Vacuuming Does NOT Count As Rug or Carpet Cleaning
We like to think we can keep our carpets clean on our own….we just need to vacuum every week or so and blot when there’s a stain… right?
Wrong. What you’re likely forgetting is that almost all carpet companies require you to professionally clean your carpet and rugs every 12 to 24 months, to keep your warranty valid.
In other words, vacuuming is not enough. Neither is steaming carpets yourself. Professional cleaning is, like it or not, the only way to protect your carpet in most cases. And it’s also a way to protect your health.
“Indoor air quality can be eight to ten times worse than outdoor air quality, if you don’t clean your flooring, clean your drapes and let air inside regularly,” says interior designer Robin Wilson who specialises in allergy-free housekeeping. When thousands of us suffer from indoor allergies, air quality is a huge issue.
Wilson — and the other experts we spoke with — says that to keep the air in your home clean, it’s important to follow a few carpet-cleaning rules. Namely:
Call professionals to clean your carpet, more often than you think you should.
Wilson, recommends professional carpet and rug cleaning in the interest of a dust-free home: she says to call in professional cleaners every six months, and every four to six WEEKS if you have a pet. (Keep in mind this applies to carpets, not area rugs).
Regardless of how often you choose to use them, our experts agree that professional carpet and rug cleaners are hands-down necessary — you shouldn’t attempt to steam carpets yourself. Only professional cleaning can effectively lift dust from deep within your carpet, Wilson says — if left there, it will wear down and rip the carpet’s fibres. But only professional machines can truly zap all the steam’s moisture from the carpet when you’re done cleaning. The results of trying to do it yourself can be sickening.
“I’ve been on job sites where you pull up the carpet and see a mould patch,” Wilson says. When you steam clean yourself, “you turn your house into an incubator for mould growth,” Wilson adds.
Between professional cleaning, vacuum at least weekly (or much more often with pets
Of course, vacuuming remains the easiest way to keep carpets and area rugs clean between professional cleans — our experts recommend vacuuming at least once per week, to keep those abrasive dust particles out of carpet fibres. Ramp up the frequency in high-traffic areas or if you have pets — these spots might need daily vacuuming depending on how much debris you notice.
And take area rugs out for spring and autumn cleaning sessions.
Area rugs vary in their care instructions, so check yours for its ideal cleaning schedule. Generally, Wilson says, you should vacuum rugs with the same frequency as carpets, then deep-clean them every six months with a good old-fashioned broom-beating. Take rugs outside, shake them out, beat them with an actual broom (ideally while wearing a mask to protect your face), and let them air outside for a day.
Many area rugs can also be professionally cleaned — if yours allows, you might get them cleaned once per year, Wilson advises.
Another secret? Vacuum slowly.
“One of the most common errors people make when vacuuming is that they do it too fast,” Wilson says. “Vacuuming slowly allows a vacuum cleaner to do its best work by vibrating carpet fibers and containing dust in the vacuum.”
Blot carpet spills immediately — do NOT wait.
Rubbing a stain will spread goo around and can distort the carpet’s pile, or fluffy shape. And waiting to clean a stain lets moisture seep deeper — Forte recommends cleaning spills the instant they happen.
Spray carpet cleaner on a cloth and dab the stain, working from the outside to its centre. Rinse with a clean cloth the same way, and then blot dry. To absorb leftover moisture, pile on a stack of paper towels and place a heavy pot or vase on top. Leaving it there overnight will ensure all wetness is fully zapped.
…and if you keep it clean, you can keep it forever! (Well, almost.)
“You can keep a rug for a lifetime, if you keep it clean,” Wilson says. Carpet lifespans, however, range with quality — some well-made varieties are made to last up to 15 years if kept dust-free, she adds.
…It’s just a little more motivation to summon Carpet Doctor to professionally clean your carpets & rugs.
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Carpet Doctor: 23 Limewood Road, Raheny, Dublin 5, Ireland
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