How to Maintain an Immaculate Carpet in the Presence of Pets?
Carpets are comfortable and are a great way to add extra character to your home’s interior. They are also quite a big investment – a fact that pets rarery acknowledge. As a result, the fluffy family members are often capable of dealing huge amounts of damage to our rugs in the form of vicious scratches and bites, muddy paws, and suspiciously smelling lemonade stains.
And while seeing your pet rip your rug into shreds isn’t exactly pleasant, this does not mean that you should start avoiding carpets like the plague. All it takes to keep your rugs fresh and your pets happy is a couple of preventive measures and a dash of patience. So, without further ado, let’s start by discussing the active part of this love and hate relationship in more detail.
Ways to Tame Your Pets From Hurting Your Carpet
Uproot bad habits from day one
Your pet should start learning about the delicate microclimate of your household from the very beginning he arrives. The sooner you do so, the better the chances that he will not end up treating your carpet like a glorified sandbox. If you have a dog, make sure to take him out on a regular basis as small puppies cannot hold their bladder for longer than an hour.
As for cats, a gentle nudge towards the litter box will usually do the trick as they have a natural instinct to excrete on sand or soil. Should the cat stare at you confused, then teach him what to do by scraping some cat litter aside with your finger. Give treats or verbal praise after each relieve to push them one step closer to discipline and one step further from your rug.
Set up a solid line of defense
You cannot hope to maintain an immaculate carpet without drawing a clear line between the wild meadows outside and the organised world of your home. This can be very easily achieved by installing a tile entryway. In doing so, you will give your pet a place where he can freely shake off all mud, tiny pebbles, grass, and other natural debris and cleaning will require almost no effort.
You can also get area rugs or carpet runners and place them at locations where your pet tends to lie down the most. This way, even if some of the dirt is still brought inside the house or your pet spontaneously decides that he needs to pee, these tiny carpets will take the full brunt of the assault. As an added bonus, they will also make your home look (and feel) more welcoming.
Back from a walk? Time to wipe the paws!
Unfortunately, not all pets like to have their feet wiped on a regular basis. However, turning this into a ritual every time you come home from a casual walk in the park is one of the best ways to prevent mud stains from becoming deeply ingrained into your carpet until the end of time.
To make the process easier for both of you, consider keeping a towel and a spray bottle of water nearby and use them as soon as you get back. In time, this will teach your pet that he cannot enter your home until his paws are thoroughly wiped and de-muddied.
Groom your pets every chance you get
Brush your pet’s fur as frequently as possible to prevent hair from getting tangled in between your carpet’s fibres. We know that’s easier said than done, especially when it comes to cats (wear steel gauntlets for this one, trust us). But once the pet finally gives in and lets you brush all those hairballs away, your rug will no longer be the main subject of your guests’ conversation.
If you skipped a day or five of brushing and your carpet looks as if it briefly visited the Alps, fret not. Just get yourself a rubber or a latex glove and run it over your rug to collect all hair in one big lump. You can also spray a sponge with a bit of water or use lint rollers when time is limited. If you cannot, despite giving it your all, keep up with the constant influx of hair, consider investing in a pet hair vacuum cleaner – yes, these things exist and work exactly as advertised.
Ways to Save Your Carpet
Choose the right type of carpet
If you’ve just now decided to buy a carpet, then there are an awful lot of things that you need consider first before impulsively clicking on the “Order Now” button. For instance, twist carpets are better than loop rugs, because they allow the animals to walk on them freely without snagging the surface with their nails. The former are also much easier to clean and vacuum.
Accidents happen, so you should also check if your new rug is going to be resistant to stains. To ensure the safety of your pet, we also suggest doing a thorough research on your carpet’s manufacturer to determine if they’re using eco-friendly materials. Finally, make sure that the shade of the rug you’re about to buy matches your pet’s fur. While this will not make the hair miraculously disappear, it will not make it stand out for all your friends to see, either.
Regular vacuuming does wonders
There are some things in this world that never change: time always goes forward, ice cream always melts in the sun, pets always shed… Actually, the latter is actually quite easy to fix! Just vacuum your carpets twice (or at least once) every single week. If you have more than one pet, then add a bit of extra cleaning effort accordingly. For example, if you have two dogs and one cat, then you should refresh your carpet three times each week and so on.
However, restricting your cleaning routine to just your carpets will usually not cut it. Pets often brush against the furniture or some of their hair can be transported there by a favourable gust of wind. And you can be certain that these dirt particles and hair will waste no time in falling on your floor and soiling your carpet. That is why it’s a good idea to vacuum your drapes, furniture, and upholstery in addition to your rugs to ensure that they will stay clean no matter what.
Assemble an emergency clean-up kit
No matter how hard you try to keep your rugs and pets separated, stains are going to happen sooner or later. And when that dreaded time arrives, you’ll need to be prepared to quickly deal with the mess. Here is a list of things that you should always keep in your emergency carpet kit in order to successfully administer first aid when needed:
- Baking soda – great for eliminating stinky odours. You can also combine it with vinegar to create a homemade cleaner that is completely harmless to your pet.
- Pet stain removers and cleaning products – pay attention to the labels on the packaging and consult your local pet store to ensure that what you have in your cleaning arsenal is safe for your pet. Don’t use ammonia as its scent closely mimics that of animal urine and may confuse your pet into thinking that there is another animal in the house.
- Handheld steam cleaner – great for cleaning greasy or old stains from your carpet. However, check what your rug is made of first to avoid potentially damaging the fabric.
- Miscellaneous items – rags, paper towels, and disposable disinfectant wipes are a must-have. Use them to carefully blot the stains before applying any cleaning solution.
- Extra tip: Check if your cleaning products are suitable for your carpet’s fibre type to avoid discoloration. To do so, test the products on a small, inconspicuous patch of your rug.
Rent professional equipment or hire experts
If your carpet still looks like something straight out of a horror movie, then you’ll need to bring in the heavy artillery. If you believe that you can handle the job yourself, then head online and search for carpet rental services. Most cleaning equipment (steam cleaners, rug shampooers, etc.) comes with a 24 to 48-hour rental period, so try to plan your cleaning session way in advance to have enough time to clean all affected rooms.
“If you don’t have the training or the patience to deal with button-riddled and heavy equipment, then simply call for professional carpet cleaning to do the cleaning for you. This is especially useful if you’re prone to allergies as the specialists will always use the right method to efficiently rid your carpet and indoor air from all pet dander, hair, dust mites, and other harmful particles. The carpet technicians can also apply various protection layers to extend the life of your rug.” - Dmitri Kara Carpet cleaning department at Fantastic Cleaners.