You should consider the maintenance of your carpet before you make the final purchase. Your life will be a lot easier if you choose the most appropriate carpet type for the amount of traffic it will be exposed to. Learn more about carpet types in our carpet types section.
How To Clean Your Carpet
For general maintenance you should plan on vacuuming your carpet once a week. Using walk-off mats at your home’s entrances can go along way towards keeping dirt from being tracked across your carpet. For trickier messes like liquid spills and gum, there are some techniques you can use to get your carpet clean again.
Liquid Messes: if you spill water or another liquid, the best way to clean it is by getting a white rag that is absorbent and completely dry. Dab it on the wet surface until all the liquid is absorbed. You never want to rub the spot as this can cause staining and push the moisture deeper into the rug causing mildew and mold.
Spot Cleaning: When you find a spot on your carpet or rug that needs cleaning, put a small amount of carpet cleaner on a white rag. Dap the spot from the outside in. This prevents the stain from spreading. Continue dabbing in a circular motion until the spot disappears. Pour some cold water where the spot was and dab dry with a different, dry white cloth.
Gum: Removing gum isn’t as bad as you may think. Get a bag that won’t leak and fill it with ice. Rub it on the gum until it freezes. Scrape the gum off with a spoon. A knife can damage the carpet fibers.
Candle Wax: Candle wax or other semi-solids are best scraped off with a spoon. You may have to let it dry a little, but don’t allow it to sit for an extended period of time.
Solids: If you spill something solid that can’t be picked up and thrown away, the simplest method is breaking it up and vacuuming it.
Dirty Carpets: If your carpeting is generally dirty from regular use, it may be time to call a professional to give the whole thing a good cleaning.
Should You Hire A Professional Carpet Cleaner or Do It Yourself?
This is typically a job for professional for the simple reason that they have more powerful equipment. The problem with most affordable home cleaning devices is they are not powerful enough to thoroughly rinse out the remaining soap and moisture. This can cause your carpets to trap more dirt and grow more mildew in the long run.
If you do decide to take this on yourself, remember that more power is your friend. Don’t skimp on the equipment. Make sure you buy or rent a carpet cleaner that can suck up the used soap and water. It’s also important not to clean your carpets too often. If excessively cleaned, your carpet will lose its stain resistance and your fibers can break down.