If you think of your carpet as an investment, regular cleaning will protect your expenditure. Correct care will protect this surface and keep it attractive for many years. Regular maintenance is not time-consuming or difficult, and it only requires basic tools and products.
Choosing a Vacuum
The vacuum you choose can play a big role in the life of your flooring. By spending more money on a high-quality machine, you can ensure that you remove all the debris from deep in the fibers. Look for an appliance that has been certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute.
As people and pets move about in your house every day, dirt and debris will fall onto the fibers. Without regular vacuuming, this soiling could embed itself into the carpet pile. Permanent damage and soiling could occur if you allow debris to work into the fibers without removing it. It’s recommended that you vacuum at least once a week.
Removing Stains Promptly
When stains occur, attend to them immediately to ensure they are removed. The more time a stain sits on fibers, the more difficult it could be to remove. Lift off as much of the stain as possible with a butter knife, spoon, or soft cloth. Next, moisten an absorbent cloth with plain water and blot up as much of the stain as possible. You can also add a drop or two of dishwashing detergent to the cloth, if you desire. Continue blotting to remove as much of the discoloration as possible. If discoloration remains, apply a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to the area and allow it to sit for one hour. Gently blot the stain with a damp cloth to finish removing the stain.
You may notice snags and sprouts in the fibers. Instead of tugging on these problematic areas, cut them off evenly with the pile. Pulling could result in unsightly runs throughout the carpet. If burns occur, use curved, tiny fingernail scissors to cut off the tops of the burnt fibers. If the burned area is large, consider patching the area instead of trimming.
Regular professional cleaning is an important part of ongoing maintenance. Over time, soiling can cause a gradual dulling of colors as dirt hides them from view. Most experts recommend a professional cleaning every 12 to 18 months. Hot water extraction is typically the most effective cleaning method. Although you could rent equipment to perform this type of steam cleaning yourself, a professional team will generally produce better results.
Once you understand basic maintenance of carpet, you can then begin working to prevent stains and soiling. By placing walk-off mats at entrances and exits, you can trap excess debris and keep it off the floor. Avoiding shoes in the house and rearranging your furniture are two other ways to extend the life of your carpet.