Clean Carpet: 5 Ways to Keep Yours Looking Great
Few things will affect the look, feel, and value of your home as much as carpeting. Clean carpet makes a home feel comfortable and welcoming, while dirty carpet can do just the opposite.
As a former owner of a top-rated carpet cleaning company, I have experienced both ends of the spectrum and most everything in between. In a single day I’ve seen 15-year old white carpet that looked as good as it did the day it was installed, and then I have seen carpet so dirty that the best thing that would help was a match.
But having clean and long-lasting carpet doesn't have to be difficult. By following a few simple tips your carpet will be the talk of the neighborhood, for all the right reasons.
1. Remove Your Shoes
I resisted this one for a long time, and I still don’t require it of guests in my home. But for those of us who live here, we’ve got a strictly enforced no-shoes policy. The reason is simple: the vast majority of dirt on your floor is brought in on the bottom of your shoes.
How frequently should you vacuum? A useful rule of thumb is to vacuum one time per week for each person in your household. Over 90 percent of the dirt in your carpet is removed by vacuuming. When carpet is not vacuumed regularly the remaining soil particles will abrade the carpet fibers as they are walked on. The abrasion causes light to reflect differently than on non-damaged carpet, creating what appears as a traffic area or path. Professional carpet cleaners can remove soil, but they cannot remove damage.
3. No Food or Drink
This may be a hard one to enforce (or even follow for yourself), but if you’re eating or drinking over your carpet it’s not a matter of ‘if’ a spill will occur, but 'when'. Keep the food and drinks in the kitchen and dining area.
4. Be Careful When Moving Furniture
This tip doesn't involve cleaning, but it’s important to the life of your carpet. When rearranging furniture be sure to LIFT, not SLIDE. Many things can happen when you slide a sofa across your family room floor, and none of them are good.
5. Clean Your Carpet Regularly
Remember that wonderful warranty that came with your carpet? If you read the fine print you’ll see that it requires that your carpet be cleaned on a regular basis. Put your carpet on a regular cleaning schedule and stick to it. One of the first rules of long-lasting carpet is that if it looks like it needs to be cleaned then damage has already been done.
Troy Pattee founded a top carpet cleaning company in Utah and owned and operated it for six years. He has certifications in carpet and upholstery cleaning, as well as water damage restoration. He is currently a member of the Rug Doctor Roundtable. He is a regular contributor to Mom It Forward and blogs about fatherhood on his own site, Dadventurous.