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Caring For Your Carpets Without Professional Tools

vacuuming stairs

Follow these maintenance tips for proper care of your carpets.

Carpet should be beautiful and cozy, but like any other type of flooring, it requires regular care and maintenance to keep it looking like new. The proper care routine can extend the life of your carpet and help maintain its look and feel.

The following strategies can help you preserve the quality of your carpet for years to come.  

1. Vacuum Often: One of the most important things you can do to keep your carpet looking it's best is to vacuum regularly.  Without regular cleaning, dirt can become imbedded in the fibers causing wear and tear that eventually breaks down the carpet's structure.  Vacuuming will not only keep dirt from getting down deep and causing damage, but it will also help keep the fibers pliable and looking like new.  Make sure to have your vacuum set at the right height.  Set it too high, it won't pick up dirt.  Set it too low, it can cause damage to the carpet and put undue strain on the machine.  Vacuum high-traffic areas twice a week and low-traffic areas once a week.   

2. Clean Stains Right Away: Don't dig or scoop food spills! If there are solids on top of the stain, use a spoon or dull knife to gently remove as much as possible.  Then treat the stain.  The longer a stain sits in the carpet the harder it is to remove.  Start by blotting the stain with a clean, dry, white cloth, repeating until the spill is absorbed.  Work water gently into the spill and then blot with a dry cloth. Repeat until the stain is gone and all the water has been absorbed. If you’re patient, you’ll almost always be able to remove the stain.  If water alone doesn’t work, try a white vinegar and water solution (equal amounts) or club soda before trying stronger commercial cleaning products. 
  • Warning: do not scrub or use a brush. Bristles and scrubbing can damage the carpet. Fraying and texture change are the likely results.

If you choose to use a carpet cleaning product to treat the stain, test it on an inconspicuous area first.  Some products can cause a carpet to get dirty faster or damage the carpet’s color and texture. For a list of carpet manufacturer-approved spot and stain cleaners, go online to The Carpet and Rug Institute

3. Clip Snags:  Over time and as your carpet ages, you may find snags and sprouts.  Don't pull on them, doing so could damage the carpet.  Clip snags and sprouts with scissors. Clipping will improve the carpet’s appearance without damaging it. 

4.  Have Your Carpets Professionally Cleaned:
Make it a point to have your carpet cleaned professionally every 12-18 months. Hot water extraction, also known as “steam cleaning,” is the preferred method.  Hot water extraction will remove embedded dirt while sanitizing and refreshing your carpet. Although it’s tempting to save on professional carpet cleaning costs, don’t skip this step. It’s one of the most important things you can do to keep your carpets looking like new.