When it comes to home carpet cleaning, vacuuming effectively is essential. You should vacuum your carpet at least weekly and more frequently in heavy traffic areas. This will prevent the build-up of harmful particles of grit which can work their way down into the carpet fibres causing damage. Do remember once a month or so to use the crevice tool to remove dust and fluff from around the skirting boards, under radiators etc. If your carpet has a deep or fluffy pile, you may need to make several passes over the areas which receive the most use – where people sit and over traffic lanes.

A good way to fight odours, particularly if you have pets, is to add a little baking soda to the cylinder or bag. Stain retardants are available but these are best applied following deep steam cleaning by professional carpet cleaners.

In the event of a spill, always try to clean it up as soon as possible before the substance has a chance to soak into the carpet fibres and dry out. Without rubbing at the spill and risking spreading it further, try to soak up as much as you can using a clean, dry, colourfast cloth. Next apply a good, proprietary carpet cleaning agent to a small, inconspicuous area first ensuring that you follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully. When you are happy that the product will not damage the carpet or discolour it, you can begin to tackle the spill. Always begin applying the product from the outside to the inside of the area to be treated. This will prevent it from spreading outwards. If possible, use a clean white bath towel to blot up the excess moisture as this will also help to lift the carpet nap back up.

If the stain proves too stubborn for a DIY clean, steam cleaning by a professional firm will be the only course of action guaranteed to remove it. Steam cleaners are available for hire but professional firms will have more powerful machines at their disposal for use in conjunction with special bactericides, deodorisers and strong detergents which will give a better end result. A Google search will offer up plenty of carpet cleaning companies, the biggest and most reputable of which will be registered with Companies House in London. Always check though that the firm you choose to use are fully insured, just in case of shrinkage or damage to your carpets.