DIY Network

Carpet Maintenance 101 in Four Easy Tips

Use these simple tips to keep your carpet looking good for years to come.

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Carpet Maintenance Tip #1: Take Shoes Off
Get in the habit of removing your shoes before entering a carpeted room. Shoes can drag in all sorts of nasty things so place a mat at the door to hold them. Buy some slippers that can only be worn in the house to change into.

Carpet Maintenance Tip #2: Vacuum Often
Vacuum at least two times a week and more if the room gets a lot of foot traffic. Your vacuum is the best defense against early retirement for a carpet so keep it maintained. Change the bag or empty the canister before it gets full, remove debris such as string or fibers from the brushes (these cause the vacuum belt to work harder, possibly damaging the motor) and wipe the vacuum with a little white vinegar to keep it dust free. Always check the hose to see if any obstruction is blocking the airflow before starting it (new carpet fibers lost from the manufacturing process can really clog the hose up).

Carpet Maintenance Tip #3: Keep a Carpet-Cleaning Kit Handy
Include lint-free rags that can be slightly dampened to blot spills (never rub as it will push the spill into the carpet fibers). A bottle of liquid or dry carpet cleaner is a must. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for use as many people spray or pour the cleaner on the spot and immediately rub it in. The best bet is to let it set, and then remove as much cleaner as you can with the next item in your kit — a plastic scraper. This lets you scrape away as much of the cleaner as possible without rubbing it into the carpet fibers. Once that's done, blot away the rest. The last item in the kit should be a soft-bristle brush to brush the fibers of the carpet back into shape.

Carpet Maintenance Tip #4: (Don't) Let the Sun Shine In
UV rays from sunlight can age carpet so shut blinds or drapes before you leave for the day. It will really make a difference, especially with darker carpet colors.

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