Determine how often you should get your carpets cleaned with a few simple questions.
A question I’m commonly asked when talking about carpet cleaning is “how often?” Many manufacturers recommend that you get your carpets cleaned every 12-18 months. Places with high traffic, however, should consider getting them cleaned every 6 months. Here are a few helpful questions to ask yourself when you’re deciding if you carpets need cleaned.
- Do you have any pets? How many? We all love our pets, but we also know how messy they can be at times. Pets shed their hair and have oils on their skin that can get into your carpeting. They don’t know anything about using a napkin when eating or wiping their feet of mud when coming into the house. When you have a lot of pets, you will need to clean pet stains from your carpets more often.
- How often do you vacuum? Vacuuming twice a week is what most manufacturers suggest. Just remember that the better care you give your carpet between professional cleanings, the less often you’ll need to get your carpets cleaned.
- Do you or your family suffer from allergies? A clean carpet can drastically reduce the allergens in the air, leaving it fresh smelling and making it easier to breathe. Depending on where you live, you may need to get your carpets cleaned 2-3 times year.
- How many people live in the house? Does anyone wear shoes inside? This should come as no surprise, but walking around inside with your shoes on gets your carpets dirty a lot faster. More foot traffic also develops wear patterns on soiled carpet. Wearing socks or indoor-only slippers is the best way to preserve your carpets, as going barefoot can leave the oils on your skin in your carpet fiber.
- What does your warranty require? Many people aren’t aware that your manufacturer requires this to keep your warranty form being voided.
You can see by just these few questions that the base question of “how often” can vary greatly between homes. As for the actual cleaning process, most carpet manufacturers recommend hot water extraction aka steam cleaning over a chemical process. This is because chemical or “dry” based cleaning uses large amounts of chemicals to make your carpet look nice. Not only does it leave chemical residue in your carpet that is not safe for kids or pets, but it doesn’t even remove pollutants or allergens.
With “steam cleaning,” the temperature and pressure of the water do most of the work, with little chemical used per gallon of water. The chemicals that are used are mild and biodegradable detergents that help to dissolve the dirt in the water, which is extracted before it can make its way down into the padding.