5 Tips To Help Keep Your Rugs Clean Around The Clock

Rugs and carpets add a certain charm, as well as a cozy feeling to your home. They provide warmth to a room and are useful for cold climatic regions where it is too cold to walk on the floor. However, they get dirty very quickly, due to people wearing their shoes in the house, spilling drinks, dropping food, and much more. A clean rug is important for the appearance of your home and the health of the people who live there. In order to keep your floor covering looking the best, you have to take care of it — it's common sense. The experts at Zerorez of Atlanta say it's best to have them cleaned by a local company that offers professional carpet cleaning — one that has the knowledge and equipment to do the job right. This will ensure that your carpet or rug lasts long and looks great.

Not to mention, rugs are often one of the biggest investments in your home. At an average cost of $4.50 per square foot, rug replacement is an expense that any normal person wants to avoid for as long as possible. If you have to replace your rug and you're unsure of what kind of rug to get, check out our 15 tips for choosing your living room rug. When you keep your rug clean and free from dirt, grime, stains, and dust, it ends up looking new for longer and having an increased lifespan. Lucky for you, we're here to tell you exactly how to make that possible.

Stop dirt at the front door

By far, the easiest way to keep your rugs cleaner for longer is by keeping dirt and grime from getting on them in the first place. Prevention is better than the cure, they say. Don't hesitate to utilize door mats, insists Ultimate Mats. Place one outside the door and another inside, as both will work together to reduce the amount of dirt that gets into your house. Remind family and friends to wipe their shoes before entering your home. Alternatively, you can ban shoes completely. It's your house, what are they going to do? Not come in?

A simple web search will reveal all the nasty stuff that shoes track into your home and onto your carpet: from bacteria to chemicals, to dirt and even fecal matter. Gross. Your rug, says Plush Rugs, whether you like it or not, acts like a magnet, collecting everything you bring in and transferring it all over your floor. Let's not forget the wear and tear that shoes cause to your rug and floors as well. Shoes can literally grind in the dirt, damaging the rug fibers and resulting in matting. Don't be afraid to put a sign up for guests to remind them "no shoes allowed."

Vacuum often

This is a pretty obvious one, but make sure to vacuum your rugs once a week at the very least in order to pick up any dirt, dust, and debris. Direct Carpet claims twice a week is enough, as any more than that can end up doing more harm than good. You can increase the frequency in high-traffic or pet areas, though. And don't forget to check your vacuum bag often. If the bag is too full, the vacuum loses suction. Vacuuming has a huge impact on the overall cleanliness of your home, the air you breathe, and the life of your prized rugs.

For bonus points, a little vacuuming tip we are open to sharing with you is to sprinkle baking soda on the floor before you vacuum. Baking soda can help absorb odors, which will mean your rug not only looks good but smells clean as well. Ensure you leave the baking soda for at least an hour before vacuuming. Rugs Direct recommends leaving it for a full day, but you may not always have that kind of time. Meanwhile, sprinkle one spoon of a fragrant herb such as lavender or cinnamon on the rug as well. Then, vacuum up the baking soda and whichever herb you used. The unpleasant carpet odors should be gone and the herb's fragrance will set in.

Prevent stains and deal with them quickly

Purchase runners instead of rugs. These are made of hardwearing 100% wool, ply yarn, and are resistant to most spills, claims the experts at Art of Flooring. You don't have to put runners everywhere –– only in areas where spills are likely. For example, you can place a rug under the dining room table. If you have young children, their usual play area would benefit from a runner. That way, there are fewer trips and spills.

Make sure to keep common sources of stains away from your rug, if not, you'll be reading our tips for perfect rug placement in no time and getting debited for a new rug. You don't want to bring items like wine, food, or other beverages near the rug. Eat and drink over tiled or wood floors in your home — and if you have a dining table, just use it. It's not a piece of decor unless it is. The simplest and most effective way to deal with stains is to prevent them from ever happening. The longer a stain sets in, the more difficult it is to remove. Always blot the stain, never rub! Use a white paper towel or cloth. If you use a cloth with color, you risk transferring dye and creating a much bigger problem.

Protect from pets

The experts at Love Your Rug say that a combination of carpeting and furry pets is a disaster waiting to happen. The reasons are not too far-fetched. When you own pets and have a rug or five in your home, it can be hard to keep the rugs looking clean all of the time. Cats are generally cleaner than dogs since most of them are indoor animals, and they're very picky about their hygiene. They do still shed and spread pet dander, so vacuuming twice per week is not optional. Regardless of which pet you have, it's never easy getting the smell out of your carpet. It's also ideal to have a carpet with a medium tone that has a few colors woven in to help hide dirt from showing.

Ensure you train your pet and use repellents. You can use either commercial repellents or you can use white vinegar, lemon juice, and rubbing alcohol as repellent agents. These act effectively to keep your pets away from the rug most of the time. It's worth noting that pet urine has an unpleasant smell and in the long run, the odor of urine will be the worst and most difficult to deal with. So, train your pet to urinate outdoors or get an animal potty. One of the most important first steps when you adopt a puppy is house training, aka potty training, says Pet MD, and you'll have your work cut out for you.

Change or clean your air filters

The more dust and particles your air filter removes, the fewer will fall on your carpet (and tables, chairs, and bed ... you get the gist). Did you know that a dirty air filter causes your HVAC system to work extra hard and use more energy? That's neither good for your furnace nor your wallet. It's therefore recommended you change your air filters every 90 days. And if you have a dog or cat in the home, says Day & Night Air, then change your filters every 60 days.

Fun fact: Rugs act as a filter by trapping air pollutants like pollen, fungi, chemicals, bacteria, cigarette smoke, and much more. As evidence, the appearance of black lines on a light-colored carpet around baseboards, under doors, and around cool air returns shows the effect of this "filtration soiling" –– essentially dirt that did not get vacuumed up. Because rugs act like a filter, they require constant cleaning or you and those in your household stand the risk of some serious health issues. You might not even be aware of just how much your rug contributes to the well-being of your family. A dirty rug can trigger asthma, eczema, and rhinitis attacks, claims Hernandez Carpeting. And not to scare you, but that's if you're lucky.