As summer ends and the new school year begins, an empty house or apartment can seem like a dream until you notice all the filthy reminders the warmer seasons left behind. Dirty shoes, sticky fingers, excited pets, and congested gatherings can leave behind more than a few scuffs and messes. Counters, walls, and other surfaces can quickly be wiped down, polished, and disinfected so no proof remains. Bedding, clothes, shoes, and even pet items can be washed and sterilized. But your carpet still tells the story, and it’s quite the gossip girl. Ground dirt, pet accidents, beverage spills, and food crumbs can leave behind more than a bit of dirt and debris… potentially harmful pathogens and serious stains can form as well. Fortunately, there are some simple but effective ways of caring for your carpet and helping it regain its beauty through the fall season.

Soak Up Spills As They Occur
Life’s messy and spills happen. The trick to keeping the mess from taking over is to clean it up as soon as it’s noticed. That’s not always possible, or worse, the stains are treated improperly. So messes get ground into the carpet, colors spread, and the only viable recourse seems to be hiding the impossible stain under a rug or heavy piece of furniture. Two steps are all you need to keep in mind here: work fast and never rub. Spray the spot with the right cleaning solution immediately, and blot from the outside of the stain inward with a clean cloth or paper towels.

Clean the Stain or Spot with Club Soda
Diluted white vinegar works wonders for cleaning carpet stains, but if you have kids or pets the resulting smell can be an issue. Club soda works just as well, if not better, on even tough stains like red wine, coffee or tea, and even pet accidents. Just pour a good amount of club soda over the stain–enough to coat it but not completely soak the carpet–and let it work a bit. Dab and blot a few times with a clean cloth, and the stain should lift. If not, repeat. But remember to never rub.

Vacuum Regularly
Carpet collects debris and pathogens that float beneath the surface level and like to hide between the fibers. Some burrow so deep inside the carpet that even the strongest suctioned vacuum on the market can’t suck up everything. As you or your loved ones walk across the fibers, many of those contaminants release into the air and stick to clothing to be carried throughout the home. So vacuuming regularly is still an essential part of keeping your carpet and home clean. The rule of thumb is to vacuum at least once a week with a high-quality cleaner. But if you have kids or pets, increase that amount to three or more times per week.

Professionally Clean Your Carpet
Steam cleaners and portable systems remove a bit more than vacuuming alone. But they don’t provide the power or temperatures needed to thoroughly clean and disinfect. A truck-mounted professional carpet cleaning service does, however. Modern carpet warranties require annual professional cleaning and the job can be scheduled around your schedule. So why wait another minute to professionally clean your carpet?