KEEPING YOUR CARPET LOOKING AS GOOD AS THE DAY IT WAS INSTALLED
Any home renovation project comes with some degree of suspense, anticipation, and excitement as the final reveal comes closer and closer. When it comes to brand-new carpets, when all is said and done, it can be hard to resist the urge to slip into your fuzzy socks, shuffle your feet, and “static shock” your family members, not to mention the urge to run barefoot on the new fluffy carpet right along with your kids. As time goes on, it’s normal for carpets to exhibit usual signs of wear-and-tear, like slight discoloration/bleaching from the sunlight, dust accumulation, and the fibers becoming slightly matted.
Here are three key concepts you need to learn in order to develop good techniques to care for your carpet and extend its lifetime as long as possible.
Sounds obvious right? After all, nobody plans of spilling wine all over the white carpet.
If you can prevent spills and stains from occurring, you’ll be much better off than if you have to remove them yourself. Some good tips for you to practice that will help your carpet as long as possible include enforcing as best as possible a no-shoes, no-food rule on the carpet area. Shoes will track in mud, dirt, and dust, while food poses the risk of spills and stains. On a similar note, it’s a good idea to make sure that any pets (or small children!) are trained properly to avoid particularly unpleasant messes.
It’s important to vacuum your entire carpet thoroughly and regularly, spending extra time on areas that are most commonly walked on. This will remove the dust and dirt from the carpet that accumulates naturally over time. Too much dust or grit in your carpet will not only distort the coloration but can even pose a threat to your family’s respiratory systems. Lastly, some carpet experts claim it’s a good idea to rearrange your furniture every six months. This will prevent those unsightly indentations from forming as a result of the prolonged weight of the furniture concentrated in a small area on the carpet. However, plenty of other people swear that this doesn’t matter, they can’t be bothered to completely redesign their home every six months, and that those dents in the carpet are hidden by the feet of the furniture anyway, so ultimately it’s up to you what you want to do.
The Delicate Art of Spot Cleaning
Whether it’s a little nail polish or a wine stain or something much more drastic, there’s no need to panic!
The best way to remove a stain is to carefully blot at the puddle with towels. Be careful not to use any rubbing or pressing motions – this will simply spread the moisture around and mat the fibers together. Blotting and dabbing at the stain will remove the moisture while keeping it contained. If it’s a larger stain, you might want to break out the wet-dry vacuum.
Once you’ve lifted off as much of the stain as possible, you can use either a special carpet stain removing solution or a bit of dishsoap in warm water to remove the discoloration. People tend to assume that bleach or laundry detergent will act as soap and remove the stain, but in fact, those solutions contain chemicals that are not good for the soft fibers of your carpet.
Professional Deep Cleaning
Even if you try your best, sometimes life has a habit of getting in the way. If you’re facing one or more seriously stubborn stains, it might be a good idea to call in the professionals.
The most common method of removing stains and grit from your carpet is called “steam-cleaning,” or more scientifically, “hot water extraction.” This uses a mixture of hot water, suction, and special detergents — often called “carpet shampoos — to remove as much of the discoloration as possible, leaving you with a clean, fresh carpet.
When you’re looking to hire a team of professional carpet cleaners, be sure to ask them plenty of questions about what techniques they use, why those techniques are used as opposed to alternatives, and what type of carpet fibers they have most commonly worked with, as different materials react differently to water or retain different levels of dust, requiring more or less suction than other types of fibers.
If you have a few scattered stains, you can try these DIY tips to treat your carpet without the need for hiring pro carpet cleaners.
If you follow the above tips, you hopefully won’t have to resort to calling in a team of professionals. However, if you do, you should be prepared to ask plenty of questions and have an open, honest conversation about the nature of the stains and the reasons you’re calling in a team instead of working out the stain yourself.
Remember, prevention is key: it’s easier to develop good habits that will avoid spills in the first place than trying to remove stains, especially from carpets that contain light, pale colors or complicated patterns. Best of luck!