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Having carpeting can make your house feel more like home. With warm and cozy carpets underneath your feet, but what are the best ways to keep carpet maintenance under control. It’s something you don’t think of much, but having dirty carpets can affect your health.
Whether you’re a homeowner or a renter, keeping your carpet clean can be a challenge. No one sets out to let their carpet get dirty but sometimes life gets in the way and grime is unavoidable. Besides, keeping your carpet clean helps it stay in good condition and look as good as new for as long as possible.
Especially if you’ve invested in quality carpet, you want it to look nice. (Or if you’re renting, you probably would like that security deposit back.) But what can you do to actively make sure your carpet is clean? No matter what your carpet looks like you can make sure it is as professionally clean as possible when you follow these tips.
1. Remove Your Shoes
Don’t track the dirt and germs in if you can at all prevent it. This means you need to remove your shoes every time you come home. Consider how many germs your shoes may come into contact with throughout your day and don’t let them into your house.
By cutting down on bringing germs and dirt into your house you can cut back on how much you will need to clean your floors. But you can also prevent the dirt and germs from harming you or your health. You can never be certain what microbes your shoes may have come into contact with every day so don’t take chances.
Have a doormat at the door, both outside and indoors, to wipe your feet on before you take off your shoes. With many cute yet functional mats on the market, you can show off your personality or even your home team allegiance while keeping your carpets cleaner. This proactive step will help any lingering dirt to stay on the mat and not end up in your shoe rack.
If you are someone who needs to wear shoes due to foot pain, injury, or to help you balance, then place a seat near the door you regularly enter so you can immediately switch from your outdoor shoes to your indoor shoes. This way you can keep your house germ free without sacrificing your safety by going barefoot.
2. Protect Your Carpet When Possible
Have you scheduled a delivery? Do you have a workman coming over to fix something? While many skilled tradesmen wear booties over their shoes to help protect your carpet from the dirt and germs they may bring in, it doesn’t hurt to protect your carpet as well.
Consider investing in large plastic runners to place on your carpets as protection when you’re going to move large furniture in or will have a large amount of foot traffic. Sometimes plastic mats can stay curled up when you first unroll them, but all you need to do is warm them up a little bit.
If you can place the mat in a sunny area. This can be a simple way to warm the mats up to help them lay flat. If it’s a cloudy day or you don’t have great exposure grab your hairdryer! A few minutes of blasting on high and your mat should be ready to protect your carpet from damage.
Some people (especially renters) even like to use large area rugs on carpeting in areas with a lot of family activity, such as a living room. Not only can a rug offer a pop of color or a fresh new design, but it can take the brunt of your active lifestyle and keep your carpet cleaner longer.
3. Vacuum Often
There’s a downside to multicolored carpet that doesn’t show dirt easily… and it’s that it doesn’t show dirt easily. Without a visual reminder that you need to vacuum and get rid of the excess dirt, it can be difficult to remember this all-important chore. Do you know that vacuuming is the single thing that can prolong the lifespan of your carpet and keep it looking great?
Vacuuming regularly removes dust, dirt, and hair that visible to the eye but also the microscopic allergens that can aggravate allergies. Forgetting to vacuum can harm the lifespan of your carpeting. Dirt can serve as tiny little razor blades and as you walk on them they can weaken your carpet fibers and cause them to wear unevenly.
Dull and damaged carpet is also more susceptible to staining. Don’t let your carpeting become a breeding ground for mold spores and dust mites. Vacuuming doesn’t need to happen daily unless you see visible dirt but should occur weekly at a minimum to help keep your carpets looking tidy and well cared for.
Choose a manual vacuum or a robot vacuum that will do the work for you. The end result is the same. A bonus to vacuuming often is your room will automatically be tidier because you will have to pick up misplaced items from the floor prior to the vacuum running.
4. Squeegee Your Carpets
Yes, you read that correctly. If you have a pet or you have long hair you may want to consider using a squeegee to rid your carpet of excess hairs. Not only will this hack help get your carpets cleaner than ever but you will save yourself the task of cleaning the long tangled hairs out of your vacuum cleaner’s roller.
You will want to get a brand new squeegee, don’t use one that’s been used to clean your windows. These are relatively inexpensive at the store so invest in a fresh one so you don’t inadvertently add any chemical residue to your carpets while you’re cleaning.
Getting your carpets clean with a squeegee is easy. Simply take the dry squeegee and gently scrape the carpet, going in the same direction every time. Don’t be shocked by the amount of fuzz the squeegee can remove, even if you’ve just vacuumed. As the hair and fuzz are lifted out, ball it up throw it away into your trashcan.
5. Blot Don’t Rub
No matter how hard you try to avoid spills, accidents happen. So when you need to clean your carpet remember to act quickly. Letting stains set is the worst thing you can do, so trying to clean the mess up fast is key. But when you’re cleaning it is important to remember to never rub at a stain.
Rubbing at a stain can help the staining pigments work their way deeper into the carpet fibers, making it harder to remove. Many newer carpets are treated to be stain resistant which will make the blotting process even easier, so remember blotting over rubbing any day! You’ll need a white rag or paper towel and some water for the stain removal process.
Add some water to the stain and slowly blot, which just means pressing down firmly into the stain. Work your way from the outside of the stain to the inside. As your cloth becomes soiled, switch to a clean spot to absorb the stain.
Some stains may require the addition of other liquids such as vinegar for beer, rubbing alcohol for lotion, or even hydrogen peroxide for blood in order to help remove stains from your carpet. If water alone doesn’t seem to be working it’s a great idea to look and see if another liquid is recommended to help a stain come out
While prevention is certainly the best practice of keeping pet stains out of carpet, sometimes your new puppy doesn’t always have the control to make it outside. If this happens to you don’t worry! Act quickly and remember to blot to avoid lingering stains and odors. Your prompt response will keep your carpeting smelling fresh and looking good.
If you find your carpet has developed an odor, sprinkle some baking soda on your carpet and work it down into the fiber with a broom. Let it sit for a few minutes and vacuum normally. There are also scented carpet cleaners available that work in the same way. You don’t need to have stinky carpets forever!
A Final Thought
Keeping your carpets clean may seem stressful but it will simply become a habit of yours soon enough. Once you have an established routine for vacuuming and removing your shoes your carpet will be cleaner than ever and look great for a long time. With a lifespan of five to fifteen years, you won’t have to replace the carpet as often if you take care of it as you should.