How To Make High Traffic Carpet Look New
Whether it’s in your living room or a hallway that connects all of the rooms in your home, some carpets live a hard life. These high-traffic areas alway seem to suffer from difficult to remove stains, flat spots, and a generally lackluster appearance.
So, what is one to do? Just accept that certain parts of your home won’t ever look their best? Absolutely not! With the right care and just a bit of work you can keep your carpets looking great, even in high traffic areas! We’ll cover 7 carpet cleaning tips that will let your carpets stay fluffy and new looking for years to come.
Clean Up All Carpet Stains Immediately
This is a big one! Most new carpets on the market include some sort of stain-repellent additives, but by not cleaning up a spill immediately you’re allowing the carpet fibers to slowly soak up the offending liquid!
What you want to do instead is to immediately blot the stain dry. Don’t rub the stain as this can damage carpet fibers and actually work the stain deeper into your carpet.
Note: Use a colorfast dry towel – dye transfer from your rag is only going to make matters worse!
Once you’ve dried the stain as much as possible, it is time to move on to cleaning products. There are several great commercially available carpet cleaning solutions available at your local hardware store, or Amazon is always a great resource if you’re having trouble finding one you like locally.
Depending on your particular brand of carpet cleaning solution the application instructions may vary – follow the provided guidance for best results. We recommend testing new solutions somewhere out of sight, like inside of a closet, to make sure that the cleaner doesn’t discolor or damage your carpet.
Homemade Carpet Stain Remover Recipe
If you want to have full control over the chemicals that get used in your home, making your own DIY carpet cleaning solution is actually pretty easy!
- 1 part white vinegar
- 1 part warm water
- A squirt or two of dish soap
- Baking soda (not baking powder!)
Combine the vinegar, water, and dish soap together in a spray bottle – shake gently to mix, although don’t over do it otherwise you’ll end up with a bottle full of foam!
Lightly cover the stain with a layer of baking soda. You’re aiming for a goldilocks amount, not so little that you can barely see any, and not so much that all you can see is a mound of powder!
Spray your cleaning solution onto the stain, making sure to extend beyond the edges of the stain. Wait a minute or two for the baking soda to stop foaming and then blot the stain dry.
Dampen another clean rag and gently blot the stain. Wait for the stain to dry and vacuum it to remove any remaining baking soda.
Vacuum Your Carpets Regularly
This is one of those ‘common sense’ tips, but it is so important that it bears repeating! Dirt is your carpet’s enemy and your vacuum is your most powerful ally against this particular particulate-based foe. If dirt is allowed to settle into your carpet it will gradually wear out the carpet fibers, causing irreversible damage.
Regular vacuuming extracts these particles before they have time to get worked into the fibers and fluffs the carpet, restoring its original vibrancy.
Note: Some people believe that your vacuum’s brushes damage your carpet and advocate for only using suction. While it is true that the beater bars do contribute to a bit of wear, the dirt they remove is far more damaging to your carpet in the long run. Just be sure to set your brushes to ‘carpet height’ if your vacuum provides the ability for adjustment.
Generally, carpets should be vacuumed weekly. More often than this can lead to accelerated wear, while less frequent vacuuming leads to dirt buildup that household vacuum cleaners will struggle to extract. See our guide for getting the best results from vacuuming.
Use a Carpet Rake Once a Month
A carpet rake?! Don’t be alarmed if you’ve never heard of this device, as it is the best manual carpet cleaning machine that you’ve never heard of. These specialized tools look very similar to the rake you use in the fall to gather leaves, although they typically have two or more rows of tines, and the tines are much finer than the horticultural variety.
Using a carpet rake is very simple – holding it as you’d hold a broom or rake, gently pull the head through your carpet with short strokes. Deeper piles or thicker carpets may require a bit more pressure. Work through the room symmetrically, taking care not to skip any areas.
Afterwards, use your vacuum cleaner to suck up any hair or dirt that has been liberated by the raking!
Carpet rakes are a great option for pet owners or long-haired homeowners, as it quickly and thoroughly extracts any fur or hair that has gotten embedded in your carpets.
Get Your Carpets Professionally Deep Cleaned Twice a Year
Ok, we get it, you’re skeptical because a professional carpet cleaning company is recommending that you get your carpets professionally cleaned. Conflict of interest and all that. But hear us out!
If you’ve bought a carpet that comes with a warranty, you should check the fine print! Almost all leading carpet brands require bi-annual professional carpet cleaning for the warranty to remain valid. The reason for this is simple: professional equipment does a much better job than vacuum cleaners or even rental equipment.
Professional carpet cleaners use steam to lift the stains from the carpet without damaging the fibers, and then powerful suction to extract the moisture. Rental machines leave your carpets wet, which can result in dirt being wicked from the bottom of the carpet back to the top. The result is a carpet that looked great right after it was cleaned turning gray as it dries!
If you’ve never had your carpets professionally cleaned you’re going to be in for a treat. Old carpets, even in high traffic areas, will shine like new once the years of built-up grime are stripped away.
Consider Using a Rug or Runner Over High Traffic Areas
Putting an area rug or a runner over a carpet seems a bit redundant right? Well, there is actually a lot of sense in placing a rug in high traffic areas. Rugs are easier to clean than carpets and replacing a rug is far cheaper than replacing your home’s entire carpet! Not only that, rugs can provide a splash of color, bringing visual interest to your room.
Not sold on using a rug? Try putting a doormat near entryways to catch excess dirt. Just be sure to knock out your mats on a regular basis otherwise they’ll eventually become their own source of indoor dirt!
Groom Your Pets Regularly
We love our four-legged companions, whether they bark or meow, but the pet hair they leave behind can be a real headache! You can buy vacuum cleaners with ‘fur-eliminating’ attachments, but the best solution is to try to minimize the problem at the source!
Regularly grooming your pets (outside of course) is a great way to limit the impact of heavy shedders. You’ll want to get a brush that matches your pet’s fur type – certain breeds have two coats and require a special brush. Furminator is a well-regarded brand that makes a variety of high-quality brushes, but there are numerous options on the market.
Avoid Walking On Wet Carpet Whenever Possible
If you use a rental carpet cleaner, your carpet will be wet after the carpet cleaning process is finished. Even if you use a professional steam cleaning service there will still be some moisture left behind. Regardless of why your carpet is wet, it is absolutely essential that you do not walk on wet carpets!
Wet carpets will pick up any dirt from your feet or shoes and show off these new acquisitions proudly to the world. Even worse, you can mat or damage the carpet fibers, leading to indentations or an unpleasant looking frizzy texture.
Always wait for carpets to fully dry before walking on them – otherwise you’re undoing all of the work you’ve already put in!
At the end of the day, there are no real tricks to having carpet cleaning. Everything on this list is fairly simple and is probably something you already knew about (except for the carpet rake – arguably this is a life hack!) and is easy to add to your regular carpet cleaning routine.
When you’re ready to have your carpets professionally cleaned, find a company with lots of good reviews. Getting the best results out of a steam cleaner requires training and experience, and when you work with a true professional the results are plain to see!
Why Should You Go With Whitehall Carpet Cleaners?
Whitehall cleaning professionals are some of the best in the business. Trained in a variety of specialty areas. (Including residential cleaning, commercial cleaning, and disaster restoration)
We’re certified by the IICRC, we have the knowledge and skills to address any of your problems. We aren’t just skilled: we are the experts on fabric and floor cleaning, as well as damage restoration and mold removal.
Choose The Whitehall Way
Doesn’t matter if you just need regular maintenance or emergency disaster relief in the middle of the night. We’ve got you covered.