clean sweep 

You want to roll out of the red carpet for potential buyers — not a dirty one. Consider these tips from Martha Stewart for keeping your carpets in tiptop shape this season and every season.

 

  • Shoes track in most of the dust and dirt. This buildup can create foul odors and trigger asthma attacks. For starters, position doormats at entrances, ask visitors to take off their shoes and make vacuuming part of your weekly routine.
  • Invest in a quality vacuum that has a green label called High-Efficiency Particular Air, which keeps all dirt in the bag. Add ¼ cup of baking soda to the bag to make carpet odors less noticeable. Switch the bag when it is half-full.
  • When liquids or other messes hit the carpet, act quickly with a solution of clear hand soap or white vinegar and water. Gently blot the spill from the edge to the center with a towel. Rubbing cements a stain and causes matting. Blot until the carpet is completely dry.
  • Professional cleaning will extend the life of carpets. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends a professional cleaning at least twice a year and even more frequently if you have pets or small children.

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