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How to keep your carpet looking fresh

[Bigstock/More Content Now]
[Bigstock/More Content Now]

Clean carpets make any home more attractive, and it often takes a multifaceted approach to get the job done right. This guide for how to clean carpet will help you find ways to freshen underfoot, whatever your budget.

Vacuum

Cost: $0 if you already own a vacuum; $50-$700 for a new vacuum; $10-$50 for dry carpet cleaning product (optional).

Pros: Quick affordable results; removes loose dirt effectively without wetting the carpet.

Cons: Doesn’t remove embedded dirt, grime or stains.

Treat stains

Cost: $0 for items you have at home that can remove stains, such as club soda or dish soap; about $4-$50 for a bottle of stain-removal spray.

Pros: Can remove even old stains inexpensively, giving carpets a more even appearance.

Cons: May take multiple treatments to remove stains; carpets that aren’t colorfast could bleed and fade after treatment; products may use harsh chemicals.

If you’re uncomfortable with stain removers that contain potentially dangerous chemicals, you may want to look through your cabinets and try one of these alternatives instead:

• Club soda.

• Hydrogen peroxide.

• Shaving cream.

• Dish soap.

• White vinegar.

DIY steam clean

Cost: About $30 to rent a steam cleaner for a day; about $80-$700 to purchase a machine; about $14-$25 for carpet detergent.

Pros: Removes deeply embedded dirt from carpet; can also be used on upholstery; inexpensive to rent a machine.

Cons: Usually not as powerful as professional cleaning; machines are heavy and noisy; carpet takes up to 24 hours to dry.

Bring in the pros

Cost: Usually between $80 and about $300, according to the service marketplace Thumbtack. This amount could vary depending on the number of rooms, square footage and whether stairs are being cleaned.

Pros: Often more powerful cleaning than DIY with no physical labor required.

Cons: More expensive than renting a machine; higher rates for certain conditions.

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