I could barely sleep last night as I was thinking about writing this article (of course, it could have been the neighbor’s stupid dog barking all night). Having been a professional odor removal St. Catharines cleaner since 1975, my articles are always dedicated to “telling it like it is.” It’s amazing how all carpet looks so nice and fresh when first installed, and then 10 years later can still look like its brand new. Or it can look like it’s been the stomping grounds for the Walking Dead! This is information I’d suggest you read now, and then keep handy for reference for the future cleaning needs of your carpet.
Regular and proper cleaning maintenance may cost a little more than neglecting a carpet, but in the long run, the investment will save you a lot of money. Now some of the things I’ll mention here will seem obvious, and some you might not believe. But first, let’s visit the dentist…
The dentist tells you to brush, floss and come visit the hygienist on a regular basis. If you follow these directions, you get to keep all of your teeth for life! What does that have to do with carpet? I suggest this: vacuum your carpet regularly in the proper way using a good vacuum (see my cool article on vacuuming), and then have it PROFESSIONALLY cleaned by a professional cleaner. I know that last part sounds redundant, but it’s not. Just because a professional cleaner charges money for cleaning doesn’t mean they do a professional job. But first, let’s discuss the vacuuming.
Vacuuming is such an important part of the long life of your carpet, that even though I have a separate article just on proper vacuuming, I need to revisit some of the same information.
When you get sand and soil particles in the carpet, these little particulates have sharp edges that can cut into the surface of the filaments when walked on. When the filaments start getting scratched up enough, the traffic areas start looking “dirty.” It’s not dirt though, it’s actually abrasion. And I’m sorry, even if you had the best carpet cleaner in the country (uh, that’s me) clean your traffic areas, the abrasion is permanent. In fact, here’s a little carpet inspector secret: to find out if your traffic areas that look dirty are really dirty, or if they have abrasion, take a bright light (at least 200 watts) and hold it directly over the traffic area you’re inspecting. If the “dirt” is actually dirt, you’ll see it even easier. However, if it’s abrasion, you won’t see it. So you can either hang bright lights over all of your traffic areas all the time to hide the abrasion, or you can vacuum them correctly from the start.
Of course, vacuuming frequency can vary between a main hall and a seldom-used guest bedroom. You can never vacuum too often, but you can definitely vacuum too seldom if you aren’t diligent. There are two things you’re after when you vacuum, even though you can’t see them. One is airborne particulate that settles into the carpet or is filtered by the carpet as the air moves through the home. The second are the inevitable dust mites that even you have in your home right now. These microscopic beasts live in everybody’s furnishings but can be somewhat controlled with regular and thorough vacuuming. Therefore, regular and thorough vacuuming is one of the two most important parts of maintaining your new carpet. Again, this is like brushing and flossing your teeth once or twice a day that I know you do. Right?
But still, every 6 to 12 months the dentist wants to have us visit the hygienist. Why? All the hygienist does is dig and poke around in my mouth! Nevertheless, she is getting past my flossing and brushing efforts, right down to the gums (and further). Now, this is where carpet cleaners are better than hygienists. The hygienist hurts you and makes you bleed, then makes you pay for it. We carpet cleaners don’t hurt you at all; we just make you pay for it. What a deal!
So how often does the carpet need to be professionally cleaned? Glad you asked! Some of the carpet manufacturers are suggesting a minimum of every 12 months, if not more often. Some have even required this on the warranty, but I’ve never seen that enforced. I would suggest every 6 to 12 months, depending on the usage. An elderly couple without much in the way of visitors, or owners of a seldom used vacation home tend to need less cleaning. On the other hand, a home like mine requires professional cleaning more than every 6 months! (My wife always denies it, but our carpet is cleaned at least every 3 months. And you know what? What I really want to do is put a metal floor in our house with big holes in it, and once a week just hose it down. With the kids standing in the middle to get them hosed down too. Wouldn’t that be great!? Oh rats, my wife is shaking her head at me with a stern look on her beautiful face.)