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How to keep your carpet looking guest ready. The holiday season is approaching and you might be thinking that your carpet could use a good cleaning before guests arrive. There are a few things you can do every day to maintain your carpet’s appearance and when to hire a professional cleaner.

Daily Care

The best way to protect your carpet day to day is to remove your shoes when you get home. But don’t go barefoot; your feet have natural oils that rub off on the carpet. Those oils act like a dirt magnet, so it’s a good idea to always wear slippers or socks.

Carpet receives a lot of wear and tear from dirt, sand, dust, various spills, and foot traffic. Vacuuming all the carpet areas with a quality machine will go a long way towards prolonging the appearance and life of your carpet. Vacuuming is the best way to remove everyday dirt and dust. We recommend vacuuming once a week or twice a week if the carpet is in a high traffic area.

VACUUM TIPS: Check the vacuum bag regularly. A vacuum becomes less efficient if the debris bag is too full (over half full for most machines). Vacuum across in both directions of the traffic pattern to prevent matting. Vacuuming removes most dry soil, but street grime, oily soils, and air pollution can build up eventually and your carpeted area and may require cleaning. The accumulation of these particles can cause gradual dulling.

STAIN REMOVAL: If an area rug or carpet becomes spotted or stained, work quickly. When possible, scoop up solids and blot liquids immediately after a spill occurs. Absorb as much liquid as possible with a white cloth or paper towel without scrubbing the area to prevent matting or fuzzing.

Professional Cleaning

As far as deep-cleaning your carpets, of course you want to clean them if there are visible stains, but a professional cleaning is recommended one to four times a year, depending on how heavily trafficked the area is. A professional cleaning removes not only the dirt and stains you can see but also what you can’t see. Carpets are like indoor sponges, trapping all types of pollutants, including dust, mold, bacteria and mildew, which can be bad for your health.

When hiring a professional cleaner, choose a company that uses hot-water deep extraction — it’s the most effective way to clean your carpet. Professionals spray the carpet with a cleaning solution and then use high-powered machines that emit hot water at high pressure onto your carpet to loosen dirt. At the same time, a high-powered vacuum pulls the hot water out of the carpet, along with the dirt and soap. There is a huge power difference between professional ­carpet-cleaning machines and those you can rent at home and hardware stores: Professional machines have a pressure measurement of 250 to 1,200 pounds per square inch (PSI), as compared with the machines you can rent, which have a 35 to 70 PSI. A lack of powerful pressure could leave a soapy residue, which will then dry and attract dirt.

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