Once a year
We've all had this experience: You move a piece of furniture, only to find a pristine patch of carpet that stands in stark contrast to the rest of the dingy floor covering. That's when it's time for a deep cleaning.
1. Avoid spray-on rug shampoos, which can leave a residue on carpets that attracts dirt and soil, undoing the cleaning process. Instead, opt for a hot-water extraction method (often called steam cleaning), which suctions up dirt with a hot water-based solution.
2. Whether you hire a pro, rent a machine or buy your own unit, this is the most effective way to clean and freshen your carpets. Vacuum to remove surface dirt.
3. Then switch to the carpet steamer. Instead of adding carpet-cleaning detergent to the water in the machine, fill a spray bottle with the solution and spritz directly onto the rug.
4. Lastly, run the cleaner over the carpet using clear water only in the extractor. This limits the dirt-attracting residue often left behind when detergent runs through the machine.
Act fast when there's a rug spill: Absorb liquid with dry paper towels. Drench a clean rag in cold water and place it over the spill. Dry with more paper towels.