Dirt and dust particles cause more damage than merely dirtying your carpet. When allowed to remain in carpet, these gritty particles can roughen the carpet’s pile — causing it to look aged and worn long before its time.
To keep your carpet looking great for years vacuum regularly with a good vacuum cleaner. High traffic areas that receive excessive daily use should be vacuumed daily to help maintain the carpet’s life and overall appearance. Be sure to change your vacuum bag frequently to enable the vacuum to function at full capacity.
Most carpets today are stain resistant so you can keep stains from setting in if you catch them quickly. The longer it takes to treat a spill, the more likely it will turn into a permanent stain. As soon as something is spilled on your carpet, follow these simple steps:
Step One: Blot liquids with a dry, white cloth or towel. For solids or semi-solids, scrape up the matter with a rounded spoon or vacuum until completely removed. Do not scrub the carpet — especially with any kind of brush.
Step Two: Pretest any cleaning solutions in a hidden area, such as a closet, to make sure the solution does not damage the carpet. You can do this by applying a few drops of the solution in the test area and after approximately ten seconds, blot the test area with a cloth or towel. If there is any change in the color or texture of the carpet, choose another cleaning solution and repeat step two.
Step Three: If there was no change to the carpet, proceed with the chosen cleaning solution. Apply a small amount to the stain and allow it to sit for three to five minutes (depending on the severity of the stain). Work gently into the stain from the outside in (to prevent the stain from spreading). Repeat step as needed.
Step Four: Once you’ve removed the stain completely, rinse the area thoroughly with cold water and blot with a dry cloth until all cleaning solution residue is removed. Failure to remove excess cleaning solution may additional damage to the area.
For tougher stains specialized cleaning solutions may be used. Contact your carpet manufacturer or supplier for recommendations on which of these particular solutions may be the best for your need.
Remember, no carpet is completely stain proof. Many factors including: age, color, spill type, untreated spill length, and the cleaning solution can contribute to your carpet’s stain resistance.
In addition to frequent vacuuming, manufacturers recommend having carpet professionally cleaned using a hot water extraction method as needed. Below are some more specific recommendations for general carpet upkeep:
Furniture coasters help distribute the weight of heavy items and are recommended — especially for furniture with wheels that may leave permanent indentations in the carpet and padding. Also, take care when moving furniture with wheels by putting a protective barrier between the wheels and the carpet.
To keep carpet from discoloring or causing pattern fading, close drapes or blinds during hours of direct sunlight.
Try to keep all harsh cleaners away from carpet. Bleaches, tile cleaners, mildew removers, oven cleaners, drain openers, and plant food can all permanently discolor your carpet.
High traffic areas such as entrances, doorways, and the front of sitting areas will collect dirt the fastest. Clean these areas as soon as they begin to show soil. This will stop dirt from spreading and will extend the time between professional cleanings.
Additionally, place rugs or mats at exits from the kitchen surface to carpet, so as not to transfer excess cooking oils to the carpet.