Keep your rug from looking like it's been run through the wringer with these tips
Your carpet spends a lot of time underfoot, which is why it can start to look a little worse for wear even a few months after it's been installed. It can be frustrating to see the once dense pile start to flatten or when you notice that some of those smells—especially from your loveable four-legged friends—seem harder and harder to get rid of. Fortunately, there are ways to extend the look and life of your carpet. And they're a lot easier than you might expect.
1. Vacuum Regularly
Working vacuuming into your regular cleaning routine can help get rid of some of the dirt, debris, and hair that builds up over time, before it has a chance to dull and darken your rug. Vacuum your rug at least twice a week, more often if you have kids and in high-traffic areas.
"Vacuuming carpets in your home at a higher frequency will not only keep the fibers in the carpet clean and intact, it’ll also stop any dirt or debris from breaking down and allowing mold, bacteria, and other allergens to grow," says says Asya Biddle, Angi Expert Review Board member and manager of The Dust Busters janitorial company in Williamsport, PA.
Consider getting a robot vacuum if that seems like a lot to add to your already busy schedule. Most models have settings where you can program them to run twice a week (or even daily if you're dealing with pet hair), allowing you to set it and forget it. Who doesn't love putting their chores on autopilot?
2. Choose the Right Vacuum
Not every vacuum is going to be right for every home. For example: If you have a house full of dogs, you're going to want to get one specifically designed to handle pet hair. Similarly, if you’re someone who isn’t home often enough to make that twice-a-week cleaning recommendation work for you, a robot vacuum might be the right choice.
In the end, the best vacuum for your carpet is the one you’ll use. If you pick one that’s too heavy to get up the stairs to your second floor or with too many confusing attachments, you’re likely to skip cleaning your floors more often, which doesn’t help you achieve your goal of cleaner, fresher-looking floors.
3. Soak Up Spills
Accidents happen. But just because you've spilled a glass of bubbly on your brand-new Berber rug doesn't mean you have to panic. Soak up your spill as quickly as you can with an absorbent towel or paper towel. Resist the urge to rub, and blot the moisture out instead. Use more towels if you need to, and continue applying pressure until the towel comes up dry.
4. Clean With Club Soda
So you've had a spill and you've soaked it up, but now you're left with a stain. You can treat most carpet stains with a bit of club soda, a clean white towel, and a little patience. Just apply the club soda directly to the towel and blot it gently over the stain, using a clean spot on the towel each time the stain lifts. Make sure you're using the club soda sparingly since too much moisture can create mold and mildew problems, and that'll definitely keep your carpet from looking its best.
5. Trim Snags
Did you know some carpet gets its lush look because it's made from several different fibers twisted together into one bigger piece that looks like yarn? These fibers can be twisted tightly and lower to the ground, like Berber carpet, or looser and stand higher like plush varieties. Unfortunately, all those tiny fibers can sometimes get caught on things like toys, shoes, or even your pet's nails, creating pulls that can leave your floor looking shaggy—and not in a fun retro sort of way. Trim any snags or pulls with cuticle scissors to keep your carpet looking neat.
6. Monitor High-Traffic Zones
Your high-traffic areas are the ones where people are constantly walking through—like entryways, living rooms, and hallways—and they’ll see a lot more wear and tear than the other areas of your home. If you start to notice your entryway is looking a little worse for wear in areas where your family does most of the trodding, it may be time to increase how much you're vacuuming. Or maybe, you’ll need to get a little busy with the cuticle scissors.
7. Deep-Clean Regularly
It’s easy to get a near-professional grade cleaning by renting a carpet cleaner or using an at-home cleaning treatment. These deep-cleaning options are great when you want to go a little further than vacuuming and get down to the bottom of your carpet fibers where really tough dirt and odors can hide. Do your deep-cleaning annually for the best results or when you’ve noticed your carpet isn’t bouncing back as quickly as it used to.
To test if your carpet's due for a clean, run the palm of your hand over the floor, pressing the fibers gently down. If it quickly springs back up, it's probably in good shape. However, if it's slow to stand back up, it's likely being weighed down by dirt, dust, and other stuff you don't want there. Once you've given it a thorough shampooing, it should spring back as quickly as it did when it was new.