Winter is approaching, and with winter comes snow. Snow is gorgeous at first – a pristine white blanket covering the ground and transforming commonplace trees and bushes into a wonderland. However, it all too quickly becomes dirty and slushy, half melted and contaminated with dirt, grime and vegetation.
How can you keep your carpets clean when every time your door opens the deluge of dirty snow wants to sneak in – in children’s shoes, on pets’ paws, on the feet of guests, and so on!
Start by having a game plan for keeping your main walk free of snow and melted slush. Stock up on rock salt for thaw/re-freeze days, take turns shoveling when needed, and use a push-broom to sweep dirty slush out of the way. Invest in a snow blower if you routinely have a fall of powdery snow.
If you have a garage, make sure you can park your car in it. You can avoid the dirty snow by not having to walk through it if you can park in a garage and enter the house via that route. Win-win for everyone!
Ban shoes in the house, or buy each family member a few pairs of house-shoes to change into. Set up a shoe rack at each entry, so shoes can be immediately taken off. Pick up some extra pairs in various sizes for guests, and hang a sign asking them politely to divest themselves of footwear before entering the main area of your home. Most people will cheerfully comply and understand.
Have mats inside and out – one to stomp on outside the door to remove as much dirty snow as possible, and one inside for people to stand on while removing their footwear.
Add runners down heavily trafficked areas in the home – from doorway to kitchen, in front of the couch, and down hallways. These will take the brunt of the dirt if someone forgets to take their shoes off.
Set up a pen around the doggie door. Your pet can re-enter the home, but must stay on a rug covered penned area until you are able to snag a towel and wipe his or her feet off. No muddy paw prints on the clean carpet!
Going into the snow season, and at its end, call “the dry guys” to do a thorough carpet cleaning. By starting with a clean carpet, doing everything possible to mitigate tracked in dirty snow during the winter months, and following up with a second cleaning in the spring, you can avoid damaging your carpet and increase its lifespan.