Between the kids, the pets or just a clumsy relative, let’s face it, the odds of you keeping a perfect carpet is slim. But there are a number of things you can do in your household to make your investment last – and not have to clean up after every single spill.
Here are 10 simple carpet-cleaning tips:
1. Picking the right carpet from the get-go
You have to ask the right questions like where do you see yourself in the next five years? Is your family growing? What kind of activities do you do? These are things to factor in for your costly carpet purchase. A winter white or ivory spread carpet may not be a good idea for the accident-prone.
It may sound a little too simple, but eliminating shoes on the carpet can save you troubles two-fold. First, you won’t have anyone dragging mud, dirt and other unmentionables onto the carpet. Second, you’re likely to prevent accidents, like people tripping over their heels or over shoelaces. According to the Healthy Child, Healthy World organization, leaving your shoes at the door can cut lead dust levels by about 60 percent and it can lower your exposure to dust mites, pesticides and more.
In order to keep your carpet its best, develop a routine – not just vacuuming. For starters, many carpet companies recommend people vacuum once a week. It’s easy for you to remember a schedule this way, as opposed to every-other-week, and you’ll have a sense of completion when it’s all done. Don’t forget places where people may eat or other high-traffic areas of your home. Also, consider sprinkling your carpet with baking soda before you vacuum. The powder will help absorb carpet odors and it does not cost as much as scented products.
Shampooing your carpets should be done in certain frequency. If you’re in a single-person home with few guests, once every year-and-a-half or even longer is okay. However, if you have kids, pets or any other accident-prone factors, consider at least once a year. The best time to clean is really up to your family’s routine, though I prefer after winter – when everyone’s tracking in muddy and snowy boots.
SPOTS AND SPILLS
5. Clean them immediately
The longer a spill soaks in, the harder and less likely you’ll be able to remove it. Soak up the spill with a dry rag or towel then continue to blot. Try loosening up the spill with warm water.
6. Go easy on it
When you spot a spill on the carpet, don’t buy every stain remover at the store. Start with the basics and work your way up. Try blotting the stain with warm water. If it doesn’t loosen up, try a mixture of mild soap and water. Be sure your soap does not have bleach in it or too strong chemicals as they may end up damaging the fibers of your carpet.
7. Test a small area
If you do buy a new stain remover, test a small portion of your carpet and wait for at least an hour. This way, you’ll be able to see the reaction without putting your carpet at risk.
8. Drink stains
There is no universal method to cleaning a beverage stain as they all react quite differently. Yet, a good starting point for treating any carpet stain is a good vinegar-water solution. Fill mixture in a spray bottle and then spray onto stain. Let it soak for 5 to 15 minutes then gently scrub the area with a brush and water.
9. DRINK STAINS
- Coffee and tea stains – Clean it with a vinegar solution.
- Beer stains – Clean it with a vinegar solution. Use borax if the stain is stubborn.
- Red wine – Use club soda to lift the stain right out. If that doesn’t work, blot up the stain with water then apply baking soda to the spot. It will form a paste. Let it sit for a few minutes then vacuum it up. This should also work well with berry or tomato-related stains.
10. GREASE STAINS
According to the Organic Authority, cornstarch can do the trick. Sprinkle a bit onto the stain and let it sit for half an hour. Vacuum the cornstarch up. Repeat if necessary. If all else fails, a grease-fighting dish soap and water may just do the trick.
Written by Tara Timothy. She is a mother and a wife who dedicates her time making her home spic and span. She is fond of sharing home cleaning tips.