How to maintain a carpet (and keep it looking new)

You’ve invested in a beautiful new carpet! Now you want to make sure that it stays in tip-top condition. And that means you have to know how to clean and maintain it. 

Maintaining your carpet will help to keep it in good condition, saving you money in the long run as well as avoiding any smells or bacteria. 

In this blog, we’ll look at how you can prevent any damage from coming to your carpet, and how you can ensure that it is well maintained and clean.

How to protect your carpet from getting damaged or stained…

Prevention is better than cure – and the same can be said for your carpet. One of the best ways to keep your carpet looking new is to protect it from getting damaged in the first place.

There are a few steps that you can take to minimise the risk that your carpet will get stained or damaged:

  • Use doormats: doormats at the entrance of your home to trap dirt and moisture and stop it from getting tracked through the house.
  • Shoes off at the door: Try and have everyone remove their shoes at the door, this will ensure outside dirt is not making its way onto your carpets.
  • Invest in a rug: Rugs aren’t just for hardwood floors. You can maintain the look and feel of your carpets, plus add even more personality to a room with a rug.
  • Routinely vacuum your carpet: to help prevent soiling and dirt from getting into the carpet fibres and also helps to keep the tufts upright. Use a vacuum cleaner with a beater bar and/or brushes for cut pile carpets and one without for loop pile carpets.
  • Trim any carpet fibres that stick up: Do not pull any fibres that stick up, trim them to the level of the other tufts. 
  • Reduce the likelihood of spills: If you want to avoid damaging your carpet, then you need to reduce the risk of spilling food or drink on it, especially if you have the tendency to drop things or have young children. Think about where your carpet is and how to avoid taking food, drink or anything that could stain into that room.

Related content: 6 mistakes people make when buying a carpet

How to clean your carpet…

Carpets are warmer and cosier than wooden floors, but the downside is that they require a little more work to maintain. You’ll need to regularly clean your carpet to ensure it is fresh and hygienic, and to remove any staining which occurs. 

  1. How to regularly clean your carpet
  2. How to get stains out of your carpet
  3. When is it time for professional cleaning

#1 How to regularly clean your carpet

It’s not a revolutionary statement, but a vacuum cleaner is your first line of defence in maintaining your carpet. 

Dirt can quickly build up between the fibres of your carpet, even although it might not be visible. You should vacuum your carpet on a regular schedule, using fixtures designed for carpeted floors. If you have pets or children, you may need to vacuum more often and high traffic areas such as hallways may require more maintenance. 

However, even the most rigorous of vacuuming schedules can result in a build up of dirt in your carpet. This may cause your carpet to look dull and could possibly result in a smell. When this happens, a vacuum alone will not cut it. 

Every so often, you may find that you have to clean your carpets. You can do this using a carpet cleaner, which can be bought or rented. Follow the instructions on the cleaner and for your type of carpet to ensure you do not damage it.

#2 How to get stains out of your carpet

Uh-oh! The kids have spilled their juice. Or maybe that evening wine has tipped over. Try as you might to avoid it, you are only human and spillages are bound to happen. 

But don’t worry, it’s usually possible to get these stains out. 

How you treat them will depend on what caused the stains. But we do not recommend that you use anything too harsh, or it might damage the carpet fibres. 

In the first instance, no matter what type of carpet it is, should you spill something grab handfuls of kitchen roll and blot the stain, putting pressure on the offending area. As long as you are getting a transfer on to the kitchen roll you are helping to remove the stain from your carpet, this will work more often than not. However should the stain have happened earlier and has ‘set’ then you need to go to the next stage.

If you have a woollen carpet firstly trying spraying warm water over the stain and then use the technique described above, if you get transfer great, if not then use mild detergent mixed with water to get rid of any stains. 

Remember to always blot everything to remove any excess liquid and cleaning solution from the carpet, if not this can lead to soiling happening more quickly in the future.

If you have a man-made carpet, you can use a solution of two pints of water and a teaspoon of white vinegar to get rid of water soluble stains such as fizzy drinks. For tougher stains, you can use a spoonful of ammonia mixed with one cup of water. Please note that water and water based cleaners will not remove oil based stains. 

If you spill something on your carpet, we recommend:

  • You act quickly to remove the stain
  • Blot or scrape away the offending stain as much as possible
  • Use warm water (not hot)
  • Test any cleaning products on an unseen area before use
  •  Don’t rub the stain as this can damage the fibres

#3 When is it time for professional carpet cleaning

If you don’t have the time, aren’t sure how to remove the stains, or if the stain is just a little stubborn, it might be time to call in a professional carpet cleaner to carry out the work for you. 

Regular professional cleaning will keep your carpets in tip top condition. Generally their equipment and cleaning solutions are much more effective then you hiring a machine and carrying out the work yourself. A professional company will have a multitude of biodegradeable chemicals and spotting agents to tackle stains, spillages and soiling combined with specialist training and techniques to ensure that the job is done to a much higher standard. This will help prolong the life of your carpet, as well as keeping it looking good, clean and hygienic for you and your family. 

Wool carpets vs man-made carpets: which is easier to maintain?

When you are choosing your new carpet, it is worth noting that different carpets react to cleaning in different ways, and this can affect how well your carpet looks and feels. 

Wool carpets are best known for their long-lasting luxurious appearance. And this, in part, is due to how well they respond to cleaning. Wool has an in-built resistance to soiling, due to its natural oils. However, staining can be an issue if left to soak in. 

We recommend that new wool carpets are stain guarded, this means that any spillages or soiling will not attach to the carpet fibres but instead sit on the surface longer giving you time to remove it. This helps maintain the life of the carpet in the long-term, and is relatively inexpensive compared to the cost of a new carpet.

In comparison, man-made carpets are best known for their stain resistance making them an ideal choice for busy households with kids, pets and husbands who don’t take their shoes off at the door!  

In fact polypropylene is super resistant to staining with water-based materials because it doesn’t absorb water, however they are less resistant to oily and greasy stains. 

Man-made carpets can be cleaned with a mixture of warm water and bleach without the risk of fading or damaging the colour as it has been heat set during the manufacturing process but please note not all man made carpets are ‘bleach cleanable’ so check when purchasing your new carpet the do’s and don’t’s when it comes to cleaning and maintenance .

Many people opt for a wool and man-made blend in order to enjoy the luxurious feel of the wool as well as the stain resistance of man-made fibres.

In summary: How to maintain a carpet

Keeping a carpet can be a little more work than a hardwood floor, but it’s well worth the time and investment to ensure your carpet maintains its luxury and warmth.

It’s really important that you take steps to prevent damage to your carpet in the first instance. But by far the best way is a shoes off policy and regular vacuuming, this will take care of most combined with a good deep clean as and when required.

Your choice of carpet may also affect how responsive your carpet is to cleaning, and how stain resistant it is. So, that is worth considering when you are looking at your various carpet options. 

If you need help choosing a new carpet, we recommend coming into our showroom. The best way to understand what type of carpet you want is to get a feel for them and chat it through with one of our team to help guide you in the right direction.