Yes! I dislike cleaning dust at home. But, being asthmatic and hater of dust, regular cleaning or dusting is a must. Carpets and rugs hold most of the dust in your house. So here I will be sharing some of the easiest techniques to clean your Carpet, Rugs & Shag Rugs. After reading this article you will know why we need to clean carpets and rugs and how to keep them clean.

Let’s start with WHY do you need cleaning or dusting?

Carpets are porous and absorb dust, human & pet hair, food crumbs or any other litter. So it’s most important to keep the carpets clean to have a clean and hygienic home. Even without carpets, you will always find dust or dirt on the floor, furniture and in general around the house. Dusting, sweeping or mopping cannot remove dirt jammed inside your carpet as effectively as how a vacuum cleaner can.

How your typical carpet at home will look

Most common ways of dusting are:

Using the dusting cloth

Cleaning with microfiber cloth created by freepik

Dusting cloths are used for years now. A soft cotton cloth is generally used to wipe off dust particles. These days Microfiber cloths are perfect choice to do the task. It’s best to use the ones with a higher GSM value which indicates the thickness of the cloth. They are amazingly absorbent to clean away dust by trapping them between the fibers. What’s great is they can soak up to 80% of the water being Hydrophilic, making them best for cleaning surfaces. They also dry 3x times faster than cotton. The cloth has affinity to oil. This makes oil cling on to its fibers making it very apt to clean kitchen counters and stovetop. All in all, any furniture, doors, windows and even floors are best cleaned with a microfiber cloth.

I have been using the SOFTSPUN Microfiber cloth for as long as I can remember. They come in a variety of colors and sizes and have lasted longer than a cotton cloth, even after regular daily use. I use these grey ones for dusting around the house and these blue ones for my kitchen and countertop.
Now, however useful a microfiber cloth is to clean surfaces, it does not really help much in the case of carpets. It can only help remove or wipe off a stain or any liquid that might have spilt on the carpet. For dust cleaning of the carpet, we need a better tool.

Brooming

Cleaning set created by freepik

Brooming is one of the oldest cleaning techniques. We have used the traditional brooms for years. These days they come along with a dustpan which allows you to sweep in the dust directly into the pan. Traditional brooms made us bend which we disliked, but these new age dustpan brooms are sufficiently tall, which makes brooming a breeze.

I use the Naivete Broom with Dustpan. It has an attached dustpan which is also ergonomically designed and also has a long handle.

But, brooming cleans carpets & rugs for big debris rather than fine dust. When brooming carpets and rugs, the dust spreads in the air. It settles down after some time, in the same places which you just cleaned. So, though you feel you have cleaned your carpets and rugs well, they are still dusty and the dust can easily get back into the air. So brooms are not quite the solution too.

Sweeping / Mopping

Man sweeping floor created by freepik

Compared to brooming, sweeping or mopping is a much better way to clean dust. The wet mop attracts dust particles and removes them from the surface onto the cloth. When washed, this dirt is absorbed by the water and hence is cleaned from the surface.
For my tiled and wooden floors, I use the Gala e-Quick Spin Mop. It’s sturdy and easy to operate. The built-in wheels make it easier to move around the house while cleaning. But it’s hardly useful in case of carpets and rugs because it works best only to clean floors. We still need something better.

Vacuuming

Woman vacuuming created by freepik

When you vacuum, the dust is actually removed from the area and sucked into the dust bag of machine. Now you are 100% sure that dust or waste particles are no longer in the air. So, it’s actually cleaning the air rather than just moving around the dust or waste particles. Indeed, this is the best tool that you can use especially for your carpets and rugs.

There are many types of vacuum cleaners and that is a whole big topic by itself. When purchasing a vacuum cleaner, you want one which can reach all creases, crevices and corners. And that’s why the canister vacuum is the best. The cleaning nozzle attached to vacuum via a long hose makes it very easy to manoeuvre around the house. You can work your way under the furniture, over the ceiling fans or shelves, across your carpet or floors, up the staircase, on the upholstery, plus a million nook and corner around your house. Canister vacuums are also lightweight which make them very suitable for households.
I recently purchased the Eureka Forbes Trendy Zip Vacuum Cleaner. What I like most about this vacuum:

  1. Its dust bag is big enough that it’s easy to wash and clean before next use.
  2. Its inbuilt dust bag full indicator helps as a reminder to clean the bag. This cleaner comes with great suction power.
  3. Lightweight and very easy to use foot operated power on-off.
  4. Good suction power.

