Five Cleaning Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Carpet
Image: Sebra / Adobestock
When it comes to floor coverings, carpeting is a popular choice for many reasons: it's comfortable to walk on, helps insulate a room, and can be cost-effective. But it's also much easier to damage than stone or hardwood materials—and harder to clean. Here are the biggest cleaning mistakes to avoid if you want to keep your carpets in great condition:
Letting Spills Dry
Many household substances are mildly corrosive and can cause permanent damage to your carpet by bleaching out color or leaving frayed-looking spots. It's important to deal with spills as quickly as possible—even minor ones. The longer a spill is left to fester, the deeper it penetrates carpet fibers, making it harder to remove without using harsh chemicals.
Dealing with a spill or stain by scrubbing the damp area will damage your carpet. The scrubbed area will show up clearly as worn patches once the carpet has dried. Treat soiled areas by gently blotting out the dirt with a cloth dampened by warm water or a mild detergent mixture.
Inexpert Use of Chemicals
Sometimes it's necessary to use a spot remover for heavy stains, but always follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. If you're not sure how much of a cleaning fluid to use or how much to dilute it by, don't just guess; you could easily cause permanent damage. If in doubt, test the solution on a hidden corner of the carpet first.
While a small amount of liquid can help shift stubborn stains or soiling, take care not to get your carpets too wet. This can risk shrinkage or other distortions, and the textile fibers may not dry quickly enough to prevent mold from setting in, causing discoloration and musty smells.
Cleaning Too Often
A full shampoo or deep clean can help bring a carpet back to life and leave it looking as good as new, but it's best not to do this too often. It should be a special treat, not a regular routine, or you risk wearing out the carpet more quickly. A professional clean once or twice a year is ideal, so long as you vacuum weekly and attend immediately to any spillages.