Carpets are an excellent choice as a luxurious and beautiful floor covering, but compared to materials such as stone or hardwood, they're harder to clean and easier to damage. Look after them well, and quality carpets will be a good investment, but if they're neglected or mistreated, they can quickly start to look shabby. Here are the biggest mistakes to avoid if you want to keep your carpets in just-fitted condition.
Letting Spills Dry In
It's extremely important to deal with every spillage as quickly as possible, no matter how minor it may seem. The longer a spill is left, the deeper it will penetrate the fibres of the carpet, and the harder it will be to remove without resorting to harsh chemicals. Even worse, many household substances are mildly corrosive and can cause lasting damage to the fabric, with the risk of bleaching out the colour or leaving frayed-looking spots.
Dealing with a spill or stain by scrubbing vigorously will usually do more harm than good. It can easily lead to worn patches which may not be visible while you're cleaning, but will show up clearly once the carpet has dried. Deal with soiled areas in a gentler way, blotting the dirt out with a cloth dampened by warm water or a mild detergent mixture.
Inexpert Use of Chemicals
Particularly heavy stains could benefit from using a specialist spot remover, but try to limit chemical use as much as possible, and always follower the manufacturer's instructions carefully. If you're not sure how much of a cleaning fluid to use or how much to dilute it by, don't just guess; you could easily cause permanent damage. If in doubt, test the solution out on a hidden comer of the carpet first.
While a small amount of liquid can help to shift stubborn stains or soiling, take care not to get your carpets too wet. This can risk shrinkage or other distortions, and the textile fibres may not dry quickly enough to prevent mold setting in, causing discolouration and musty smells.
Cleaning Too Often
A full shampoo or deep clean can help bring a carpet back to life and leave it looking as good as new, but it's best not to do this too often. It should be a special treat for your floors, and not a regular routine, or you risk wearing them out more quickly. A professional clean once or twice a year is perfect, so long as you vacuum at least once a week in the meantime, and attend to any spillages or soiling immediately.
When properly looked after, a high-quality carpet can last a lifetime, providing comfort and warmth along the way. Follow these tips for routine care, backed up by a professional carpet cleaning every so often, and your carpet will stay looking just as good as the day it was fitted for years to come.