Should you clean carpets yourself or hire a cleaner to help you out? If your carpets are lightly soiled and not too stained, you can make carpet cleaning a do-it-yourself project and get great results. Deeply soiled carpets, however, often turn out better when professionally cleaned.
When to hire a professional
It might sound backwards to you, but spending the money for professional rug cleaning can save you money. Here's how: Dirt that stays deep in your carpet fibers, any dirt, acts as an abrasive with minute bits of sand and grit cutting into carpet fibers. This chips away your flooring investment. That even applies to dirt you can't see after cleaning carpets yourself. That's why most manufacturers recommend having carpets cleaned between every 12 or 18 months.
If you're wondering if there's anything you can do to keep your carpet looking great between professional cleanings, you're in luck. Some of the best carpet maintenance tricks are probably things you're already doing.
- Vacuum often. Frequent vacuuming lifts the vast majority of loose dirt and grit out of carpet fibers. Very few, if any, sweepers can get it all. That's why it can cost you in the long run when you skip regular carpet cleaning sessions.
- Clean up spills right away. Once stains set in, especially if they're in a high-foot-traffic area on your carpet, it can take some pretty tough cleaners and a lot of abrasive scrubbing to get rid of the stains. Sometimes you can't get rid of them at all.
- Put out floor mats or throw rugs in entryways and high-traffic areas. Shoes can track a lot of dirt into your home, and that dirt quickly settles into carpet fibers. Carefully positioned floor mats are perfect for wiping some of that dirt off shoes and keeping it out of your carpet.