By: Troy Pattee
The biggest weekend in football is soon upon us, and the biggest college basketball tournament will be right behind. The tackling, spiking, and dunking will soon commence—and I’m referring to the parties, not just the sporting events.
As the former owner of a top-rated carpet cleaning company I’ve seen my share of dirty carpet, and I am probably more aware than most of the problems associated with mixing carpet and large amounts of excited sports fans. That being said, there’s a reason they don’t have “Big Game” parties in museums. If the party host is overly concerned and stressed about spills and crumbs, it can be difficult for guests to have a good time.
Luckily, it’s possible to have a top-notch party at your home and still keep your home intact. Here are a few simple tips to help ensure both you and your carpet survive the party:
1. Remove the Shoes
As much as 80 percent of soil in carpet is tracked in by shoes. The simple solution is to stop the dirt at the door by having people remove their shoes. Twenty years ago this may have seemed odd, but in my experience most people are now used to this request and don’t mind following it. If you do come across a guest who is hesitant, then make an exception. The rule is helpful, but it’s not worth making a guest feel uncomfortable.
2. Restrict the Red
One of the most difficult stains to remove is also one of the most commonly found food additives. Red is a very appealing food color so marketers love to add it to their products. But red stains can be a carpet’s worst enemy. It is certainly possible to remove many red stains, but it’s much easier to prevent them before they happen. In my house I literally check our groceries as they come in the door. If it contains red my family knows it can’t leave the kitchen.
3. Recognize the Risks
Will small children be at the party? Then have spill-proof sippy cups ready and waiting. Will your blundering Uncle Bob be making an appearance? Place a large pile of napkins near his favorite chair. Easy things like making sure your floor is clear of obstacles and choosing sturdy paper plates over the cheap ones will make a difference. As that famous carpet cleaner Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cleaning up after Uncle Bob.”
4. Respond to Spills
Any party worth attending is going to have a spill or two (remember Uncle Bob?). The key is to clean them up as they happen. Many difficult-to-remove stains are actually quite easily removed if addressed immediately. When a spill happens there’s no need to panic. Simply have a supply of damp towels on hand to clean them up. Remember to blot the spot, not scrub or rub.
5. Relax and Enjoy
If you’re not having fun, then your guests aren’t having fun. Almost every rug and carpet sold today will have some degree of stain resistance. Now combine that knowledge with the recommendations listed above, and you have no reason to worry. So go ahead, enjoy the party. You’ve eliminated many of the problems before they’ve occurred, and you know just what to do when an accident happens.