- Invest in Mats
One of the easiest ways to keep the outdoors out of your home is with doormats. Make sure you get them for both inside AND outside your door. Wiping your feet off twice, and encouraging guests and your family to do the same, will help remove excess dirt, salt or any loose snow from your shoes.
- Remove Shoes/Dry and Wipe Pets
Once inside, make it a habit to take off your shoes or boots before walking through your house. This will greatly reduce the amount of staining and wearing that your carpet must endure. And don’t forget about your pets! If they’ve been outdoors, dry them off with a towel at your door before you let them inside to run and roll around. Dirt and mud can get trapped in their fur and paws, so be extra vigilant with dogs.
You might also consider investing in some indoor slippers that you can offer to guests as you ask them to remove their shoes. A separate shoe mat to keep the wet shoes will be helpful, too. Or, if you have a separate entrance, like a garage or mud room, enter there to keep your shoes off the carpet all the way.
- Vacuum Frequently
Because we want to stay warm during these winter months, we tend to stay inside most of the time. Unfortunately, that means our carpet will deal with more winter gunk. To combat this, simply vacuuming more frequently will go a long way to preventing the winter dirt from traveling to each room of your house. How frequently you ask? At least once a week but depending on how dusty your house is, sometimes you may need to vacuum two times a week to stay on top of that dirt.
Also, the way you vacuum matters. You should go over each spot on your carpet 8 to 12 times depending on how much foot traffic the area gets, and you should also vacuum in all different directions to get the most dirt and debris out.
- Clean Outside for a Clean Inside
Keeping the outside of your home clean and tidy is also crucial to keeping your carpeting clean. Whether it’s freezing rain, snow or ice, make sure you shovel or sweep your porch, deck, steps, even your garage. This will clear away all dirt and debris to stop yourself, or even the wind, from tracking it all inside.
- Spot Clean Immediately
It’s inevitable that a stain will come up, no matter how hard you work to keep your carpet pristine. The key to keeping your carpet nice and clean is to deal with any spills or stains immediately. The longer the spill sits on the carpet, the more likely it is to set into the carpet and leave a stain. So, be aware of any stains and clean them up as soon as they happen.
- Prepare for Stains
When that inevitable stain does appear, you’ll want to have a go-to kit of cleaning supplies. But what supplies should be in the kit? Well, some brushes and cleaning cloths on hand to dab or scrub any stain are good to start with. You’ll also want some stain removers or other carpet cleaning solutions. Be sure to test any cleaner before you use it on your carpet as it may have some undesired effects. A go-to kit will help you tackle those stains as soon as they are made, preventing them from settling and becoming rooted in your carpets.
- Runners and Rug
By placing mats or rugs at the entries to the house, a lot of filth can be caught before it has a chance to get into the home. If shoe removal isn’t practical or desirable at your place, at least try to catch the worst of it at the door. Then, lay down runners along the high traffic lanes from the entrances. Runners not only protect the carpet from snow-bearing shoes, but they’ll also keep the beaten paths in better condition for the rest of the year. When they get dirty, vacuum them then throw them in the washer to clean.
- Professionally Clean
These carpet cleaning tips will prevent any major, long-lasting damage to your carpets through the winter. But for the best results, there’s no comparison to a professional deep clean. Even the best DIY cleaning, dust and dirt will still accumulate within your carpet, which is why professional carpet cleaning is recommended and you can consult with the manufacturer of your carpet for guidelines on cleaning schedules. It’s the perfect way to prepare for home festive visitors—or freshen up for the new year once they’ve left.