Routine Carpet Maintenance
Your carpet is a big investment in your home. It needs tender loving care and it will last for years looking great. Carpeting should be vacuumed at least once a week. You may want to do it more frequently if you have young kids or pets.
Most of the dirt in carpets is debris walked in from the outside. This would include things like sand and soil as well as pollen and plant detritus. If left , these items will act like tiny saws grinding away at your expensive carpet fibers. Your vacuum will remove most of this type of dirt. Vacuuming is not going to eliminate the other type of soil which is greasy or oily soil which comes from oooking among other things.
Spot Cleaning Carpets
When a spill occurs, that it the best time to try to remove it. Blot, DON’T RUB the spill with a white terry towel. You can also use a wad of paper towels as long as the towels is white, not decorated. Colored towels may transfer color. Use an over-the-counter spot cleaner like Resolve according to package directions.
Call a Professional at Least Once a Year
To be sure that your carpets last for years to come, call a professional carpet cleaner at least once a year. You want to have the carpets steam cleaned with a truck mount unit and you should beware of the cheapest offer. Get a couple of estimates and look for a company that is IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) certified (www.iicrc.org). That means the technician has been thoroughly trained in the science of carpet cleaning.
Your local grocery store probably rents portable machines. You may own a small unit made by a vacuum manufacturer like Bissell or Hoover. These methods of carpet cleaning do not have enough power to thoroughly extract the solution used to clean. That means your carpets will take longer to dry and may not come completely clean. Also, there is a science to cleaning carpets. A trained technician will know the proper pH to use in the cleaning solution. The temperature of the solution is crucial and stains take extra work. You might save a bit of money taking the DIY route, but I always recommend hiring a professional to care for the sizable investment I have in my carpeting.
Editor’s Note: We originally published this article in September 2013. We have edited it for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.