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 on both the outside and inside of 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 on entering your home and change into slippers or socks. You feet secrete an oily substance that sticks to carpets, attracting dirt and grime (just look at the inside of your shoes!).
4. Flip your 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 it accumulated 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 at 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, 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, because the beating actually damages the fibers, leading to ever-growing tears that could result in the carpet eventually coming undone.
2. Don’t let a carpet air-dry. If your carpet accidentally comes into contact with liquids, ensure that you do everything you can to dry it out. Dampness leads to mold and mildew growth, which are both unhealthy and will damage your carpet.
3. Avoid folding your carpet – ensure that it's properly flattened if you're considering placing furniture over 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.
Vacuuming Your Carpet Effectively
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 call in a professional carpet cleaner, let them know the 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 about the pH level they intend 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- in order to 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.
Spray the area with a mild detergent and wipe with a dry towel. Apply a little 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, 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 as possible, then sprinkle a tablespoon of baking soda onto the stain. Wait for 15 minutes, then spray the area with a mild detergent. Next, rinse it with lukewarm water and dry 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.
Did someone forget to take off their shoes and cover the carpet in mud? All you have to do is scrub the dry mud, pour a little vinegar on it, gently scrub once more, and dry it out. If the stain is stubborn, you can try using a rag and a little rubbing alcohol.
Urine, Feces and Vomit
If you have kids or just happened to have partied 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.
Image sources: Dennis S. Hurd jarmoluk jen collins Niklas Morberg Wei-Hang Chua Stephani Spitzer donger