How To Keep Your Carpet In One Piece

If you've just gotten new carpet, no doubt you're walking around on it in socks or bare feet, marveling at how soft the carpet is. New carpet is definitely lovely, and you have to take a few figurative steps in order to keep the carpet in great shape. All of these steps are quick to take care of, and some you just have to do once.

Put out the Welcome Mat

This is one of those steps you can do once (or maybe once in a while). Put a good mat outside the door so that people can wipe their shoes before coming in the house. This will keep a good amount of dust, leaves, and other debris away from the carpet. If people walk inside without wiping off their shoes first, not only will they stain the carpet by the door, but they could track in dirt quite a ways into the house, leaving a trail that gets darker and darker with dirt over the years as more people walk on your flooring.

Every so often, you'll need to hose off the mat or replace it with a clean one. If there's a storm that soaks the mat, put out a fresh, dry mat once the rain is over. You can find cheap welcome mats in most big box and home improvement stores, so keeping some extra ones around should be a simple task.

Slip Into Something More Comfortable

You've no doubt seen advice to ban wearing shoes in the house, with the reasoning being that this limits the dirt brought in by the shoes even when you have a welcome mat. This is good advice, but don't toss the shoes off once your inside and start walking around in bare feet.

Dirt and skin oils on your feet, not to mention any dead skin cells, fungi, and viruses, can stick to the carpet as you walk around barefoot. Keep a bunch of house slippers by the door and a bunch of spares in the closet. Assign one pair for each person in the home and have extra for guests (once a guest uses a pair of slippers and leaves, either throw out the slippers if the guest isn't coming back, or store them if the guest returns often -- don't share slippers in case the guest has a foot fungus or wart virus).

Use a Carpet Rake

If your carpet is of the plush pile type (not berber or anything that has a flat weave), get a carpet rake. This is literally a rake with special bristles that pick up hair from the carpet while perking up the carpet fibers. Using a rake makes vacuuming easier as much of the dirt that was clinging to the carpet fibers loosens up. It also helps get rid of matted and flat spots in high-traffic areas.

Don't Scrub

If you spill something, don't start scrubbing a bunch of soap into the rug. Use a cleaner that's appropriate for the stain (for example, on a carpet that has a stain guard layer on it, some water might be all you need) and blot the stain. Scrubbing can tear apart the tiny carpet fibers, causing the carpet to look duller and rougher.

Vacuum -- A Lot

Despite the beater bars and high suction of modern vacuum cleaners, vacuuming won't hurt your carpet. The dirt in your carpet will do more damage, both to the carpet and to your health if you have allergies (and with spring on the way in Ohio, you want to reduce the amount of pollen in your home as much as possible), so vacuum as much as you need to, even if that's daily. In fact, if you have high-traffic areas on the carpet, daily vacuuming can be very beneficial.

If you want more tips on keeping your carpet clean, or if you want to replace some old carpet, contact a carpet dealer in the Wooster-Medina-Cleveland area. You'll get to see durable carpet samples and learn about the latest features that help you keep the carpet looking good.