Tips for Products Commonly Used on Carpet

Tips for Products Commonly Used on Carpet

There are many products on the market today that people commonly use on carpet, from deodorizers and powders to stain sprays, protectants, and antistatic treatments. Some of these products may adversely affect carpeting. Here are some tips for avoiding carpet damage or premature wear.

Powdered Carpet Deodorizers

The most common cause of carpet damage and premature wear is dirt and grit. Any kind of abrasive particles, such as those found in the ingredients of powdered carpet deodorizers, act like tiny shards of glass that break and sever carpet fibers. Although the majority of powdered deodorizers are vacuumed up, some of the powder residues will inevitably remain in your carpeting. That’s part of the reason why the scent stays put after you vacuum. The perfumed grit is activated when it is jostled around by foot traffic, and although it temporarily masks the odor, it creates a new problem that can contribute to carpet sanding and traffic lanes. So when you sprinkle that pleasant scent, remember that you are, in effect, sprinkling damage and premature wear all over your investment.

How to Deodorize Your Carpet

Carpet odors are caused by contaminants, such as pollen, dander, food crumbs, pet urine, and the like, that are trapped in your carpet fibers and backing. Thoroughly vacuuming your carpets on a regular basis, even when the carpet does not look dirty, and having your carpets periodically professionally cleaned will help keep odors at bay. You may also consider that the source of odors is something other than the carpet. Try using a HEPA filter in your HVAC system and make sure your home is properly ventilated, leave shoes in a mudroom or outside, keep your pets clean, and investigate any other potential odor sources.

Baking Soda

Nahcolite is a mineral commonly known as baking soda. Sprinkling your carpet with baking soda is essentially the same thing as sprinkling your carpet with minerals or sharp little rock ingredients. The potential abrasive damage is comparable to that of powdered carpet deodorizers. Baking soda is popular for DIY cleaning, and rightly so because it can be highly effective, but it is not ideal for regular use on carpets.

If you choose to use baking soda on your carpet, we recommend that you only use it mixed with water to spot clean a small area. Once you are finished, you will also need to clean the treated area to remove any residual mineral particles. Apply enough plain water to moisten the treated area (do not saturate), blot dry with paper towels or white cloth, and repeat this process several times. Once the carpet is completely dry, vacuum the treated area thoroughly.

Pet Odor Treatments

Sometimes, even after thoroughly cleaning a pet accident, odors persist. The uric acid in pet urine binds tightly with absorbent substances like carpet fibers and backing, and in the worst cases, the padding. Foot traffic or any change in the humidity can reactivate the odor. The best way to get rid of persistent pet odor is to have your carpet professionally cleaned. Advise your carpet cleaning technician that you smell pet urine and he can inspect the carpeting with Xenon lighting.  Xenon lighting will cause pet urine salts and bacteria to fluoresce allowing the carpet cleaning professional an opportunity to mark the area and treat it appropriately.   If a pet accident penetrates into the carpet padding, a specialized pet urine treatment using a water claw can be performed..

Spot Cleaners

If you choose to use a spot cleaner for your carpet, be sure to select one that is appropriate for your type of carpet by comparing details from the carpet manufacturer’s information with the spot cleaner product label. Use the appropriate amount, because too little can be ineffective and too much can leave a film that attracts and traps dirt and contaminants. With every cleaning, Tru-Clean Surface Care provides its clients with a bottle of a professional-grade spotter approved for your carpet type.

Anti-Static Treatments

The ingredients in anti-static treatments on carpet fibers can act like dirt magnets. Use a humidifier instead.

Harsh Chemicals and Abrasive Cleaners

Any product not specifically designed for carpet cleaning and care can cause damage. If you are going to use a chemical or cleaning product not specifically designed for carpet cleaning, be aware that you are taking a risk. White vinegar, mild dish detergent, peroxide, and OxiClean™ may be appropriate in some circumstances, but always test the product in an inconspicuous area first.

Carpet care products can cause carpet damage or premature wear. Follow the tips in this article to help preserve the life of your investment. For more information on carpet care, download our FREE Carpet and Interior Textiles Care Guide, and we are always just a phone call away.

Tru-Clean Surface Care is a Certified Partner with the prestigious Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and the International Carpet & Rug Institute (CRI).  We are A+ Rated with the Better Business Bureau and an eight-year-in-a-row-winner of the coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award.

For more information on caring for your carpeting or for a FREE carpet cleaning estimate, please visit us online at or “call us on the carpet” any time at 239-541-4888.  You can also visit us on Facebook at

Tru-Clean Surface Care services the carpet cleaning needs of clients throughout Lee, Charlotte, and Collier County, Florida.


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