Carpeting can be one of the most durable investments you make for your home - provided you care for it properly. With routine cleaning and basic maintenance, a quality carpet can last 20 years or more.
Today's carpet are designed to hide soil and even repel it, thanks to advances in chemical treatments.
However, carpet fibers can still trap and hide dust, dirt, bacteria and other pollutants. Over time, that can lead to matting and a general deterioration of your carpet.
Regular carpet cleaning has a number of benefits that we sometimes forget:
- It extends the life of your carpet.
- It gives a fresh, clean look to a room.
- It makes a room smell better.
- It eliminates dust and particles that bother people with allergies and asthma.
Regular vacuuming is perhaps the easiest and most dependable way to giving your carpet a longer life.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you're vacuuming at home or shopping for a new vacuum:
- Choose a vacuum cleaner with dual motors, one for suction and the other for the beater bar that loosens dirt. (Canister vacuums and 'electric brooms' don't have a beater bar.)
- Make sure your vacuum cleaner has adjustable and rotating brushes that can loosen ground-in soil, and a strong enough airflow to penetrate to the backing.
- Make sure the filtration bag is enclosed and adequately limits particles from recirculating into the air.
- Remember that vacuum cleaners generally lose some of their suction power over time, so that cheap stand-up model might not turn out to be a very smart investment.
Carpet should be deep cleaned (also known as steam cleaning) at least once every two years. A high-pressure solution of water and detergent is sprayed into the carpet, and then the resulting mixture is vacuumed out.
There are a variety of methods of deep cleaning, and hiring a professional to do the job is always advisable.
Many homeowners, however, prefer the do-it-yourself approach using rented cleaning machines. If you are steam-cleaning your own carpet, here's a few pointers to remember:
- Don't overwet the carpet, since it might cause the carpet backing or seams to separate.
- Allow the carpet to dry completely before walking on it - 12 hours is recommended.
- Provide proper ventilation or use fans to quickly dry the carpet and expel any odors from the cleaning solution.