5 Things You Should Never Do To Your Carpet
Carpet isn’t as high-maintenance as most people tend to think. However, it still requires some care and must not be mistreated. To protect your carpet and ensure that it stays looking beautiful for a long time, here’s a list of the things that should NOT be done to your carpet (and what to do instead).
1. Do Not Scrub
When you’ve had a spill on your carpet, I know it’s tempting to attack it with a vengeance. After all, for so many other tasks we’re told that a bit of elbow grease is necessary to get the job done. However, this is one instance in which fiercely scrubbing is not helpful and in fact will likely be harmful to your carpet.
Carpet is made up of fibres that have been twisted together in order to increase their strength.
The twist is then “locked in” with heat. By abrasively scrubbing at the fibres, you run the risk of undoing the lock and having the fibres come untwisted – something known as blooming. This will cause the appearance of a big fuzzy patch on your carpet, which could end up looking worse than the stain from the original spill.
So, when cleaning a spill from your carpet, it’s best to be gentle, and blot at the area rather than scrub it.
2. Do Not Use a Non-Carpet Cleaner
A true story: shortly after my wife and I moved into our first home, I came home one day and discovered she had attempted to clean a spill on the carpet with VANISH. Needless to say, the remedy was worse than the evil and an “all-purpose” cleaner should never be used on carpet.
The only type of cleaning product you should be using on your carpet is a cleaner that is specifically designed for carpet.
There’s is however an exception to the rule. Clear liquid dish-washing soap may be used to treat some carpet stains, but only when extremely diluted.
3. Do Not Wear Your Shoes
I’m continually surprised by how often this simple piece of advice goes unheeded. Taking your shoes off at the door – every time – is one of the easiest and most effective things you can do for your carpet.
If you have pets that go outside, consider wiping their paws when they come back in, before they can roam past the entrance.
4. Do Not Drag Furniture
Dragging your furniture across the carpet may be the easiest way to get a heavy item from one point to another, but it’s also one of the easiest ways to cause ripples in your carpet. Always lift the item off the carpet before moving it. If the item is too heavy to be lifted, consider buying some furniture sliders to help prevent damage.
5. Do Not Expose to Excessive Sunlight
Most indoor residential carpets are not colourfast, meaning that they can and will fade due to age, wear, and most of all, strong direct sunlight. If you have a high amount of afternoon sunlight in your room you’ll want to take some minor precautions against carpet fading. Generally, this can be accomplished simply by closing your blinds or curtains during the peak sunlight hours.
Another option if you are buying carpet for a space with extensive direct sunlight is to choose a carpet that is fade resistant. Nylon has relatively poor colourfast properties, so it would likely not be your best option. Some carpets come with up to a 10 year warranty against fading, it’s well worth discussing your own needs with your carpet retailer before purchasing.
Choosing the right fibre type for your home and regular professional cleaning can help keep your carpet looking its best for years to come.