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How to keep your carpets clean (with kids)

Regular vacuuming tends to feature in most regular cleaning routines, but when your little darlings are determined to track mud, food and goodness knows what else around the house, a simple hoover doesn’t quite cut it. While vacuuming twice a week or so is a crucial part of carpet maintenance, here are some further tips for keeping your carpets clean  – despite your kids’ best efforts

1: Sprinkle baking soda before vacuuming
Baking soda is a great odour-eater, so a quick sprinkle before you hoover will take care of any suspicious whiffs that have taken up residence in your carpets.

2: Treat stains immediately
Or at least as soon as you find them! The longer stains are left to soak into the fibres of the carpet, the more likely they are to be stubborn. Most spills can be wiped with soapy water if treated quickly enough. Older stains will probably require a stain removing product, or a solution of vinegar and tonic water will work if you prefer not to use chemical products. In many cases it’s best to dab stains rather than scrubbing at them – as this can unravel the twists of your carpet. Check that you’re using a stain remover that is safe (and effective) on your carpets. If your carpets contain natural fibres, such as wool, you may need to treat them with specialist cleaning products.

3: Freeze it!
Anything that’s been caked into the carpet, such as peanut butter, putty or play-dough can be a nightmare to work out. Try freezing it first by applying some ice so you have a better chance of removing it in one piece.

4: Keep wear and tear to a minimum
The best way to keep carpets in good nick is preventing damage in the first place! Put mats next to every exterior door and set a strict no-shoes and no-food in carpeted areas policy. For high traffic areas such as hallways, it could be worth putting down runners or rugs that can be removed when the kids are older.

5: Bring in the big guns
Even with the best of intentions, sometimes only a professional will do! To prolong the life of your carpets and improve the air quality in your home, consider having your carpets professionally cleaned once a year or so. If anyone in your home suffers from allergies or asthma, you might want to do so more often – a professional clean could all but eradicate the inevitable build up of allergens and bacteria that cause problems.