Most people choose Spring as the time of year for a good deep cleaning in the home. However, many people choose the fall months to have their carpets deep cleaned. It’s just before we get busy with preparing for the holidays so it’s a good time to get your home in shape before guests arrive on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Fall is also a time when your carpet seems to get the dirtiest, since we tend to track in more leaves and dirt. We’d like to share some great tips on how to prevent your carpet from getting dirty this fall.
Invest in a doormat that helps keep out the largest particles — like leaves and chunks of dirt — and make sure you get one of the right design, which depends whether it will be outside or inside. All doormats should be longer than a single stride, while inside mats should be made of acrylic with a vinyl or rubber backing. Outdoor mats should have a wire rack underneath to catch mud.
Make sure that you enforce a no-shoes-inside policy, or have a shoe rack that you use at the very entrance to the house to restrict the dirt to one specific area.
To protect your carpet, vacuum entrance areas and high-traffic areas twice a week and the rest of the carpeting at least weekly. Oily soils attract oily soils, and frequent vacuuming will reduce soil buildup.
Start with a clean bag or filter
A dirty bag, dirt cup or filter can cut a vacuums suction power in half. The main reason bagless vacuums stop working is that the filters aren’t changed often enough. Replace or wash (if possible) the filters on bagless vacuums every three months. Replace vacuum bags when they’re three-quarters full.
Vacuum at the right speed
Vacuum slowly enough to get out as much dirt as possible. Make one quick pass over low-traffic areas and two slow passes over high-traffic areas. Two slow passes removes ground-in dirt more effectively than several fast passes.
Carpets can wear at confined areas of the carpet pile and dirt can work its way into the carpet pile and backing. If your room layout allows it, move the furniture around. It’s best to do this every six months to prevent premature wear areas.
Prior to vacuuming, sprinkle some baking soda over the carpet to absorb odors. Avoid carpet powders. Powders are often sold to eliminate unwanted scents on the carpet. However, such powders leave residue in the carpet which can damage it over time. Stick to baking soda if you want to remove an unwanted smell.
Pretreat stains and high-traffic areas
If you’ve recently had your carpet cleaned and quickly get new stains, you can always pre treat stains yourself until you’re ready for your next professional cleaning. Mix a drop of detergent with hot water in a spray bottle and lightly mist the dirtiest areas. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes before cleaning the area. Be sure not to over saturate your carpet or use any harsh chemicals that could set the stain in. Do not rub stains. When removing a stain, stick to blotting motions.
Your carpets aren’t invincible. Dirt, leaves, and other fall debris can contaminate your carpet fibers easily. Carpeting is expensive, so you want to maintain your carpet long term. We know that keeping carpet clean is an ongoing project, but the fall months are a great time to use these tips. Even after a professional cleaning, these tips will help you maintain your carpets until your next professional cleaning.