Most wall-to-wall carpet and carpet tile is made from fossil fuels, the same material that powers cars and lights buildings. To preserve valuable resources, making your carpet last as long as possible is the smart thing to do. Proper maintenance protects your investment.
The nonprofit Carpet and Rug Institute offers these tips for carpet care to ensure that the carpet lasts longer and looks great:
- Regular vacuuming – at least once a week with slow, steady motions – can have great impact on the air you breathe by removing dust, dirt, allergens, and particles.
- Clean spots and spills quickly with products that do not damage your carpet or cause it to resoil quickly.
- Professionally deep clean your carpets every 12 to 18 months to remove embedded dirt and grime.
- Stop dirt at the door by using mats outside and in, taking your shoes off when you enter the space, and changing your air filters to reduce airborne dust particles.
To get more detail on proper carpet maintenance, download the CRI 205 Residential Carpet Standard for Maintenance and Cleaning (in English) or CRI 205 Alfombra Residencial Estandard para Limpieza y Mantenimiento (in Spanish).
In addition, the Carpet and Rug Institute offers a Seal of Approval, the carpet industry’s only scientific program to test the effectiveness of carpet cleaning products and equipment. See approved products, including vacuums and cleaning solutions, on their website.
Is your carpet ready to retire? All things must pass, but it’s often possible to give old carpet a new life. Here are some tips for taking care of carpet in its retirement:
- Reuse it around the house – Old carpet, especially carpet tiles, is useful in laundry rooms, garages, pet pens and other areas. Use carpet squares as pads to prevent furniture from sliding.
- Donate it – Your discarded carpet in good condition could be someone else’s treasure. Contact local thrift stores or community groups.
- Give it away – List your old carpet with a service like Freecycle or Nextdoor and help your neighbor.
When reuse is no longer an option, recycling is the way to go. In California, there are over 130 public drop-off sites where carpet can be taken for recycling into useful new products. (Fees may apply.) See the map of CARE drop-off sites here and tell your contractor or flooring retailer that you want your old carpet to be recycled.