Do you have lots of carpeting in your home? How about area rugs? Are you looking for suggestions for how to keep your carpets and rugs looking clean, fresh, and just as good as they did the day you put them on the floor? If so, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll walk you through five helpful tips to keep your carpets and rugs looking great no matter how long you’ve had them in place. We understand that time is not kind to flooring, and that eventually, rugs and carpets will wear out. Along the way, though, there’s no reason why you can’t make an effort to keep them in great shape. So let’s get started!
Clean under that furniture!
It may not be the most fun experience, but you should plan to move your furniture and really clean your carpeting and rugs underneath it at least once a month, if possible. Furniture that sits too long in one place can make stains or permanent indentations in the carpet, so you want to make sure you stay on top of these potential issues before they get too serious. If you don’t want to move every piece of furniture every month, you can always alternate—move beds one month, dressers the next, and so on. As long as you’re giving your rugs and carpeting some extra attention in these problem areas every so often, they should be fine.
Even if you aren’t moving your furniture during a regular cleaning of your carpeting or rugs, you should make sure to get underneath it as much as possible. For example, use the attachments on your vacuum cleaner to reach underneath the bed and under any raised dressers, sofas, chairs, and other items you may have in your home.
Get down on the floor.
You may not want to get on your hands and knees or be up close and personal with your carpet, but doing this a couple times a year can go a long way toward making sure it stays in great shape. Get down close to the floor and really look for problem areas. You may notice stains that aren’t visible from further away, or—more likely—you may notice pulled areas in the fibers. Whether you’re dealing with a rug or a carpet, you’ll want to make sure you get rid of these loose fibers to keep your flooring looking cohesive and clean.
To do this, get a pair of very sharp scissors, preferably those used for cutting fabric. Lay them flush against the rest of the carpet and carefully snip the loose fiber so that it’s even with the others around it. Do not cut the other fibers in the area, and never pull on the fiber that’s coming loose, as this could potentially damage the rug a lot more.
Vacuuming your area rugs and carpets is the most important thing you can do when you’re trying to keep them looking clean and well-maintained. Some people may recommend you vacuum very frequently, even so much as several times in a week. However, this is generally not necessary unless you have a surprising amount of heavy foot traffic or a lot of dirt in your home regularly. Otherwise, vacuuming once a week or even once every two weeks is often enough for most rugs and carpeting.
Of course, this is not the case when you have excess dirt present. If something happens in your home to make your rug dirtier than usual, be sure to vacuum it before your regular cleaning schedule. This way, you won’t risk grinding the dirt further into the carpet or rug and making a much bigger mess.
Clean up stains and spills immediately.
This goes hand-in-hand with the tips regarding vacuuming. Always clean up any spills or stains that your rug or carpet may have as soon as they happen. If food is spilled on the floor, if your pet has an accident, if mud is tracked inside, or if anything else finds its way onto your carpet or rug that shouldn’t be there, clean it up rather than letting it sit. Letting dirt sit is an invitation to get it ground into the fibers, while letting spills stay on your rug will cause the stain to set in and be almost impossible to remove at any point in the future.
Pet stains, particularly, need to be cleaned right away before they have a chance to soak down into the carpet padding below. Cleaning pet stains ASAP will prevent the smell from lingering.
Rotate area rugs.
Finally, rotate your area rugs once a year or twice a year if you use them in areas of high foot traffic. This will ensure they get worn down evenly over time and don’t look brand new in one spot and very old in another. If you keep furniture on top of your area rug, make sure you move the rug for this purpose, too, so the indentations made by the furniture don’t settle in place and remain there forever.
This step is also important if your rug gets any exposure to sunlight, even through a shaded window. If it does, you’ll need to be sure to rotate so the sun doesn’t fade one portion of the rug more than the rest.
As you can see, these tips aren’t to difficult to follow. If you implement them in your home, you’ll be able to get your carpets and rugs looking great and keep them fresh and beautiful for a long time to come. Just remember that you need to be willing to keep up with regular maintenance to give your flooring the best chance at lasting for years, especially if you use it in areas of high foot traffic. By keeping all of this in mind, you’ll be able to preserve your rugs and carpets and use them as part of your home’s décor well into the future.