As a professional carpet cleaner for over 19 years now, I have many questions asked of me about how often should carpets be cleaned? This is a great question and eludes many. Most people feel that the carpet needs to be cleaned when it looks really soiled or dirty. This is true. But when it has gotten to that point, your carpet is actually begging for you to clean it. Let me illustrate.
When do you go to the dentist? Only when your teeth hurt? or every 6 months to a year for a check up and cleaning? The usual answer will be the later. We like to take care of our oral cleanliness. Because we like a nice smile, good breath, and our teeth to stay in our head as long as possible.
Well now lets apply this to our carpets. Carpets are a filter bag for dirt, soil, pollens, debris, dead skin, hair, mud, and so on, you get the point. Everything that tracks on your feet, goes into the carpet. It was designed to hold that stuff. Vacuuming is a regular maintainence that should be done weekly. This will help your carpets stay cleaner longer. The more you vacuum, the cleaner the carpets will stay. But, professional hot water extraction i.e. Steam Cleaning is required to remove everything else that the vacuum can't.
OK big drum role please : the answer to the question is!
Every 8-12 months! This is the average that a standard home of 2 adults, 3 children and a pet should be cleaning their main traffic areas. This is how often we see our regular clients who want to keep there carpet investment at the best. They are cleaning and reapplying carpet protection to all the traffic areas. By being on this regular schedule, the soil doesn't have time to build up on the fiber and cause matting, black spots, and harmful damage to the fibers. Most carpet manufactuers put in their warranties that every 12-18 months is required. But this would be pushing it to the limit in my humble opinion. Of coarse every home enviorenment is different. A home with on retired widow who has no pets, is far less likely to have heavy soiled carpets compaired to the home with 2 parents, 2 toddler children, a teenager, 2 dogs, and a cat. So again we see the average home maintaining there carpets every 8-12 months.
Heres a bonus question and answer for you:
Did you know that walking on soiled carpets is ruining them?
Yes it is! Soil is just like little razor blade cutting away at the fibers. So the more you walk on them, the more damage happens to your traffic areas. A carpet that is not vacuumed and cleaned on a regular basis will wear out and look visually unattractive in half the time as one that is taken care of regularly. I love illustrations. Here is another one for you.
Imagine taking a piece of sandpaper and scratching one of your front windows 3 times a day. Everytime you walk by morning, then noon, then night just take a swipe in the same place. Day in and Day out for 12 months. What do you think would happen to that glass? Yep, it would get ruined! You would no longer be able to see through the area you kept scratching. This is the same as walking on dirt in your carpet. That is why traffic areas start looking bad after about 5-7 years.
Solution to the problem?
Vacuum 2 times a week and clean and reapply carpet protection to your traffic areas every 8-12 months. Then you will see a good lifetime for your flooring investement.
I don't know if you have priced flooring lately, but it is not cheap!
Best wishes for now,
Peninsula Carpet Care :)