How to care for the carpet in your home

Carpet is a versatile flooring choice that can be used virtually anywhere in the house. Whether it is a high traffic hallway, a child’s bedroom, a game room, or a formal living room, carpet can tie a space together and create a welcoming, comfortable environment.

The state of the carpet can impact how people perceive your home; clean, well-cared for carpet makes a home seem lovingly maintained, while dirty, stained, or worn down carpet can give the impression of overall poor upkeep.

The following tips can help you care for and maintain the carpet in your home, protecting your flooring investment and keeping your home looking beautiful for years to come.

Daily care

  • Avoid wearing shoes inside. Take off shoes at the door to keep from tracking dirt, mud, moisture, and other substances onto your carpets.
  • Wear house shoes or slippers. Our feet have natural oils that can rub off onto the carpet; this can leave carpets prone to attracting dirt or looking dingy. Wearing slippers, socks, or house shoes indoors can help keep carpets looking pristine.
  • Vacuum daily. Vacuuming daily can help remove dirt and dust before they become ground into the carpet. For those with pets, try using a rake or squeegee tool to remove excess animal hair before vacuuming. No time to vacuum? Invest in a motorized vacuum, such as a Roomba, that can run on its own while you are away from home.
  • Reduce sunlight exposure. While natural light helps our homes feel open and airy, excessive exposure to sunlight can bleach or discolor carpets. Reduce sunlight exposure by closing curtains and blinds when not home or when a room is not in use.

Annual cleaning

  • Rearrange furniture. Moving heavy furniture pieces serves two purposes; it renews the look and feel of your home while preventing excessive carpet pilling. If you love your layout the way it is, still move furniture at least once per year to clean around it and consider putting heavy pieces on carpet protectors.
  • Clean area rugs. If you have large area rugs on top of carpets or hardwood floors, remove and clean them at least once per year. Make sure rugs are completely dry before placing back onto the flooring; likewise, use a color safe pad underneath to prevent colors from bleeding through.
  • Invest in professional cleaning. Having carpets professionally cleaned one to two times per year can remove dirt and stains, as well as pollutants and other allergens that have been ground into the floor. Look for a company that uses hot water deep extraction, the most effective way to clean carpets without discoloration or shrinkage.

Stains and spills

Spills and stains happen to even the most careful homeowners. Prevent them from becoming permanent by plotting, not rubbing, with a clean, white cloth. Use a small amount of water on the stain and continue blotting; using too much water can cause moisture to seep into the carpet pad and encourage mold or mildew growth. Can’t get a tricky stain out? Consider calling a professional to have it removed before it sets permanently.

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