Despite the passing of time and changing trends, carpet is still by far the most popular choice for flooring in homes.
Providing an incredible array of colors, textures, thicknesses and other choices, it’s easy to see why so many people love their carpet flooring.
Unfortunately, carpet can quickly become dirty. If not cared for properly, carpet can wear out quite quickly. This means you’ll need to replace it on a regular basis and carpet often comes with an eye-popping price tag.
How can you avoid this problem?
It’s very simple: keep your carpets clean!
Today, we’ll go beyond simply vacuuming your carpets and look at general care and deeper cleaning.
If you have children or pets or you just tend to be clumsy, you know this is far easier said than done. Unless you plan on leaving the protective film from the manufacturer on your carpet for the duration of its life, you need to learn how to properly care for your floors so you get your full money’s worth.
Luckily, we’re here to help with today’s basic tips for cleaning your carpet.
Table of Contents
Caring For Your Carpet
One of the first things you need to consider when thinking about caring for your carpet floors is how to prevent messes from occurring in the first place.
Here are a few pointers:
- Floor Mats: If your carpet extends to the doorway of any exterior door, be sure you place floor mats on both sides of the door. This gives you and your guests double the chance to wipe your shoes clean before stepping inside
- Shoe Removal Area: Consider having a house rule that shoes are not to be worn indoors. Shoes track in exorbitant amounts of dirt, grime, moisture and germs. Protect your carpet (and your health!) by providing an area for you and your guests to remove your shoes
- No Eating: No, we’re not recommending a hunger strike, we just think you should ensure people aren’t eating on the carpet. It’s far too easy for someone to accidentally drop a plate of spaghetti or a glass of wine. Avoid the anger and tears by making sure your family eat in a designated area that is not carpeted
- Runners: In high traffic carpeted areas – think hallways and entryways - place carpet runners to protect the carpet underneath from being worn down and stained. Not only will this prolong the lifespan of your carpet flooring but it can add a decorative pop of color to an otherwise plain area
Unfortunately, no matter how many rules you have in place or how many opportunities you offer up to protect your carpet… well, life happens. Someone will be in a rush and forget to remove their shoes. A child’s friend will forget the rules and drop a plate of food in the middle of the living room floor. A pet will track in dirt and mud after playing in the yard.
What can you do?
Instead of losing your cool, keep reading to find out how to keep your carpets clean no matter what life throws your way.
Things To Consider Before Cleaning Your Carpet
Because carpet is such a popular choice for flooring material, many researchers have worked hard to help consumers protect the longevity of their floors. Due to this, there is no shortage of ways for you to clean your carpets but you must be careful of certain things before you start…
You need to know what your carpet is made out of. Different carpet fiber materials need to be cleaned in different ways…
- Nylon is a popular choice for carpet material as it is durable and good at resisting stains. Nylon is one of the easiest materials to clean when it comes to carpeting
- Older homes typically have carpets made with polyester. Polyester is incredibly stain resistant
- Olefin is another widespread choice, mainly in areas that get a lot of foot traffic. Carpets made from olefin are very inexpensive and are hard to stain
- Wool is not too common as it comes with a hefty cost and it’s also extremely difficult to clean
No matter what your carpet is made out of, you need to take care to not use too much water or cleaner when cleaning it. If you overdo it, the liquid can soak into the carpet pad and down to the subfloor which can cause serious damage.
If you’re using chemical cleaners on your carpet, you need to do a spot test in an area that is not often seen such as under a couch or inside a closet. The reason you do this is to see what the cleaner will do to your carpet before you clean the whole floor. You’d be incredibly frustrated if you cleaned the whole floor before realizing the cleaner has acted as a bleaching agent and spoiled your floors.
Carpet Cleaning Methods
There are several approaches to cleaning your carpets, and they all come with different price tags. None of these options is right or wrong so you simply need to decide which will work best for you.
- Professional Cleaners: There are many companies out there who will happily visit your home and clean your carpets for you. They either steam clean them or use chemicals to get the job done. It’s a smart move to use professionals because you can be sure they’ll clean it correctly and you’ve got no headaches about accidental damage. This is the most expensive option so if money is no object, press ahead with a contractor and watch your carpets returned to a showroom fresh state
- Personal Carpet Cleaning Machine: You can purchase a personal carpet-cleaning machine. There are several varieties of these to choose from. You can find cleaners that are just for spot cleaning simple stains, others to deal with pet messes and also more general cleaning machines. These use special detergents and cleaners so be mindful of your type of carpet before using these
- Rented Carpet Cleaners: These work just the same as personal home carpet cleaners but you borrow it for a day or so instead of purchasing it outright. This makes them cost-effective in the short term but a needless ongoing expense if you have the cash to buy one instead
- Carpet Cleaning Sprays: Sometimes, you don’t need to clean your whole house full of carpets. For these occasions, it’s a wise move to keep carpet-cleaning sprays on hand. These are almost foolproof as long as you test a hidden area first. Simply spray the stain, blot the cleaner away and let it dry
Protect your flooring investment by keeping your carpets clean.
Make sure you do all you can to prevent stains from getting on your floors to begin with and as soon as a mess occurs, quickly clean it up.
There are so many options available to keep carpets spotless beyond a simple vacuuming so roll with the one that makes most sense for you.
Drop us a line any time with your queries or feedback. We love to hear from our readers and we’re always delighted to help in any we can.
Now get that carpet cleaned and keep it that way!