Kids, Pets, and Your Carpet
Everyone knows that extra wear, spills, and accidents take a toll on carpet, and this is especially true in homes with kids and pets. Whether the culprit has two legs or four, here are some tips on what carpets material holds up best and how to keep carpets looking great.
Best Carpet Material for Kids and Pets
If you are contemplating getting new carpeting and you have kids and pets, there are carpets that are made to withstand the additional wear and possible staining that will occur when they are active in the house. One of the best materials is nylon fibers. A nylon fiber carpet is a good choice because it is affordable and durable. Stain resistance is the best feature of nylon, which is so important with kids and pets in your household.
Keeping Carpet Clean With Kids and Pets
Since pets have a habit of being territorial, they generally will only go to certain areas to relax. Once you have determined where your pet likes to sit, put a throw rug on that spot. In time, your pet will naturally go there, and the wear will take a toll on the rug instead of your carpet. The rug will also make it easier to vacuum up any shedding that may occur.
The best way to keep your carpet looking its best when you have children and pets at home is to vacuum regularly. Doing so will help remove fleas and dander from pets and any dirt or contaminants left behind by active children, prolonging the life of your carpet.
Remove toys and other things on the floor to ensure that you will maximize the area to be vacuumed. Move your couches and chairs enough to get the area behind them. It is also a good idea to change the furniture around a couple of times a year to get the areas beneath them vacuumed.
If you have very young children, clean them immediately if they get messy. If your children are older, encourage them to clean up after themselves. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Another way to keep children from tracking in dirt is to have them take off their shoes at the door. Set up a shoe location there. It can also be a transfer station, where they can change their shoes for slippers. The Japanese people have been practicing this since 700 A.D. Once you get in the habit of doing this, you will see a big difference when you vacuum your carpet.
No matter how many preventative measures you take, sooner or later kids and pets will leave their mark. Handling the problem quickly will prevent any stain from spreading or leaving an odor to settle in. If you delay to take action, you will only add to the problem and it may require much more work on your part. There are stain and odor removal products available on the market that will help you when you need to clean the mess. Ask your carpet cleaning professional to make recommendations about specific products. You may even have some products on hand that will help you with clean up.
Different products can be used for specific problems. First you have to determine what type of spot or spill you have. This is important, because each discoloration needs to be treated differently. For example, little Johnny decides to surprise you and color your carpet with his favorite bright red crayon. There are different ways to remove crayon stains. You can use a dish soap solution to remove the stain. An alternative to that is to use your iron and a towel to transfer the stain. Each problem is unique and may require different measures. Remember if you are dealing with a spot or spill, don’t rub it in. Whether you are dealing with pet urine, Kool-aid, or a number of other problems associated with kids or pets, you can find plenty of helpful tips and info on spot and spill cleanup in our Carpet and Interior Textiles Care Guide and our interactive Stain Management App.
Professional Carpet Cleaning
If your carpet has a warranty, you may have to have it professionally cleaned once a year. Warranty or not, it is a good idea to have it done regularly, especially with kids and pets. Here are some of the many advantages:
- Preventing premature wear, saving money
- Removing allergens, dirt, and other contaminants
- Removing spots and stains
- Odor control
- Deep cleaning of high traffic areas
- Enhancing the overall look
Although kids and pets take a toll on carpet, purchasing the appropriate type of carpet, taking preventative measures, and proper upkeep will keep carpets looking great.
This is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of Surface Care PRO Partners.