Rejoice with us in the fact that you can have clean gorgeous carpets for many years. Reside yourself to the fact, though, that it doesn’t come without consistent effort. Carpets harbor many dust mites and bacteria that will lead to a soiled appearance if you’re not on top of your game. Read on for some easy carpet cleaning tips in your home. Easy Stuff First—Vacuuming Carpets should be vacuumed at least once per week. High traffic areas should be addressed 2-3 times a week. Vacuuming extends your carpet’s life by preventing the buildup of dirt and particles that cut carpet fibers. It’s also a good opportunity to freshen up the carpet pile, pushing fibers against the nap to keep them from matting. Once a month, be sure to vacuum around baseboards, air vents and hard-to-reach places with your attachment tool. Carpet powders may help mask odors in your carpet, but you can save yourself a few bucks by whipping up your own homemade carpet freshener. For starters, you can keep your carpets smelling fresh on the cheap by simply adding odor-fighting baking soda to your vacuum bag. For a more pronounced fragrance, mix 1 cup baking soda and 1 cup cornstarch with a few drops (no more than 5) of your favorite essential oil. Sprinkle on carpet and allow it to sit for 20 minutes, then vacuum. Or you could combine a cup of crushed herbs such as lavender or rosemary to 1 teaspoon of baking soda for a floral fragrance. Take your time and let your vacuum do the best job it can, especially if you have plush carpet where dirt and dust can easily get cozy and in high traffic zones. Run your vacuum over each section several times. If your carpet is new or newly cleaned, you can add soil retardants to slow damage. Take precaution to follow manufacturer’s instructions. When it’s Time for a Deep Carpet Clean It’s inevitable that every carpet will see the day when vacuuming no longer has the sole power of beautiful upkeep. If your carpet has become matted over the majority of the space, feels sticky, has changed in color from its original state (check under your furniture to determine the original color), or releases dust if you apply pressure to it, it’s definitely time for a deep cleaning. If you own a carpet shampooer, you’re one step ahead of the game. Units can also be rented from home supply superstores or even grocery markets these days. If you’re short on time, energy or just prefer to leave the job to a professional, services are just a phone call away. The only method for properly cleaning carpet through to the backing is to agitate it with a shampooer and rinse thoroughly with an extractor. Here’s how you’ll get it done: It’s very important to test for colorfastness before you begin to avoid discoloring and fading your carpets. In an inconspicuous area (a corner or small spot where you know the sofa’s going back on top of) apply your cleaning solution using a clean white towel. If you’re not picking up any color from the carpet, you’re safe to use the solution on the rest of your carpet. Clear your room of as many pieces of furniture as possible. For those items that you can’t relocate, wrap coasters in plastic film and slip them under the legs of your furniture to prevent them from staining the carpet if they get moist. Vacuum your carpets thoroughly. Don’t use carpet powder this time. If you inadvertently leave any powder behind in the carpet, the cleaning solution could just turn it into a gummy mess. Spot-treat any stains before shampooing the carpet. We’ll give you the glossary on stain treatment in future posts, from gum to wine to cat urine. Be careful to follow the instructions on your carpet cleaner, particularly the water to solution ratio. Going in the same direction across your floor (against the nap of the carpet), use slow single strokes throughout the room. No need to apply much pressure here, the machine will do the work for you. After you’ve finished a space, wipe down furniture legs immediately to prevent any damage from the cleaning solution. Open windows and run fans in your room if possible to aid in quick drying. Make every attempt to stay off carpets until they’ve dried completely. The fresh feeling of newly cleaned carpets is worth the minor inconvenience of moving furniture. If you live in St. Louis, Missouri and prefer to take some help from the experts, Woodard’s in-home carpet cleaning team is ready to get started. Call us at 314-266-0373 with questions or to schedule an appointment.