Carpets are a popular floor covering due to the noise insulation and the warmth they provide in the home, not to mention a soft landing for toddlers learning to walk. But just like other floor surfaces they get dirty and need to be cleaned. The trouble is that dirt and dust that can easily be seen on the hard floor surface is hidden within the carpet fibres, so it looks cleaner, meaning the carpet may not get cleaned as often as it should.
Having a professional steam clean the carpet is the best way to get it properly clean as the steam penetrates all the carpet fibres and lifts the dirt out of them. Any moisture left behind is sucked up by the cleaning equipment so the carpet ends up being much cleaner and it can dry out quickly. Most experts recommend this be done on an annual basis, but much depends on your lifestyle and climate.
Under certain conditions the carpet will get dirty much more quickly and so will need professional cleaning more often – even 3-6 monthly is not too much. The carpet should be cleaned more frequently if –
- The people who live in your home suffer from allergies
- You have children and inside pets
- You live in a dusty or windy climate
- Mud gets tracked in regularly
- The house is surrounded by plants that have a lot of pollen, such as wattle trees.
- The house is in a high smog area
- There are smokers in the house
In between professional cleaning, you need to vacuum the carpet and other floor surfaces on a regular basis, depending on how much foot traffic there is. Weekly or twice weekly for heavy traffic and fortnightly for light traffic, such as where no one is home all day and there are no pets. To vacuum a carpet properly you need to go over it slowly to allow the suction time to lift dirt and dust out from the fibres, unlike a hard floor that can be swished over quickly.
If there is a spill on the carpet it should be attended to immediately, blotting up the moisture with paper towels, then dab with a moist towel to remove staining. If the carpet gets too wet, leave a stack of paper towels pressed down with something heavy on it overnight.
The only stain that should not be attended to immediately is mud. If mud is tracked onto the carpet, it is better to leave it until dry, then scrape and vacuum it off. When most of it has been removed, dampen a towel with a mild solution of detergent to dab at the stain that is left. Hopefully, these tips will help to keep your carpet in good condition for many years.