A carpet is not a throwaway purchase; lots of thought and effort goes into picking and installing this key element of your room. Carpets look lovely and refreshing when they are first purchased, but we all know how dirt, wine stains, and pets can turn your favorite carpet into an eyesore. Get the most value out of your carpet by keeping it clean and fresh for many years.
Taking off your shoes (but not your socks) is a small inconvenience compared to the process of purchasing a new carpet. Leave a shoe rack next to your door and encourage guests to remove their shoes before entering. Make a personal rule to clean up stains right away. If you can keep pets out of the room, you can avoid a whole list of potential stains.
Be Gentle With Spot Cleaning
As frustrating as a wine spill or pet accident can be, getting aggressive with a carpet stain will only damage the carpet fibers in the long run. Gently collect solid crumbs before applying a cleaning mist. (Over-wetting the carpet may also cause long-term damage.) Use a spot vacuum and for wet stains. Gently blot stains; avoid scrubbing. This process may have to be repeated two or three times before the stain is completely removed.
Leave Mats Inside and Outside the House
Even if your carpet is a few steps away from your front door, dirt from outside may still make its way in. Add coarse mats on either side of your door for guests to wipe their shoes or feet. Don’t forget to clean these mats regularly to maximize their ability to collect dirt.
Rearrange Your Furniture Only When Necessary
Moving couches and tables may give the room a fresh feel, but will leave stale furniture footprints and stress on the carpet. Only rearrange your furniture when necessary, and refrain from dragging furniture across the carpet. If you can, rearrange furniture to change where guests move about the room, giving current paths in the carpet a break. Once the furniture is arranged, use a steam iron to bring life back into furniture footprints.
Adjust Your Vacuum
Regularly vacuuming will keep your carpet clean, but properly vacuuming will keep your carpet cleaner longer. Start by emptying or replacing your filter to maximize suction power. Set the vacuum to its highest height, turn it on, and lower the height it until you feel a gentle tug on the carpet. Be sure to vacuum slowly to pick up as much dirt as possible.
Call Up a Professional Carpet Cleaner
Carpets should be vacuumed once a week (or more often, if the area is frequently used by pets or people eating). Vacuuming and DIY carpet cleaners can remove surface dirt, but only a professional can truly get the deep clean necessary to keep your carpet fresh for years. Make room in your budget for a high-quality carpet cleaner; most will charge by the square foot, racking up a few hundred dollars. The whole process may take up to three hours but is only necessary once a year.