For now, though, we'll get to the basics:
- Carpets need to be vacuumed once a week and more often in areas of heavy traffic. Frequent vacuuming prolongs the life of your carpet by preventing a buildup of gritty particles that can cut carpet fibers. Every few weeks, take a little extra time and use your crevice tool for cleaning around baseboards and radiators and in other hard-to-reach places.
- To vacuum wall-to-wall carpeting, divide the floor into quadrants and vacuum an entire quadrant before moving on to the next.
- Take your time when you vacuum a carpet, especially a plush carpet in which dirt is sure to be deeply embedded. One pass with a high-powered upright is not enough. Go over each section of carpeting several times, and work slowly to allow the suction to remove all the ground-in dust and dirt.
- Pay special attention to the areas where people sit and move their feet. Vacuum these areas of heavy traffic with a crisscross pattern of overlapping strokes.
- Soil retardants can be applied to new carpets or to newly cleaned carpets. Follow manufacturers' advice. Apply soil retardants only with professional equipment using the recommended application techniques.
- Add baking soda to the bag in your vacuum to fight odors.