The old carpeting in your home is really starting to bother you. Knowing that you have a large family gathering coming up, you decide to replace it. How can you keep these new carpets clean, knowing that your family is very active?
Here’s what you can do.
You can have mats at the entrance to your home, or at the entrance to very busy rooms. They will capture some of the dirt from the outside, and keep it from being spread to your carpets. Having a “no shoes” policy in your home will also help keep outside dirt limited to the entrance and shoe mat area.
Have carpet padding under your carpets, especially on stairs. Padding offers resilience under your feet and is another way to extend the life of your carpet.
The most important item you should have available at your disposal is a good vacuum cleaner. You want a vacuum that can easily capture all of the dirt, not allowing any of it to be released back into the air. When the canister is half full, empty it. The suction of your vacuum lessens as the canister fills.
You should vacuum at least once a week, more frequently in your high traffic areas. If you have a large number of people in your household, you may need to vacuum all the areas more than once a week.
Cleaning and maintaining wool carpets can add years to the life it. You’ll want to know how to remove spots and stains as they happen:
- Scoop up any solids.
- Blot spills. Do not rub them in, but place a towel or stack of paper towels over a spill, and press in with the heel of your hand. This will absorb all of a spill, and will not rub stains further into the fibers.
- Clean using the right cleaner for your type of spill*. Test the cleaner in an inconspicuous area of your carpet first to make sure it is safe before applying it to the rest of the floor. Additionally, always apply the cleaner to a clean cloth or towel so you can keep the unspoiled parts of your carpet clean.
- Clean inwards from the outer edge of your stain. This will help keep it from spreading.
- For a mud stain, scoop up the dirt, and mist the area with a solution of a few drops of a clear dish washing liquid into a container of water. Blot up the liquid. You do not want to over wet your carpet. If the stain persists, use a 3% Hydrogen Peroxide solution.
- For coffee, gravy, chocolate, ice cream or blood: Use 3% Hydrogen Peroxide solution.
- For alkaline stains (cat urine, beer, etc.), use a 50/50 mix of white vinegar with water.
- For ballpoint ink, makeup, hand lotion, metal polish, use Rubbing alcohol.
- For candle wax and crayons, transfer the wax by ironing with a brown paper towel.
Eventually, even if you are meticulous about keeping your carpet clean, the carpet will begin to look soiled. That is the time to call the professionals. If you are doing a good job, calling the professionals every year or two will keep your carpet fresh.
The most important, practical and simplest thing you can do for your carpets is to vacuum it often, take care of stains, and call the professionals. By following those 3 steps, your carpets will stay fresh and clean for a very long time.