For many people, the month after the holidays can be somber. After all, this is when credit card bills for holiday gifts and events start coming in. According to Consumers Reports, shoppers tend to overspend using credit cards during the holidays by an average of about 16 percent.

Paying credit card bills is not the only somber event following the holidays. Very often, holiday celebrations have wreaked havoc on carpets in homes and offices. 

In light of the post-holiday season, U.S. Products, a leading manufacturer of professional carpet cleaning equipment, offers the following tips and suggestions on how to care for carpets after all the revelry is over:

· Pick up candy, cigarettes, large food crumbs and any other debris on the carpet.

· Look for spills. If the spill is a liquid or food, clean up the area and then blot dry.

· If a spill appears to have caused a spot or stain, a safe way to treat the area is to blot it using cold water and a small amount of dishwashing detergent; then, blot dry.

· Candle wax on carpets after holiday parties can be a problem. If the wax has hardened, scrape as much of it off the carpet as possible using a dull knife or paint scraper.  Then, place a cloth or several layers of paper towels over the wax and apply a warm iron. The wax should transfer on the cloth or paper towel and off the carpet.

· Vacuum the entire area. For more thorough cleaning, vacuum heavily trafficked areas in multiple directions.

· Have the carpets professionally cleaned.

“This final step will help start 2013 out right,” says Mark Baxter, an engineer and product manager for U.S. Products. “A professional cleaning using hot-water extraction helps ensure soils, bacteria, and contaminants are removed from the carpet so it is clean and healthy for the new year.”