Good carpet can transform a bland home or office into a cozy and productive space. That is, as long as the carpet is clean. There is just one cardinal rule for you to keep carpet clean: perform regular maintenance. Simple tasks–like wiping your feet, vacuuming regularly, treating stains, and hiring a professional now and then–can have a significant impact on your carpet’s longevity and looks.
Place a Mat by the Door
Do you know where all the dirt in your home or office comes from? It gets tracked in on the bottoms of your shoes. You can lessen the impact of this by placing a floor mat near the front door and getting into the habit of wiping your feet. Be sure to take the mat outside and shake it out and/or use a vacuum to clean it once a week. Encourage your family or coworkers to do the same. Although you may not want to opt for bare feet in your workplace, removing your shoes when you get home is a great dirt-reducing option too.
Vacuuming is the basic cornerstone of carpet care, but all vacuums are not created equal. Choose a vacuum cleaner with a suction power of at least 245 AW (air watts). A powerful vacuum like this is most effective at removing dirt and keeping your carpet fresh. Your entire home or office needs to be thoroughly vacuumed around once per week. However, heavily traveled areas–like the spot by the front door–should be vacuumed every day. Commercial carpet powders should be avoided, but sprinkling some plain baking soda on your carpet prior to vacuuming can help eliminate odors.
Tackle Spills Right Away
In the event of a spill, do not wait to take action. Acting fast is the very best way to prevent stains and carpet damage. First, gently blot a spill with a clean folded towel, without rubbing. Apply an appropriate cleanser, based on the manufacturing instructions for your carpet. If you are unsure about a particular cleaning product, spot test it in an inconspicuous area. Leave the cleanser to dry and then vacuum any remaining residue. If you don’t feel good about using a commercial cleaning product, you can try a mix of vinegar and club soda.
Move Your Furniture
Heavy furniture–like couches, tables, dressers, and desks–can create indents in your carpet. If left for too long, these low spots can become permanently embedded. Furthermore, when your furniture stays in the same location for long periods of time, spills tend to occur in the same spots over and over. An often-overlooked element of carpet health is rearranging your furniture, even by just a few inches, at least once a year.
Hire a Professional
Daily and weekly upkeep are essential for good-looking carpet. However, nothing can replicate an annual professional cleaning. Make a point of using commercial carpet cleaning services, like Chem-dry, once a year, or more like every six months if you small kids or pets.