How to Have Long Lasting Clean Carpets for Free

Powerful Vacuum--Dyson DC65 Animal Complete

This vacuum really cleans. The Dyson DC65 Animal Complete

If you want really clean carpets that stay that way and last twice as long, maintain a top notch vacuum and follow these tips.

Most people buy the wrong style of vacuum and buy poor quality vacuums and then vacuum all wrong. They wonder why their carpet gets dirty so fast, won’t clean up and eventually they wonder why it wears out in ten years instead of twenty or thirty. Today’s good carpets can look great for twenty years, easily.

Always use an upright vacuum on carpet. They are the most powerful and most efficient. Canister vacuums are multi-use tools and make sacrifices when it comes to carpeting. Don’t be a miser, get the most powerful monster beast of a vacuum made. That changes all the time. As of the writing of this article, the Dyson Animal Complete is an example of a top vacuum. However, you should know that a couple of brands of carpet have started voiding the warranties of their carpets if you use a strong Dyson, because they say it is so powerful that it could break the backing down prematurely. I think that is highly unlikely, and more to the point, shame on those manufacturers for replacing so much latex in their backing with sand as to allow a vacuum to break it down. Vacuums don’t destroy carpets, the heavy sand and grit that weak vacuums can’t suck up destroys the carpet much faster than the vacuum by cutting your precious carpet fibers and backing to shreds. If a carpet mill says not to use a good vacuum, then they’re telling you that their own product is sub par and you shouldn’t buy it. Stay away from carpets made by manufacturers who void the warranty if you use a Dyson or any other vacuum or carpet cleaning method.

Before starting the vacuum, make sure the pile height is set correctly.

Pick up things and area rugs off of the carpet before you start.

When vacuuming the carpets, go slowly, so the air has time to really pull out the sand that the beater brush breaks loose. When you go just the right speed, you’ll feel the vacuuming pulling down on the carpet and it will be a little harder to move.

Overlapping your strokes is important because the vacuum tends to be weaker the farther you get from the center of the beater brush.

On trafficked areas, or where feet set, vacuum and then turn ninety-degrees and vacuum again.

Vacuum twice per week, but it could need more if you have more than a couple of kids or if you have pets.

Vacuum around the edges with the crevice tool every couple of weeks. Filtration soiling is a special kind of soiling that occurs around the heat registers and edges of the carpet and once it takes hold it can be impossible for the world’s best professional cleaner, me, to remove. If you don’t vacuum frequently enough with a powerful vacuum and a crevice tool, you will end up with ugly black lines outlining your carpet. In some areas, particularly with lots of dry winds, filtration soiling is inevitable, but can be staved off by frequent edging with the vacuum.

Make sure your bag or canister is half empty or less, to avoid too much power loss. Make certain your HEPA filters are clean. Replace your beater brush yearly and belts every six months or as needed.

Watch out for clogs. Learn how your vacuum sounds and feels at peak performance and pay attention to that sound as you clean. If you get a clog, even a partial clog, you will know the difference. You can also tell the difference if the belts are worn, sloppy loose or the brush is worn.

Area rugs are a special concern. They get more grit and it’s harder to get out and that grit ends up going through them into the carpet. It’s best to vacuum both sides of an area rug on a hard floor. After you vacuum the top and turn it over and vacuum the bottom, you can usually pick up the corner of the rug and you can wipe your finger across the floor under it and you’ll feel the fine, sandy grit that fell out of the rug, even after you vacuumed it. That grit is what is destroying your expensive carpet. Keep turning it over and vacuuming it until no more sand falls out. It will look like you just had the rug professionally cleaned.

Speaking of area rugs, keep walk-off mats at each entrance to the carpet and the house. These mats will keep your house much cleaner. Choose a nice plush nylon mat with a latex backing that is flexible and can be thrown in the washer once every week or two. The difference in the amount of dirt in your house will be amazing. Keep these rugs inside the door.

Outside the door, use a second rug with stiff bristles for brushing off the dirt you pick up outside. It may not be the most stylish, but astroturf mats are still the best for this purpose. The flat mats, sculpted mats, woven grass mats and such that are popular today just don’t work and in fact can make more dirt and debris than they pick up. The only problem with astroturf type mats is that the bristles eventually mat down and will never stand up again. When that happens, replace them, which may be every year or two.

Between the outside mat and the inside mat, your household dirt and wear will be cut down down enormously and you’ll notice it in the form of less work for you and a nicer, cleaner home all the time.

One final tip. Wearing shoes on carpets is hard on them and tends to wear them out and soil them with permanent stains in the traffic ways. Shoes pick up powerful oils and tar from the outside, which form a permanent bond with the carpet. Carpets love oils and they grab it and hold onto it and it eventually becomes oxidized to the carpet and is impossible to remove, making permanent dark grey or brownish traffic lanes that the world’s best carpet cleaner cannot remove.

I’m not going to tell you that you can’t wear shoes in your own house, but I will say that your carpet will last longer and look far better down the road if you don’t.

In fact, your carpet will bond with oils from your skin too, if you walk on the carpet barefooted. Even if you eat fried foods or foods cooked with oil and cooked hot, oils and fats will become airborne and form a permanent bond with the carpet. It’s easy to tell when we walk in a home if the family frys a lot or walks barefoot on the carpet, and though the carpet will look a lot better once we clean it, it will look a lot worse than it could have.

The best thing you can do is avoid frying so hotly that fat gets airborne and wear clean white cotton socks on the carpet to protect it from the ols on your skin and from soaps.

There’s a remarkable quality about cotton–when you walk with it, it becomes slightly static and while your carpet repels dirt, the cotton socks attract and bond with dirt. Then you throw them in the washer and they come out all white again. So if you wear clean cotton socks on your carpet, the socks will actually clean the house and carpet while you walk around.

Sometimes, however, intensely dyed socks or slippers can rub off dye onto the carpet and cause permanently discolored pathways in the house. It’s rare, but it happens. This is why I feel white cotton socks are the best thing to wear indoors.

Try these tips. I know you will find they save you time, effort and money, make your carpet last longer, look better consistently and for the most part they are free.