How To Keep Your Carpets Looking New

Cleaning and maintenance tips from a carpet pro.

Woman vacuuming a carpet


No matter how hard you may try, no carpet is safe from the wear and tear of everyday life. Household grime is unavoidable. We hate to break it to you, but if you have carpets in your house, they could probably use a cleaning. With ornate, patterned carpets, you may be able to live in ignorant bliss about the state of them for longer, but if you chose bright white to adorn your floors, the effects may be especially apparent. 

While no carpet can completely escape mess, every home is going to face unique situations. How you clean your carpet should depend on your lifestyle which will determine the kind of mess your carpets confront.

“When it comes to cleaning your carpets, one size does not fit all,” says Katie Karll from BISSELL. “Consider your common mess-makers, amount of carpet you have and frequency with which you need to clean.”

Katie Karll is the senior brand manager for upright deep cleaning at BISSELL, a 146-year-old floor care business and seller of vacuums.

What You’ll Need

  • A portable carpet cleaner
  • An upright carpet cleaner
  • Stain pretreatment
  • Spot cleaner

Depending on what kind of mess your carpets are collecting, you’re going to need different tools. A portable carpet cleaner is great for targeted cleaning when tackling things spills, food debris, and dirt tracked in from outside. One of these is sure to be the best friend of any parent with young children, Karll assures us, and can also be used to clean up spaces like an upholstered couch or car seat. An upright cleaner, on the other hand, is best for semiannually cleaning area rugs and large carpeted areas.

“Keep in mind, the larger the machine, the greater the suction power and tank capacity,”says  Karll. “In addition, spot cleaners (cleaning foams, sprays, pads, and powders) are great to have on hand to remove spots and stains from carpets, rugs, and upholstery in between deep cleanings.”

How To Clean Your Carpets

To tackle standard grime and household usage, follow these steps from Karll to clean your carpets.

  1. Remove furniture from the room you’re planning to clean.
  2. Vacuum your carpet to remove any loose dirt, debris, or pet hair
  3. Pretreat all the stains you know will need some extra attention. Choose a pretreat formula based on the specific mess. Karll recommends PET PRO OXY Stain Destroyer for Carpet and Upholstery for pet spots, stain and odors, and OXY Stain Pretreat for Carpet & Upholstery for high-traffic carpets.
  4. After pretreating, use a formula based on the type of mess your carpets face. Karll recommends the PRO MAX Clean + Protect Upright Carpet Cleaning Formula for a professional-grade deep clean and the PET PRO OXY Urine Eliminator for pet owners. 
  5. Vacuum starting in the farthest corner of the room. Vacuum forward then backward with the trigger pressed down and repeat once more. Then, vacuum forward then backward twice without the trigger. Keep going until you have covered all of the carpet in the room.
  6. Let it dry for 4-6 hours before returning any furniture and walking on your carpet.

How To Maintain Your Carpets

“The best way to maintain carpets for a long time is to keep up with cleaning. Vacuum your carpet about once a week to remove dry debris, and deep clean at least twice a year,” says Karll. “We also recommend keeping spot and stain removers and/or a portable deep cleaner on hand for when small messes pop up.” 

How To Protect Your Carpets

“A little wear and tear on carpets is inevitable, but keeping the right cleaning tools on-hand can make it easier to keep your carpets fresh and clean,” Karll tells us.

Consider your home and what kind of mayhem your carpets face and stock up accordingly to tackle mess as it happens. Pet parents—and human parents—will likely face more food, dirt, and liquid spills and can best protect their carpets by staying prepared with spot cleanser and a portable carpet cleaner. 

“If you have carpeted rooms or large area rugs, we recommend an upright deep cleaner,” Karll says. “Keep in mind, the larger the machine, the greater the suction power and tank capacity. Our upright carpet cleaners use a combination of formula, water and powerful scrubbing brushes to loosen, lift and remove stains deep in carpet fibers, leaving your home looking and smelling fresh! ”

Tips For Keeping Your Carpets Looking New

For long-lasting carpets, Karll recommends sticking to a cleaning schedule

“Vacuum your carpet about once a week to remove dry debris,” she says, “deep clean at least twice a year, and spot clean in between!"

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