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How Often Should You Deep Clean Carpet And Area Rugs?

It’s a new year, and if you’re anything like us, you’re planning out projects that you want to get done in 2020. One annual home project that should be on everyone’s list is deep cleaning carpet and area rugs throughout the home. Rug Doctor experts recommend deep cleaning your carpet at least once every 12 months. But did you know in some situations, you should be deep cleaning your carpet on a more regular basis? If you’re wondering how often you should deep clean your carpet or area rugs, read on for our expert recommendations.

Have Cigarette Smokers in Your Home?

If you have tobacco smokers at home who smoke indoors, it’s important to deep clean your carpet every three months in homes with heavy smokers and at least every six months in homes with moderate to light smokers. Tobacco smoke contains numerous types of gasses and particulate matter, including some that have been known to cause cancer. These harmful gasses can be absorbed into dust in a room, ending up in your carpet, area rugs, upholstery and other soft surfaces. According to this 2002 study, these toxins can then re-emit back into the air and recombine to form harmful compounds. This becomes dangerous for even the non-smokers in the household. Deep cleaning your carpet with a Rug Doctor removes these toxins and helps prevent them from re-entering the air in your home.

What to Do if You Have Children at Home?

If you have small children in your home, we recommend deep cleaning your carpet at least every six months. But not for the reason you may think. Yes, children cause more spills and accidents, but we have spot cleaning products and machines to help you deal with those daily messes. Our main concern is the exposure your kids may have to the bad things hiding in your carpet. Carpet is soft and warm and a great place for the little ones to play, or nap, or picnic, or build forts. The list goes on and on! Unfortunately, according to the American Lung Association, children are more likely to be exposed to pollution in carpet, both because they spend so much time playing on it and because they’re likely to place their hands in their mouths. We recommend deep cleaning more often to remove these containments and to reduce the chance of exposure. The best way to do this is to deep clean your carpet with a professional-grade machine, like the Rug Doctor Pro Deep Cleaner.

What About Pets at Home?

If you have furry family members living indoors, we recommend deep cleaning your carpet at least every six months. Carpet and area rugs do a fantastic job of trapping pet dander deep within the fibers. While this is great for air quality initially, simply walking on or even vacuuming can make it airborne again. Pet dander is tiny flecks of skin shed by animal with fur or feathers. (Yep, your birds have dander, too!) Because of their microscopic size, it’s easy for pet dander particles to settle deep within your carpet. Yuck! Want to hear something even yuckier? Dried saliva, urine or dust from dried feces can also flake off your pet in a similar manner and become trapped deep within the fibers. While regular vacuuming can help, it’s not enough on its own, because it doesn’t remove all the tiny particles hiding deep beneath the surface. Deep cleaning is the only way to truly and thoroughly wash your carpet and area rugs. Yes, deep cleaning is important from a cleanliness perspective, but it’s doubly important for those with pet allergies. Even if you aren’t allergic to pet dander, there’s good a chance that many of your guests may have a pet allergy. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 3 in 10 people in the US with allergies have allergic reactions to cats and dogs. And cat allergies are about twice as common as dog allergies. A buildup of pet allergens can make respiratory symptoms worse and decrease lung function in people with even the slightest allergic reaction to pets. The absolute best way to remove pet allergens from your carpet is to deep clean your home on a semi-annual basis.

When A Family Member Has An Allergy

Not sure how often to clean your carpet?

It depends on whether someone in your household has allergies. Carpet fibers work as a filter, collecting dust and allergens floating around the room.

Eventually, they will build up and become airborne once someone walks across the room. You must give your carpet a thorough clean to remove allergens and clear the air. Aim to vacuum once a week and hire a professional carpet cleaner every two months.

Cleaning Light-Colored Carpets

Light-colored carpets brighten up a room but they also highlight any dirt and stains. This means they’ll need more frequent professional cleaning compared to darker carpets.

Vacuum once a week, clean spills immediately and treat carpet stains when they arise. And, to ensure your light-colored carpet looks its best, get a professional clean every six to 12 months.

How Often Should Carpets be Cleaned Professionally?

Carpet manufacturers vary on their recommendations as to how often carpets should be professionally cleaned but most say that carpets should be cleaned every 12 to 24 months but there is more to this which you should know about as their recommendations seem to be based on appearance only.

There have been a number of studies which have shown that bio-contaminants like mould is very effectively handled with hot water extraction cleaning (steam cleaning) and the clean carpet does not support regrowth even for prolonged periods of elevated humidity and temperature even though we don’t normally have high humidity levels in Melbourne.

Generally speaking, there are real benefits in having clean carpets. Leaving it too long between having your carpets cleaned can be unhealthy.

So, with these factors in mind, how often should carpets really be cleaned?

There are a number of factors other than time that should be taken into consideration as to determine how often your carpets should be cleaned.

For example, if you have young kids and there is a lot of use and the occasional spillage, it may be worth cleaning the carpet more often than every twelve months. If in addition to these factors, you also have pets and there was a smoker in the house, more frequent cleaning may be needed.

For family residences, carpets should be cleaned every 6 to 12 months but if you have children or pets, having the carpets cleaned every 3 to 6 months would be more appropriate.

Additional Tips

In additional to regular vacuuming and professional cleaning there are some things you can do to keep your carpets in a better condition for longer. These include:

  • Use mats at the entrances to the building to help catch particles being walked in.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner that has a rotating brush which lifts more particles.
  • When spillages occur, immediately spot clean with a mild detergent. There seems to be a general misconception that when a spillage occurs it should not really be touched. This is incorrect. Clean the spot by dabbing, not rubbing using a detergent that is very mind because detergents which are too harsh can damage the carpet fibres. Watch out for carpet spot cleaning products sold at supermarkets as they can damage your carpet. I would personally never use them. More information on what not to use for spot cleaning can be found here.

Mistakes To Avoid

You’ve realized it’s time to clean your carpet. But before you dive in, consider these common mistakes:

Over-Wetting Or Over-Shampooing

This happens when too much water soaks into the bottom of the carpet. As a result, the carpet will discolor when it’s too wet and even shrink, tearing itself up from the floor.

When your carpet is soaked, it’s difficult to dry out, therefore increasing the risk of mold and mildew.

Another problem is over-shampooing the carpet. If this is the case, there will be a build-up of soapy residue that is impossible to clean, leaving your carpet susceptible to attracting more dirt.

Furniture On Wet Carpeting

If you set your furniture on wet carpeting, there is a major risk of staining if they are in contact for too long. Or, as many tables have partially metal feet, there’s a risk of leaving rust stains on the carpet.