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Carpet Care Tips

Carpet Care Tips By Sarah Clark
HIPhome Columnist
December 31, 1969

Stains and discoloration are the greatest threats to the appearance of your carpet. Keep your carpet looking new with these care tips provided by the National Association of Home Builders and the Carpet and Rug Institute.

Dealing with Discoloration

Discoloration can wreak havoc on a carpet over time. It occurs when particulate matter accumulates, effectively darkening areas around the perimeter of a carpet. The particles are generated by cigarette smoke, exhaust fumes, burning candles, furnaces, and fire places. They can also come from activities that produce a lot of dust, such as wood working.

You can help slow the discoloration process by vacuuming regularly, especially in the crevices between the wall and carpet's edge. And of course, cutting down on activities that produce particulate matter can also greatly slow the discoloration process. It merits mentioning as well that those with light colored carpet are most vulnerable to discoloration for obvious reasons--a dark beige carpet will not show discoloration as much as a white carpet.

The National Association of Home Builders also recommends using a professional carpet cleaner, one that uses a dry enzyme-based powder, to remove discoloration.

Removing Stains

The Carpet and Rug Institute offers a long list of remedies for common carpet stains. Small burns are easy to remove--just take a sharp pair of scissors and carefully clip away any charred areas. If the burn is large, you may need to replace the damaged section of carpet. Use a non-acetate fingernail polish remover to remove fingernail polish. The Institute also recommends using rubbing alcohol to remove ink stains.

Treating Stains with Care

The most important tip to remember when removing stains is to blot the carpet; do not rub or scrub it. Doing so will only spread the stain further into the carpet. Always use a white cloth or paper towel and gently blot the stain from the outside in to prevent it from spreading.

Many carpets today are stain resistant, meaning that to remove a stain you need only to act fast, quickly blotting the affected area with a damp white cloth.

Carpet care can become an ongoing chore, especially if you live in an urban area or with children and pets. These tips will help you keep yours looking new for years to come.


About the Author
Sarah Clark is a freelance writer based in Arlington, Virginia.

*Before you apply any of the advice described on the Hip-home.com website, you should consider if the advice is safe and suitable for your individual home situation and consult experts as necessary to evaluate the suitability for your circumstances.
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