• spots

    1. Walk on your carpet barefoot.

    We all know that walking on the carpet with shoes is not the best idea. However, feet aren’t the prettiest, non-smelling, clean things on the planet either. Shoes harbor bacteria and feed it when it comes in contact with sweat from feet. In addition to sweat, feet produce oils. When the oil is deposited on fabrics, it permeates the fiber and attracts dirt like a magnet. Foot creams, and lotions increase the amount of oil deposited on carpet. Avoid lotions, and foot creams unless you intend to wear house slippers. Socks will allow the transfer of oils through to the carpet so it is best to abstain from walking on your carpet barefoot or with socks. Doing so is sure to damage the carpet fibers.

     2. Use a home steam cleaner once a month.

    I know you love the convenience of your steam cleaner, and why wouldn’t you? It is saving you money right?  Not if you are cleaning your carpets once a month. First, manufacturers recommend you clean your carpet once every one to two years. At most, your carpets should be cleaned twice a year when you have really heavy traffic or pets. Cleaning monthly will eventually ruin your carpet. If you need to clean your carpets monthly there are a few things to be aware of:

    • If it starts to look dirty every month, the products being used are attracting dirt back to the carpet.
    • Each time the carpet and pad get wet for long periods of time, they start to break down and give an opportunity for mold spores to take hold. Mold spores cause darkening and are a dangerous health concern.
    • You may start to see wrinkles. A carpet that is cleaned too often is sure to wrinkle. Besides being unsightly it’s also a safety hazard.

    3. Ignore those spots, or use grocery store spot removers.

    We ladies love our clothes. If we spill something on our favorite blouse we have spot remover on it faster than you can shake a stick at it. I love those little stain stick pens you can keep in your purse. Consequently, the most expensive fabric in our homes is the one on our floor. So, of course, it makes sense to spot clean. Just be careful what you use.

    Grocery store spot cleaners are low quality, made with petroleum, and come with a warning to test for colorfastness.  While they are cheaper than hiring a carpet cleaner, they can void a carpet’s warranty. These products are also great at making spots a permanent oily magnet, setting stains, or bleaching them out.

    Instead, use white vinegar and water. It’s cheap, easily accessible,  biodegradable, safe for your family, doesn’t leave a residue, and won’t set stains. Check out our emergency spot tips page for specific information on how to use vinegar to clean spots, as well as other helpful tips for removing everything from nail polish to paint.

    4. Avoid vacuuming.

    Dirt has half the cutting power of glass. So when you walk on carpet it cuts the fibers, causing them to fray. Fraying causing permanent darkening especially in the main traffic areas of your home. The more dirt you get out of your carpet the longer it will last.  In addition, using a carpet rake will loosen 90% of the soil before you vacuum, picks up pet hair, and extends the life of your vacuum as well.

    5. Ignore the pet messes.

    Every pet occasionally has an accident on the carpet. Maybe they are potty training, or they just get sick.  I’m guilty of accidentally locking my pet in a room on occasion. Her urine contains acid and ammonia. If I ignore it I will have a brand new, awesome, perfume in my room, and a discolored spot that will become a permanent stain.  Unfortunately, this can also cause health and breathing problems if left unchecked.

    Sometimes people just don’t know how to remove the odor, and since they don’t have success or the money for a professional cleaning at the time of the incident they give up. Don’t give up! Treat the spots with a 1 to 1 mixture of white distilled vinegar and water to remove the spot, then use Mister Max’s Anti-Icky-Poo for the odor (link for purchase below). We have a details blog on how to do this. Click here for more information on how to remove urine smells.

     6. Never, replace the protective coating that comes on your carpet when it’s new.

    When a carpet is new it comes with a protective coating that resists stains, and prevents dirt from cutting the fibers of the carpet (remember from above?) This stain guard coating wears off over time, and if you ever clean your carpet it will come off the rest of the way. Manufacturers recommend that you reapply the protection when you clean your carpet.

    Avoiding the protective coating ensures that you get permanent darkening in your walk areas even when you clean them regularly. Even a cheap carpet can last 10 years if taken care of properly. Avoiding the protective coating will easily shave five years off the life of your rug. Click here for more information on how protective coatings work.

    Here are the links where you can find both the Anti-icky-poo and other recommended products on Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.


    Nice to read. So useful and informative tips. Many thanks for sharing them all.


    I have a winter question. My landlord continues to add sand to the rock salt because she is too cheap. This sand tracks i. The house onto the carpet everyday. Does the continued addition of sand particles break down carpet fibers like i believe it does?


    Hi Jeremy, Yes sand will break down the carpet. Glass is made from sand so the cutting power is even more so, that dust, and dirt.


    I would love to hear your opinion without sarcasm.


    Hi Adri, Thank you so much for your feedback! We have several more serious posts on carpet care that you may find more to your liking. Check out 6 Cleaning Mistakes People Make, 4 signs your carpet might need replacing, and 4 Cleaning Products to Never Use on Carpet. Have a wonderful day. And thanks again for taking the time to leave us a note!


    Ha ha ha.... it seems funny to have tips to destroy the carpet but personally I thought that this post actually want to convey that when one should give attention to the hygiene of the carpet.

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