Whether you have carpeting in your home because it looks better or to help you save money on heating costs, keeping it clean can be a challenge. Here are a few tips from experts to keep your carpet looking fresh and beautiful.
Prevent dirt from entering your home by requiring everyone to leave their shoes at the door. You can even purchase mats that absorb oil from shoes and prevent soil from sticking to the carpet.
1. Prevent Dirt from Entering Your Home
Your carpet is the first barrier between your house and all the dirt and grime outside. Most of this dirt gets tracked in from your shoes. If you can prevent this from happening, your carpets will last much longer. Floor mats near entrance doors are a great way to catch dirt before it can enter your home. You can also politely ask family members, guests and friends to remove their shoes before entering the house. Providing a decorative basket or some other receptacle for shoes can help people comply with your request.
Vacuuming is the best way to keep dirt from building up in your carpets, but it’s not always enough. Vacuum your carpets at least once a week using the right setting for your type of carpet. Keeping your vacuum’s filter clean and emptying it regularly will help the machine perform its job well.
Aside from vacuuming, you need to deal with spills and stains as they happen. Resist the temptation to rub a stain because this can actually drive it deeper into your carpet’s fibres. Instead, blot the spot with a paper towel or sponge soaked in a cleaning solution. Tarbox explains that an ordinary shaving cream will do wonders for general stains (apply and wait for 30 minutes before wiping). For more stubborn spots like candle wax, use a hot iron on the highest heat setting to melt it.
Certain stains, such as blood, must be dealt with promptly. If you see fresh blood, apply hydrogen peroxide with a cloth or sponge until the area is dry.
Stains are inevitable, but preventing them isn’t impossible. By following these helpful tips from experts, you can keep your carpets looking great for a long time.
2. Clean Your Carpet Regularly
Carpet is an attractive and comfortable floor covering, but it is also a trap for dirt and dust. If you do not clean your carpet on a regular basis, it can become stained and smell bad. Cleaning your carpets regularly will keep them in good condition and freshen the air in your home.
Vacuuming is a great start to keeping your carpets in good shape, but it does not remove all dirt and stains. It is best to vacuum your carpets at least once a week with a CRI-certified vacuum. If you have pets or a high volume of traffic, you may need to vacuum more frequently. It is also a good idea to vacuum your furniture regularly. If you have a wood or metal table that is moved around often, put aluminum foil squares or blocks under the legs to prevent dirt from transferring to the carpet.
If you notice a stain or spill, deal with it immediately. Blot the spot with a cloth or paper towel to soak up as much of the liquid as possible. Then, use a solution of one part white vinegar to three parts water and blot until dry. If you are using a commercial stain remover, test it on a small area first for colorfastness and other issues.
To remove odors from your carpet, sprinkle the carpet with baking soda. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then vacuum the carpet to remove both the baking soda and the odors it has absorbed. To reduce the amount of baking soda you need to use, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil with the baking soda before storing it in a glass container.
Another way to help with odors is to place machine-washable doormats at all entrances. This will help reduce the amount of dirt and grit that is brought into your house on shoes and clothing. It is also a good idea to encourage your family members to take off their shoes when entering the house. By following these simple tips, you can enjoy fresher, cleaner carpets for longer.
3. Deal With Stains the Right Way
When stains occur, it’s important to treat them right away. The longer the stain remains, the harder it is to remove. If you can clean a stain immediately, there’s a 99 percent chance it will be removed. Urine, vomit, red wine, chocolate and candle wax are common stains that can be tough to deal with. To prevent permanent damage, use natural cleaning solutions such as vinegar and water to remove the stain. Before using any cleaning solution, test it in an inconspicuous area to make sure it won’t damage or discolor the carpet. Always blot a stain, rather than rubbing. Rubbing will spread the stain, making it harder to remove.
For example, if your child spills juice on the carpet, try pouring some carbonated water on it. This will dissolve the stain and lift it. This trick also works for beer and wine spills. For blood stains, use hydrogen peroxide. Mix one teaspoon of liquid hand dishwashing detergent with two cups of cool water. Dip a white cloth into the cleaner and apply it to the stain. Be careful to avoid the edges of the stain, which can turn brown from blood. Blot until the stain disappears.
Vacuuming the affected area after treating it will help remove the last bits of dirt and restore the texture of the fibers. If a stain persists, call in a professional for help.
Another way to keep your carpets looking better for longer is to install a doormat at the entrance to your home. This will help to get dirt and debris off the shoes of everyone in your family and guests before it gets on your carpet. It’s also a good idea to ask your visitors to take off their shoes before entering your home. Dirty bare feet can set dirt into your carpet, which makes it more difficult to remove.
Keeping your carpets clean can seem like a daunting task, but with some helpful tips from the experts, it’s a lot easier than you think. It’s also more affordable and healthier than living with bare floors, especially if you have children or pets.
4. Get Rid of Mold and Mildew
If your carpet gets moldy, it’s important to treat it right away to prevent the spores from spreading. It’s also important to address the underlying issue that caused the mold (for example, water damage) so it doesn’t happen again.
Mold is a type of fungus that spreads through spores, which are found everywhere in the air, including inside your home. The spores need moisture to grow into full-blown mold, so they thrive in damp places like basements and bathrooms. They also do well on carpet because the strands of the material trap the moisture and make it hard for it to dry.
Spots of black, green or gray mold on your carpet can be a real health hazard. In addition to the musty smell that accompanies them, these spots can cause respiratory problems and even lead to chronic allergies or asthma in sensitive individuals. A little bit of mold on a throw rug or area rug is often easy to treat, but if you have a large area of moldy carpet, you’ll want to seek professional help.
Using a commercial cleaning solution that is designed to kill mold and mildew is usually a good idea. It can be sprayed on the affected area and then scrubbed with a brush to get rid of the mold. If the spot is particularly severe, it may be necessary to steam clean the entire carpet.
It is also important to ventilate the room where the moldy carpet is located. This will help to reduce the humidity that encourages mold growth and will reduce the odors associated with it. If possible, open all the windows in the room with the moldy carpet and use fans to assist with air flow.
If the carpet isn’t easily removed, try placing several white paper towels over it and weighting them down with something heavy. Then, leave the paper towels in place until the carpet is completely dry. You should also vacuum the area and use a HEPA filter to remove any mold spores that may be left behind. After the mold is gone, an anti-fungal coating can be applied to the carpet that will help keep it from growing in the future.