Have you ever wondered how to clean white carpet with bleach? I’ve thought of it as well.
Make sense does it? Since bleach works great on making white fabric whiter, it will work the same way on carpets, right?
Not so fast. If your thinking of using bleach to clean white carpet, there are precautions that you need to take.
Is it safe to use bleach on carpets?
If you ask carpet cleaning professions, they would recommend against using bleach on the carpet because it is hazardous, not a great cleaner, and can damage the backing and subfloor.
It should be the last option if you’ve exhausted all possible carpet cleaning home remedies.
Avoid using bleach on wool, and any carpet has a colored dye because bleach will discolor it. The worst-case scenario would be bleach, completely fading it and leaving unsightly white stains.
The best color to use bleach on (if you must) is white or dirty white carpet. But before attempting this at home, please consult with the carpet manufacturer and ask them if they allow the use of bleach. Just in case the warranty has expired, test it first on an inconspicuous area to see if it will stain or discolor the fabric.
Cleaning with Bleach
Before proceeding, please take the proper precautions and have these tools ready. Since bleach is a potent chemical and hazardous to the respiratory system and skin, wear the proper protective gear.
These include the following:
- A pair of rubber gloves
Don’t use bleach full-strength and dilute it in water. Always check the product’s label for the correct ratio – it is usually a cup of bleach to a gallon of water.
Our goal is to be safe and also maintain the life of the white carpet by reducing contact from bleach as well as other particles such as oil, dirt, and grime.
Get the tools ready
Here is the additional stuff that you’ll need to get started cleaning.
- Spray bottle
- Cloth or paper towels (for drying)
- Shop (wet/dry) vacuum (optional for removing any residue)
Steps to Clean White Carpet with Bleach
Step 1: Vacuum the carpet to remove any surface dirt
Use a vacuum cleaner to rid the carpet of any solid substances and embedded dirt that may be lurking within the strands. If you’re cleaning an area run, bring it outside and shake it to release as much dirt as possible.
Step 2: Prepare the bleach and water solution
Before handling bleach, please wear protective gear such as rubber gloves, masks, and goggles to protect your extremities from direct exposure.
Bleach is a potent chemical that may cause skin and respiratory damage. Make sure that the area you’re prepping the bleach solution and the area that needs to cleaning is well ventilated to prevent the odor from lingering and causing nausea or lightheadedness.
Never use 100% bleach on the carpet as it will worsen the stain. Mix a cup of bleach to a gallon of water, then pour this mixture into a spray bottle.
Important: Don’t mix bleach with other cleaning products as it may produce a volatile concoction. Mixing bleach with ammonia will create something deadly – don’t mix these!
Step 3: Mist bleach solution
Use the spray bottle filled with bleach and water solution to mist the stained area. It would be best to mist the whole area evenly to prevent any spotting because the bleach will lighten the color.
Keep in mind that bleach can damage the backing of the carpet. Don’t let it sit for too long, either – leave it for 30 minutes max.
Step 4: Rinse the bleach solution then dry
The last step is to remove any bleach residue from the carpet. One excellent option would be using a spray bottle and a wet/dry shop vacuum to extract the excess. If you don’t have a shop vac, then use a clean paper or cloth towel and stack a heavy object like a book on top for it to absorb excess moisture.
Important: Avoid scrubbing the carpet during the drying process as it may spread the bleach residue to other untreated areas. Just blot the area until all the water is absorbed.
- Do not ignore the stains. Spot Clean Stains ASAP. The longer the spill stays on the carpet, the higher the risk of it soaking into carpet fibers and padding that is expensive to repair. Once the spills dry up and set, it becomes permanent. The worst is acidic spills that will erode carpet fibers.
- Also, when a stain or spill first occurs, resist the urge to scrub. Doing so only worsens it. Instead, dab the stain with a towel and cleaning solution. The correct technique is blotting from the outer part going towards the middle. Blotting it outward will only spread the stain.
- Do not use bleach on a wool carpet. Since bleach will stain a carpet, only use it on white or near-white carpets. Using bleach on any colored rug will result in discoloration – usually lighter spots.
- Avoid using bleach to the carpet without first mixing with water.
Preventative measures to maximize carpet life
Having preventive measures to prevent damage to your carpet is most certainly the best way to go about maximizing the life of the white carpet. Preventing grit from entering the premises will help reduce the wear-and-tear of your white carpet.
- Entrance matting – One of the best ways to prevent the build-up of grit and dirt is the use of mats. Place these at the entrance before any carpet and use it as a designated area to remove shoes.
- Separate Outdoor and Indoor footwear – Not wearing shoes in the house is one of the best ways to keep white carpets clean. It will significantly reduce dirt, scuffs, and daily wear and tear, and also lessen the cleaning time. Consider having separate indoor slippers or socks.
- Dry pets’ paws when they come inside – Have a towel nearby to clean your pet’s paws before they go inside. It prevents them from trampling dirt into the carpet.
- Rearrange the furniture periodically – This may not be possible in smaller homes, but it’s something worth considering. A fixed furniture arrangement will wear your carpet and have a build-up of dirt, especially in areas where there is frequent traffic. Doing this will force the inhabitants to use a different traffic path.