Spills, dirt, and dust are a fact of life in a busy household. We love the kids, pets, and wine in our lives, but not the messes they sometimes make! We’re working on a series of posts about how to maintain and clean all types of flooring. You’ve made an investment in your flooring, and we want to help you keep it looking its best!
First up in the series: Carpet. Carpet is one of the most popular flooring choices, and for good reason. It’s comfortable and adds warmth to a room. Also, modern carpet technology (yes, there is technology in carpet!) has made it much more durable. But even the most current, tech-savvy carpet is still susceptible to stains from spills and the buildup of dirt.
4 Tips for Cleaning and Caring for Your Carpet
1. Use a doormat to keep dirt out of your home in the first place.
This classic staple can extend the life and quality of your carpet. Shoes and the dirt they carry are the number one culprit when it comes to the deterioration of carpet over time. Just wiping your feet on a doormat before entering your home can make a huge difference!
And the good news is that there are so many fabulous floormats to choose from these days… We absolutely love these crab doormats that we carry in Bountiful Interiors. They add the perfect Eastern Shore charm to your entry!
2. Encourage Your Guests to Remove Their Shoes.
This is important, especially in the cold and wet seasons. Having guests remove their shoes will dramatically reduce the harder-to-remove messes that they tend track in.
What about those guests that don’t wear shoes? Yes, I’m talking about our furry friends. You should keep a towel on hand to wipe off any paws that wish to strut on your carpet.
3. Put Some Baking Soda on Your Carpet Before You Vacuum.
The nose knows when your carpet isn’t clean! Merely vacuuming will clean your carpet, but adding baking soda will make your carpet smell like a breath of fresh air. The process is not only practical, it’s super simple! Start out by sprinkling a layer of baking soda across your carpet. Make sure you give it a few generous minutes before vacuuming the carpet. This process will ensure a clean looking and smelling carpet.
4. Address for Success! Removing Stains from Your Carpet
Stains are your carpet’s worst enemy. But luckily there are hundreds of ways to address your sticky situation. From wine to gum, here are a few of our favorite tricks to get rid of those tough stains.
Removing the Reds
Any drop of wine is a waste, so let’s keep it off your carpets! Coasters double as décor and spill catchers. But if the spill has already happened, a spray of club soda on the spill could save your carpet. Leave the club soda on for a few minutes and then blot the spot with a clean cloth. Make sure you do this until the wine is entirely removed.
With children or grandchildren running around your house, a juice spill is inevitable. Juice can be removed with spritzing club soda on the area and waiting a few minutes. Then carefully blot up the stain with a cloth, do this a few times to ensure its complete removal.
Accidents happen. When they do, the first thing to try is simply using cold water. Blot up the spot and repeat until its gone.
Unfortunately, cold water doesn’t always suffice when it comes to removing blood stains. This is where peroxide comes in, but you have to be careful!! Peroxide works wonders on blood, and it will definitely remove the stains. However, it may also remove the color from your carpet! For that reason, peroxide works best on light colored carpet.
Regardless of the color of your carpet, you want to first do a spot test to see how it holds up to peroxide. Choose an inconspicuous place, dab on cold water, followed by peroxide, followed by another dab of cold water. This is the exact process you’d use to remove blood with peroxide. Let your test spot sit for at least 12 hours to determine if there are any changes in the color of your carpet. If not, go ahead and tackle the blood stains. They’ll come out very easily!
Beating the Browns
Although dirt belongs in the outdoors, it always seems to follow you inside. When you first see the dirt on your carpet, make sure to let it dry before tending to it. Try to remove the spot by scraping and then vacuuming it. If this still doesn’t do the trick, use your detergent to blot out the stain by rubbing the spot with a clean cloth.
Coffee can be a lifesaver in the morning, but it can be a nightmare if it gets on your carpet. If this happens, try this homemade coffee remover:
- 2 tablespoons hydrogen peroxide
- 1 tablespoon dish soap
Mix the two together, and put the solution directly on the stain, and rub in it. Let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse with water. Repeat until the stain is gone.
Resolving the Rest
A new pet may not know the rules of your house just yet. While in the stages of potty training, make sure you have a good pet stain remover on hand at all times! You can find one at any local pet store.
Put the scissors down! Cutting gum from your carpet is causing permanent damage. Here is a hack that could save your carpet:
- Place a bag of ice on the gum
- Wait for the gum to harden
- Scrape off the gum
- Vacuum the spot
- Use a spot remover to get the remains
Bonus Tip! Use Outdoor Rugs Inside
If you’re in a season of life that is particularly messy (i.e. pets, kids, and/or grandkids!), you may want to consider bringing outdoor rugs inside. Outdoor rugs are designed to hold up to challenging messes. They often collect less dirt in the first place, and when they do, they clean up more easily.
And the good news is that outdoor rugs have come a looooong way when it comes to design. There are many designs that are simply stunning! Our favorites are Dash & Albert, which come in a huge variety of patterns and custom sizes. You can throw these rugs down on any hard surface to warm up a space. But you can also layer them on top of carpet. Outdoor rugs have a low profile, so they won’t add too much bulk to your flooring. This is a great option to protect your carpet!
Need Help Choosing the Perfect Carpet?
Our flooring team are experts on all things carpet! They can help you choose the best option for your home and lifestyle. They can also share their advice on how to best care for and clean your carpet and rugs. With over 30 years of industry experience, they’ve seen it all and have a lot of wisdom to share!