Wall-to-wall carpeting may not be nearly as expensive as other flooring options like natural stone and hardwood, or even ceramic tile and laminate. But you still want your carpeting to last as long as possible so that you don’t have to pay to replace it any sooner than is absolutely necessary. That said, there is a lot you can do to keep your carpet looking new for a good long while, even in high traffic areas of your home. With a few tips and tricks up your sleeve, you’ll get the most longevity out of your carpeting. Here are some pointers to get you on the right track for cleaning and maintaining your carpet.
- Start with stain resistant carpet. If you happen to be installing new carpet in your home anyway, it’s probably a good idea to go with a product that is designed to be stain resistant. You might think this limits you to Spartan, office-appropriate weaves, but the truth is that these days you can purchase plush pile that has been pre-treated to resists staining. And if you know your household is prone to soiling and stains (if you have kids, pets, or a clumsy spouse, just for example), you may want to select a color that is, well, not white. Opt instead for a tan or gray neutral that is more forgiving in terms of the dust, dirt, and staining that commonly occur in the home. Planning can help to save you a lot of trouble down the line where carpet cleaning and care are concerned.
- Scotchgard. If you’ve decided to keep the carpet you have and it isn’t the pre-treated, stain resistant variety, you can take steps to make it resistant to all kinds of staining by simply applying a product like Scotchgard after a thorough cleaning. While such products won’t stop staining altogether, they can definitely make it more difficult for foreign substances to penetrate carpet fibers, making spills and other messes a lot easier to clean and helping to keep your carpet spotless.
- Clean regularly. This is actually a really important step, not just for home hygiene, but also for the ongoing state of your carpet. You probably don’t realize just how much dust and dirt is in your home at any given time. But dust, dirt, dander, and other debris are settling into your carpet, getting ground in day after day. And if you don’t vacuum regularly, the build-up can start to make your carpeting look dingy, and possibly retain odors. A good rule of thumb is to vacuum weekly. And you should plan to steam clean carpets at least annually.
- Treat stains immediately. Although stain resistant carpet will help to stop stains from soaking in, it is not foolproof. So when food spills or mud is tracked in, you need to treat it post haste. Blot the area with a clean, dry cloth to remove as much excess substance as possible. Do not rub as this can grind the staining agent into the carpet fibers. You may want to wet the area with water and blot again. Then treat the stain with appropriate neutralizers (like white wine to treat red wine stains) and/or a stain fighting solvent designed for use on carpeting.
- Get professional help. There’s a lot you can do on your own to clean your carpet, but if you suffer from stains you just can’t remove or you don’t have time to undertake steam cleaning annually, it’s probably best to call in the pros from a company like ServiceKnights to do the dirty work for you, leaving your carpeting looking like new.