Tips on how to maintain your carpets and keep them in their top condition
To get the most out of your carpets lifespan there are several things you need to consider. First and most important – clean your carpets regularly:
The best way to keep your carpets clean is to vacuum them regularly. The right way to do it is with SLOW back and forth repetitive strokes. When done change directions. For example, if you started east-west, change to north-south or vice–versa. Doing so removes 80-85% of the dry soil particles in the carpet. This should be done at least once or twice a week depending on the average traffic in the property.
Professional carpet cleaning
Before hiring a professional carpet cleaner check the manufacturer warranty of your carpets, if you have one of course. There you can see how to maintain your carpets and how often you should have them cleaned. Most carpet manufactures require professional steam cleaning, technically named hot water extraction, at least once a year. This method penetrates deep into the fibres and lifts dirt, soil and pollutants. Steam also disinfects your carpets and kills all bacteria and micro-organisms residing in it.
NOTE: Always check your manufacturers cleaning recommendations as some carpets get damaged when wet or steam treated or can only be dry cleaned.
If you don’t have the warranty to check that information, then you will have to consider a few variables:
KIDS: Children can do a number of things on your carpets. A large family brings loads of joy and warmth in a home, but you also have to consider that more people means more traffic on your carpets too. And with children in the picture, you have to consider professional carpet cleaning once every 6 to 9 months.
PETS: Having pets at home you should consider having your carpets professionally cleaned every 6 to 12 months. More frequently if any of your pets have problems holding their bladder. The reason for the more frequent cleanings is due to the fact that your pets drop a lot of dander, hair, and dust on your carpet fibres. Frequent vacuuming in this case can extend the time needed between professional cleanings.
PETS AND CHILDREN: The amount of traffic in this particular case will be severely increased. As well as the amount of dirt and soils brought from outside, pet hair and skin, numerous accidents and spillages, etc. Depending on all these factors you might definitely need to consider calling a professional carpet cleaner once every 6 months.
ADULTS: If only adults live in a given property and they take good regular care of the carpets, they can even go up to 2 years between professional cleanings.
Bottom-line: You have to have in mind the amount and type of traffic you get on your carpets, as well as who causes it to, determine how often you should have your carpets professionally cleaned. The greater average varies from property to property and is between 6 months and a year to up to two years depending on traffic, your own availability and budget.
Do-It-Yourself with a steam cleaner
There sure will be times when your carpet will need an emergency cleaning. An accidental food or drink spillage, a pet bladder accident or a few dirty footprints on your carpet should not be just left there to stain and/or smell. Instead you can either call your local carpet cleaner to come and sort the problem out for you, or get a steam cleaner and take care of it yourself. Most of the stains get out completely when they are still fresh, plus steam has amazing properties and does miracles when used for cleaning. Sure you are not a professional, but it is not hard at all. There are two major rules to follow:
- Do not over-wet the treated area as over-wetting can damage the fibres, can cause shrinking, deforming, browning, mildew, odour or other damages to your carpet.
- Make sure you don’t use any of the solutions the steam cleaning machine comes with. The reason is that, if once treated with chemicals a stain does not come out, it is very likely to become permanent and impossible to remove.
A time-saving tip: In case of muddy footprints, allow the mud to dry first, scrape it dried off the carpet, then vacuum. The remaining stain clean with steam cleaner or with the water and washing-up liquid solution and a cloth. Agitate gently, then blot dry.