In almost every home you go to, you’re ly to find a carpet, and for good reasons; carpets add colors and patterns, sets the mood of the room, and best of all – they feels nice underneath your bare feet. Many interior designers say that choosing the right carpet is as important as selecting which pieces of furniture you’re going to get. Now, a good carpet is rarely cheap, so keeping it in good shape will save you money, make your house look cleaner and keep your family in good health. This is why we’ve compiled this guide that’ll help you banish dirt and keep your carpet looking it was bought yesterday.
Basic Rules for Carpet Maintenance Do’s
1. Avoid direct sunlight, as it causes the carpet to fade. Close your shutters or curtains during the hours when the sun shines directly into your home.
2. Place a doormat outside and inside your doorway. The external doormat should have a rougher surface while the indoor mat needs to be absorbent. This will prevent dirt and liquids from reaching your carpets.
3. Remove your shoes upon entering your home and change into slippers or socks. You feet secrete an oily substance that adheres to the carpet and attracts dirt and grime. (Just look at the inside of your shoes…)
4. Flip you rug once every two months and walk on it as you normally would for a whole day. This will shake out any dirt and dust that accumulated in the rub without damaging its fibers. Afterward, sweep the floor and vacuum both sides of the carpet.
5. Any furniture that is placed on the carpet can damage it, so install rubber or felt pads on the bottom of the legs to protect your carpet.
6. In humid areas, it is highly recommended that you add a buffer between the carpet and the floor to prevent water damage. The best way to do this is by placing a non-slip rug pad between your rug and the floor.
1. You were probably told that to clean a carpet you need to shake it, hang it up, and then use a carpet beater to beat all the dust out. This is, in fact, one of the worst things you can do to your rug, since the beating actually damages the fibers, leading to ever-growing tears and eventually can cause the carpet to come undone.
2. Don’t let a carpet air-dry. If your carpet comes in contact with liquids, do as much as you can to dry it out, otherwise it will develop mold and mildew, which are both unhealthy and will damage the carpet.
3. Avoid folding the carpet – ensure that the it’s properly flattened out after you have placed furniture on top of it.
4. Never vacuum a carpet’s fringing – it will loosen the fibers and eventually tear them off.
5. Unless you have wall-to-wall carpeting, avoid shampooing your carpets – carpet shampoo can severely damage silk, wool, and hand-woven carpets.
6. If you’ve decided to use water to clean up a stain on your rug, make sure never to use hot water. Heat ages the carpet faster, making it look much older than it really is.
Effectively Vacuuming Your Carpet
The vacuum is a carpet’s best friend, and these two buddies should meet at least once a week. Areas that we tread on most frequently should be vacuumed twice. If you use your vacuum on the highest setting, thinking that it’ll give you the best results, you’re sadly mistaken – it can actually pull the fibers apart. Instead, vacuum both sides of the rug on the regular setting, and make sure you clean the vacuum’s filter.
Calling in a Professional
If you’ve decided to get a professional carpet cleaner, let them know what type of service you expect. Be sure to ask for a high-pressure wash to reduce acidity levels in the carpet. The recommended pressure is 250 bar. Before hiring someone, check if they charge extra for moving any furniture prior to the wash. Ask your cleaner what PH level they are going to use? If they don’t know, or if the answer is more than 10 for a nylon rug or 8.2 for wool, they might ruin your carpet for good.
How to Remove the Most Common Stains
If something spills on the carpet, it is vital that you clean it quickly to prevent permanent staining, or if the liquid is acidic – prevent damage to the fibers. Use a white towel to avoid any possible color transfer. Avoid any potent stain-removing chemicals, as they might damage the dye in the rug. Finally, make sure that you dry out the rug whenever you clean it, be it by opening the windows, turning on a fan or using a hair-dryer.
Removing Wax and Chewing Gum
If for any reason you’ve had wax drip on the carpet, grab an ice cube and rub it on the wax. The cold will harden the wax, and it will break off with ease. Any leftover residue can be removed by placing a shirt or another piece of fabric over the wax and ironing it on a low setting. The heat will cause the wax to melt and adhere to the fabric, effectively removing it from the carpet. If we’re dealing with a piece of chewing gum, just use the ice to freeze it, and it will come right off. Be sure to dry the area once you’re done.
Be it human hair or animal fur, the easiest way to remove it is by using a squidgy, a broom with rubber bristles, or use a rubber glove and manually gather the hairs.
Spray the area with a mild detergent, and wipe with a dry towel. Apply a little bit of vinegar and wipe it off, then apply another spray of detergent and wipe it again. Finally, wash the spot with lukewarm water and dry the area thoroughly. Alternatively, rub some shaving foam into the carpet, scrub well and then rinse with lukewarm water and dry completely.
Sauces and Condiments
A spoonful of baking soda is all you need to remove sauces and condiments from your rug. Start by using a spoon to scrape off as much of the spilled substance off the carpet, then sprinkle a tablespoon of baking soda on the stain. Wait for 15 minutes and then spray the area with a mild detergent, and then rinse with lukewarm water and dry the area thoroughly.
Chocolate can easily be removed from the carpet by mixing a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid in a cup of lukewarm water, and use the solution to rub the stain away. Remember to dry out the area when you’re done.
Someone forgot to take off their shoes and now the carpet’s covered in mud? All you have to do is scrub the dry mud, pour a little vinegar, gently scrub once more, and dry it out. If the stain proves to be stubborn, you can try using a rag and a little rubbing alcohol.
Urine, Feces, and Vomit
If you have kids or just happened to party too hard last night, grab some peroxide and pour it on the stain, thoroughly scrub it, and dry it out.
If you accidentally spilled glue on the carpet, do not use a knife to remove it. Instead, use a little nail polish remover, rub the glue stain out, and finally – dry the area out.