Are you overcleaning your carpet?

POSTED ON June 24, 2021

Photo by Katja Bayer on Unsplash

Overcleaning a carpet is actually quite possible since just like every other fabric, carpets can only take so much moisture in them. Similar to plants - overwatering is sometimes worse than not watering them enough since you can almost always recover from drought but not from too much water.

The same goes for carpets - too much moisture in the fibres will cause mould and mildew which are devilishly hard to get rid of. You’re probably wondering already how to recognise an overwet carpet and how to prevent this from happening. Well, wonder no more because we have the answers for you!

Keep reading to find out:

How to prevent water damage to your carpet 

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Here are some tips that you need to follow in order to take care of your carpet. Keep in mind that when we mention cleaning, we’re talking about professional carpet cleaning and not some experimental DIY methods. You can still find effective cleaning tips in home improvement blogs such as Spadone Home, but they can only help if you're following the steps below:

  1. Deep clean your carpets a maximum of 2 times per year and that is only if it’s in a very high-traffic area. Since the method uses very strong chemicals to get rid of the dirt, doing it too often will wear the carpet down making it more susceptible to grime and dirt build-up. 
  2. Make sure that the carpet dries fully. Open windows and doors, put on fans and air conditioning, whatever you can to improve the air circulation in the room. 
  3. Make sure that no one steps on the carpet before it’s fully dry because this will prevent it from drying gully and probably lock up dirt in the fibres. 
  4. Regularly vacuum your carpeting so that dirt doesn’t build up that easily and you don’t have to resort to professional carpet cleaning more than it’s recommended.

Is your carpet is water-damaged?

If you are not careful, a lot of problems might appear such as overwetting which often leads to getting mildew and mould underneath your carpet. It’s a really tricky situation because you can barely notice it on time and once you do, it’s probably too late.

There are some signs that will help you out, so if you have any doubts, look out for the following:

  1. Damp carpet - Quite obvious, we know, but a very important sign. If you’ve professionally cleaned your carpet and after 6-7 hours it’s still not entirely dry, then you might have a problem. Open as many windows as possible, turn on the AC or fans and hope for the best. However, if you notice any dampness just out of the blue, then you might have a more serious problem. Those areas are usually situated in the corners of the carpet, close to doors.
  2. Discolouration of the carpet - You will notice your carpet gradually turning grey and green in some spots. Pay close attention to the underneath of your carpet since all of those processes usually start from there, and the fibres above are the last to show any symptoms.
  3. Musty smell - This one is really hard to miss. It’s a very specific smell and it will help you identify the problem rather early since you will be able to sense it even if you don’t see any visible signs. Still, if you spend a lot of time at home, you might not be able to notice anything, so pay attention to what your visitors are saying.
  4. Allergies - More sensitive people will react strongly to a mould-infested carpet. You might notice problems with breathing, often sneezes, red eyes, and other typical symptoms related to allergies.

Treating a damp carpet

In case you do have mould and mildew and you don’t want to throw away your carpet, here are some techniques you can try to save it.

  1. Start by vacuuming it carefully, with a carpet attachment.
  2. Make a mixture of one part white vinegar and two parts lukewarm water.
  3. Spray the affected area and leave it overnight. The acidic nature of vinegar is great when dealing with mould.
  4. The morning after, sprinkle some baking soda and leave it for a few minutes - 10-15.
  5. After that vacuum everything.

If it doesn’t work we recommend that you don’t try anything else so that you don’t damage the carpet by accident. Contact your manufacturer or a professional carpet cleaning company for advice and they might help you.

Other household items you might be cleaning too much

It’s important to mention that you can easily overclean other things in your house, not just your carpets, and it’s essential to know when to stop. Here are some examples of things you might be cleaning too often:

  1. Fabric sofas. Similar to carpets, the fabric of your sofas can be easily damaged if they are washed too often. Put covers on the sofas and pillows to preserve their original state and save them from permanent stains.
  2. Your sheets. Once every two weeks is more than enough, you don’t need to put them in the washer every weekend. Otherwise, the material will simply break down and you’ll have to throw them away.
  3. Kitchen and bath towels. Same as the sheets, it’s very easy to throw them in the washer since they do tend to get visibly dirty a lot faster. However, unless there are some stains from food or something else that indicates the presence of harmful bacteria, just leave it alone for a bit more. It probably still has some life in it.
  4. Wood countertops - With them, it’s very important the type of cleaner you’re using. If it’s too abrasive and you clean up after each use, you might damage the protective layer and the wood as well. Use the right detergents and when you do your daily wipe up - use only mild dish soap and warm water.

If you're wondering if there is something you're not cleaning enough, check out this article - What we don't clean but we should!


Cleaning is important but moderation is vital. Too much water, detergents and scrubbing can severely damage your rugs and carpets, so you really need to be careful. And the most important thing to remember is to leave the hard work to the professionals. 

Old and difficult stains need to be left in the care of expert carpet cleaners because DIY methods usually manage to worsen the situation. So if you want to enjoy your carpeting for many years to come, be realistic about what you can clean and what you cannot.