Carpet needs to be vacuumed on a routine basis. Vacuuming removes loose dirt, dust and debris that can get into the carpet fibers and cause a permanent stain. The Carpet and Rug Institute recommends that you vacuum highly-trafficked areas once a day. Areas that receive average traffic should be vacuumed twice a week, and areas with little traffic only need to be vacuumed once a week.
Spills on the carpet need to be cleaned as soon as you notice them to prevent stains from forming. When a stain does form, it can be difficult or impossible to remove. As soon as you notice the spot, blot the area -- starting from the outside and moving inward -- with a white towel. Do not rub at the spot, as this can damage the carpet fibers. Difficult or set-in spots may need the help of a carpet spot treatment.
The Carpet and Rug Institute recommends that carpet be professionally cleaned once every 12 to 18 months. Before you choose a carpet-cleaning company, ensure that it is certified in your area. Also, have the carpet-cleaning company provide you with a personalized estimate, as carpet cleaning needs can vary from home to home. Once you have chosen a company, the carpet-cleaning professional will either steam clean or dry-clean your carpet. Both options are safe for carpets and will help extend their life by removing stains and dirt that are deeply embedded in the carpet fibers.
Do It Yourself
You can do your own deep cleaning between professional carpet-cleaning visits. Most people find that using a carpet shampooer is the easiest way to achieve this task. Buy your own carpet shampooer or rent one from a home-improvement store. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid damaging your carpet.
Pets can damage your carpet. Pets tend to carry in dirt and debris from the outdoors on to the carpet. Pets may also have the occasional accident, leaving urine stains on your carpet. If you have a pet, vacuum any areas the animal frequents at least once a week. If your pet has an accident on the carpet, clean the stain immediately by blotting it with a towel until it is almost dry and then using a spot treatment with enzymes to remove the lingering smell.