Carpeting improves the appearance and comfort of your home — it adds a sense of luxury and pleasure and warmth.
Clean carpet is the foundation of a healthy, cozy, and comfortable home. Proper carpet maintenance can extend the useful life of your carpet investment — but the most important benefit of a carpet cleaning schedule is to maintain a healthy home environment for you and your family.
Most people only have their carpets cleaned once they begin to see a layer of dirt or matted-down carpet fibers, or when they notice a musty odor, or the unpleasant, crusty feeling under their feet.
But by the time you can actually see the dirt, your carpet may be saturated with dust, dirt, debris, food crumbs, dried spills, everything tracked in on your shoes, and oily residues from airborne cooking oils, candles, cigarette smoke, and even oil-based air fresheners.
There are two important points that we want to emphasize here:
Carpets are manufactured to act as environmental filters in your home.
Unlike other filters, carpets are designed to hide the dirt as it accumulates.
Think about all the other filters in your life — water filters, air filters, oil filters — these are actually designed to show dirt and debris, so it's clear when you have to replace them with a fresh, clean filter.
If carpet was designed to show dirt like these other filters, you wouldn’t hesitate to "change the filter" at regular intervals too.
We see it every day in our work — carpeting that actually looks clean, but then the water that we extract from a deep cleaning looks like thick mud.
Most major carpet manufacturers create carpet that is intended to be vacuumed several times a week, and properly deep cleaned by a professional every 12-18 months — the time schedule depends on conditions, pets, shoes, traffic, weather, and other conditions.
In effect, having your carpeting professionally cleaned by a well-trained and experienced professional using a Hot Water Extraction method is just like getting a fresh, clean, pristine environmental filter for your home.
During these times in which we are spending more times indoors, the carpets and furniture tend to be more greatly impacted. More foot traffic, more chances of spills, dirty shoes from outside — all these will play a role in how frequently the carpets should be vacuumed and professionally cleaned for optimum care and health.
Indoor Air Quality
A badly maintained carpet can be the cause of unpleasant odors, allergies, and poor indoor air quality.
Just like any other filter, carpeting can begin to lose its effectiveness as it becomes dirtier and more "clogged".
Vacuuming a few times a week definitely helps slow the accumulation of dirt in carpeting, but it doesn’t get 100%. Just image trying to vacuum a dirty air filter — you only get the surface dirt. Furthermore, vacuuming is completely ineffective at removing oil-based airborne residues that has settled on the carpet.
Once the carpeting gets more and more saturated, the dirt, dander, dust can begin to be released back into the air by regular everyday activities like vacuuming and simply by walking on the carpet.
The health and quality of our indoor air has become more important to us recently as we spend more hours each day inside our homes.
Mold, Bacteria, Dust Mites, Organic Waste
All the accumulated dirt, dander, and oily residues mentioned above can lead to bacteria and mold growth, dust mite infestations, and the accumulation of toxins and allergens which do reach a point where they can begin to be released back into the air simply from daily walking.
When liquids are spilled onto the carpet, it is best to immediately remove as much of the liquid as possible, as soon as possible, to help reduce the possibility of mold.
Time is of the essence, so start extracting/soaking up the water quickly. A wet/dry vacuum, or even just absorbent towels are an excellent way of aiding in this effort.
Dust mites are often found in poorly maintained buildings/homes, and they especially thrive in dirty carpet. Thus, proper maintenance is critical for the reduction of dust mites.
The dust mites themselves are not the allergens — it’s their feces and decaying bodies — called dust mite "debris" — that are the culprit in dust mite allergy.
Vacuuming regularly to remove dust, and regular professional cleanings can eliminate dust mites. The professional Hot Water Extraction method of carpet cleaning with high temperature water is especially effective at eliminating dust mites.
Organic wastes such as skin cells, pet waste and dander, and food spills will eventually contribute to odors, infestations, and a progressively dirty “filter”. No matter how diligent you are at cleaning up, you don’t remove 100% of the organic wastes that end up in your carpet.
Professional Hot Water Extraction gives your carpet a clean slate, and is the closest you can get to a shiny new filter.
Daily Maintenance Advice
Aside from improving the appearance of your home and extending the life of your carpet, a little daily maintenance has significant health benefits.
Attend to spots and spills immediately.
Clean up all spills right away. Even if you spill plain water, it’s possible for mold and mildew to begin to grow within 24 to 48 hours, and begin to give off a musty odor.
If you blot most of the water our of your carpet immediately, the remaining dampness should dry completely under most circumstances in plenty of time to prevent mold and mildew.
A wet/dry vacuum, or even just cloth or paper towels or newspapers are a perfectly sufficient way blotting up spills.
And remember: Blot — don’t scrub!
Vacuum several times a week
Carpet manufacturers advise owners to properly vacuum 2-3 times per week with focus on high traffic areas. Vacuum slowly and from multiple directions on those traffic areas to freshen up your carpet.
Periodic Professional Deep Cleaning
The carpet industry guidelines for professional carpet cleaning suggest professional deep cleaning at intervals of every 6-18 months — depending on number of pets, children, and other lifestyle considerations.
Let’s not only focus on cleaning for appearance's sake but most importantly for the health benefits to you and your family by having freshly cleaned carpets, rugs, and upholstery!
To keep yourself and your family healthy at home, it is a great idea to maintain your carpets with regular proper vacuuming and attending to spots and spills immediately.
You change all your other filters at regular intervals. So, even though carpets are manufactured to hide dirt, please don’t neglect the single largest filter in your home.
We know from studies by health experts the critical importance of cleaning carpet for health. Properly done — with powerful and well-maintained Hot Water Extraction equipment — professional carpet cleaning protects families from unwanted exposures, and helps manage our indoor environments.
Simply put, professional carpet cleaning is good for your health, and the health of your family.
If you have any questions about this article, or anything related to cleaning carpet, upholstery, tile and grout, and maintaining a healthy home, please feel free to give us a call, and let's talk!