Like most significant home investments, your carpet needs professional maintenance periodically. Even if you take off your shoes in the house and never eat over carpet, there’s nothing you can do to prevent a certain amount of dust and dirt (on average, several pounds per year) from settling into carpet pile. Here are answers to three of the most common questions regarding carpet cleaning:
- How Often Do Homes Need Carpet Cleaning Services?
One guideline for how often to get professional carpet cleaning is what is required by your carpet’s warranty (typically every 18 to 24 months). But keep in mind that this is a bare minimum; most households need cleanings every year or so, and a high-traffic home with kids or smokers may need twice-a-year service.
Pet owners may also want to consider getting professional cleanings more frequently. This is important because pet odor becomes unnoticeable to those who live with it constantly. But since guests in your home will definitely be able to smell the evidence of your furry pals, it’s best to bring in an outside company who can ensure your home is always fresh.
- What Kinds of Carpet Cleaning Are Most Effective?
There are three common methods professionals use to clean carpets. The first is carpet shampooing, which generates a foam that dries in the carpet, attracting dirt and residue. This foam is then vacuumed up, taking the dirt with it. Dry cleaning uses an absorbent cleaning powder that is sprinkled over the carpet with a similar goal of attracting dirt so it can be removed using suction.
The best method of carpet cleaning, however, is hot water extraction or steam cleaning. If you’re looking for how to deep clean carpet, this is the answer. In this process, a detergent solution is sprayed onto the carpet and then immediately removed with a powerful wet vacuum. Often the unit is mounted on a truck outside while just a hose and floor tool are brought into your house.
- What Can I Do the Rest of the Year?
All homes need professional carpet cleaning services at some point, but there’s plenty you can do in the meantime to keep your carpet in good shape between professional visits. Carpet cleaning tips vary when it comes to specific types of stains (Google is your friend in this situation, though you should use common sense in case someone is attempting to prank unsuspecting readers — baking soda is a good idea for carpet cleaning, teriyaki sauce isn’t), but in general you should soak up spills as quickly as possible and vacuum regularly (once or twice a week).
The quality of your vacuum cleaner will also have an effect on the lifespan of your carpet. Stronger suction not only sucks up more dirt, but also pulls up carpet fibers that get trampled down over time.
Are you overdue for carpet cleaning services? How long do you typically go between visits from carpet cleaning companies? Share in the comments.