Kids are naturally messy — any parent knows this. Sometimes it can feel like there’s no way that your kids and your carpets can peacefully coexist. Well, we have some tips to help you protect your carpets from the kids.
As the old saying goes: Prevention is better than cure. And this holds true for your carpets. Rather than working out how to clean up a mess, spend some time preventing the mess from happening in the first place.
- Keep messy activities away from carpet
Don’t discourage the kids from doing creative (read: messy) activities like painting or crafts. Instead, encourage your children to take these activities outside or at least away from the carpets. Set your kids up with a craft corner outside or over tiles or linoleum, which can be easily cleaned. Make sure your kids have everything they need before they get started to avoid potentially messy trips across the carpet.
It may also be worth setting up a designated play area for your kids away from the carpet. This can reduce daily wear and tear to your carpet, as well as cut down on toys left around the house.
- Have a ‘no food or drinks’ rule
Establish a clear ‘no food or drinks’ rule when it comes to the carpet. This will greatly reduce the risk of your carpet being stained by food or drink. You may need to set an example and avoid eating or drinking over the carpet yourself.
Alternatively, you can reach a compromise. Your child can enjoy a snack over the carpet if they sit on a towel or picnic rug. This can even turn it into a game or special treat for your child, while limiting crumbs in the carpet.
- Embrace door mats
Make sure every entrance to your home has at least one doormat. This will drastically reduce the amount of dirt that gets tracked inside by little feet. For better results, have one doormat inside and one outside to catch as much dirt as possible.
A ‘no shoes in the house’ rule can also limit dirt that is brought inside. Keep a broom near entrances as well so you can quickly sweep up any dirt that does make it into your home.
Unfortunately, even with the best intentions, accidents will happen. In case your carpet falls afoul of your kids, be ready with these strategies.
- Keep spot-cleaning materials on hand
When something is spilt on your carpet, a stain is less likely to form if you clean the mess up in the first few minutes. Therefore, make sure you always have spot-cleaning materials handy. This should include cleaning spray and paper towels. Make sure whatever you choose will not damage your carpet.
It’s also a good idea to educate yourself about what cleaning solutions work best for different stains. For instance, one solution may be better suited to grease than red wine.
Make sure you use natural stain removers where possible. They’re less likely to damage your carpet and since they’re non-toxic, they don’t pose any health risk for the kids. You’d be surprised by how many natural stain removers you have at home hiding in the pantry or fridge.
- Vacuum regularly
Even with all your preventative strategies in place, you will still need to regularly clean your carpet. This would be the case even if you didn’t have kids. Aim to vacuum the carpet every week to deal with any dirt and dust that has managed to settle into the fibres.
A regular vacuum will extend the useful life of your carpet and keep it looking and smelling fresher for longer. Clean carpet, which is free of dust, is also less likely to aggravate allergies.
As your children get older, they can start to take on this chore and others. This will teach them responsibility and important life skills, as well as ensure they appreciate why you try and keep the carpet clean.
- Steam or dry clean regularly
If you want your carpet to stay fresh and last as long as possible, you need to regularly steam or dry clean it. Try every month or so and see the difference for yourself. You can do it yourself or call in a professional carpet cleaning service to get the job done properly.
A home with kids doesn’t have to be devoid of carpet. All you need are some simple rules and carpet cleaning practices to keep your carpet in top condition.