Good carpet isn’t cheap, so once you’ve made the investment, you want to keep it looking new for as long as possible. Following these seven tips should extend the life of your carpet.
Use area rugs and runners.
Carpets subjected to high-traffic get a lot of wear, tear, and dirt. You can minimize the effects by using rugs and runners in hallways, entryways, and areas in front of couches and chairs. Rugs and runners can serve a dual purpose as colorful accents for the room, so don’t be shy about incorporating them.
Of course, buying a good carpet, one that repels stains and can stand up to high traffic, in the first place helps. Carpets with nylon fibers are usually your best bet because they are durable, stain-resistant, and affordable.
Vacuum regularly & like a pro
Dirt can damage carpet fibers and change the way the fibers reflect light, making the carpet look dingy or dull. To keep your carpet looking its best, vacuum regularly. High traffic areas should be vacuumed two to five times weekly while light traffic areas may only need to be vacuumed twice a week.
Believe it or not, there’s a right way and a wrong way to vacuum; use a vacuum with adjustable brushes that suits the type of carpet you are cleaning. Also, choose a vacuum setting that matches the height of the carpet so that the vacuum can clean it efficiently without damaging the fibers. As you vacuum, overlap your strokes so you cover the entire carpet, and replace the vacuum bag or empty the canister regularly. Neither should ever get more than two-thirds of the way full.
Avoid using carpet powders.
Carpet powders may eliminate odors in your carpet, but they can also leave traces of powder residue in your carpet, which can build up over time. That residue can damage the fibers and leave your carpet looking dull and dingy. Instead, open the windows and freshen your carpet naturally, or use plugins and air fresheners to eliminate odors.
Snags make your carpet look worn, so you’ll want to remove them as soon as you can by clipping them off with scissors. Never, ever pull them, which can damage the carpet. Dents from furniture can be just as unsightly. Repair these by dampening the area with a white rag and then heating the spot with a hair dryer as you “rake” the fibers with your finger. Be careful, though, to not let the heat make direct contact with the carpet.
Deal with spots and stains.
Stains happen. When they do, deal with them immediately by dabbing club soda or a manufacturer recommended cleaning solution on the spot and blotting it with paper towels or a clean cloth. Blotting soaks up the stain instead of allowing it to sink into the fibers. Remember to blot from the outside in to prevent the spill from spreading and don’t rub! Rubbing the carpet surface too hard can damage the twist of the fibers.
Have your carpet professionally cleaned.
One of the most effective ways to keep your carpet looking its best is to have it professionally cleaned every six to 12 months, depending on the manufacturer’s specifications, even if the carpet doesn’t look like it’s dirty or dull. A service that adds stain protection to your carpet will make spills easier to clean up and help keep your carpet fibers from fraying.