The trend of hardwood floors today is probably due in part to the challenge of keeping carpet looking clean and in good shape. Lots of time is spent cleaning carpet, only to find it looking shabby again a few weeks later. Carpet does have it’s benefits, and most homes have it in at least a few rooms, so learning how to maintain it is important.
The most important thing to do is to vacuum frequently, and do it correctly. If you stop at just vacuuming up the dirt you can see, you are missing lots of unseen soil in the carpet. Over time, the soil left in the carpet can leave it looking dull, and can damage the carpet fibers. You should spend extra time on the high traffic areas as these are the most susceptible to damage. Ideally, you should vacuum weekly, but more often than that certainly will not hurt.
To prevent having to do a massive clean to traffic areas, clean them as soon as dirt becomes noticeable. Using a high quality carpet shampoo, cover the worst areas first so the shampoo has more time to work. Work the shampoo into the carpet with a brush until it gets foamy. Let it sit for twenty minutes or so (read directions on the bottle) and then use a wet vacuum to get it up. If additional rinsing is needed, simply apply plain water to the area and remove it with the wet vacuum.
For the remaining area of carpet, clean it in sections. Be sure to vacuum everything before you begin. Spray each section with your cleaning product and allow it to work for ten minutes. Be sure you cover every area in the section. Take breaks between sections so that you don’t wear yourself out. Otherwise you might not do a good job.
If your carpet feels extremely stiff or is sticky after cleaning it means that there is residual shampoo or cleaning product remaining in the carpet. If this happens you will need to rinse it again with plain water and the wet vacuum.
With a little work and some maintenance, you can have great looking carpet year round.