Why do I need to vacuum and clean my Carpets?

Often when we see worn carpet the customer will ask us, how often should we clean our carpet? This is a two part answer, first you should know why you need to clean your carpets and then you can make the right choice on how often to do it. For example if it’s a single person that travels 10 months a year that will be very different then a single mother of 5. 

So let’s start with the basics. Carpet fibers can rub against each other, nylon against nylon, for a really long time. They are tough, made to take abuse for over a decade. But just like anything it will break down over time. Now let’s think about my hands. It’s a beautiful crisp November evening, just the right amount of chill is in the air to build a bonfire. We are all cuddled around the fire keeping the chill off. I can rub my hands together in front of a fire. I can rub my hands for a long time without any trouble. It would produce just the right amount of friction to keep my hands warm without creating a blister. BUT if you poured sand or salt over my hands…. I would rub them raw in maybe 30 seconds. My skin is not as tough as the sand is and it would break down quickly. Your carpet is just the same way. Dust is the universal sandpaper and as it builds up in your carpet it breaks down your carpet fibers, backing and padding. So what does that mean? Should you vacuum every hour of every day? No that would be too much. Just like if I washed my hands too much my hands would get raw from all the over washing. If you vacuum your carpets too often you will actually start to wear out your carpet early from all the friction from the vacuuming. The idea is to split the difference between the harm that the dirt will cause the carpet fibers and the friction that the vacuum will cause the fibers. 

So now that we know why we should vacuum or clean our carpets, to keep dust from building up and acting like sand paper, we know what we are fighting. So if you have a room that the door hasn’t been opened to this year then it could go most of the year without any attention. The main entry to the home that everyone uses every day should be vacuumed every couple of days or anytime you know it’s collected a lot of dirt. Normally clean carpet can rub against itself and be just fine. It’s just nylon rubbing against nylon. Carpet is just like any other surface, it doesn’t produce dirt it just collects it. It is just easier to see on wood or tile floors that there is a lot of grit on the floor. Carpet on the other hand hides the dirt way better then hard surfaces do. Here is our recommendation, every few days vacuum real quick the five to ten feet of carpet that gets used every day. Treat those areas like entry mats and give them 90 seconds of attention. Now every couple of weeks vacuum the rest of the areas that get dirt on a weekly basis. And then once or twice a year do a deep whole home vacuuming to get all the areas that dust from the air is building up on the carpet. Even without traffic dust will still settle. The carpet cleaning is needed once the vacuum doesn’t pull the dust off the carpet. Once the carpet gets sticky the dust won’t just dry vacuum off and you need a good steam cleaning. 

We recommend that when you notice that your carpets are dirty is a good time to get them cleaned.