While many new homes have tiles or timber flooring, carpet is still a very common choice. You’d be hard-pressed to find any home in Australia that doesn’t have carpet somewhere. The only problem is its hard to keep carpets clean!
Carpets are a tried and true flooring choice that keep the house warmer in winter, are comfortable to lay on and create a great atmosphere.
One downside of carpet, as opposed to hard flooring, its tendency to wear out over time. Stains are also common and if not cleaned can leave permanent marks on an otherwise spotless floor. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s possible to keep your carpets in great shape for a long time. We’ve compiled a list of handy and helpful tips to help keep your carpet looking like new. Let’s dive in:
1) Select The Right Carpet For The Room
While you can do what you like in your man cave or workshop, making a sensible choice on the type of carpet for the home will pay off in the long term.
While that plush, shaggy multi-layered carpet you saw in the showroom might look fantastic it may not be practical. If you have children or indoor pets a shaggy carpet is going to attract more dirt and be much harder to clean.
For high traffic areas like the lounge room consider a nylon carpet.
Nylon will be much easier to clean and is also very durable. Polyester based carpets will not do a good job of hiding stains and won’t last as long. This isn’t a knock on polyester carpets but considers these for bedrooms only.
2) Vacuum Regularly (but not too regularly)
When I was younger my mum used to vacuum the entire house 3 times per week. Us kids were always giving her a hard time about it. Now that I’m older I realise our objections weren’t without merit. Vacuuming does indeed help keep a carpet clean. It lifts dirt out of the deeper fibers so they won’t clog up and gradually deteriorate the colour and quality of the carpet.
However, vacuuming too much has negative consequences as well. The constant back and forth of the vacuum cleaner can wear the carpet out more quickly. We recommend vacuuming only once per week or as needed.
3) Use a Professional Once Per Year
Most times a vacuum cleaner will do the job just fine but once a year it’s a good idea to have the professionals do the job.
Most vacuums aren’t strong enough to pull up the dirt entrenched deep within the carpets. A reputable cleaning service will use an industrial strength machine with stronger suction that can suck up everything.
An added benefit is that you’ll have the carpets conditioned and deodorized which you wouldn’t be able to do yourself without specialized equipment.
4) Avoid Chemical Cleaners
You wouldn’t pour harsh chemicals down the drain to pollute the waterways, so why would you consider them for use on your carpet? This is especially important if you have small children or pets in the home. Avoid synthetic cleaners on the carpet and around the home. On top of being unhealthy, they also damage the carpet on a micro level and will aid in their deterioration.
You’d be surprised how far some white vinegar and bi-carb soda will get you in removing stains.
If you insist on buying cleaning products look for those labeled ‘plant-based’ or ‘biodegradable’. These will be a much safer alternative for both you and the environment.
5) Consider a Rug For High Traffic Areas
No doubt you’ve been into a home that has great carpet everywhere… except for the main walkways. While some modern carpets are very durable they don’t last forever and constant walking back and forth eventually flattens the carpet, underlay and gradually darkens it over time.
Consider using an area rug or runner for any areas you’ll be walking or lying on more regularly. This will protect the carpet underneath. In addition, it’s a lot cheaper and easier to replace a rug than an entire floor worth of carpet.
6) Remove Stains ASAP
Have you ever sat down to dinner and spilled something on the floor? If you’re anything like me you’ll give it a quick clean at the time, finish off dinner, then come back to the stain later for a proper clean.
Try to avoid this!
Acting on a stain as fast as possible gives you the best chance of removal. Minutes count especially for some of the more common stains such as,
- Red wine Stains
- Coffee Stains
- Food Stains
- Gum Stuck
- Pet Stains
Different stains require different cleaning procedures which we cant cover in this post but you can get some great tips on this page >> Removal procedures for different carpet stains
7) Consider a No Shoes Policy
Asking your family members and guests to remove their shoes on arrival in a sure fire way to minimize stains and keep the carpet looking good. Nearly all stains are caused by accident and walking mess through the house is no exception. Anyone with kids knows this. They could have walked through the entire house before they realise they’ve had mud on their shoes the entire time.
This one is entirely optional and will depend on the household. If you don’t want to be known as the ‘clean freak‘ or if you simply like to keep your shoes on then an alternative is to be a little more diligent when people come in.
8) Move Your Dirt Outside
DIY projects can often end up causing stains and unwanted wear to carpets. Ever found you did a quick paint touch up on furniture inside instead of moving it outside? Take the time to move your projects outside and you will be thankful for it. If the weather is the issue and you often do DIY projects maybe you need to consider a workshop or shed.
Items such as bikes both adults and children are also a big dirt risk to keeping your carpets clean. They not only bring is soil and sand but thick black grim Bicycles should stay outside. If you are worried about security and keeping them safe from weather, you can put them in the garage or invest in a Bike shed which is very popular.
Keeping a clean home is a great source of pride for many people. In Australia, this is particularly true because ‘our home is our castle’. The tips outlined above will keep you in a good position to have your carpets looking, smelling and feeling good for years. Do you have any other tips for cleaning or maintaining your carpets? Leave a comment below and let us know.