Keeping a clean and tidy house can be time consuming, stressful and frankly a big drag!
Caring for your carpets is no different, but as the old adage goes: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, and nothing could be closer than the truth when maintaining clean carpets.
The best advice when caring for your carpets is to prevent their getting dirty in the first place.
Pet dander, dirt and stains are not easy to remedy so take these steps to keep them from your carpets:
- Make a household rule (especially for little accident-prone kids): eating and drinking happens at the dining table. Most stains come from spills and ground in food.
- Institute a new habit and leave shoes at the door.
- Put matts inside and out of all entry and exit points to the house. These matts will catch a lot of the dirt that ends up on your carpets and help keep them from getting quite so dirty and it isn’t just for people! Pet paws need it too!
- Vacuum floors and carpets often to help keep dirt and pet hair from getting ground in to your carpets
Still, even with the best of prevention, carpets are notorious for being collection areas for the most dirt and will need regular attention.
- Pulling out that heavy old electric vacuum is daunting, especially if you have stairs. Invest in a high-quality rechargeable vacuum that is light-weight and it will be easier to pull it out regularly and vacuum up visible dirt
- Get on a regular schedule. Vacuuming only takes a few minutes and if you do it regularly, your carpets will last much longer. Share the chore with family members- 5 minutes a day before dinner is all it takes!
- Take care of spots right away! Stains on carpets should be treated immediately or you will find they may never come out completely. Our favorite carpet cleaner is peroxide (commercial cleaning peroxide or the medicinal work). Spray a little on the stain to saturate and blot up with a clean rag.
When the Professionals are Needed
Even if you do everything you can to prevent your carpets from getting dirty, you will want to get them professionally cleaned at least once a year.
- Get a recommendation from someone you trust for a local, high quality carpet cleaning company. We recommend steam cleaners that use peroxide-based solutions that are safe for people and pets but still are effective in cleaning and sanitizing your carpets.
- Avoid companies that seem overly discounted. A good carpet cleaning company will treat stains, put protection under your furniture and will take the time to really go the extra mile which will be worth it in the long run.
- Ask all the right questions. What cleaners do they use? Can they remove red stains (if you have them) or pet stains? Is their machine truck mounted or portable (the truck mount systems are much better)? Can they get out tar, glue, wax?
Preventative care for your carpets may feel like too much to handle, but really its just about getting into new habits that can make good quality carpets last a lifetime! Years ago a client of mine instituted most of our recommendations after the installation of her new carpets and they lasted 30 years and are still looking new!