Your carpet flooring can have an impressive lifespan if you take care of it, but if you’re not careful your vacuum could do more harm than good. Here are 15 carpet care tips to keep your home fresh and delay your next carpet installation as long as possible.
1. Clean Up Immediately
Whenever you see a mess on your carpet flooring, clean it up immediately. If you let dirt or grime sit too long on your carpet, it can start to work its way into the carpet fibers. Set-in dirt is harder to clean and can reduce the lifespan of your carpet. The sooner you clean up spills and stains, the better your carpet will look, and the longer it will last.
2. Vacuum Twice a Week
Instead of vacuuming only when there is a mess, or when you’re going to have guests over, set a schedule of vacuuming twice a week. Even if your carpet looks clean, there are small particles of dust, hair, and debris that need to be cleaned up to keep your carpet looking as great as when it was installed.
3. Pick Up Before You Vacuum
Your vacuum is wonderful at cleaning up the small dirt and dust that can hide in your carpet. While it can suck up heavier and clunkier things like hair ties, small toys, and spare change, it shouldn’t have to. Help your vacuum before you even turn it on by picking up as much as you can from your carpet before you start. This lets your vacuum focus on the small things you can’t easily grab, instead sucking up something you could have picked up yourself.
4. Dust Before You Vacuum
If you’re going to deep clean a room, start from the top and work your way down. If you dust first, any extra dust particles that knock free will fall to your carpet to get picked up by your vacuum. If you vacuum first, you risk your clean carpet getting dirty from untrapped dust that just fell to the floor.
5. Vacuum in Multiple Directions
If you’re in a rush, a quick pass of your vacuum is better than nothing. But, if you’re serious about keeping your carpet flooring clean, you need to be serious about vacuuming. Each time you vacuum, make at least two passes in different directions for the best results.
Dirt and dust can hide under carpet fibers, and some things like pet hair will wrap around fibers and not come up the first time. By vacuuming a room both back and forth and side to side, you give your vacuum a better chance of pulling up everything in your carpet.
6. Take Breaks
Just like you feel overworked and tired after a long day at your job, your vacuum can be overworked if you try to push it too hard without a break. To fight against this, any time you empty your bag or canister, give your vacuum a well-deserved break and let it stay turned off for a few minutes.
7. Maintain Your Vacuum
While your vacuum is built to deal with a lot of dust, grime, and debris, there’s nothing worse for a machine than getting dirt in the wrong places. Make sure your vacuum gets the deep clean it deserves once a month.
Start by cleaning out your beater bar and untangling any string, hair, or thread that can wrap around it. Move on to the filters, following the directions for your vacuum’s make and model. Empty and clean out the canister as your final step. If you use any water or cleaner to help, give your vacuum time to air dry before you use it—you don’t want to make sticky clumps of mud by using it too soon.
8. Empty Your Bag or Canister Often
Your vacuum works best when airflow isn’t restricted by an overfull bag or canister. Most modern vacuums have a visible fill line that will show you when it is too full. Empty it as soon as you fill your canister up to that line, which might mean you’ll have to empty it multiple times per room.
9. Don’t Forget the Hard-to-Reach Spots
Most vacuums come with a wide range of extensions and tools to help you reach difficult spaces, but they’re often forgotten about and left unused. While it might be easier for you to vacuum with the same trustworthy tube, you’re probably leaving parts of your carpet flooring dirty.
Places like corners, under furniture, along baseboards, and stairs are best reached with the extensions your vacuum comes with, so use your extensions to make sure your entire space is clean.
10. Move Heavy Furniture
Heavy furniture feet can dent and fold carpet fibers, creating a perfect location for dirt to settle in. It might seem unnoticeable and insignificant, but when you rearrange your furniture, those small indents from heavy furniture might become permanently folded or have more damage compared to your well-vacuumed areas.
11. Remove Surface Odors with Baking Soda
When your carpet is installed, it has a fresh, clean smell to it. Unfortunately, that fresh smell will start to fade with age. You can bring a breath of freshness to your carpet by sprinkling a small amount of baking soda over it. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes and then vacuum it up for the best results. This all-natural solution is safe for your carpet and can help you fight against some of the surface odors that come with well-loved carpet flooring.
12. Get Professional Carpet Cleanings
Professional carpet cleaning isn’t just for when you have a huge mess. For the best health of your carpet, schedule at least one cleaning a year. Depending on your lifestyle and the appearance of your carpet flooring, you might need to invest in more frequent cleanings.
Professional cleaners will make sure your carpet is taken care of with the right tools and products that will help extend its lifespan.
13. Replace Your Brush Roller Belt
The brush roller is the front piece of your vacuum that spins and dislodges dirt hidden in your carpet. Once every six months, check the belt attached to your brush roller to see if it needs to be replaced. Over time the belt can stretch, which will cause a loss in suction and reduce how effective your vacuum is.
To test the brush roller belt, gently push your vacuum into the carpet. If the roller stops or struggles to keep rotating, it’s time to replace your belt.
14. Adjust the Roller Depth
Your roller depth should match the length of fibers in your carpet. If you have the wrong setting for your brush roller, you will either reduce the efficacy of vacuuming or even harm your flooring. For best results, your brush roller height should match your carpet’s pile height (high brush roller for high pile, and low brush roller for low pile). For hard floors, you might need to retract the roller altogether.
15. Take Your Time
To really clean your carpet, you have to take your time. While a rush job might be all you have time for, you won’t be able to get the same level of clean as if you went a little slower. When you pull the vacuum toward yourself, slowly count to three. By giving your vacuum this extra time to work, you are helping guarantee the cleanliness of your carpet.
Start with the Right Carpet
If your carpet is tired and vacuuming just won’t revive it, It is Finished can help you find new carpet flooring you’ll love for decades. The quality and selection available from It Is Finished can fit any budget and every taste. Start shopping for new carpet now, or schedule an in-home appointment where we bring the samples right to you!