I use it frequently to clean my carpets & rugs, curtains, sofas and also ceilings to clean up the cobwebs if any. It comes with different kinds of attachments & brushes.
Check out some other Canister vacuums.

Now that we have seen WHY cleaning is necessary and the different tools for cleaning, it’s time to get cleaning. Let’s start with HOW TO clean your carpet.

Cleaning Carpets

  1. Start off by making sure you are using a clean dust bag in your vacuum.
  2. Pick up any big piece of litter on your carpet like waste paper, toys or any other debris that you don’t want to be sucked inside your vacuum machine.
  3. Move any furniture that’s on the carpet.
  4. Select the right attachment for your vacuum cleaner. For this, read the manual that came along with your vacuum cleaner.
  5. The attachment for this should be able to dig up into your carpet to suck up all the dust and waste from your carpet.
    If it’s helpful, I can also write another article to list out the different attachments and how it can be used effectively to clean your house. Make sure you leave a comment.
  6. Now let’s start vacuuming. Find a powerpoint outlet closest to the exit of the room.
  7. Start from the opposite side of the exit so that you can walk out of the room once it’s cleaned.
  8. Best way to clean the carpet is to use the W-pattern. You start going up on a straight line and come down on a straight line slightly slant, again slanting a bit as you move up the next time on a straight line. Repeat and this way you cover your whole carpet in a W-pattern.
  9. So divide your carpet section by section and work on it to cover the whole area.

    With this method, your carpet will be clean as new. Regular cleaning is required to maintain its cleanliness.

Cleaning bathroom mats or rugs

Now let’s see how we can clean bathroom mats or small rugs.

Typical Rug or mat

Before you start, again you need to check the vacuum manual to see which is the best attachment for cleaning small rugs. Also, start with a clean dust bag.

  1. First, flip the rug to clean the back side first.
  2. Now standing on the rug so as to fix the rug as you clean, run your vacuum from end to end as it pulls in all the dust and other debris.
  3. While you clean the back side, any debris on the front side which is now facing the floor will fall off onto the floor.
  4. Clean the floor below the rug.
  5. Now place the rug the right side up standing on the rug to fix it on the floor as you run your cleaner on it.

Voila! It should now be clean. Be careful if your rugs have some fringe or tassel because they may get stuck in the vacuum and lead to damage of the rug.

Cleaning fur rugs or shaggy rug carpet

Fur rugs or Shaggy Rug carpet commonly called as Shag rugs. They are available in different varieties, from texture, colors to patterns. They are available at an affordable price and hence very common in every household. Because of which, I did not want to miss out on their cleaning.
But shag rugs are actually trickier to clean. They are typically made of scrubby tufts of wool or silk strands or chord which can get stuck in the vacuum and hence, slightly difficult to vacuum. These rugs, however, can catch debris and waste, sometimes difficult to remove as they get stuck in the tuft. We cannot use the brush attachment that we would use for any carpet or rug. We need to use a different attachment, like the “brush”. Again, it’s best to go back to your user manual for more information.

Shag Rug with scrubby tufts of wool or silk strands or chord

Cleaning process is similar to that of a rug.

  1. Again like all the other cleaning processes, you must start with a clean dustbag.
  2. Pick up any big debris or waste items from the carpet. Some dirt could get stuck to the strands, so you need to be careful in case you need to pull it out.
  3. Flip the rug upside down.
  4. Now standing on the rug, using the brush attachment of your vacuum, clean that side of the rug. This will also allow any debris or dust to fall off the floor from the rug.
  5. Now before you flip it back, clean the floor beneath the rug to suck in any dust or debris that may have fallen off the rug.
  6. Now keep the rug right side up.
  7. And using the brush attachment brush out the dirt from the rug slowly. Brush attachment works best for shag rugs.

So, we have seen the best and easiest way to clean all kinds of carpets or rugs. Remember, regular cleaning is something you need to follow every other day while deep cleaning can be done once a month or quarter.

If you want me to share features of canister vacuums or share reviews of other canister vacuums available let me know. This may help you narrow down the vacuum that is best suitable for your requirement. Leave me a comment below and I can share my two cents. Till then Ciao!