Step Up Your Carpet Game: Maintenance 101
Every six months you’re supposed to get something cleaned professionally. Decades ago, scientists (including the researchers at Maid Sailors) definitively concluded that six months (otherwise known as “OMG the year’s almost over!”) is the optimal time period to conduct a professional cleaning. In modern society, this principle has manifested itself in two ways: every six months, you’re supposed to 1) go to the dentist and 2) get your carpet cleaned professionally.
Maid Sailors can’t clean your teeth but we can make you smile after we clean your carpet. In between professional cleanings, however, you should be maintaining your carpet in the same way you’d care for your teeth. We’ve summarized the key best practices you’ll need to adopt to maximize the life of your carpet, below.
Vacuum on a Regular Basis (once per week)
Carpets are master collectors. They capture dust, soil, and virtually anything your shoes manage to bring into your living space. Carpets are also master deceivers: they appear clean and simultaneously harbor ample particles of dirt and various pollutants. Thus, its necessary to vacuum the carpets at least once per week; if dust and soil are not eliminated, they’ll brush against the fabric every time you walk on your beloved carpet. Eventually, this will lead to the destruction of your fabric and another expensive purchase down the road. Vacuum once a week or prepare to blow “iPad money” on a new carpet.
Use Doormats (on both sides of the door tho)
Having a doormat in front of your door (on the outside of your house) is a standard, familiar practice. Placing a doormat on both sides, however, is an advanced move that you might not be aware of (yet). This practice meaningfully reduces the filth that that enters the house along via shoes (especially if you have children). To maximize results and minimize dirt on the carpet, do not keep the doormat on the carpet (as common sense would blatantly suggest). If you want to clean a doormat (which you should do every so often), feel free to toss it into the washing machine.
Spot-clean Spillage (on sight)
Spills are like kryptonite to a carpet; unfortunately, they’re inevitable (especially if you have children). For spills, first thing’s first: address them immediately. No one will blame you for panicking the second your husband’s work acquaintance carelessly releases a full-sized glass of blood-red Pinot Noir all over your cloud-colored carpet.
First, blot the spillage with a cloth (or paper towel). Afterwards, create some “diluted detergent” (two parts water, one part laundry detergent) and use it to clean the remaining stain. Lastly, use a clean white cloth (preferably a microfiber cloth) to drain the excess water. Before you rejoin the party, allow the carpet to dry naturally or use a hair dryer.
Operating on Tough Stains (mixing them chemicals)
What happens if you ignore spills for too long? They evolve into “tough stains”. Over time, your mind gets used to the “aesthetic” of the stain and you begin to feel like the carpet wouldn’t “be the same” without it. Don’t let tough stains brainwash you – wash them instead.
Eliminate these stains by mixing some borax with two parts cornmeal (you might have to run out and buy these). Use this panacea to wipe stains and ultimately prevent mold growth. If you want to eliminate any nasty odors, use baking soda. For “super stubborn” stains, apply a mixture of vinegar and water (equal parts of each). If your carpet has a lighter color, use a mixture of lemon juice and salt. Allow the mixture to sit for about 15 minutes and then dab the area with a soft cloth. Remember, test whichever mixture you decide to use on a small patch first, before applying globally.
Your carpet is a reflection of you. Rest assured, visitors will judge you by the quality of your carpet. Value your carpet like its your smile – maintain it on a regular basis (per the guidelines above) and absolutely, positively, get it cleaned professionally twice a year. For additional tips, click here.