When it comes to your getting the longest life out of your beautiful carpet, there’s a few key things you can do to make a world of difference.
- Vacuum as frequently as you can – dirt buildup can eat away at your carpet and wear it out before its time.
- Keep your vacuum filter clean or the bag empty to get maximum suction (a dirty filter or even moderately full vacuum cleaner bag can reduce the suction power by half). Replace/wash filters every 3 months and change bags when they are maximum ¾ full.
- Vacuum slowly for high traffic areas, and cover each section more than once. A quick once over is normally fine for lower traffic areas.
- Avoid wearing shoes in the carpeted area of your home if possible. If you can’t avoid this, ensure you have a course mat outside to wipe shoes on to remove dirt and one inside to soak up moisture, two things which together can make carpet maintenance more difficult.
- Do a deep clean yourself, or get in a professional every 12-18 months or so. This is often referred to as ‘steam cleaning’ although the method does not actually involve steam. For carpet deep cleaning, you start by first pre-treating your carpet with a detergent solution. This is then rinsed out with a hot water solution before being vacuumed dry. In most cases you get what you pay for, so trust in a specialist that knows what they’re doing – a good carpet cleaning specialist will visit your home to assess the type and quality of carpet and the square-footage to give you quote, and will provide references upon request of previous work.
You can do it yourself, but be wary of buying cheap equipment and of doing the job correctly, otherwise you risk leaving soapy residue within your carpet which can eat away at it. DIY carpet cleaning machines can be great, but again be careful to follow the instructions and move slowly and evenly across your carpet, otherwise you risk leaving detergent in your carpet.
- Consider how often you need to clean your carpet. With kids and pets this might be every other day, or at least once a week.
- Don’t wait for your carpet to look dirty before you clean it! This is a common error most people make, since it causes a visual cue to clean the carpet, most obviously. However, by the time it looks dirty, a lot of damage would have already been done by the dirt and bacteria eating away at the fibres.
- If using a DIY deep-cleaning carpet cleaner, vacuum well before and after. Afterwards, this can help catch any dirt or particles that fall to rest on the carpet while drying.
- When it comes to stains, act quickly! The longer you leave a stain on your carpet, the longer it has to react with the fibres – working to remove it straight away normally always leaves you with a 99.9% chance of success. To do this, for big amounts of sauce or food, scrape up the bulk of the spillage with a blunt knife or spoon. Following this blot – don’t scrub – with a clean damp cloth, and add a little extra water if necessary (water can nearly always do the job). Most off-the-shelf spot carpet cleaners can also help here, but some don’t work on certain stains so test a small area first and then expand to the rest if you see good results. Vinegar or baking soda can also be useful for removing spot stains.
If you utilise the above tips as much as possible, you’ll ensure you can make your carpet last as long as possible. The key is small and regular maintenance, so you can enjoy your carpet for years to come!