How to Keep Your Carpet Clean With a Toddler
Anyone who owns a home has a vested interest in keeping it in good shape, not only to preserve the value and appearance, but also because it’s nicer to live in a clean house. Of course, this becomes even more important with children. Toddlers, in particular, like to touch everything (and put most of it in their mouths), which makes a clean and sanitized home a must.
The problem is that toddlers are like tiny tornadoes, leaving messes in their wake. Following and cleaning up after them is a full-time job. Even if you have them confined at times, say to a high chair for meals, or to the living room thanks to baby gates, they can still make quite a mess.
If you’re like many parents, carpeting throughout the home is part of your safety plan for kids, to alleviate bumps and bruises sustained from the trips and falls that are part of learning to walk. Some days you probably wish you had tile that was easy to clean, but your kids’ safety and well-being are worth more.
The question, then, is how to keep your carpet clean when your whirling dervishes have decimated it with juice, cookies, finger paint, and worse. Here are a few carpet cleaning tips to help harried parents of toddlers keep carpeting clean.
This is basically non-negotiable if you want to have both kids and carpeting. If you are planning for kids, your best bet is to install pretreated carpeting that is already prepped to withstand staining. If your carpeting came with the house or you installed it without thought for impending children, it’s not too late.
You can still pretreat, you just need to get your carpeting clean first. Steam clean every square inch and then apply stain resistant products to help stop stains from setting in. If you just don’t have the time or energy to do this on your own, hire a carpet cleaning service to do it for you.
Chances are your kitchen isn’t carpeted, which makes it an ideal area for feeding toddlers, especially those that like to get messy during meal times. If you’ve graduated from using a high chair for feeding and you don’t have a breakfast nook to place a table, consider adding a child-size table and chairs in the kitchen for your little ones.
Get Thee a Splat Mat
Kids are going to make messes – add it to the list of certainties in life, along with death and taxes. As a parent, however, you can mitigate the damage with proper preparation. Just because your carpet is pretreated doesn’t mean it’s impervious, so adding protections in areas kids frequent is a wise move.
Enter the splat mat, a product designed specifically to catch the messes kids make before they can reach your pristine carpeting. These mats are generally made from waterproof materials that are also machine washable, making them convenient and utilitarian. They also tend to feature colorful designs that kids will love, and some even offer learning devices like letters of the alphabet.
Best of all, you can find them for under twenty bucks. Even if they get torn or damaged through play, they’re relatively cheap to replace (cheaper than a new carpet, at any rate). Place them under high chairs, tables, or anywhere kids tend to make the biggest messes. Want something more robust? Consider interlocking, foam puzzle mats.
Add an Area Rug in Mess-Prone Rooms
If you want to preserve your carpeting but you’re not quite ready to give up on adult decor, you can skip the splat mat and simply place cheapie area rugs in places where kids tend to make the biggest messes. Adding an area rug under your dining table, in the living room, and anywhere crafts and playtime occur is a great way to stop stains from reaching your expensive carpeting.
All you have to do if you want to entertain in style and hide the stain-laden children’s areas is roll up the area rugs to reveal your spotless carpeting underneath. You can throw area rugs in the wash (depending on size and heft) and replace them before your kids are back making messes.
Find a Good Carpet Cleaner
Despite your best efforts and elbow grease, you’re bound to have some staining associated with toddlers in your home. The good news is that there are professional carpet cleaners in Norfolk VA that can come to the rescue. With 1-2 visits per year they can deal with everything from built-up grime to permanent stains in order to refresh your carpet and keep it clean and safe for the entire family.