Having carpet in the home creates a warm, cozy feel. Hardwood and tile may look sleek and modern, but there’s nothing quite like stepping onto a luxurious, cushiony area of carpet. It just makes you want to curl up and relax. Of course, not all carpet is lush and inviting. Most often, carpeting starts out feeling plush and, over time, becomes matted down and worn out.
Possibly even worse than the feel of old carpet is the look of it. No one wants their home to appear run down and shabby. So what can be done to keep carpet looking its best over time? The truth is that carpet materials don’t last forever, but there are a few things you can do to extend the life of your fluffy flooring. Here are some things you can do to keep your carpeting in tip top shape.
This step may seem pretty basic, but the fact is that vacuuming your carpet on a regular basis is likely the most important thing you can do to maintain its look and feel. Since 80 percent of particulate in carpets is dry, the first principal of carpet care extraction is vacuum, vacuum, vacuum.
Many people will argue that even if they vacuum their carpets, their flooring still looks worn down. The problem is that most of us vacuum far too infrequently. A lot of people put off vacuuming until the carpets appear dirty, which is much too late. When carpets have reached the point of looking sullied, they are already quite full of debris that can be damaging to the carpet fibers. In fact, the Carpet and Rug Institute recommends vacuuming high traffic areas once a day. The rest of the carpet should be vacuumed at least once a week.
Spot Clean ASAP
No matter how careful you are, stains happen. The best thing you can do to get rid of carpet stains and maintain your carpet is to clean the spot right away. Taking immediate action is the best chance you have of eliminating the stain completely. The longer a stain sits, the more embedded it will get and the more chance it will have to permanently damage the carpet fabric.
Home and Garden suggests the following stain removal steps: first, blot the stain, being sure not to rub the spot. Next, test a carpet cleaner on an inconspicuous part of the carpet to be certain it won’t damage the carpet. Once tested, apply the spot cleaner, working from the outside to the center and then blot again. Dry with a clean white bath towel or, if the area is very moist, stack some clean bath towels over the stain and cover with a heavy object to soak up more of the liquid.
Regular vacuuming can only do so much. Every so often, carpet needs an intensive cleaning. The Carpet and Rug institute suggests having carpets professionally cleaned every 12 to 18 months to get rid of excess debris. However, life is hectic and sometimes we lose track of these sorts of things. That said, if you notice that your carpet is looking somewhat off color from what it was originally or if it seems especially dusty or looks matted down despite regular vacuuming, it’s probably time for a deep clean.
There are a few other actions you can take to help extend the life of your carpet. One basic process that many people overlook is to remove shoes before walking on the carpet. Even if the soles of the shoes look clean, they usually leave some debris in the carpet. Over time, these deposits wear down the fibers. The dirt also causes the carpet to look discolored far sooner than it normally would. Also, to keep your carpet from getting worn down in just a few higher traffic spots, move the furniture around every few months. This way, the carpet will get foot traffic in different areas and wear more evenly. If you’re a pet owner, you may want to invest in a spot cleaning machine to help clean up any accidents that may occur. In addition, if you’re just having carpet installed, consider installing carpet that’s specially designed to stand up to pet traffic.
Remember, over time your carpet will see its fair share of use and abuse. You can’t completely prevent carpet wear and tear, but you can definitely slow the process down. Follow these tips and you’ll have the most enviable flooring on the block for years to come.