Carpets are typically beautiful additions to any home, but over time they can become stained, hardened, faded and damaged. Once a spot of pride, a carpet that isn't well taken care of can become a source of shame. Before you strip the floor bare and contact the nearest carpet company, research ways to revive the carpet you already have. Carpets are an expensive investment, and worth protecting and renewing.
Remove stains. Over time, carpets can easily become stained if spills and other mishaps are not immediately removed. Most stains can be removed with a white rag, soap and hot water. If this doesn't work, use a store bought cleaning solution.
Blot stains, rather than scrubbing, as scrubbing can spread stains and damage carpet fibres. If blotting doesn't work, rub the stain vigorously from the outside in.
Use other cleaning solutions for more difficult stains; for instance, water-displacing spray or rubbing alcohol can remove oil and grease stains. Club soda effectively removes red wine. Ice cubes allowed to sit on hardened chewing gum or wax allows the substance to soften enough for easy removal.
Steam clean your carpet. Steam cleaning will not only help remove old stains, but will also lift out old dirt, grime and odours that have settled in. After the initial steam cleaning, have your carpet professionally cleaned at least once a year to keep it looking fresh.
Vacuum your carpet three to four times per week. Some people only vacuum when they can visibly see a build-up of dirt, dust and foot tracks; however, if you wait until you see the problem, it's gone on too long. Vacuuming three to four times per week will keep dirt and grime from building up, and it will save the life of your carpet in the long run.
Treat stains as soon as they occur. This will keep stains from building up in between steam cleanings. You might also want to consider limiting meals, beverages and snacks to non-carpeted areas. No food or drinks equals no spills.
Take off your shoes. Make it a house rule that no shoes will be worn on carpeted areas. This eliminates tracking in dirt from the outside. Not only will your carpet look and feel cleaner, it may also improve the health of your family because you won't be bringing in so many outside germs.
Invest in area rugs. Area rugs in high traffic areas can keep your carpet looking new and fresh. If you have permanent stains, area rugs will cover them in a creative and attractive way. Put area rugs in front of doorways, in front of the entertainment centre and between the couch and coffee tables.