The first rule of keeping carpets clean is to ensure that you vacuum regularly, even if there is little visible sign of dirt. Dirt, dust and grime get trodden into the carpet pile and build up beneath the fibres. While you might not be able to notice any large conspicuous clumps of dirt, you can be sure that it is there. Most dust particles are very small, but they occupy our living spaces in great numbers and can often cause problems such as allergies, as well as giving your carpets a dull, dirty look if left to build up for too long. You should vacuum at least once a week, moving your vacuum cleaner slowly and going over each section of carpet multiple times to ensure that as much dirt as possible is collected. A crevice tool can be used around skirting boards and under radiators to remove dust and fluff that would be difficult to get at with your vacuum cleaner.
Sometimes vacuuming is not enough to keep your carpet looking good. Spills, such as food and drink items, or bodily fluids, such as blood or vomit can all leave nasty stains if not dealt with quickly and effectively. It is best to clean up these sorts of spills as quickly as possible, before they have chance to dry. Blot and dab excess liquid form the area using an absorbent, colour-fast cloth. Never rub at the spill, as this can work the substance deeper into the carpet, as well as breaking open the pile. It is best to use only cold or lukewarm water when initially cleaning spills, particularly if they are made by protein based, such as milk. Hot water can cause proteins to ‘cook’ and bind to the carpet fibres.
After blotting up the excess, a stain removal solution can be applied. It is always best to test store bought stain removal products on a small, inconspicuous area before applying to the main stain. This way you can be sure that the chemicals and bleach in the product are safe for use on your carpet. If you have any doubts about DIY stain removal products, or if you are dealing with a large, stubborn or dried in stain, professional steam cleaning is a better option to consider. Professional cleaning firms use powerful machines and are experts in dealing with different chemical cleaners.
Steam cleaning on a semi-regular basis will have a huge and noticeable effect in prolonging the life and vigour of your carpet. Even if your carpet is not stained, it is a good idea to hire a professional company to steam clean your carpets every one or two months. This helps to prevent any build-up of damaging dust particles or dirt. If you continue to vacuum carefully and effectively each week between steam-cleans, you can keep your carpet looking as good as new for many years.