101 DIY Guide

Do It Yourself Guide

Carpet Care and Maintenance

Plush, rich carpeting adds an inviting and elegant to touch to your home, but only if it is properly maintained. An affordable alternative to wood or tiled floors, your carpet can define an entire room. This article offers effective, cost-efficient ways to prolong the life of your carpet.

Nothing can mar the appearance of lightly colored carpet as quickly as muddy shoe prints. Make it a family rule that all shoes should be removed immediately upon entering the house. After all, home is a place to relax–who needs shoes? Don’t be afraid to ask guests to remove their shoes. If you plan on having guests but are not comfortable making this request, consider temporarily placing throw rugs in high-traffic areas.

If your carpet is in a high-traffic area, vacuum at least once or twice a week. In other areas of the house, vacuuming every other week is generally sufficient to maintain a clean appearance. Carpet with a high pile may require a special attachment to lift dirt without causing damage.

Over time, direct sunlight streaming in through the windows can lead to noticeable fading. Blinds or fabric window treatments are perfect for adding color to your room as they filter sunlight. Another, more energy-efficient option is to install solar screens or add a translucent film to the windows. This blocks harsh sunlight and may actually reduce your heating and cooling bills.

It’s inevitable that spills and spots will occur, but a timely response is often sufficient to prevent stains and splotches. The type of cleaning product you use will depend on the type of carpeting affected and whether or not it has been treated with a stain-resistant barrier.

Once or twice each year, spend a few extra dollars to have the carpet shampooed. Many home improvement centers and even grocery stores offer the option to rent carpet shampooers and steam cleaners for a few days. If you notice more severe problem areas, you can also choose to hire a professional. You might end up paying more, but it is an investment that is well worth the added cost.

When you decide to rearrange furniture, you may notice depressed areas in the carpet where your couch, recliner or table had been positioned. No worries: Apply gentle pressure to the areas with your hands, then make short, circular rubbing motions. In less than one minute, you should be unable to tell where the furniture was previously stationed. Another helpful moving tip is to use carpet skates when relocating heavy furniture. These make the job easier, and they also prevent errant nails or splinters from snagging on the carpet.

After a few years, you may start to notice small snags or pulls in the surface of the carpeting. Never tug on these fibers; doing so can make the problem more noticeable. Instead, use a small pair of scissors to snip the offending piece. Addressing this problem as soon as you notice it eliminates the possibility of catching on pets’ toenails and the like.

Carpets are an investment in the look and feel of your home, so it is natural to take every possible precaution to protect your investment. By following the advice from this article, you can keep your carpets looking fresh, clean and elegant. The best part? Most of these suggestions carry little or no expense, yet are highly effective. Great things are underfoot!

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