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Your doormat is often the first piece people see when they enter your home. A clean, fresh, and well-styled iteration lets visitors know what to expect just beyond the threshold, which is why you want to make sure that your doormat is always in the best shape possible. This means keeping it clean, but also replacing it when its fibres begin to show signs of distress. Here’s how to monitor yours for those symptoms of decline, according to Mary Patton of the Houston-based firm Mary Patton Design.

Replace your mat every six months

A doormat’s lifecycle depends on many factors: The absence (or presence) of an overhang, drastic weather changes (extreme temperatures can wreak havoc on certain materials), and the frequency of use will all impact general wear and tear. Additionally, the longer your mat remains at the front of your home, the more foot traffic it sees, which can wear it down and prevent it from doing its primary job: keeping dirt out for good. Ultimately, this is why Patton recommends replacing yours twice each year.

Doormats
Image: Courtesy Thomas Barwick / Getty Images

Monitor it for signs of decay

If your doormat is obviously on its way out — it might have frayed corners, worn spots, or stains that can’t easily be removed — you should consider replacing it before the six-month benchmark. “Once it starts looking sad and tired, it’s time to update,” Patton explains. “They are an inexpensive way to brighten the entrance to your home.” If you have an option you love, or if you simply want to extend the life of the piece you already have, consider swapping it out seasonally. Replacing your standard mat with thematic coverings or options that coordinate with other front-door decorations (think hanging wreaths or potted plants) can keep them looking newer for longer.

Keep your doormat clean

Since the sole purpose of your doormat is to prevent outside dirt and debris from entering your home, a little maintenance — shaking it out here, wiping it down there — is necessary. Patton, however, doesn’t suggest trying to clean an obviously worn doormat. “I would suggest throwing it away altogether,” she says.

This story first appeared on www.marthastewart.com

(Main and Feature Image Credit: Andrew Neel/Unsplash)

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