- Keep your carpet clean. Sand and dirt act little razor blades that cut carpet fibers. Damaged carpet stains more easily, and it’s harder to remove the stains from it as well. Vacuum often to remove dirt, and your carpet will last longer.
- Use rugs. Put rugs outside and inside the front door, and any other entrances. They can catch much of the dirt that people bring in on their feet. That means less vacuuming and longer carpet life.
- Remove shoes. This is a sure way to make carpet last longer. If you have a nice home with nice carpet, people usually aren’t offended by this policy.
- Clean stains quickly and properly. If using a cleaning solvent other than water, apply it to a cloth first, and work it in from the outside of the stain to the center, so you don’t spread the spot. Apply the cleaner, extract (blot), rinse, extract, and repeat until you can’t get more of the stain out. Extract solvents completely, and dry the carpet quickly when you’re done. If there is any stain remaining deeper down in the carpet, quick drying prevents it from wicking up to the surface.
- A shop-vac. is a great help when cleaning stains. You can’t just suck out the stain, but you can repeatedly wash and rinse the area, and suck the solution out each time. It’s more effective than blotting up the water with cloth, mostly because you won’t have the patience to wash, rinse and extract enough times if you’re using paper towels or cloth.
- Vacuum before cleaning. If you use a portable machine, at least get the water as hot as you can, and dry the carpet quickly, using fans to move the air around. You won’t match the results of a good truck-mount hot water extraction unit. However, if you want to save money, doing your own cleaning can lengthen the time between expensive professional cleanings.