Carpet maintenance is no joke. If you want your carpet to last and smell fresh, you need to take care of it several times a week. Floor sweeping, vacuuming, steam cleaning, spot cleaning — when it comes to taking care of your carpet, you’re going to get plenty of advice on what method works best. But what exactly is the best carpet cleaning method?
The answer to this question is that there is no one best method. If you want your carpet to stay clean, you need to be prepared to use a combination of methods. Here are some helpful tips to help you get started.
Use a floor sweeper daily
Dirt, dander, and other debris quickly accumulates on and becomes embedded within carpet fibers. And if you have pets or children, it might seem like your carpet is constantly dirty. Most people don’t have the time to get their main vacuum out several times a week, but what you can do is keep a lightweight floor sweeper available for those times when you need to quickly get rid of hair or dirt.
Floor sweepers don’t have suction, so they aren’t able to get rid of debris embedded within carpet fibers, but they have bristles that can pick up debris that is located on the surface of the carpet. Running a floor sweeper over your carpet daily can keep it looking fresh until you can get out your main vacuum.
Vacuum at least once a week
To properly maintain your floors, you’re going to want to vacuum regularly to pull out dirt, dust, and allergens that have become embedded in your carpet. Most households should vacuum their carpets at least once a week. Even if you’ve been using a floor sweeper to pick up debris off the surface of your carpet, there is still additional debris lurking deep within those fibers.
Take your time when vacuuming. You should vacuum in both directions to thoroughly pick up any debris. If you have time, go over each surface multiple times. You should also make sure you have the right type of vacuum for your family. Those with pets or kids will need to have a more heavy-duty vacuum than someone who lives alone. You may also have to vacuum more frequently if you have allergies.
Use a robot vacuum if needed
If you’re struggling to find the time to vacuum regularly, something you might want to consider is a robot vacuum that is on a set schedule. Several times a week, allow the robot vacuum to go around the house and clean the floor. Something to keep in mind, however, is that a robot vacuum works similarly to a floor sweeper.
While robot vacuums can pick up debris off the surface of your carpet and floors, they aren’t able to provide suction in the same way that a vacuum does. So even if you’re using a robot vacuum on your floor, you’re still going to need to break out your main vacuum at least once a week. The robot vacuum will at least help keep your floors looking clean until then.
Watch out for spills/accidents
It happens. No matter how careful you are with your carpet, it is only a matter of time before a cup of coffee is spilled or your dog takes a tinkle on it. If something is spilled on your carpet or some sort of accident happens, you’ll want to clean it up immediately before it has time to stain. The best way to clean up spills is by pressing a dry rag down on the spot. Do not rub. Rubbing further spreads the liquid into carpet fibers. Instead, gently blot until the liquid is mostly gone and let the area air dry. If you suspect that a smell will linger behind, you should sprinkle baking soda over the spot for around 30 minutes to remove the smell, and then vacuum.
Treat stains ASAP
If you don’t clean up a spill in time and your carpet stain, treat the stain immediately before it has time to further set. If you choose to use a commercial carpet cleaner, make sure to test the cleaner on a small part of your carpet before treating the entire stain. Make sure to follow the instructions on the cleaner. If you want to make your own stain remover, spray the area with a mixture of vinegar, water, and dish soap. Let the mixture soak for about 15 minutes before blotting it up. You may have to repeat this process several times before the stain will lift. If a smell lingers, don’t forget that baking soda is a deodorizer. Sprinkle it on the spot, let it sit, and then vacuum.
Do a yearly steam clean
No matter how often you vacuum or treat stains, it is impossible to fully lift all embedded debris from carpet fibers. Over time, you may notice your carpet looking dingy despite cleanings or you may notice a smell. Luckily, there is a way to freshen up your carpet and keep it looking nice. Schedule an annual cleaning day where you steam clean your carpet. You can rent a steam cleaner or contact a professional. Steam cleaning kills bacteria, loosens embedded debris, and picks up dirt. This can help remove tough stains, eliminate odors, and get rid of any allergens from your carpet. Schedule the cleaning for a time when you won’t need to immediately use your carpet afterward. It can take up to 24 hours for carpet to dry completely after a cleaning.
Most carpets will last between 10 to 15 years if they are maintained correctly. And the best way to keep those carpets clean is by using a variety of methods. Use a floor sweeper on your carpet daily, vacuum at least once a week, don’t let liquids lay on your carpet, treat stains immediately, and schedule yearly cleanings. If you take the time to do all of these things, you can keep your carpets looking fresh and clean.