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Everyday Cheapskate: How to Clean and Restore Carpet Even If It's Old, Stained and Disgusting

Mary Hunt on

If you hate your carpet because it's old, stained and bordering on disgusting, I have great news. There are steps you can take that will have you falling in love with it all over again.

Years ago, when we remodeled our home, we replaced some of the carpets with hardwood. What a revelation. I could finally see the dirt and dust and, honestly, I couldn't believe what accumulated in such a short time on those wood floors. Of course, I never saw it on the carpet, but I know it was there all along. What a wake-up call it was to see the old carpet removed, rolled up and hauled away.

Here's what we need to know and never forget: Regardless of the color, brand or style -- carpet hides dirt. This is not a good thing.

VACUUM REGULARLY

As often as you sweep, mop and/or dust your hard surface floor, that's how often you should be vacuuming the carpet. Just because you can't see the dirt, dust, debris, footprints, crumbs and hair doesn't mean they're not there! Allowing any of that to burrow down into the carpet pile is going to turn your carpet into a disgusting situation.

TREAT SPOTS IMMEDIATELY

 

Sugary liquids, sticky food, grease, mud, pet urine and excrement: These are the bane of beautiful carpet. If you don't want to hate your carpet, you'll pick up and remove spills and then deep-clean the area as soon as possible after they occur.

Allowed to remain for any period of time, spots become stains, and stains will be difficult, if not impossible, to remove. I rely on and highly recommend CarpetAid+, which is available online and from some stores such as Home Depot and Lowe's. It is fabulous!

WASH FREQUENTLY

At least once every three months, wash (shampoo, steam clean) your carpet. Investing in your own carpet-cleaning machine would be a wise choice. The machine will pay for itself the first time you use it instead of calling in the pros.

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