When treated with care, your carpeting should last more than a decade. But without proper care, your carpeting will look dull and worn before its time. And you may find yourself compelled to replace your carpeting a few years early – something that could cost thousands of dollars. With that in mind, a little extra time and effort in maintaining your carpet is a worthwhile investment. Here’s what you can do to keep your carpet looking great.
Kick off your shoes
Shoes can track dirt, grit, and other stain-causing materials onto your carpet – but not if you leave them at the door. Consider swapping your shoes for slippers that you wear while you’re inside. Place outdoor shoes in a basket or rack that you keep near the door.
Use entrance mats
While entrance mats lack the softness and sophistication of fine carpeting, they are designed to capture the dirt, grit, and moisture that shoes track into your home. Generally speaking, mats are highly durable, stain-resistant, and quick-drying; relative to new carpeting, entrance mats are also very inexpensive.
If you don’t have a regular vacuuming schedule, you’re probably not doing it enough. Without regular vacuuming, grit can become embedded in your carpeting, where its abrasiveness can wear down carpet fibers. Following a schedule of one vacuuming per week is recommended.
When it comes to vacuuming carpet, one pass isn’t enough. Be sure to pass multiple times over each area – with extra attention given to high-traffic areas or carpeting located near doors.
Attend to stains immediately
No matter how careful you are, you will stain your carpeting. Keep temporary stains from becoming permanent ones by addressing them quickly. The earlier you respond, the more material you can pick up before it penetrates deep into your carpet. Plan to remove that stain before it can set.
Blot, don’t scrub
When dealing with stains, the goal is always to gently pull the staining substance up and out of your carpet. Blotting with a damp cloth fits the bill. Scrubbing, on the other hand, can be abrasive and harmful to carpet fibers; it can also push staining material deeper into the carpet.
Schedule professional cleanings
If you don’t have a professional carpet cleaning schedule, you’re probably not doing it enough. Professional cleaners have equipment that can penetrate carpet more deeply, and pull away more dirt and grit, than vacuuming can. Look for an eco-friendly carpet cleaning service that dries quickly.
Don’t forget your pets
Dogs can bring an abundance of dirt, grit, moisture, and debris into the home and onto your carpet. Try gently wiping your dog’s paws at the door. And wash your dog regularly and keep him well-groomed; the cleaner you keep your dog, the cleaner you’ll keep your carpet.