The holiday season can present a lot of unique challenges, particularly where your carpet is concerned.
For one, it’s common to have more traffic in your home during the holiday season, and since most people are staying at home because of the pandemic, that means more time on your carpet.
Your carpet is also more likely to encounter red wine, pine needles and glitter during the holiday season, which are all things that can stain and/or damage your carpet.
The holiday season is a good time of the year to be a little more mindful of your carpet. And, luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to prevent stains and keep it in great shape.
7 tips for preventing carpet stains
#1. Get your carpet treated
One of the easiest things you can do to keep your carpet looking like new for longer is to get it treated with a stain-resistant protectant or treatment, like Scotchgard.
If your carpet is newer, it may already have this protection built-in, but know that it doesn’t last forever. If your carpet is older, you can get a stain-resistant treatment applied (or re-applied) to your carpet by a professional, or you can do it yourself.
Stain-resistant treatments work by preventing staining substances from binding with your carpet to create a permanent stain.
These treatments won’t prevent all stains, but they will prevent many. Plus, they make spills easier to clean.
#2. Use doormats
Doormats aren’t just decorative. They play an important role in keeping your floors clean, and are especially important when you have carpet near exterior entryways.
When someone comes in from being outside, in many cases, any dirt or dry debris clinging to their shoes will fall off within those first couple of steps. That’s where a doormat comes in handy.
Giving people a place to wipe their shoes will help to keep your carpet clean and looking like new for longer.
#3. Consider a no-shoes policy
While doormats can go a long way when it comes to catching dry dirt and debris, they aren’t quite as effective where mud, gum and other wet or sticky debris are concerned.
Not everything will come off of people’s shoes when they wipe them, which is why it’s smart to get in the habit of removing shoes completely before walking on your carpet.
A no-shoes policy might seem overbearing or strict, but it will go a long way to helping you keep your carpets looking pristine throughout the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.
#4. Use rugs
Rugs are an excellent decorative tool for breaking up large areas and adding interest to a room or hallway. And, when used strategically, rugs can also be a fantastic tool for keeping your carpet in great shape.
The areas of your carpet that get the most traffic, like hallways and walkways, are going to wear faster than the areas of your carpet that see less traffic.
By placing rugs in high-traffic areas, you can help to slow down the wear and tear by protecting your carpet from everyday dirt and grime.
#5. Be proactive about vacuuming
If you’re waiting to vacuum your carpet until it looks dirty, you’re waiting far too long.
The truth is that most of the dirt and debris built up in your carpet won’t be visible to you at all, because it gets pulled down deep into the fibers of your carpet.
Having hidden gunk in your carpet is not only gross to think about but can cause serious damage to your carpet. Dirty and other abrasive materials can shred the fibers of your carpet, making it easier for stains to cling to them.
In general, you want to make sure that you’re vacuuming at least once a week, and twice a week for high-traffic areas. If you have kids, you’ll probably need to vacuum at least once more weekly, and if you have pets, twice more.
#6. Handle stains the right way
No matter how many precautions you take, spills and mud are going to happen from time to time, as are occasional accidents if you have young pets.
But, the good news is that, when you know how to treat stains properly, you can prevent them from setting in and becoming a permanent feature of your carpet.
Here are a few tips for handling stains the right way:
- Act quickly – The longer you wait to address a stain, the more likely it is to set into your carpet
- Pick up solids – Before addressing a liquid stain, remove any solids to avoid grinding them into the carpet fibers
- Blot, don’t scrub – Scrubbing often feels like the best way to address a stain, but it’s the worst thing you can do for your carpet, often making the stain worse and damaging carpet fibers. Blot stains instead of scrubbing them
#7. Get your carpet professionally cleaned
A lot of people don’t realize that getting carpet professionally cleaned on a regular basis (about once a year) is an important part of keeping it stain-free and looking like new.
While vacuuming can go a long way towards keeping your carpet clean, vacuums can’t always reach what’s hiding deep down inside of your carpet, and that’s where professional carpet cleaning services come in handy.
Professional carpet cleaning will give your carpet a more deep, thorough cleaning that cannot be achieved through vacuuming alone. It can help to keep carpet looking great for longer, eliminate stubborn stains that can’t be removed on your own and help to prevent future problems.
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