There are many factors at play in deciding how often to get carpets cleaned. For many people, it is a reactive thing. They get their carpets cleaned when they begin to appear soiled (or are already quite soiled). Depending on the colour and pattern of your carpet and the lighting in the room, soil may not show. Therefore, it may be several years between cleans. Others are more proactive, and schedule carpet cleaning at regular intervals.
We will take a look at why carpets need to be cleaned regularly and factors affecting how often it should be done. First of all, let’s look at why you should get your carpets cleaned.
The most obvious and typical reason for carpet cleaning is to remove stains and general grubbiness. However, just because a carpet may not look like it needs a clean, this is not always the case. Over time carpets collects bio-contaminants: volatile organic compounds, combustible products, asbestos, dust mites, chemical contamination, migrated outdoor pollutants, insoluble particulate soiling, grease and oil deposits, sand, soil, dirt, food particles, pesticides and allergens.
Big words, but what do they mean? Quite simply, your carpet acts like a filter; it collects soil, bacteria, allergens and pollutants from the indoor environment. This collection and filtering process allows a carpet to trap contaminants within its construction.
But like any filter, it needs to be regularly cleaned out.
Dr Michael Berry, former Deputy Director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency stated:
"Based on what I have learned from researchers, I have reached the conclusion carpeting and fabrics not cleaned and properly maintained have the potential to cause a variety of health problems inside the building and home environment”.
The fact is, the best thing you can do for your carpets is have them regularly cleaned by a qualified professional carpet cleaning company. Not only is it a matter of hygiene, but it is also a matter of maintenance.
Another reason is maintenance and prolonging the life of your carpets. Carpets are expensive and you want them to look good for a long time. It is the build-up of dirt and soil which causes damaging wear to your carpet far more than the foot traffic alone. Foot traffic grinds this soil against the carpet fibres, and this is what causes them to gradually dull and wear away.
While vacuuming certainly helps and should be done regularly it is not nearly as powerful as the professional hot water extraction machines. Professional grade machines (which cost thousands of euros and require training to operate) are needed to remove deep soil.
Major carpet manufacturers recommend you have your carpets cleaned every 6 to 12 months.
The exact frequency depends on things like smoking habits, number and ages of any children, soiling conditions, humidity, allergy conditions, and pets – to name just a few. It just makes good sense to have your carpets cleaned regularly – not just to maintain their look and feel, but also because deep cleaning removes pathogens such as bacteria, germs and the substances on which these organisms live.
Read more: Tom’s blog post on how to differentiate between trustworthy carpet cleaners and cowboys: “How do I know if I can trust a carpet cleaning company?”