If your home is like most, carpet is one of the principal floor coverings.
It is warm and soft to walk on, it has good selection in a multitude of colors and it makes a durable surface when correctly installed and cared for.
Like the clothes you wear, carpets are made of fibers. Some are natural, like wool and cotton, but most are now synthetic.
Many of these high-performance fibers seem almost miraculous in what they do, but preventing stains and giving prompt attention to spills or soiling helps keep your investment looking good and last much longer.
Most carpets no longer wear out; they just become very unattractive and are finally replaced.
Simple maintenance and occasional deep cleaning is the key to good carpet care.
The first tool to use is a good vacuum cleaner. Eighty percent of the soil or dirt in the carpet is dry material that a good vacuum cleaner will remove. Use the vacuum regularly, especially in high traffic areas. The dirt not only makes your carpet look bad but is very abrasive and reduces the life of the fibers dramatically.
Never depend just on suction to remove dirt. Use a vacuum with a beater bar and brush, and be sure you set it for the right height for your carpet pile. If it is set too high for your carpet, it might not clean it effectively.
If the beater bar is too low, it inflicts unnecessary wear and tear from the vacuum cleaner.
Change the direction of how you vacuum frequently to increase cleaning effectiveness.
This improves the carpet appearance and brushes the fibers in different directions to make the cleaning more thorough. If your machine has a bag, empty or clean it frequently to improve the cleaning effectiveness.
Under normal conditions, you need to deep clean your carpet every couple of years. While there are many methods and systems touted, no one knows a better way to clean your carpet than the manufacturer who made it. Carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and other maintenance.
Your choice includes professional or do-it-yourself steam or dry cleaning. If you select a professional cleaning service, be sure they are reputable and find out what the quote includes.
Many advertise very low prices but then try to sell unneeded or unwanted additions to the service. Always be certain what your quote includes.
Clean high traffic areas more frequently by spot cleaning or using a steam cleaner. You can find small steam cleaners that are about the size of a vacuum cleaner and work well for touch up cleaning.
The most important advice for self or professional cleaning is to read and follow the guidelines that came with your carpet. Always choose a stainresistant carpet that resists soil and cleans easily. Most carpets are treated with a stain-resisting product like Scotchgard, and you can void the manufactures warranty if you do not follow their recommendations.
Keep a swatch of your carpet, the sales receipt, warranty and installation information so you can refer to them to keep your carpet in the best possible condition.
While spills and soiling are inevitable, permanent stains are not. Learn the best way to treat stains before they happen, so you can treat them immediately.
Carefully blot the area that is soiled to remove excess liquid. One of the best cleaners for water based spills is club soda.
Keep a bottle on the shelf not in the refrigerator to use for emergencies. After blotting and soaking up any excess material, dribble on some club soda and let it set for a moment, then blot it again to remove soda and the stain.