Fabrics that have absorbed a winter’s worth of dirt, body oil and germs will need a deep cleaning to get them ready for another year of wear—and for that close inspection by your relax­ing guests.

When you’re shampooing carpets or cleaning or cleaning upholstery with a rented carpet cleaner, practice first in an unobtrusive area to make sure you have the knack of the ma­chine and that the treatment won’t discolor fabrics or cause dyes to run.

Save time by moving furniture just slightly—not out of the room or against the wall, as the old rules dictated. Place the legs of each piece back on top of small wax paper squares after shampooing. The wax paper will protect your carpet and keep the furniture legs from getting wet as the carpet dries.

Open the windows to speed the drying process, which can take a day or more.

If you’re not the furniture-shifting and machine-renting type, make it easy on yourself. Call in a professional carpet and upholstery cleaner to do the work and take the morning off.

About The Author