Keeping Your Carpet Clean

Tips on caring for your carpet and keeping it clean.

Updated: November 30, 2017

For those of us with carpets in our homes, it's an ongoing struggle to keep them looking appealing and clean. Not only does a fresh rug make a room look bad to have a dirty carpet, but if not properly maintained, a dirty carpet can cause a wide range of health problems, especially for those with asthma and allergies. We consulted the pros to make sure guide is up to date and here’s what we got:

Keeping a carpet clean is a more budget-friendly and clever option than ripping out a dirty carpet and replacing it every couple of years. In fact, a little preventative maintenance will do wonders for the life expectancy of your wall to wall floor covering. It's not difficult to do, and if practiced regularly, will soon be part of your regular home cleaning routine. Keep in mind that family members will have to work together to properly handle the whole process, including the preparation of your home (relocating furnishing and putting it back).

If you want to keep outside dirt from being tracked in straight on your carpet, make sure you leave all shoes and boots at the front door. Not wearing shoes in the house will surely protect all floor surfaces from dirt and grit tracked in from the out of doors. It will also prevent mud, dirt and gems from being ground into the carpet.

To keep crumbs off the carpet and avoid spilling, you might want to enforce a "no food or drink in carpeted rooms" rule. If this isn't to be, you might want to look into a few other options.

  1. Vacuum regularly It's best to vacuum at least once every 2 or 3 days, but for today's busy homemaker, this isn't always possible. Instead, try to do it at least a week. This should be enough to remove all accumulated dirt, dust and food particles. Be sure to properly maintain your vacuum as well and replace the bag often. A full vacuum bag means not enough suction, which also means a carpet that stays dirty. If you’re vacuum cleaner lacks proper suction, or the overall condition is way beyond regular vacuuming - reach out to professionals like Professional know-how and gear are unmatched to any DIY solution. High-end hot-water extraction and dry chem solutions are not available to the wide public.
  2. Freshen your carpets once a month Sprinkle carpet deodorizer or baking soda on the carpet once a month before you vacuum to keep the rug from accumulating any unpleasant odors. Leave the deodorizing powder on your carpet for at least thirty minutes before vacuuming. When the carpet is vacuumed clean, the whole room will smell fresh and welcoming!
  3. Clean stains immediately If an accident happens, react right away. Don't wait until it’s too late. Leaver your book aside, pause the movie and start blotting asap! Don't give that stain a chance to spread or further embed itself into the fibers of your carpet. Blot any spills immediately! Use vinegar, dishwashing liquid or club soda for more stubborn stains. For a really wet stain, cover with a thick towel and weigh down with a book or other heavy object. This will prevent "wicking" and keep the stain from reappearing.
  4. Steam clean every six months Most supermarkets and home improvement centers will allow you to rent steam cleaners or also known as hot-water extraction units. By steaming your carpet every six months or so, you'll be ensuring it always looks its best. It’s important to bear in mind, that rental units are not as powerful and efficient as those professional rug cleaners use.
  5. Leave it in the Sun for a day or two Sunlight is known for it’s solid effect on almost all types of natural fabrics. Before hot-water extraction and dry chem cleaning were available to the wide public, it was the combo of soap and Sun that did the job with disinfection.

Important: You did a spill and you want to DIY? Always test the cleaning solution before you apply it to a stain. You never know how something works until you actually try it.

Many seem to neglect the importance of conscientious carpet maintenance but the risks of various hazards, such as allergens, mold and pest infestations, are real, and won’t go on their own. It is up to the homeowner, landlord or tenant to take immediate action if dirty carpets are present.

Many people still like to call in a professional carpet cleaner once a year to maintain the integrity of their carpets rather than lose time with DIY recipes and hacks. If you don't mind the expense, by all means do so. Otherwise, the above mentioned tips should keep your carpet looking fresh and new for years to come. A few minutes of cleaning every week will mean a healthy looking carpet for years to come. Isn't that worth the extra work?

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