Everyone loves the look and feel of a freshly cleaned carpet, and why not? A clean carpet is indicative of good air quality, and a healthy home good-looking home!
So, what can you do to preserve this cleanliness after your carpet cleaner has left your home?
The most important step that you as a homeowner can take in caring for your fresh and beautiful carpet is vacuuming! Vacuuming is crucial to keeping carpeting healthy and prolonging its life.
As you, your kids, your friends, and your pets walk throughout a carpeted area, you all track soil. This soil from foot traffic builds up over time. Soil also accumulates from your heating and air conditioning system. When air flows from your air ducts, it brings with it microscopic dust particles that are blown all over your home, many settling on carpets. (This is also a good reason to routinely replace your air filters and perhaps consider air duct cleaning.)
Vacuuming has the power to remove up to 75% of soils in carpeting. Why is it so important to remove soils in carpeting? Well, soil has abrasive qualities and when it is repeatedly ground into the carpet it slowly erodes the backing of the carpet, leading to damage and the inevitable need to replace your carpets.
The removal of these soils also aids in creating a healthier carpet. A significant amount of dust that accumulates in homes is, believe it or not, dead skin cells shed by humans. Lots of these dead skin cells accumulate in carpeting and upholstery. Is this a problem? Yes. These dead skin cells are a food source for bacteria. The more food source for bacteria, the greater the quantity of that is living in your home and on the surfaces that your children play on!
Vacuuming is key.
How often should you vacuum? Well, that all depends on the traffic that your carpeting gets and the number of people and pets living in your home. Are you a smoker? Do you cook often? The more people, smoke, and greasy oils from cooking that your have in your home, the more frequently you need to vacuum.
Generally, it is a smart idea to vacuum once a week. If you have a significant amount of traffic, pets, kids running around, etc. vacuuming twice a week may be your best bet.
Sometimes carpets get snagged and torn, especially berber carpets. Never pull at the snag, as you will simply worsen the snag and pull more carpet face from the backing. What you can do in the event of a snag is grab a pair of scissors and carefully trim the snag to the base of the backing. This will prevent further damage to the carpeting and get rid of that unsightly yarn sticking up from the floor!
Another important step that you as a homeowner can take in keeping your carpets healthy and fresh is to prevent damage by heavy furniture and other objects that stay in one spot. It is a good idea to move the heaviest furniture around periodically to prevent permanent texture change.
Last and certainly not least, it is crucial to manage stains and spills. Who wants a carpet covered in stains? Whenever a stain or spill occurs, it is crucial to use a clean white towel to soak up as much of the stain as possible. It is important to blot gently rather than rub. Rubbing a stain can worsen the stain by spreading it around and deeper into the fibers.
After a stain has been fully blotted up, a faint discoloration may be present. This is when it is best to use a carpet stain/spot remover to reduce the remaining discoloration. Again, it is necessary to use a clean white towel and to blot. Repeat as necessary. When done with this, rinsing the solution is crucial because solutions remaining in the carpet can act as soil magnets and create further soiling. This rinsing can be done with a spray bottle full of water and a clean white towel.
Naturally, carpets will eventually become re-soiled and need routine professional cleaning to keep them healthy and fresh. You, as the homeowner, can help keep your carpeting clean and healthy between professional cleanings with these simple steps that prevent damage and unnecessary deterioration and aging of your carpet.