As with most things in life, the better you treat them, the longer they’ll last.
And because your carpets are going to deal with the wear and tear of everyday life, it makes sense that the more care and attention you give them the better they’ll cope.
One of the benefits of the new ranges of vinyl planks is that you can replace individual planks if they’re damaged – but that just doesn’t work with carpets, meaning that prevention and quick solutions are needed to stop unsightly stains or the gradual buildup of dirt.
So here’s our Harrisons checklist to making the most of your carpets…
1. Choose the right fibre: Some fibres are more hard-wearing and more stain-resistant than others. If you’ve got a busy family home and pets, then it makes sense to choose a fibre that will perform well even under a constant barrage of feet and spillages.
2. Choose the right style: The higher the pile, the harder it is to vacuum – and the larger the area where small particles of dirt can lodge and rub constantly at the fibres at the base of your carpet.
3. Check your warranty: Most synthetic carpets will have very similar stain warranties guaranteeing performance against food and beverage spills only – a few might also cover pet urine or bleaching. Know what your carpet can deal with before you start and you’ll have a good idea of how you’ll be able to keep it clean.
4. Prevent dirt entering the room: Even the smallest particles of dirt can get ground into your carpet over time and they will start damaging the individual fibres right from day one. If you want to get the longest life out of luxurious carpets, use door mats to wipe shoes or prevent outdoor shoes from entering the rooms.
5. Move around your furniture: Your carpet may be damaged by having the same weight of furniture pressing down on the same areas all the time. Give those areas a rest from time to time by shifting the furniture around.
7. Regular vacuuming: Twice a week for high-use areas and once a week for everywhere else will prevent dirt accumulating in your carpets. The problem with dirt and oils is that they attract more dirt and oils and using your vacuum cleaner properly – set it at the right height and pass it slowly over the carpet to avoid damaging the fibres – should prevent them building up.
8. Professional steam cleaning: A successful cleaning regime means all carpets should be professionally steam cleaned once every 18 months to two years just to take soil, allergens and accumulated grit out of them.
9. Know the basics about stain removal: We’ve already got a good guide to removing common liquid and solid stains – the trick is to blot rather than rub, use white kitchen towels to avoid transferring colour into the carpet, and know how to use the sort of shampoos and cleaning powders and fluids you can usually find at your local supermarket.
10. Learn the tricks to remove unusual stains: Chewing gum can be frozen with ice cubes and then vacuumed up, wax will stick to a paper towel once it’s been re-melted with a warm iron over a paper towel. We’ve got an excellent guide to removing odd stains for both wool and synthetic fibres – just remember to use the solution on just the area around the stain and to make sure you read any instructions on products you buy.