How to Disinfect a Carpet

This article comes from The Spruce.

How to Disinfect a Carpet

Whether you have wall-to-wall carpeting, large area rugs, or small throw rugs, they are subjected to lots of dirt, grime, allergens, and bacteria every day. We and our pets bring contaminants into our homes on our shoes and feet and add in bodily fluids from sneezes and coughs that settle on surfaces and carpets can be teeming with bacteria.

It’s important to note the differences between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting areas in your home. These definitions are set by the CDC to define the level of microbial contamination left on a surface after treatment. Once a surface has been disinfected, it remains so only until it is touched by contaminants again. Soft surfaces, like carpets, are difficult to disinfect due to their size, construction, and uneven surfaces. However, you can greatly reduce the level of bacterial contamination.

How Often to Clean a Carpet

While carpets should be vacuumed several times a week to remove loose debris, a professional deep cleaning from J and R’s Carpet Cleaning should be done at least twice a year, or seasonally. In the meantime, you can try out the steps below on your washable rugs and carpets.

How to Disinfect Washable Carpets

Small carpets that can be tossed in the washer can be disinfected easily.

1. Remove Loose Debris

Take the carpet outside and give it a good shake or vacuum well to remove loose debris.

2. Select the Washer Settings

A front-loading washer or a top-load model without a center agitator will accommodate a large carpet better than a standard top load washer. It may be worth your time to head to a laundromat that has larger washers. Choose the hottest water recommended for the carpet on the care label.

3. Add Detergent and Laundry Sanitizer

A heavy-duty laundry detergent contains enough enzymes to cut through grime. Add a laundry disinfectant like Lysol Laundry Sanitizer, pine oil, or chlorine bleach following product directions.

4. Dry the Carpet

If the carpet is 100% cotton and does not have a rubber backing, tumble dry on high heat. If the carpet cannot withstand high heat, allow the carpet to air dry.

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