If you love your carpets and rugs, start a ‘shoes off’ policy. Shoes bring in dirt, which can harbour an entire ecosystem of bacteria, mould, dust mites and insects in your soft flooring, says Jo Clark, marketing manager for Kärcher. “Over time, dirt can also damage carpet fibres through abrasion,” she says.
Vacuum at least once a week, especially in high-traffic areas, or if you have pets. “Vacuuming helps uplift and remove dirt, debris and bacteria from your carpet or rug, which in turn can maximise the longevity and maintain an allergen-free home,” explains Jo.
Selecting the right settings on your vacuum cleaner is important. These depend on the pile of the carpet or rug, but you should be able to vacuum freely and effectively without the carpet or rug lifting.
Does your vacuum cleaner barely lift a hair? Clean your filter and empty the vacuum bag. “This gives you maximum air flow and better suction when vacuuming. It also eliminates dust mites and bugs from breeding inside the vacuum cleaner bag and filter,” explains Jo.
Spilt coffee or red wine? Clean it up immediately to stop it penetrating the yarn. Blot with water to start – don’t rub, as this can cause damage. If you’re too late, try a speciality product such as No Vac Instant Spot and Stain Remover, which is formulated to work on old as well as new stains.
Deep cleaning carpets and rugs can help to get rid of stubborn dirt, stains, pet hair and potentially harmful mites. Clean once or twice a year, depending on your lifestyle. And if there are smokers in your house, deep clean more often – around every three months – to reduce smoke toxins, adds Jo.
Deal with chewing gum on carpets and rugs using the ice cube trick. Place an ice cube or ice pack on the gum. Once it has hardened, carefully peel it off the fibres.
No matter how well trained your pet is, accidents happen! Odour sets in fast when urine dries, and it stains. Try a mixture of white vinegar, water and baking soda to help remove it. Or try a specialist cleaner like No Vac Professional Fresh Pet Plus carpet cleaner, which tackles unpleasant pet smells, dries in minutes and needs no vacuuming.
We've got plenty of tips and guides on how get a deeper clean for your home, check out our D.I.Y. Advice.