Clients frequently ask how often they should schedule professional carpet cleaning. The initial response is one that no one really likes to hear…“Well, it depends.” OK, on what does it depend?
The most important factor to consider is how much use the carpet receives. Is the carpet installed in the home of an active family with children and pets or is the home occupied by just one or two more ‘mature’ residents. Is the carpet in the family room or in a bedroom? Is the carpet installed in a second home that is not used year-round or perhaps a second home that receives heavy use in a relatively short period? Regardless of the various types of activity, the more extensive the use, the more frequently the carpet should be cleaned.
Another factor in determining cleaning frequency is maintaining warranties on new carpet. Major carpet manufacturers require their carpets be cleaned at regular intervals in order to maintain the warranty. Two of the largest manufacturers are Shaw and Mohawk. Shaw recommends cleaning with hot water extraction between 6-24 months depending on the level of activity and type of foot traffic while stating that carpet in a “typical” household should be cleaned every 12-18 months. Mohawk also recommends carpet cleaning every 12 to 18 months using the hot water extraction method. Another carpet manufacturer, Beaulieu of America, recommends carpet cleaning every 12-24 months. Shaw and Mohawk both require proof of professional cleaning to maintain a warranty.
One factor that would seem to be the most logical in determining when to clean a carpet is the appearance. Appearance is not necessarily a good indicator of when to clean a carpet. If a carpet gets to the point of being heavily soiled and unsightly, too much time has passed between cleanings. At that point, the cleaning will be more time consuming and costly and there is no guarantee that the carpet can be returned to a ‘like new’ condition. Accumulated soil wears on and abrades the fibers used to construct the carpet. When the carpet begins to wear, no amount of cleaning can reverse that condition.
So, determining how often to clean a carpet, as well as upholstery and rugs, really does depend…on a number of factors. Aside from cleaning at a frequency required to maintain a new carpet warranty, the best guideline is to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning every 12-18 months using hot water extraction. That is the recommendation from those in the business of selling more carpet. Just think how often the carpet really should be cleaned.