You know when your carpet is freshly clean and you’re so happy with it that you abandon the couch for a good week to bask on your shag? Of course! There’s nothing like a great carpet cleaning. But we understand that having your carpet professionally cleaned isn’t a viable option on a weekly or monthly basis. So with kids, pets, red wine, spaghetti sauce – need we go on? – carpets can take the brunt of your household mishaps. So how do you make those professional cleanings last a bit longer? We have a few tips: Create a schedule You know you need to vacuum and clean your carpets regularly, but creating an actual schedule can help you ensure you don’t miss those vital brush-ups. Your carpets should be thoroughly vacuumed once a week for every person that lives in your home. So, if you’re just a couple, break out the vacuum twice a week. If you have four, you’ll need to vacuum every other day. Do some of your cleaning Getting your carpets professionally cleaned is vital to maintaining the life of your carpet, but for brush-ups between thorough cleanings, rental or at-home cleaning systems can help stretch out your last professional cleaning. Use water! Just as water is imperative for your body, so is it for your carpet. There are a wide variety of chemical cleaners out there, but using hot water to clean your carpet (either during or between professional cleanings) can help you get a cleaner carpet without leaving residue or harming the carpet. Keep it pet-free No, we’re not telling you to get rid of Rover. But it’s a good idea to have “no pet zones” in special rooms in the house. For instance, if you have a formal living or dining room, you’ll want to keep these carpets looking pristine, since they will often be the rooms that guests see. Don’t scrub! If you need to spot-clean, be sure to NOT scrub the carpet, which can risk ruining carpet fibers or pushing the stain into the carpet pad. Blot a stain with water and a very small amount of laundry detergent and dry it working from the outside in. Got any hot carpet-cleaning tips? Please share!