Replacing the carpeting in a home can cost several thousand dollars. For most of us, that’s a sizable investment – one that you’ll want to enjoy for as many years as you can. When you consider the benefit of making that expensive investment last longer, it’s definitely worth the effort. So, what can you do to make that carpet look good for a few extra years?
Take off your shoes – When you remove your shoes at your door, you protect your carpet from stains. That’s great, but it’s not the best reason for removing your shoes: You also protect your carpet from abrasive dirt and grit that will wear down carpet fibers and cause them to age prematurely.
Vacuum more – Many people vacuum to improve the appearance of their carpet, but the more important reason is to remove abrasive materials. In order to keep dirt and grit to a minimum, you should plan to vacuum your entire house at least once a week; higher traffic areas should be vacuumed at least twice per week.
Take your time – It only takes a pass or two to pull up the material that makes your carpet look dirty. But the most important material to pull up is the grit that’s already on its way down to the carpet backing. This material is harder to reach; in order to do it, you should pass over each area at least three times, and more in high traffic areas.
Attend to spills and stains quickly – The longer you wait to attend to a stain, the harder it will be to remove. You’ll want to attend to any spill or stain right away. With that in mind, you should always have plain white paper towels on hand. You should also have a carpet cleaning solution that you’ve already tested in an inconspicuous place on your carpet.
Schedule professional cleanings – No matter how well you take care of your carpet, you won’t be able to remove all of the dirt, grit, and stain-causing materials that settle into your carpet. But professionals, with their superior techniques, equipment, and solutions can come pretty close. We recommend Dr. Chem-Dry, as their cleaning processes are green-certified and family friendly.
Purchase carpet that lasts – Even the best-cared-for carpet will meet its end someday. If you have a nylon carpet, you can expect it to last for a decade or more. Other types of carpet, such as polyester, acrylic, or rayon, will wear out more quickly. If you’re in the market for new carpet, remember that looks aren’t everything: Even if you have to pay a premium for a longer-lasting nylon carpet, it may be worth it in the long run.