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Maintaining Carpets: Cleaning, Vanishing Spills and Preventing Wear and Tear!


By Sadiya Anjum

Carpets add to the richness of a home and if not maintained properly, they can make the whole place look dirty no matter how spotless the rest of your home is. Admittedly, taking care of carpets requires some amount of work regularly to keep them looking good. But the effort will be worth it when you see how clean your carpet will look and for how long it will last. Here are the essentials that everyone who owns a carpet must know.

To maintain your carpets, you need to first know its make. If the carpet is made of some synthetic fibers, then using certain products to clean it may actually land up ruining it. Carpets made of wool and silk are high-maintenance and will require special care. So get in touch with the manufacturers to find out about the fiber as well as how to clean the carpet.

General maintenance includes simple techniques to keep your carpets looking clean. For areas that receive a lot of usage, vacuum every day and for hidden areas you can vacuum once a week. Shampoo your rugs once in eight months but the manufacturer needs to be contacted for verification before doing this. Deep cleaning your carpets, at least once a year is important. This is best done by hiring professionals to do the job.  

For carpets that receive a lot more traffic and usage, in terms of kids playing, pets in the home etc. need to be deep cleaned more often. The purpose of cleaning carpets regularly is not just to keep them looking good but to also get rid of germs and dust. Germs breeding in carpets can be unhealthy to your children and may even cause allergic reactions.

Spills can be a major hindrance to carpet maintenance. Unfortunately, spilling happens at some point or the other. What you need to do is take immediate action. For liquid spills, use a paper towel or a clean terry cloth to blot the liquid. Use as many paper towels as you need and just press against the spilt area. Do not rub/ scrub as it will aid the liquid in spreading and / or getting absorbed deeper into the fibers. For solid substances, clear the mess and scrape out as much of it as you can without spreading it.

Then dip a clean cloth in diluted and mild detergents to take out the stain. You can use household ammonia, carbonated water, vinegar or hydrogen peroxide instead of a detergent. For hydrogen peroxide, conduct a small test in a hidden area to first see if it will stain the carpet. You can perhaps begin your cleaning with just cloth dipped in plain water as this it self may remove certain stains. But no scrubbing please: only blotting action irrespective of the cleaning agent used. If the stain does not come off, call your manufacturer instead of trying something too strong.

Preventive measures can be taken to avoid dirt and grime on your carpets. Depending on the placement of your carpet, you can throw in some rugs in areas of high foot traffic. If you cannot prohibit people from wearing shoes on the carpet, always have mats at entrances to absorb most of the dirt. Protect your carpet from direct and harsh sunlight to keep it looking good. Snip stray threads instead of pulling them out. Do not drag furniture especially those with wheels across the carpet.

As for cleaning agents available in the market, you need to pick them out carefully. Strong agents or those that do not match the fiber may destroy or discolor the carpet. No matter how well you care for it, get a professional to clean it once a year. Keep these recommendations in mind and let your carpet add to the richness of your home.

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