How Do I Best Care for My Carpet?
There is much discussion in our industry about how often carpeting should be cleaned. Surely you have heard “wait as long as you can before you clean your carpet” or “once you’ve cleaned your carpet, it’s never the same.”
These widely used comments have stemmed from unfortunate encounters with uninformed cleaners who have left the carpet with an overload of detergent residue. The unfortunate consumer has assumed this will happen with all carpet cleaning and resolved to wait until the carpet is in dire straits before cleaning it.
The good news is that properly cleaned carpet will not re-soil quickly and will actually last longer. Why? Because damaging soils are removed with effective carpet cleaning. Soil that is not removed by vacuuming, even though it can rarely be seen by the naked eye, cuts and slices the carpet fibers as the carpet is walked on, breaking down the carpet yarns in the traffic areas. The result is that even with restorative cleaning at that point it will not correct the damage that has been done to the fiber. Not to mention that a carpet that is not cleaned on a regular basis is an unhealthy carpet. Carpet is like a sink. It collects pollens, insecticides, exhaust, and other undesirable substances that get tracked in or blow in from the polluted outdoors. Carpet manufacturers state that a residential carpet should be professionally cleaned at least every 18 to 24 months for best performance. More often if pets and/or children are present and perhaps more often if you are a smoker. The EPA published a guide that suggested regular cleaning frequencies based on the number of occupants and other factors.
In short, a carpet that is maintained on a regular basis will not only last longer but will also provide a healthier indoor environment. Your carpet represents a significant investment. Just like any investment, maintenance is required to get the best return on it. Think about your automobile. You change the oil in your vehicle so the engine will last longer, to avoid costly repairs, and to get top performance from it. The same is true for your carpet, or any floor covering for that matter. By properly maintaining your carpet it will look better, last longer, and contribute to a healthier indoor environment.
Soil is corrosive by nature. It breaks down the fibers of your textiles. Soil that cannot be removed by vacuuming bonds to the carpet; it can then only be removed by professional cleaning. Even though your floors and fabrics may look clean, that doesn’t mean they are clean. Especially if you have pets or children. Soils, pollens, bacteria, asphalt, insecticides and all sorts of invisible enemies are transferred to your furnishings daily. Not to mention the unmentionable: urine or fecal matter (I know that’s yucky!)
Every day “environmental oils” attract abrasive soils. Carpeted traffic areas coming from the kitchen collect cooking oils. Sofa arms collect body oils, and hard surface floors collect film from cleaning agents. The grit then eats away at the surface like sandpaper. The solution is to have your carpets, upholstery, draperies, and hard surface floors cleaned at least every 12 months; more often in high traffic areas.
You have probably heard that cleaning your carpets and floors too often is harmful. This is simply not true IF your floors and fabrics are cleaned according to proper standards. This myth came from uneducated, uninformed, and sometimes downright unscrupulous cleaners leaving a sticky residue behind, which made the attraction to harmful soils worse instead of better.