Carpets don’t come cheap and having them fitted can be an upheaval too. Literally – because all your furniture has to be moved to get full access to the floor. As the majority of homeowners will also opt for neutral colours and styles, precisely because of the hardship of replacing carpets, a change of carpet often isn’t the most exciting change either. We tend to prefer going bold or adding patterns on the walls or with our furniture so that if we fancy a change of style in a few years then it is simpler to do, without the need to change the carpet.
Every five-to-fifteen years seems to be the recommended lifespan of a carpet, which is quite a difference. Part of this may be down to the quality of the carpet we initially selected. However, it may also have a fair amount to do with how much care we take of our carpet.
Naturally, it is far easier for some to keep their carpet looking new than others. Farmers with four dogs and a cat may, for instance, struggle more than a businessperson who spends 9 hours a day out of the house.
However, whether you are muddy boots or a high heels wearer, there will be a variety of ways you can increase the lifespan of your floors and keep your carpet looking new.
Here are a few tips from Hous Maids professional home cleaners:
How I wish we all had Boot Rooms, as they did in the days of Downton Abbey. A whole room in which to transition from outdoor to indoors. To take off outside shoes and coats and change into clean, inside clothing. Unfortunately, most of us are lucky if we have a porch. Still, it’s nonetheless wise to stop dirt, mud and debris from coming into your house right at the door.
Doormats, both inside and out are essential for protecting your carpet. A good doormat should grab most outside dirt if guests and residents give their shoes a good shuffle on the entrance mat. If you’re a city dweller then a simple doormat should do. However, those living in more rural settings should consider a rubber mat outside the door and a coir mat inside. Rubber provides a firm non-slip material for rubbing off the worst of the debris and coir is highly durable and can get into those smaller ridges on the bottom of our boots and trainers.
Of course, mats in entranceways will get rid of excess dirt but, depending on where you live and what you’ve been doing, it may not actually clean your shoes enough to protect your carpets. The truth is, if you want to extend the life of your carpets then you’ll probably have to impose a ‘no shoes in the house,’ rule. Since most of us aren’t blessed with a Boot Room, a rack, boot stand or bench will have to suffice. Though you may want to impose a two-pairs per person policy as these shoe racks get busy very quickly.
You may consider making exceptions for guests, who may not feel as relaxed barefooted in your home as you will. For family members though, it’s not only better for your carpet to have fewer outdoors shoes walking on it, but socks, slippers or even bare feet are so much more comfortable indoors anyway. Especially if you have a nice carpet. Furthermore, it’s not only the colour of the carpet you’re preserving but also the plush, because shoes on the carpet are far more hard-wearing.
Keeping Carpets Clean
Keeping carpets clean involves all the obvious things – hoovering regularly, dealing with stains immediately and the occasional professional carpet cleaning. It can help to think of your carpet as a winter coat. It cannot be professionally cleaned too often so we brush it regularly to get rid of any surface dirt, just as we vacuum the carpets. We deal with the dirt that sits on top of the fabric and once every year or so, we need to invest in dry cleaning or, in the case of our carpets, proper carpet cleaning. When something spills, get water and possibly stain remover onto it as soon as you can. All of this regular caretaking will help keep our carpet looking new for as long as possible.
Once a year though, perhaps less, it will be necessary to get your carpet cleaned professionally so that you’re getting to all those lower fibres where dirt and dust are pushed down and trapped. You can hire a professional cleaning company near you to take care of this, or you can hire a carpet cleaning machine and tackle it yourself. RugDoctor hires carpet cleaners for 48 hours from £29.99.
It has to be said, there is something immensely satisfying about a newly cleaned carpet and it’s amazing how much difference it makes. Apart from looking brighter and cleaner, any trace of odour trapped in the fibres of the carpet will also be eliminated so your home will probably feel really fresh too.
Patterned Carpets and Big Rugs
Now that we’ve covered how to take care of your carpets, how about choosing carpets that are easiest to take care of in the first place?
Firstly, you’ll be faced with deciding whether comfort and aesthetics outrank low-maintenance. Generally, low-pile short-haired carpets will be easier to keep clean because dust and dirt don’t have a deeper layer to get into and it’s less work for your vacuum cleaner too. However, though high-pile and shag carpets are natural gatherers of dirt and odour, they are ever so snuggly and will provide warmth and insulation.
Your lifestyle will probably have a lot to do with your decision. f you’re an outdoorsy family, have pets and have a busy lifestyle then a thicker carpet may be more hassle than it’s worth. If you’re a houseproud type who loves nothing more than cleaning all Saturday to prepare to host a dinner party, then by all means go for the stylish luxury high-pile.
According to Home & Garden, in 2022 we are seeing a trend in patterned carpets which is great news for the lifespan of your flooring. You’ll generally see patterned carpets in bars, restaurants, nurseries, schools and other places where spillages are frequent. Stains are far easier to hide within busy patterns but, as a result of being used in hospitality and children’s environments, the patterned carpet got a bit of a reputation as tacky and old-fashioned. Not any more though. Home & Garden are seeing ‘bright and bold contrasting colours to fiery red tones, geometrics and intricate patterns.’
Of course, patterned carpets do restrict what else you can do in the room because you’ll probably want plain walls and furniture (unless you’re a super brave interior design extraordinaire). So, what about large rugs? Rugs that cover significant floor space can help keep your carpet looking new. Just so long as you are able, and remember, to still clean underneath them. Large rugs will need caring for in the same way as a carpet but they can be taken outside for a good bashing to get that deep dust thrust out of the fibres. They are also, of course, cheaper to replace, should the time come.
The fact is that our carpets take more wearing than anything else in the home and they need taking care of. Regular hoovering is the best action you can take but the occasional professional clean will also be needed to keep your carpet looking new.