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Carpet Care 101: Keeping Your Carpet Beautiful

Whether you've just installed new carpet or are looking to preserve the charm of your existing carpet, proper care is essential. Carpeting is not just a part of your home's decor. It’s an investment in comfort and style. However, foot traffic, spills, dirt, and stains can all diminish its beauty over time.

You’ll find the basics of carpet care in this guide, including routine maintenance, stain prevention, and stain treatment. By following our expert advice, you can protect your carpet from premature wear, maintain its luxurious feel, and ensure it continues to enhance the beauty of your home for years to come.

How Do You Take Care of Carpet?

The best care you can give your carpet is minimizing the long-term effects of daily wear and tear, preventing some of the most common complaints. The following care suggestions are simple procedures proven to prevent the premature appearance of wear in color loss and matting of the carpet tufts. While these guidelines may seem basic, they are vital to your carpet’s lasting beauty.

Reduce Dirt Accumulation

  • Use walk-off mats at entrances to reduce outside dirt from being tracked onto the carpet, and clean mats weekly. Mats and runners will help reduce dirt build-up in heavy traffic areas. Caution: latex-backed runners may yellow the carpet.
  • Move furniture around from time to time to allow for a more even distribution of foot traffic on carpets.

Remove Spills Promptly

Spills on carpets should be cleaned up promptly. Most spilled materials will stain or discolor carpet or can lead to increased soiling. Pick up any solid matter and blot liquid as quickly and completely as possible with an absorbent cloth or paper towel. If a stain occurs, check with Floors USA or the carpet manufacturer for the best removal techniques.

Prevent Contact with Household Chemicals

Many household chemicals may permanently stain or remove color from your carpet. Depending on humidity and temperature conditions, these spots may not appear until several days or weeks after exposure to the chemical. Protect your carpet by taking special precautions to prevent contact with these chemicals.

How Do I Keep My Carpet Soft and Clean?

Once or twice a year, depending on traffic, spills, and stains, you may want to go beyond regular maintenance and clean your carpets thoroughly. You can rent equipment at various places and do it yourself or call a professional carpet cleaning company. You may want to check your product warranty before you do either to ensure you comply with warranty requirements.

While spills happen, stains don't have to. Follow these general guidelines to prevent carpet blemishes whenever you have a mishap:

  • Scoop up as much of the spill as possible with a towel or a spoon.
  • Blot the spot, don’t rub or scrub. Gently press clean cloths into the stained area to remove moisture. Scrubbing can damage the fiber and set the stain into the carpet.
  • Apply warm — not hot — water to the stained area and blot until the stain stops transferring to the cloth.
  • If you can still see the stain, make a Detergent Solution by adding 1/4 teaspoon dishwashing liquid to one cup of warm water. Don’t use too much soap because it’s difficult to rinse out of the carpet.
  • Apply the detergent solution, let it sit for five minutes, then rinse with warm water. Repeat until all the detergent is removed.
  • Place layers of white paper towels on the spill to absorb the liquid. Weight down the towels with a non-staining glass or ceramic object. You can let them sit overnight.
  • When the carpet is dry, vacuum to restore the texture.
  • If you can see the stain after all this, repeat steps 3 through 7. It means the stain penetrated deep into the carpet pile and wicked up to the surface.

DIY Carpet Stain Removal Solutions

Here are a couple of reliable cleaning solutions for ink, crayon, felt-tip marker and rubber cement:

Dry Cleaning Fluid Solution

Use non-flammable dry cleaning fluid or a liquid spot remover from the grocery store or hardware store. Do not apply dry cleaning fluid directly to carpet, however. Apply it first to a cloth and use the cloth to apply the fluid to the stain.

Detergent Solution

Mix 1/4 teaspoon mild liquid dish detergent (with no optical brighteners) in one cup of warm water.

What is the Proper Way to Vacuum Carpet?

Vacuuming your carpet properly is essential for maintaining its appearance and extending its life. Here's a step-by-step guide to vacuuming your carpet the right way:

1. Prepare the Area

Clear the floor of any small objects, toys, or items that could obstruct the vacuum cleaner or potentially be damaged. For a thorough clean, try to move furniture out of the way. If some pieces are too heavy, consider using furniture sliders or vacuuming around them as best as you can.

2. Check Your Vacuum Cleaner

A full bag, cup, or canister can reduce the vacuum's suction power. Replace or empty it as needed. Clean or replace any filters according to the manufacturer's instructions to ensure optimal performance.Remove any tangled hair or debris that might impede the brush roll's movement.

3. Adjust Settings

If your vacuum has height settings, adjust it according to your carpet's pile height. This ensures the brush roll touches the carpet fibers without pressing too hard against the backing. For most carpeted areas, use the standard floor head. Use attachments for edges, corners, and under furniture.

4. Vacuuming Technique

Begin vacuuming from the corner farthest from the door and work backward towards the door to avoid walking on the cleaned areas. Use slow, overlapping strokes in both directions (north-south and east-west) to ensure you capture as much dirt as possible. High-traffic areas might need multiple passes to fully remove dirt and debris. Don't forget to use the crevice tool for edges and corners and the upholstery attachment for stairs and fabric-covered furniture.

5. Additional Tips

  • High-traffic areas should be vacuumed daily, while less busy areas can be done weekly. This prevents dirt from settling deep into the carpet fibers.
  • Keep your vacuum cleaner in good working order by regularly checking for and removing clogs, as well as replacing any worn parts.
  • Be gentle — pushing the vacuum too hard can damage the carpet and the vacuum’s rollers.

Get Fresh, New Carpet from the Experts at Floors USA

“Great service from the entire staff at Floors USA! Our second experience with this company and it was once again a total pleasure. They provided a great carpet and installation. Highly recommend!” — Tom

Interested in getting carpet tips straight from the pros? Floors USA has a huge selection and our Warehouse Clearance Sale is on now with deep discounts on top brands like Karastan. Customer satisfaction is our number one priority, so our staff will work with you to ensure you are 100% happy with your purchase.

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