However, when used on a carpet it can lead to white blotches that are impossible to fix. It also can cause serious harm to people’s health through the release of chlorine gas.
It is such a bad idea that many carpet manufacturers void the warranty of any carpet that has a bleaching agent used on it.
Washing powder or liquitabs are used with the help of the spin-cycle of a washing machine to help easily remove stains from clothes. However, they need that spinning motion to work properly to actually clean and avoid causing a mess.
Using washing powder on a carpet, therefore, is a very bad idea as it has a habit of sudding up, leading to a sticky, soapy mess that is even harder to clean than the stain was.