Monday, January 16, 2012

When Should You Clean Your Carpets

When should I clean my carpets is a frequently asked question. There are two sources of advice, that from the industry and that based on our experience in the "Real World". The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC) standard reference guide for professional carpet cleaning recommends cleaning for normal soiling in a home every 6-12 months for high use areas and annually for the remainder of carpet. Most carpet mills require carpet cleaning from 18 months to 2 years to maintain the carpet warranty. The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) recommends deep cleaning either quarterly, every 6 months or annually depending upon traffic levels.

As you can see, they are all over the place but they all agree that
  • Proper professional cleaning will extend the useful life of the carpet
  • If carpet looks dirty, it is already past the time it should have been cleaned
  • Cleaning for health has a bigger impact on people's lives than merely cleaning for appearance
  • The carpet in most homes would benefit from cleaning more often than it is being cleaned presently
Now for my advice. There are two primary factors to consider, vacuuming frequency and the environment within the home. If you vacuum at least once a week, consider cleaning every 12 to 18 months. If you vacuum less, maybe clean every 9 to 12 months. However, if any of the following home environment conditions exist, consider professional cleaning more frequently than just mentioned. Home environment conditions would be smokers, pets, heavy use of kitchens and messy family members. For smokers, tobacco smoke lingers and poses a health issue for children. Pet stains and their odors get worse with neglect. Heavy cooking, especially with oil, gets into the air and settles at entrances to the kitchen. And, last but not least, a messy family or family member can impact the cleanliness of the carpet.

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