If I could get a pound each time I got asked that, I would….you know what I mean.
The truth is – everything needs to be cleaned at some point – no question. However, some things need to be cleaned more often than others. To take some extreme examples, you ought to change (and wash!) your underpants every day but the inside of the oven only needs cleaning once in a blue moon, usually when someone is moving house or when the level of grease has built up to the point where it’s becoming a fire hazard. Then there’s everything else. Where do carpets come in the spectrum of things? How often do you need to clean a carpet?
Answering this depends on whether you’re talking about vacuuming, deep carpet cleaning or stain removal. All of these have different schedules and there are a host of factors influencing how often a carpet needs to be cleaned.
Factors That Affect Carpet Cleaning Frequency
When deciding on how often you need to clean your carpets, no matter what type of cleaning we’re talking about, some things will get the carpets quite dirty and expose them to more dirt. If any of these situations ring true for your, then you’ll have to increase the frequency at which your carpets are cleaned:
- lots of foot traffic across a particular patch of carpet
- situations where people can’t take their shoes off at the door before walking on the carpet (e.g. in an office or in a shop)
- pets in the home – and some pets shed more hair and skin particles than others!
- homes that use log fires as a heating source (logs will inevitably shed bits of bark and sawdust on the carpet)
- people in the house with long hair – if this is your situation, you know what I’m talking about
- people in the house who have problems with asthma and allergies
- craft-crazy people, especially if their craft involves glitter
- small children who crawl on carpets as well as dropping food on them
- carpets with deep piles
- pale coloured carpets
The more of the items on this list you can tick off, the more often you’ll have to call out the professional carpet cleaners in Archway (ahem, hello, I am here) and the more often you’ll have to get out the vacuum cleaner.
How Often Should You Vacuum?
To some extent, this is up to you. I know that in my house, it sometimes seems like the vacuum cleaner could be running non-stop. As soon as someone has finished vacuuming, it’s like there are little gremlins that walk around behind them sprinkling dust, hair and more over the place. All the same, regular vacuuming is important and is your first port of call for keeping carpets in good order. Vacuuming might not be able to remove all of the dirt but it will remove some of it and it will also help to keep thinks like fleas and dust mites down.
I would say that the bare minimum frequency for vacuuming is once a week. However, if you want to, you can do the job more often. Daily isn’t too often if this is what you prefer or if the people in your house are particularly grubby. You probably also ought to vacuum after doing any activity that has involved getting things on the carpet, such as crafting activities… or if someone’s marched into the house with lawnmower clippings all over them.
In fact, vacuuming the carpets is a good way to give the whole house an instant lift. Do it as often as you feel like it! If you don’t feel like it, then one way to motivate yourself is to get down on that carpet and either do a few floor exercises like planks (if you feel energetic) or some deep breathing (if you need to relax). You’ll quickly come face to face with what the carpets are like…
How Often Do Carpets Need To Be Deep Cleaned?
Deep cleaning, as the name suggests, gets right down into the carpet fibres and gets all the dirt, sticky resides and odours out of there. Because it’s such a thorough job, it doesn’t need to be done as often as vacuuming.
The gold standard for getting carpets professionally deep cleaned is once a year. This is what is recommended by carpet manufacturers, as it really helps extend the life of the carpet by removing harsh grit. A lot of people like to make carpet cleaning part of their spring cleaning routine, although you don’t have to wait until spring to call on the carpet cleaning company in your area! Any time of year will do, really, although the weather does affect the drying time.
In the case of heirloom rugs and carpets (kilim, Turkish carpets, Persian rugs and the like), the warranty often includes a requirement to get the item cleaned by a professional once a year. In the case of these valuable and beautiful rugs, dry cleaning is a must to prevent the colours and the fibres from being damaged, and that’s something that only a professional with the right equipment (and know-how) can do.
Some places need to have their carpets deep cleaned more often. Offices, for example, need to get the carpets deep cleaned more often than private homes because there are a lot more feet tracking across the carpets for longer every day – and those feet will have shoes on them that have just come off the streets. One can go barefoot at home, but not at work! Having mats down at the doorways can help collect the worst of the dirt, mud and rain that come in off the street but even so, office carpets will probably need more frequent deep cleaning. In fact, commercial premises often arrange not just for regular carpet cleaning but also for regular mat cleaning.
If there is someone in your household with bad asthma and allergy problems, then deep cleaning carpets needs to be done very often to kill those pesky dust mites that cause so many problems. Some people in this situation opt for not having carpets at all but having hard floors soften with a few rugs (jute rugs are particularly good in this situation, as they repel dust rather than hanging onto it). However, even these rugs will need some deep cleaning now and again. Steam cleaning is best in the case of allergy sufferers, as the heat involved in this process will be high enough to kill the wretched little critters.
In the case of allergies, it’s probably a wise idea to get upholstery cleaned at the same time as the carpet, as these also provide a home for dust mites. Ditto mattresses and pillows – they’ll need deep cleaning as well. A good professional carpet cleaning company will be able to do all of these in one session, making it easier for you.
Stain removal, of course, is a different kettle of fish altogether and sometimes actually involves fish (ah, that great chippy at 657 Holloway Road Archway, London N19 5SE). There’s no denying that getting stains cleaned properly is important and it will need to be done regularly. However, it’s impossible to plan and schedule stain removals for the simple reason that nobody plans to spill coffee, red wine or curry on the carpets! Mind you, if you have learned the hard way that office parties or other parties inevitably leave wine stains on the carpet, you could pre-book a stain removal expert to come in the day after!
With all stains, acting quickly is the most important thing. This means that if you have spilled something or discovered your toddler’s “artwork” or a patch of pee left by the new puppy, then you need to deal with that stain as soon as you can so that it doesn’t spread or become permanent. Most good professional carpet cleaning companies offer emergency stain treatment services for just this reason!