My carpets get dirty, fast. I have 2 dogs and 3 of my 4 children live at home which makes 5 of us and although only 1 of my children is still a minor, they all make messes and walk by with that, “what, I didn’t make that mess” look on their faces. I also do not have a foyer, or mud room or entrance hall or closed in front porch or any of those great things that help to stop the flow of dirt from outside to the inside.
So, my post for this WFMW will include things I do and products I use to help keep the rugs looking good. (and to be honest, they look pretty bad right now because I haven’t followed my own tips the past month – mainly because my husband has been home recovering from surgery and when he’s home, for some reason, housekeeping just falls by the wayside)
1) Vacuum every single day. It helps to keep dirt, sand, hair and all that other stuff from destroying the carpet fibers and from getting trapped deep down inside the rug. I highly recommend you invest in a good vacuum cleaner. If I had it my way, I would have an Electrolux or Rainbow canister, because they say canisters actually clean the carpets better than uprights. I had to settle for a Hoover but I must admit it’s pretty good compared to other Uprights and I got it on sale. I’m trying to talk my husband into getting me a Dyson with our Stimulus check so keep your fingers crossed for me.
2) Whenever possible, have everyone remove their shoes prior to walking on the carpet. This helps to keep the dirt and oil and grease and grime from being rubbed off the soles of their shoes and onto your carpet. Oh yeah, and if you have pets that like to poo in your yard, it prevents the “who tracked in dog poo” moments. you can keep a basket or boot tray by the door for everyone to keep a pair of slippers handy, so when they come in, they take off their shoes and put on their slippers.
3) Spot treat immediately. My Lhasa Biskit, tends to hate going outside when it’s raining which usually means at some point in the day, he’s going to throw up. The quicker you get to that stain, the less likely the chance it’s going to set in.
4) Use a good Stain Remover. I have tried so many different products over the years from store bought to homemade and the ONLY product that meets my standards is Folex. It is fantastic. I found it at Lowes and it comes in a spray bottle or gallon size. The price is great and it doesn’t take a lot to get the stain up. I have used this to get stains out of my sofa, rugs, clothes and even the mattress (because sometimes women miscalculate their time of the month and the flow which results in well, I don’t think I need to say any more…) I also use this to shampoo the rugs when they get really bad.
5) Invest in a carpet cleaner rather than use the rentals at the supermarket and hiring professional cleaners and make sure it’s a steamer with a good set of bristles. I have a Hoover and a Bissell and I like them both (don’t ask me why I have 2, it’s a long story). Doing the rugs yourself is cheaper, faster and easier. Besides, you know it will be done right and because you have your own machine, you can do it as often as you need to. I recommend you register your machine because they can tend to break and if you register them you can save on costly replacement parts. I like to use Oxi-Clean (in the liquid form only – trust me. if you can’t find it in liquid form, you can make up a batch in a gallon jug. i just use a washed out milk jug, i use hot water and add the oxi clean a bit at a time so it all dissolves) if the rugs need a quick pick me up. When the rugs are really bad, I spray on the Folex and let it stand, then use the Oxi-Clean to shampoo the rugs. To help the carpets dry quickly, have a fan (preferably a floor fan) running to circulate the air. Also, lay down towels if you must walk on the rugs before they are dry. This will help absorb excess water and keep your tootsies and sockies dry.
6) And lastly, if you have little ones, use spill-proof sippy cups. If you have big ones, like I do, threaten them with bodily harm if they spill anything and educate them on proper clean up should they have an accident. It is also good to train the older ones on how to vacuum, pick up after themselves when they track in leaves and dirt as well as proper usage of the carpet cleaners.
The better you treat your carpets, the longer they will last you.