Carpets and rugs are the flooring favorite of homeowners everywhere. They come in a variety of colours, textures, styles, and materials, and unlike other flooring options they add colour, warmth, texture, and pattern to the room they’re in.
Unfortunately, they also have the disadvantage of being less durable and more prone to staining than wood, linoleum, or tiles. In order to keep your carpets in good condition for as long as possible, you need to actively protect them from dirt, spills, and the daily wear and tear.
In the following guide, we’ll give you 5 proven ways to ensure your carpets stay soft and retain their colour for many years to come. If you’re interested in taking things a step further and learning how the pros go about prolonging a carpet’s life, follow this link.
Immediately deal with stains
It doesn’t matter how careful you are: sooner or later there’s going to be a stain or a spill on your carpet. Deal with it ASAP by blotting the spill (but not rubbing it) until it’s nearly dry, and then giving the area a good vacuuming. Letting the carpet stay damp may lead to a mold infestation, so make sure it’s completely dry before you put away the cleaning supplies.
Wipe your feet
Ask your guests and family members to wipe their feet and remove their shoes when they enter your place. The easiest way to do this is to put outdoor and indoor doormats at every entryway to your home. You should also get in the habit of taking off your shoes at the door to avoid bringing any more dirt and mud inside than is necessary.
Buy a shoe rack and a bunch of slippers or flip-flops, and wear those around the house. If you wear shoes that require you to sit down so you can untie your shoelaces, consider purchasing a shoe storage bench.
Refrain from carpeting high-traffic areas
Most shoes are designed to be worn on hard and coarse surfaces such as asphalt, tarmac, tile, and cobblestone. Unless a carpet has been specially designed for this purpose, it’s probably not going to last long if people are walking on it in their outdoor shoes all day long.
Even if your carpet is made of really tough material, it’s still going to accumulate stains and be harder to clean than most other surfaces. For this reason, it’s best to avoid carpeting front door entryways and other areas of your home that see a lot of foot traffic.
No matter how careful you are, dirt, mud, dust, and crumbs will inevitably find their way to your carpets. The best way to keep these to a minimum is to always give your carpets a good vacuuming during your standard home cleanings.
This not only removes most of the grime from the fabric and makes its colour look more vibrant, it also deals with dangerous toxins and allergens that can endanger pets and children. Most carpets only need to be vacuumed on a weekly basis, but you may need to vacuum high-traffic carpets as many as 2-3 times a week.
Apply a carpet protector spray
Carpet protector sprays are an inexpensive way to shield your carpets from stains and dirt and prevent dullness and general wear and tear. However, these sprays wear down over time, so make sure to regularly re-apply them even if your carpet is stain-resistant.
A word of warning: before applying a carpet protector spray, first spray a tiny area of your carpet (preferably one that’s hidden) to make sure it won’t tint the fabric. Always follow the instructions on the bottle when using a spray you have no previous experience with.