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Dirty carpet Ė clean it or replace it

by jenny (follow)
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Dirty Carpet : All images used are from creative commerce section

Sooner or later, every carpet starts to look sullen and worn. Unpleasant odors start to accumulate in the fabric. Before you know it, the carpet that you so proudly bought brand new just - what, a decade ago? Two decades ago? Three? So hard to remember - doesnít look as new as it once did.

Do you clean it or replace it? Or are there other options? Many people are tempted to replace the carpet, if for no other reason because they want to be the proud owners of a brand new carpet once again.

But is replacing the old carpet the best option? Letís look at the pros and cons.

First the pros:

1) Feels really good

This is the obvious reason to replace the old carpet. It feels good to own a new house, a new car, a new jacket, and of course, a new carpet. It just feels good.

2) One-stop-shop

All the problems with the old carpet are, um, swept under the rug at once. No more smell. No more worn patches. No more frayed edges. No more stains. Buying a new carpet simply puts an end to all your problems.

3) Well worn

After a while, a carpet develops ruts. People walk in the same paths day after day. The result is more dirt and the fibers are more worn down. Cleaning the carpet will help, but only to a point. Can you move the furniture around? Can you cover up much of the ruts? Can you create a new path? If so, maybe you donít need a new carpet. If you canít rearrange the furniture, maybe you do need a new carpet.

Thatís it for the pros Ė short and sweet.

Now for the cons:

1) Costs a lot of money.

Flushing Money : All images used are from creative commerce section

Letís face it, a good carpet costs a nice pile of money. Thatís money that you could be using for a lot of other things you like. It is much cheaper to clean the old carpet than to replace it. And deep cleaning, with professionals doing the work, can get the carpet looking almost as good as new again. It can certainly remove all odors and most stains, as well as most discoloration. It even helps reduce the look of wear and tear on the well-worn paths.

2) It's not very green.

The ecologically responsible thing to do is to keep using the carpet as long as it can be used, rather than add to the worldís growing collection of garbage sooner than necessary.

3) New doesn't stay new for long.

No sooner have you installed the new carpet in your home than it becomes old. Before you know it, your new-carpet pride will be gone and life will continue pretty much as it was with the old carpet. The only difference will be the lighter wallet.

If you have kids or plan soon to have kids, this ďconĒ deserves closer attention. You know that your carpet is about to be bombarded with baby food, bread crumbs, finger paint, markers, mud and even Mum's nail polish. It would be much better to wait out the messy years. In the meantime, get to know your Chem-Dry cleaners, because you will want their help frequently in the upcoming years.

4) Not great if you have pets.

If you own a pet, you might want to think twice about buying a new carpet for it to soil. As with kids, it is far better to wait them out. When the pet is gone, and pets donít live forever, thatís the time to buy a new carpet.

Ideas on how you can keep your carpet looking nice:

Food ban: Whatís the first thing youíll do when you get a new carpet? Spill food on it? Spill a beverage on it? That would really be bad. Perhaps you can avoid that by banning all food and drink in the living room. Keep it in the kitchen; thatís what kitchens are for.

Well, you could do that now without spending all that money and keep the old carpet clean.

Ban shoes: One thing that destroys carpets the most is wearing outdoor shoes in the house. Many people do this, but it takes a toll on your carpet. It would be much better to leave your shoes at the door and wear slippers around the house.

While youíre at it, try keeping your kitchen floors cleaner. Anything your feet, shoes or slippers pick up in the kitchen gets deposited on the living room carpet.

A third option:

You could also replace the carpet with hardwood . That does not solve all problems, especially the cost issue, and it certainly is less warm and less comfortable on the feet than carpet. But for cleaning purposes, hardwood could be a good alternative.

This is your decision. There is no right answer. Hopefully this gives some ideas to think about before making that decision.

Rod Walton is passionate about home renovations and interior design. His greatest ambition would be to host a home-makeover TV show. In the meantime, he blogs about everything home related.

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