How to Clean a Berber Carpet Safely

Berber carpets are generally light-colored with darker flecks interspersed. They are woven in a distinctive loop pattern (or pile).

This does not get cut at any point and is attached to the carpet backing. The name comes from the Berber people in North Africa who designed a similar weaving style.

Berber carpets refer to the style, not the makeup. This means that you can get Berber carpets made from a variety of materials.

This means that you must know the materials used to create your carpet in order to ascertain which cleaning method is most suitable. 

What material is the carpet made from?

Wool is the original fiber used to create Berber carpets. It is the most expensive and most visually appealing.

The natural fibers repel dirt meaning that it will not dirty as easily. The only real downside to wool carpets is that they are exceptionally absorbent.

Olefin carpets have grown in popularity in recent years due to their affordability. The material is stain-resistant but is very susceptible to oil stains.

This can be sebum from human skin, oily residue, and cooking oil among other things. If you spill oil onto an olefin carpet, your best bet is to hire a professional carpet cleaning company.

Nylon is the other main material used to create Berber carpets. They are very easy to clean and are very resistant to staining. Nylon carpets closely resemble traditional woolen ones but are not water-resistant.

You can also find Berber carpets made from triexta. This is a synthetic fiber used to make carpets. It is made from a material known as polytrimethylene terephthalate and is similar in properties to nylon. It is more expensive than olefin.

You can also get Berber carpets made from a blend of fibers. This is traditionally a combination of wool and nylon. It has the benefits of being as soft as wool, but for a much lesser price.

Berber Carpet Weave

Berber carpets have very thick and tight weaves. This is important as they can cause moisture to become trapped inside.

If this is left to fester it can begin to turn into mildew and mold. The weave also gives rise to a phenomenon known as wicking. This is where your carpet appears clean when wet, but as it dries the oils begin to resurface.

For both of these reasons, many people opt to dry clean Berber carpets.

Plain Water

This is a good first port of call for cleaning a Berber carpet. No chemicals are involved and so the risk of damaging the carpet fibers is drastically reduced.

Dampen a cloth with warm water and use this to blot the dirty area of the carpet. This will prevent you from rubbing the stain deeper into the fibers and damaging the material. Scrubbing at the carpet can snag the material and create patches of fuzziness.

When blotting a mark you should start at the outer edges and work your way into the center. This will prevent the stain from spreading and damaging more of the carpet.

Vinegar and Water

To use this as a cleaning solution, mix up a 1:5 ratio of white vinegar and water. Apply about 1 tablespoon of the solution to the carpet. Use your vacuum cleaner to suck up any excess moisture.

This is a good solution for dried or caked-in stains on the carpet.

Baking Soda

This is a highly effective spot cleaning treatment for small stains. Sprinkle baking soda liberally over your spill or stain and allow it to sit for a minute or two.

This will begin to absorb any excess moisture trapped in the fibers of your carpet.

Once it has sat for a while, use your vacuum cleaner to suck up the baking soda. If there still seems to be a stain, repeat this process until no more moisture is being drawn out of your carpet.

Rug Doctor

This is a brand of carpet cleaning machine. On their website, there are instructions for how to use their products for all carpet types, including Berber carpets. To clean these effectively, it is suggested that you use a Rug Doctor Pro.

Turn on and set up your Rug Doctor Pro machine. Run it over the carpet once as you press the red spray button to release the cleaning chemicals onto the carpet. You should drag the Rug Doctor Pro backward over the carpet at a speed of about 1-2 feet per second.

Run the machine over the carpet again, this time without pressing the red button. Ensure you keep the vacuum slot at the front of the machine close to the carpet surface. We do not recommend doing a second pass of chemicals as the carpet fibers will hold on to the moisture.

Turn up the heating so that the carpet will dry faster.

Commercial Stain Remover Products

When using these products, you should first test them on an inconspicuous area of your carpet. This means that if it causes the carpet to discolor or damages it in any way, you have not ruined the entire room’s flooring.

You should not use too much stain remover. Apply little and often until the stain has been lifted from the carpet fibers.

Dry the area completely to prevent the moisture from sinking into the fibers.

Pre-conditioner, Oxygen Bleach, and Solvent

In a spray bottle, combine 8 ounces of pre-conditioner, 2 ounces of oxygen bleach, and 2 ounces of citrus-based solvent. Mist this solution onto a carpet bonnet mop until the mop head is damp.

Rub this mop head over the surface of your carpet, agitating the solution into the fibers. Leave this solution to sit on the carpet for 15 minutes and then remove using a high-temperature extractor with an acid rinse.

Care Tips for Berber Carpets

Particularly in the case of the ever-popular olefin Berber carpets, the best maintenance tip is to prevent them from getting dirty in the first place.

We recommend placing a mat near the door frame for people to wipe their feet on. This will prevent dirt and oils from being tracked into the carpet, helping to keep it cleaner for longer.

You should not use a vacuum cleaner with a rotating brush to clean Berber carpets. This brush will catch onto the small loops in the carpet fibers and can cause them to snag. The best kind of vacuum cleaner will have a large suction capacity but no brush.

You should regularly vacuum your carpet, at least once per week. This will prevent dirt and debris from building up on the surface and will keep it looking cleaner for longer.

Take your shoes off before walking onto the Berber carpets. This will reduce the amount of dirt that comes into contact with the carpet and help to keep it clean.

To take this one step further, you could make a rule that there is to be no eating or drinking in carpeted rooms of the home.

The easiest way to maintain the condition of your carpet is to clean up spills as soon as they occur. This will prevent them from soaking into the carpet fibers and they will be much easier to clean. 

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