The look of a new, fresh carpet in your home is like nothing else. Just like with every new purchase, each homeowner wishes that the new, fresh, just-purchased look could last forever. The reality, of course, is different. With tons of foot traffic, stains from everyday use, pets, parties, and simple accidents, carpets end up seeing the worst of it in just a few months of use. However, that doesn’t mean that there are plenty of ways that homeowners can stay on top of carpet maintenance to preserve that fresh, just-purchased look. If you’re looking for fresh, creative ways to keep the carpet clean, look no further. By following these tips, you’ll be astounded by how fresh your carpet stays through the years.
Treat Stains Correctly
When it comes to carpet cleaning, it helps to know the basics of care. While you might already have experience treating stains on sensitive, light fabrics, it’s good to remember that each material is different, and so is each stain. However, the universal rule is that blotting is always preferable to rubbing in any situation. Your carpet is made of delicate fibers, and rubbing could do the work of pushing the dirt and debris down into the carpet’s base, making it harder to remove in the long run. This is especially important to remember if the stain substance has an odor. To deal with stains effectively, treat them the instant they appear, and use a gentle approach, blotting with a paper towel and small amount of non-abrasive dish soap or cleaner.
Know Your Stain
Different stain types require different actions. In the span of your carpet’s life, you’ll probably end up dealing with a few different types of stains. For this reason, you’ll want to stay aware of best practices for each unique spill. If you’re dealing with a dark, liquid stain like wine or blood, using a blotting method and a bit of baking soda to let soak up the debris overnight is a good way to minimize damage. For thicker materials like paint or food, scrape as much of the stain off as you can with a butter knife before treating it with dish soap. Using a spray bottle full of diluted detergent is a great way to deal with oil or grease stains.
Rotate to Prevent Sun Damage
If your carpet stays in one place for too long, it could end up getting the worst of midday UV rays from continual sun exposure. In addition to long-term issues like fading, exposure to the sun could cause your rug to become more brittle over time. To minimize sun exposure, always try to rotate your rug at least a few times each month. This applies to keep foot traffic low as well. If you notice one part of the rug experiencing more wear than the others, keep rotating to protect the more vulnerable areas.
Do Damage Control Before Events
If you know you’re going to be having a number of people over to the house for a gathering involving drinks, food, and possibly a lot of kids running around, do the damage control beforehand. Lay a few absorbent sheets or mats down underneath your carpet to protect it from any possible deep-setting stains, and make sure to ask guests to remove their shoes before entering. If you’re being extra cautious, lay out certain food- and drink-free zones throughout the house beforehand.
Prevent High Foot Traffic
If you’re noticing that your carpet is getting the worst of entryway traffic, rotating it could be a good way of minimizing the damage. However, you also might want to rethink your placement of your carpet altogether. Keeping your rug out of the direct line of fire when it comes to entryways can go a long way toward keeping your carpet’s longevity intact. If your carpet is situated right new the main entryway of your house, for instance, consider moving it at least a few inches to protect it from guests.
Vacuuming might seem like a simple and intuitive process. However, when it comes to your rug, you always want to be sure you’re not doing anything that could be potentially harmful. That means that before you vacuum, you should always check your settings to make sure your vacuum isn’t set too high or too low. A higher setting might make it impossible for you to pick up all the dirt deeper in your carpet, and a too-low setting could risk damaging the rug’s base. For higher-traffic areas of your carpet, be sure to vacuum more than once a week.
Use Baking Soda to Cut Odor
When it comes to getting out tough stains and destroying odor particles from getting deep into your rug’s fibers, baking soda is a miracle worker. If you’re noticing unpleasant smells from older stains, try sprinkling a bit of baking soda to leave overnight. In the morning, simply blot and vacuum the remaining power off the floor.
Let Mats Do the Work
When it comes to preventing stains and wear before the damage starts, mats are your best friend. Using thicker mats at entryways and smaller mats all around high-traffic areas of the home (like the kitchen or bathrooms) can do a lot to help your carpet from getting damaged. Mats act as a buffer, picking up smaller crumbs of dirt and debris from the rest of the house before it can get stuck in your carpet. Use your mats as a filter, and always be sure to shake them out frequently.
Invest in Professional Care
No matter how good you are at keeping your carpet clean, there’s truly nothing like a professional cleaning to keep your carpet looking like new. Even if you only use a professional cleaning service once or twice a year, your carpet will thank you. Professional cleaners know how to extract even the toughest stains and odors, and keeping consistent about regular cleanings will allow your carpet to survive and thrive despite even the harshest stains.