How you manage cleaning and care for your carpets and hard floor surfaces will make them look good and add years to their life. The most common offender is grit brought into the house on the soles of shoes. Next time you walk up some old stone steps perhaps leading to an old church or museum, have a look at the steps, you might notice that the first few stone steps are worn more than the others, this is because they pick up more grit from our shoes than the top stairs. This also happens in our homes, if shoes are no taken off then dirt and grit is deposited at the entrance of your house and perhaps the first few steps of your staircase. Have you ever noticed that carpets and hard floors upstairs are in better condition than downstairs? because the grit has already been rubbed off on the way in.

I have put together a few tips on how to best look after your carpets and hard floors and also some suggestions on the best type of vacuum cleaner to buy.

  • Yes, it is obvious but have doormats at the entrances of your home, they will remove a lot of that harmful grit and dirt
  • Take off your shoes, wipe pet paws – before walking on the carpet.

  • Vacuum at least twice-weekly areas where carpet receives heavy traffic, three times a week if you have pets.

  • Regular vacuuming prevents dirt build-up. Your carpet will be less clean the longer you leave it between vacuuming. Slow, firm strokes with the vacuum, backward/forward passes over same area are best. If you quickly wizz the vacuum over the carpet, you are not giving it time to pick up the dirt.

  • Vacuuming doesn’t remove all smells and odours, a nice tip is to sprinkle your carpet with baking soda before vacuuming (especially on your pet’s favourite places) or use a quality carpet cleaning powder, but don’t put too much down it might clog your vacuum cleaner!

  • Always clean up spills as they happen. Blot with a clean absorbent cloth – do not rub! Keep the stain to a small area by blotting from the outside of the stain inwards. Only when left to react does it become a stain. If the stain does not go away, use a stain remover and or clean with a carpet washer.

  • Washing your carpet removes stains, brings back colour and life to your carpet but make sure they are dry before walking on them! Have a look at the carpet washers on this site.

  • Solid wood floors and parquet It is not a good idea to scratch these surfaces when you vacuum, so choose a vacuum cleaner with soft rollers in the floor nozzle or specialist parquet floor nozzles that have a felt base.

  • Loop pile carpet Unless the carpet manufacture says otherwise, no not use a vacuum cleaner which has a rotating brush. The brush might catch the loops and end up unwinding your carpet! buy a vacuum cleaner which has suction only or the ability to turn off a rotating brush in the floor nozzle to avoid the brush pulling at the loops.

  • Cut pile carpet and twist These carpets need frequent vacuuming, if you have regular foot traffic, grit can get into the base of the carpet and pinch off the carpet pile leading to a worn carpet. If you have large areas of carpet which have regular use then I strongly advise you buy a vacuum cleaner which will cover the area easily but also give the carpet a good brushing with a powerful rotating floor nozzle, you might need to buy a traditional corded upright with a bigger foot nozzle or a cylinder cleaner with a turbo nozzle as most cordless vacuum cleaners are still too small.

  • Large amount of carpet fluff on the carpet If you have a brand new cut pile carpet, don’t be alarmed if you see a large amount of carpet fluff being picked up, a new cut pile carpet will shed a lot of fluff in the first few months due to the way the carpet is manufactured and carpet manufactured.

  • Stone/tiled floor You naturally want to avoid scratches and a bumpy ride when you are vacuuming, I recommend you use a vacuum cleaner with a suction only feature on the floor nozzle or one with a rotating soft brush.