You can greatly reduce stains on carpet, especially from liquid spills, if you have the carpet treated with Scotchguard or a similar product. These products are based on Teflon, which reduces the absorption of the liquids. Of course this is not 100% safe, but Scotchguard prevents or reduces the effect of most potential stains.
Organic materials like wool derive the greatest benefit from Scotchguard. Synthetic materials like Nylon, which is already quite stain resistant, derive little or no benefit from these treatments.
Apply Scotchguard in a well ventilated area and allow to dry for at least 4 hours.
Reapply every 6 month.
New carpet and paint will release some strong smelling chemical into the air, though this problem is not as bad as it was with carpets and paints of a generation ago. Rooms must be aired out for a few days when given new carpet or paint.
One chemical in carpets and paint, formaldehyde, is also commonly found in furniture and clothing. This is bad for health, so it is best removed. Use an air filter in the home and use some pot plant to soak up the chemicals in the air.
Carpets that are in regular use should be steam cleaned every 6 months. This steam cleaning process will take several hours, up to a day for a large house, but the benefits are worthwhile. This thorough cleaning helps extend the life of the carpet by removing abrasive grit from the fibre.
It is a good idea to reapply Scotchguard after steam cleaning. The cleaning process removes some of the previous Scotchguard.