Even if you vacuum frequently, your carpets may be dirtier than you realize. Periodically deep-cleaning them can remove dirt, dust and allergens, which can make the carpets last longer and help your family stay healthy.
How Dirty are Your Carpets?
All sorts of toxic particles can be carried into your home on people’s shoes and pets’ feet, and some household products release volatile organic compounds. When carpet fibers are dirty and people and pets walk on the carpets, the dirt and grime get ground in.
Even if you vacuum regularly and clean up spills immediately, you’re only cleaning the surface. A lot more toxins are farther down, attached to the carpet fibers. If carpets aren’t deep-cleaned, those substances can lead to poor indoor air quality that can affect your family’s health. Dirt and allergens in carpets can be particularly troublesome if you have young children who play on the floor.
How Deep-Cleaning can Help
The most commonly used carpet-cleaning method is hot water extraction, often referred to as steam cleaning. Water and a cleaning solution are sprayed on carpets, then water and dirt from the carpets are sucked back into the machine.
This process can get rid of ingrained debris. The hot water breaks down and removes substances stuck to carpet fibers and kills germs, bacteria and dust mites. Deep-cleaning can also reduce the risk of mold. In addition, shampoo lubricates carpet fibers and reduces the possibility of breakage, which can extend the life of the carpet.
When and How to Clean Your Carpets
How often you should deep-clean your carpets depends on your family’s lifestyle, how frequently you vacuum and the amount of foot traffic the carpets receive. Every 12 to 18 months is recommended, but you may need to clean your carpets more often if you have kids or pets, if your carpets get a lot of foot traffic or if they have experienced frequent or particularly messy spills.
The color of the carpets can also influence your cleaning schedule. Lighter carpets will show dirt more than darker colors. Don’t wait until your carpets look dirty and dingy or the color is significantly darker than it was when you bought them. The carpets will be hard to clean and may not fully recover from the effects of all that accumulated dirt.
You can buy or rent a machine to clean your carpets yourself, but the machines that professionals use heat water to a higher temperature and have more powerful suction and therefore do a better job of cleaning. If you clean your own carpets on a regular basis, you should still schedule an occasional professional cleaning.
Do Your Carpets Need to Be Cleaned?
Even if your carpets are in good condition overall, trapped-in dirt can detract from their appearance. Deep-cleaning can make carpets look like new and help them last longer. Clean carpets look and smell better, feel softer and more pleasant to walk on and can make your home feel more inviting to guests.
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