If you wonder how often you should clean your carpet, you’re probably not alone. As a general rule, every six months is a good idea – however, certain factors can affect this recommendation. If you have pets in your home or live with smokers, for example, you may find that you have to clean your carpets more frequently.
Audit your carpet
By far, the best way to decide how often to clean your carpet is to call a professional carpet cleaner. Technicians can inspect your carpet for free and recommend how often your carpet needs cleaning. You may even find you need to replace the carpet altogether.
However, the life of a carpet can be measurably extended with a routine cleaning which is right for your lifestyle. Take a walk around your house. Are there stale odors or stains? Do you see dark shading around your base boards? Carpeting absorbs dirt, asphalt, pollens, insecticides, and fungus which can emit an unpleasant odor or cause discoloration over time.
Inspect the base boards in your home, under the doors, and around the air vents. Your carpet has a built-in filtration system which traps tracked-in contaminants. Even if you vacuum, over time this filtration system can “fill up.” If you don’t professionally clean your carpet regularly, these particles can become airborne. Babies crawling on your carpet are particularly vulnerable to this unhealthy environment. Think about it – if you don’t change the filter in your car engine regularly, your car’s engine chokes. It won’t run efficiently and may stop altogether. It is the same with your carpet filtration system. Keeping it clean will enable it to do the job it is meant to do.
Does your carpet need replacement?
Take a look at the type of carpet you have and its condition. If the carpet is nylon or part-nylon and not visibly worn, its condition will likely improve with cleaning. However, if it’s matted polyester, threadbare in spots, aged, or unevenly worn cleaning won’t rejuvenate the fibers.
Also, watch for soils which can reappear after professional cleaning. Sometimes a spot (pet urine, wine, large volume spills) has seeped into the backing of the carpet. The material dries in the carpet’s backing and pad. After cleaning, the surface tufts of your carpet become clean. However, moisture can reach the carpet backing. As the spot dries, the material in the backing of the carpet comes forward into the carpet pile. If over-the-counter cleaners have been used on your carpet, these can leave a residue which reappears after your carpet is dry. Excessive spotting which can’t be removed may be a good reason to replace your carpet.
However, before replacing your carpet, you might also want to consider your lifestyle. Do you entertain a lot? Do you have children who are too young to tell you about spills? Or do you have pets which could scratch new carpet or are old and incontinent? If so, you might want to consider waiting to replace your carpet. Even if you have to live with an older carpet, routine professional cleaning will help. Also, for a quick touch-up to your carpet between cleanings, sprinkle baking soda on your carpet and vacuum after an hour. This will leave your home smelling fresher.
If you need a carpet audit or to schedule a cleaning for your home, please give us a call today!