How to Disinfect Carpets – Basic Things You Need to Know

Are you looking for the best way to disinfect your carpet? Then look no further as all you need to know will be revealed in this article titled how to disinfect carpets. From various findings by microbiologists, carpets usually harbor bacteria, germs, and allergens without you even realizing it. Humans and our pets bring pollutants into the home on the shoes and feet.

Below are 4 steps to help you keep the carpet in your home clean:

  1. Have a “no shoes” policy indoors and place doormats at every entrance of your home. This is because shoes worn outside can bring in residue from pet droppings and dirt. To reduce contamination, occasionally wipe the bottom of shoes with a disinfectant.
  2. You should vacuum your carpets several times a week, and if you have pets or toddlers, vacuum daily if possible. The vacuum helps to remove surface debris easily.
  3. You can disinfect your carpet using products you may already have at home, such as baking soda, Borax, and cornmeal.
  4. Get the services of a professional to provide a deep, steam cleaning at least once a year. But if you have pets, parties, or little ones, it is recommended you steam clean more often.

According to the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are distinct differences between carpet cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting. Their differences are based mainly on the level of microbial contamination left on a surface after treatment. Once you have disinfected your carpet, it remains so only until it is touched by contaminants again.

 How to Clean Carpets

As mentioned above, carpets should be vacuumed several times weekly to remove loose soil (daily if you have a pet). And deep cleaning should be done twice or more times per year, seasonally is better. But if anyone in the home has been ill with a communicable disease, more frequent deep cleaning is recommended.

Below are the materials and tools you will need to clean your carpet:

  • EPA-approved sanitizer or disinfectant;
  • Cleaning grade distilled white vinegar;
  • Vacuum cleaner;
  • Spray bottle;
  • Steam cleaner.

Steps to follow:

  • Take the carpet outside and give it a good shake or vacuum well to remove loose debris.
  • Choose the hottest water recommended for the carpet on the care label.
  • Add a laundry disinfectant like Lysol Laundry Sanitizer or chlorine bleach, be sure to follow the product directions. Heavy-duty laundry detergents usually contain enough enzymes to cut through ingrained dirt.
  • Then tumble dry on high heat if the carpet is 100% cotton and does not have a rubber backing. But if the carpet cannot withstand high heat, allow it to air dry.

How to Sanitize Carpets

  1. The first thing to do before beginning a deep cleaning of your carpet is to clear furniture off the carpet area. This is important to prevent rust or wood varnish stains from happening to the damp carpet.
  2. The next step is to vacuum away as much loose soil, dust, and allergens as possible, especially when sanitizing large carpets.
  3. Then select a cleaner that contains a disinfectant approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Most carpet cleaners only contain enzymes and surfactants to break apart stains and soil and lift them to the surface. The EPA currently recommends only quaternary ammonium for porous (fiber) surfaces. And all approved disinfectants have a registration number that is listed in the product package.
  4. Steam clean the carpet, ensuring that the manufacturer’s directions for the steam cleaner and the cleaning solution instructions are followed.
  5. Air-dry the carpet overnight if possible or for at least eight hours.

NOTE: To ensure that the cleaning product you want to use will not cause discoloration, test it on the fibers. Spray the solution on the fibers at a spot that is not conspicuous. Leave to sit for five minutes and then blot with a neat white cloth. Do not use the product on your carpet if a color transfer occurs.

How to Disinfect Carpets with Steam Cleaner Using Vinegar

Materials and equipment needed: steam cleaner, white vinegar, vacuum cleaner, and water.

  1. Prepare a spray mixture.
    Equal parts water and white vinegar mixed in a spray bottle.
  2. Spray the carpet.
    Lightly mist the carpet with the spray mixture.
  3. Let the carpet dry.
    Let the vinegar dry completely.
  4. Prepare the cleaning solution.
    Three-part water and one part white vinegar are well mixed. Pour the cleaning solution into the steam cleaner’s detergent vessel.
  5. Disinfect your carpet.
    Steam clean your carpet by running the steam cleaner over the carpet following the machine’s instructions.
  6. Let the carpet dry.
    Air-dry your carpet. You can speed up the process by using a fan or by opening your windows.
  7. Vacuum.
    Once your carpet is dry, vacuum the carpet to restore and renew the fibers.

NOTE:  Vinegar is not an EPA-recommended disinfectant. However, it will help reduce the number of bacteria on the carpet if used along with the high heat of a steam cleaner.

How to Disinfect Carpets with Steam Using Borax, Baking Soda, and Cornmeal

Materials and equipment needed: Borax, baking soda, cornmeal, steam cleaner, white vinegar, vacuum cleaner.

  1. Prepare a cleaning mixture.
    Mix properly ½ cup of baking soda, 1 cup of Borax, and 1 cup of cornmeal.
  2. Spray the mixture.
    Spray the mixture over the whole carpet.
  3. Rub in.
    Rub the powder into the carpet fibers using a clean, soft cloth.
  4. Let the mixture sit.
    Let the mixture sit overnight for the best result.
  5. Vacuum.
    Vacuum the powder off the carpet the next morning.
  6. Clean with vinegar and a steam cleaner.
    Follow the steps on cleaning vinegar.
  7. Vacuum.
    Once the carpet is dry, vacuum it once again to restore and renew the fibers.

How to Disinfect Carpets without Steam Cleaner Using Vinegar, Baking Soda, and Dish Soap

Materials and equipment needed: Baking soda, dish soap, white vinegar, vacuum cleaner, clean cloth, bucket, and a scrubbing brush.

  1. Sprinkle the baking powder.
    Generously spread the baking powder all over the carpet.
  2. Leave the baking powder to sit.
    While you prepare the cleaning mixture, let the baking powder sit for about 15 minutes.
  3. Prepare the cleaning solution.
    Equal parts water and white vinegar well mixed in a bucket with a little dish soap.
  4. Scrub the carpet.
    Dip a brush in the solution and thoroughly scrub the carpet, making sure the fibers are not being soaked.
  5. Allow the mixture to sit.
    Leave the mixture to work for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Rinse out the mixture.
    Rinse the carpet using fresh water and a clean cloth.
  7. Allow it to dry.
    Air-dry the carpet completely.
  8. Vacuum.
    Once dry, vacuum it to restore and renew the carpet fibers.

How to Disinfect Carpets – Conclusion

To get the right steps on how to disinfect carpets before now has been a problem for homeowners. Research and experiments have lead to the discovery of methods that proved to be effective and reliable.  Therefore, before you are various methods that you can do to get your carpet free of germs.