Carpet Cleaning- How long should I wait?

One of the most common questions I hear is, “How often should I have my carpets cleaned?” I wish there were an easy way to answer this. But just like most stuff in life, there are circumstances that will alter the final answer. Lets look at a few of them.

First off, ask yourself, “How clean do I like my house?” If you are someone who is neurotic (like me) about having a generally clean house, obviously you’ll want to do it more often. However, lots of people don’t care all that much about health, the grime and crud, or the bacteria in their house. Trust me, I’ve seen some stuff man… We’ll get to that person in a minute. First I want to focus on the person who takes care, and puts time into keeping their house, not just tidy and organized, but actually clean. If this is you, here are some things to consider:

  • Do I vacuum regularly?  A good rule of thumb for vacuuming regularly is 1x per week per person in the house. And add 1 per animal. So a typical house, 2 parents, 2 kids and a dog… 5x per week.
  • Do I keep the spills to a minimum? This can be hard especially with kids, or pets that aren’t house broken
  • Do I clean the spills properly? Using most store bought spot cleaners can cause more damage than good. Always blot up the bulk of the spill first, then use either vinegar, or a mix of water and a small amount of dish soap.
  • Do we have foot coverings for inside the house? Lots of the bodies oils are secreted through the hands and feet. If you’re not wearing some type foot covering, your body oils will rub off the on carpets causing rapid soiling.

If you can answer these questions with satisfaction, you could probably wait up to 2 years, but something tells me you don’t want to wait.

Next lets look at the typical home owner. Not real a messy person, but not quite OCD about their carpets, dusting, wiping up etc. This person probably keeps things in organized and gets around to cleaning on occasion, never letting anything get too out of control. My guess is they vacuum their carpets once every few weeks. Because this is the typical person, carpet manufactures suggest having your carpets cleaned every 12 months.

If you don’t fall into either of these categories, you probably don’t even think having your carpets cleaned is necessary until they look dirty. Imagine if people waited to take a shower, or wash their clothes, only when dirt is visible.

Keep in mind that your carpet acts as a filter. It traps allergens, dirt, bacteria, and all sorts of other nastiness. Most people get rid of their carpets because of this reason, when in fact they are doing the opposite of what they think they are achieving. The carpet is supposed to trap all that stuff. Thats part of its purpose. It prevents that stuff from becoming airborne and breathable.

Not every house, person, or situation is the same. So the answer to the question, “how often should I clean my carpets?”, is really up to you. How clean do you want your house to be? And the most important thing to remember, if your carpet is visibly dirty, it’s past due for a cleaning. The carpet is full of dirt.