If you’ve lived in a home with carpet, you know it takes a little more TLC than tile or laminate floors when it comes to upkeep and maintenance. If you don’t take the time to care for your carpeting at the right times and in the right way, you could shorten its lifespan or worse, live with something that’s way dirtier than you think. Here are five tips for cleaning and maintaining one of the most important elements of your home.
1. Don’t. Rub. Stains.
If you spill something on your carpet, by all means, panic and clean it up immediately. But don’t let the adrenaline go to your head and incite you to rub, rub, rub the spot into oblivion. If you rub it, you’ll only make it worse by spreading the stain around and forcing it deeper into the carpet pile. With stains, the rule is always blot, don’t rub.
2. Use Club Soda – The Right Way
Club soda is widely known as a great emergency cure-all for stains on most types of cloth, especially carpet. But it’s not as simple as just pouring it over the stain and watching the magic happen. The proper way to apply club soda to a stain is to take a cloth soaked in soda and blot the affected area. If that doesn’t work, you can create a solution that is one part white vinegar and one part club soda, spray it on the stain, wait fifteen minutes and blot again. Repeat if necessary, then rinse with warm water, and dry. The best way to dry to spot dry the area of carpet is to lay clean towels on it and weigh them down with something heavy.
3. Take Your Time Vacuuming
Vacuuming a carpet (especially one with thick pile) takes time. You can’t just expect that in one pass your carpet will give up the dirt, hair, and lint that’s buried deeply inside it. Make sure that you go over the same area several times so you’re not wasting your energy and time. This goes double if you have a small living space that gets a lot of traffic, or if you like to leave your doors and windows open for fresh air. A good rule of thumb is to vacuum twice as much as you dust.
4. Deep Clean Periodically
Every year to year and a half you should hire professional cleaners to deep clean your carpet. You can get a DIY steam cleaner, but don’t do that just to avoid the price of a professional deep clean. There’s a big difference between the two processes. Call around, make appointments for consultations (never take one over the phone), and make sure the company has a good reputation. Also, don’t be worried that you’ll be forced out of your home for hours and hours, or that you’ll have to use chemicals that might be bad for the environment or you. Services like Olympia’s Meridian Chem-Dry use safe cleaning materials and their process dries fairly quickly. Whatever your needs, there’s bound to be a professional cleaning service that can meet them.
5. Keep It Up
If your carpeting gets a lot of traffic, simply keeping it as clean as possible and keeping up with regular professional cleanings will prolong its life. Spot treating stains and vacuuming aren’t enough. Much like your teeth, carpets need deep clean every once in a while alongside home maintenance to stay healthy and looking good. Keeping carpet clean is a good way to make sure you don’t have to buy new carpet prematurely.