Anytime you put new carpet into your home, you hope your investment will take you years down the road into still-carpeted future. If you have a house whose floors seea good deal of use, a few adjustments to your schedule and practices here and there can go a long way in making sure your carpet lasts and looks great for years.
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Vacuuming is the bestand most underratedway you can keep your carpets in good shape. Even the smallest pieces of dirt and grit are abrasive, and when these are repeatedly walked over or when furniture scoots back and forth across them, they can cause a carpet’s pile and backing to age more quickly than they ought to.
Wear will start to show from even the tiniest, most miniscule pieces of debris, and eventually, that wear will lead to tear. Vacuuming at least once a week will keep carpets debris-free, and thus wear will be minimal. Of course, a freshly vacuumed carpet is only as good as the vacuum that was used on it; so don’t be cheap when it comes to choosing a vacuum. They aren’t all created equal.
Adopt a “No-Shoes” Policy
If you’ve never taken an anti-shoes stance in your home before, enacting one can feel strange at first, but keeping dirt, pebbles, mud and more off of your carpets is a guaranteed way to extend your flooring’s life and beauty. Set aside a place near the door where it’s clear to guests that they should leave their shoes, and always have some socks or house slippers on hand for anyone who may need them.
No Bare Feet
Believe it or not, bare feet can actually cause almost as much damage to carpets as shoes. Skin produces oil no matter what part of the body it’s covering, and the bottoms of feet are no exception. This oil, which is so helpful in keeping skin hydrated, will get on your carpets where it will become a dirt magnet.
That dirt will get walked on, which will cause damage to your carpets, which will create wear and tear, and eventually, your carpets won’t be able to recover that pristine shine and feel they used to have.
Quickly Clean Every Spill
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Regardless of whether a spill involves coffee, red wine, chicken soup, grape juice or cream soda, immediately attending to it is essential if you want to protect your carpet from staining. Stains have a tendency to get bigger and more difficult to contend with over time—as anyone who has worked for a professional cleaning service can tell you.
Because all fabric is different, when you get your new carpets, ask the supplier for a guide in stain removal. If there is a particular cleaning product that is recommended, make sure you have it on hand. If you have pets or children, it may also be worthwhile to purchase a smaller household carpet shampooer for regular spot treatment.
When you do attend to spills, take care to always work with a blotting motion and a clean towel. Scrubbing a stain or spill can cause damage to the pile.
Use Area Rugs Wisely
Putting a rug on top of your carpets may seem a bit redundant, but in high traffic areas, that redundancy is going to keep your carpets looking fantastic for a long time. Area rugs, because they can be moved, are much easier to clean and treat than carpets, and they can also add a different look and color to your home. Let them take the heavy abuse. When they wear out, they’re much easier to replace.
Hire the Professionals
At least once a year—twice a year if you have pets or children—you should hire a professional cleaning service to completely clean your carpets. Don’t wait until your carpets look like they need professional cleaning, either. By then, some damage to the pile has probably already occurred. Maintenance is always easier than restoring or replacing. If you’re serious about your carpet, invest in regular, professional help with it.
Beautiful and well-preserved carpets can make any house feel more like a home. While it certainly does take some effort and planning—as well as occasional enforcement—keeping your carpets in great shape is as simple as practicing these tips.
About the Author:Phil Kearny is a carpet specialist for COIT Cleaning. He recommends www.coit.comfor any residential and commercial cleaning needs.