Mama always said that if the floor – especially carpet – was clean, then the whole house looks better. On the other hand, if the carpet is grotty, the whole house looks seedy, sordid and generally disgusting. In fact, one of the best life hacks for speed cleaning if you know that unexpected visitors are just minutes away is to vacuum the public rooms of the house for instant improvement.
I’ve got good news and bad news about keeping carpets clean, so let’s do things the usual way and deliver the bad news first. The bad news is that because carpets get walked all over by everybody. They also are on the receiving end of gravity working on anything that falls to the ground, which means that anything dropped, spilled, shed or sprayed ends up down there.
The good news is that there are quite a few sneaky things that you can do to ensure that your carpet stays looking good so you don’t have to cringe when visitors pop in unexpectedly.
Vacuum cleaners would have to be one of the best inventions for the home ever – way better than sliced bread and microwave ovens, in my opinion. They really do make the job of cleaning carpets and rugs a breeze – so much easier than all those old-fashioned techniques like lugging the carpets outside and hitting them with a carpet beater or sprinkling wet tea leaves all over the carpets and sweeping them from one side to the other to pick up fluff. Even a puny vacuum cleaner does a decent job of picking up stray fluff, scraps of sawdust, hair and all the rest of it – and some of the modern high-powered vacuums are absolutely amazing!
Frequent vacuuming is the number one way to keep your carpets looking their best – daily if you can!
OK, let’s be realistic: in your own home, you probably aren’t going to vacuum every day or twice a day. You probably won’t have a professional cleaner come in every single to sweep the floors and deal with the carpets (although if you can manage this – good for you!). If you get a cleaner in once a week, you are likely to want to get the vacuum cleaner out quite a few times on the days he or she doesn’t come anyway.
Keep Messy Activities to Set Areas
Have you noticed how a lot of the mess that gets onto your carpets – crumbs, pet hairs, bits of fluff – come from particular activities? The secret here is to make sure that those activities don’t happen on the carpets – or at least not the carpets in the public areas of the house where they will lower the tone of the whole house. This means that eating should be done in the kitchen and dining room only, and those messy craft activities should be done in the same place.
If this isn’t realistic for you – for example, if you’re in a smaller house where the dining room is one of the main public carpeted spaces – then your next best bet is to take steps to protect the carpet. Put down newspapers or a drop sheet to protect the carpet when you’re working on that papercraft that involves glitter and bits of paper going everywhere. Use a decent sized plate when snacking on the sofa while watching a good movie. And maybe you need to put down a drop sheet underneath the high chair for that toddler who’s learning how to feed him or herself!
Take Your Shoes Off At The Door
When I was a child, it was unthinkable to take your shoes off at the door when visiting. You wiped your feet and that was about it. OK, Mama insisted on muddy shoes being removed at the door of our own home (to say nothing of the ones that had accidentally landed in a pile of doggy do) but apart from that, it was just a case of wiping feet. Taking shoes off and going around someone else’s house in your socks? No way!
However, times have changed. In a lot of cultures, taking shoes off at the door is indeed the norm and it’s nice to see that this habit has become acceptable in most places. And it makes sense. After all, it’s the great outdoors that puts stuff all over your shoes that then gets tracked all over the carpet. Even “clean dirt” like grass and dead leaves look horrible on the carpet, but those teeny bits of gravel are even worse. These work their way down deep into the carpet where the vacuum cleaner can’t get at them, and they rub away at the carpet fibres and wear it out (the solution is professional deep cleaning, which removes this sort of dirt). Taking shoes off at the door, and having indoor shoes or slippers to put on instead, is a way to stop the dirt in its tracks and minimise the amount that gets in the house.
And no “just” nipping out to pick up the paper or to put the recycling in the bin while in your slippers, either! You might save yourself ten seconds but you’re making yourself vacuum more frequently.
Don’t Have Carpet in Messy Areas
Carpets and rugs do not belong in wet areas of the house such as laundries, kitchens and bathrooms, no matter how much you hate cold tiles underfoot (this is the other bonus of wearing slippers, by the way!). As for carpet or even a wee rug in the toilet… well, “wee” rug is about the right word for it! If you have the choice, then don’t have carpets in areas where you know that dirt and mud will go.
Pet hair is one of the worst offenders when it comes to getting carpets dirty. If at all possible, restrict the places where your pets can go. You don’t have to keep them in a cage or keep them outside all the time, but if you don’t allow them into certain rooms (bedrooms, for example) or if you insist that your dog sleeps on a particular mat or rug rather than any old where then this minimises the area where pet hair goes. Admittedly, it’s hard to keep cats from going anywhere they darn well please, but you can shut the door on your bedroom.
You can also consider carpets when getting a pet in the first place. Short-haired dogs and cats save you a world of hassle because less hair means less on the carpets! This, dear friends, is why a lot of poodles get clipped frequently; it’s not just for fashion.
Get Carpets Professionally Cleaned Once A Year
Vacuuming is amazing but even the very best can’t get all of the dirt out of the carpet – vacuum cleaners can’t do much about removing odours or about removing stains and the residues of sticky wet stuff on the carpets. The problem with sticky stuff is that it catches the loose dirt that could have been removed by a vacuum cleaner and make the carpets look worse.
The only way to remove this sort of dirt is with professional cleaning. Professional carpet cleaning, whether it’s steam cleaning, bonnet buffing or dry carpet cleaning, removes all the deep-down dirt, all the weird manky odours and the stains and splodges that are inevitable no matter how hard you try.
If you’ve never had your carpets deep cleaned by a professional, you’ll be amazed at how much of a difference it makes in your home. The carpets don’t just end up looking cleaner and fresher (and smelling fresher into the bargain) but they also feel nicer. Try it!
You may also like these posts:
- Carpet cleaning hacks that don’t work
- Things you should know about your carpets
- Ways to make cleaning your home easier
Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you’ve enjoyed this post.