Carpet is one of the most important home accessories as it brings both design and function to a room. The perfect carpet is warm and cushioned and provides comfort. It muffles sound so that the environment is peaceful, and a carpet frames a room, augments furniture décor and invites you in. Beautiful carpeting requires a decent investment, so an informed choice is important and proper maintenance insures longevity.
Keeping your home carpet clean should not break the bank. With a decent maintenance schedule and home preparations your carpet and be maintained with reasonable time and cost management. A few practices and helpful tips will keep your carpet fresh and your home welcoming for years.
First Things First – Vacuuming
It all starts with regular and thorough vacuuming. Here are the basics:
- Maintain your carpets by vacuuming once a week and more frequently in areas of heavy traffic. Dirt build up becomes increasingly difficult to remove when left; so frequent vacuuming is a must and prolongs the life of your carpet. Vacuuming also decreases carpet depreciation. Be sure to use your crevice accessory to deep clean fibers. Pay special attention to baseboards and radiators.
- To vacuum your wall-to-wall, divide the carpet into quadrants and vacuum each thoroughly before moving on to the next.
- Go over each section of carpet several times deeply and slowly.
- Special attention should be paid to heavily trafficked areas. For these areas, vacuum in over-lapping strokes in a criss-cross pattern.
- You can freshen your vacuum cleaning bag by adding a bit of baking soda as a natural deodorizer.
Vacuuming is a part of general maintenance, but in terms of spots, stains and other cleaning maintenance, there are a lot of Do It Yourself hints that are not only easy on your wallet, but also healthy for the environment.
Spots, Stains and Spills
The first rule of spots, stains and spills is:
- Blot it up immediately to remove as much liquid as possible. (With the exception of mud – let it dry first, brush up and vacuum).
- Clean with white vinegar or mild dish washing soap and warm water or club soda. Some people like a natural Oxy-cleaner.
- Then, blot completely with clean white paper towel.
- Use an enzyme cleaner after you have thoroughly cleaned and rinsed the area. (Enzyme cleaners will actually eat odor-causing bacteria in stains.)
Borax is also an excellent natural stain and spot cleaner as well as an overall carpet cleaning agent. For difficult to remove stains make a paste:
- ¼ cup salt
- ¼ cup borax
- ¼ cup white vinegar
Apply the paste to the stain deep into the carpet fibers, let it dry and then vacuum.
When cleaning you entire carpet, borax is inexpensive and very effective in place of more expensive carpet shampoo. It neutralizes odors, as well as pet odors and urine, and it even repels fleas naturally.
For a batch large enough for the entire carpet:
- Mix 1 gallon distilled white vinegar with 1 cup of borax
- Place cleaning mixture into your home steam cleaner and fill to line with hot water. Steam clean as usual.
A fresh home with a clean feeling atmosphere makes all the difference in a beautiful and welcoming home. Keeping your carpet clean should not cost a fortune. Call in the experts at least once a season to insure carpet longevity.