So you've just gotten your carpets cleaned and they are looking great right now...but what about 1,2,3...6 months from now? One of the most common questions we get asked is "How often should I get my carpets cleaned?". While all carpet should be cleaned at least once a year to neutralise bacteria to maintain a healthy home environment, there's no simple answer to this age-old question as through visiting thousands of homes throughout Adelaide over the years we've noticed one thing: some homes can keep their carpets cleaner for longer than others, extending the life of their carpet and the value they get from having their carpets cleaned. Here are a few handy hints to help you keep your home's carpets cleaner for longer:
Shoes Outside, Slippers Inside
According to Carpet Dirt Research by C.W Studer (as cited in Detergency: Theory and Technology by G. Cutler and E. Kissa), 79% of all soiling found in carpet is insoluble, dry particulate matter, which is often introduced into the home from outside. One of the simplest and best things you can do is to get into the habit of removing your outdoor shoes when you enter your home and swap them for a comfy pair of indoor slippers.
Regularly Vacuum Carpets
Frequent vacuuming of carpets with an effective vacuum cleaner goes a long way to remove the 79% of dry particulate matter hiding in your carpets. Most homes should be vacuumed at least once a week, twice a week for homes with pets or small children. The best vacuum cleaners to use are "High Efficiency Particulate Arresting" vacuum cleaners equipped with motorised rotating brush heads such as the SEBO G2 Professional which is what we use to vacuum your carpets every time prior to cleaning.
Good quality entrance mats made from acrylic, nylon or polypropylene should be placed at both the exterior and interior entrance to your home. Mats help absorb dry particulate and dirt from visitor's shoes and should be regularly vacuumed to prevent the build-up of soils which will render them ineffective. Mats should also be cleaned at the same time as having your carpets cleaned to keep them working at maximum efficiency and extend their lifespan for years to come.
Clean Outside Entrances
If the area directly outside the entrace to your home is dirty then anyone coming in will track the dirt in on their shoes. The easiest way to remedy this is to vacuum the hard surface directly outside your home's entrance at the same time as vacuuming the rest of the home, and mop it once a week using hot water and a multi-purpose Hospital Grade Disinfectant such as Coles Ultra.
Spot Clean Stains & Spills Promptly
When a spill happens or you notice a stain has appeared, it's best to deal with it then and there. Use a paper towel to absorb any soluble liquid then spray the area with a "No Rinse" Carpet & Upholstery Spot Remover such as the one we supply, and blot the area using a microfibre cloth. It's important to use a "No Rinse" Spot Remover as it won't leave behind any sticky chemical residues; many over-the-counter products that you get from Coles, Woolies etc will leave a sticky chemical residue that will attract soils and often cause the area to re-soil worse than before.
Clean Flyscreens, Vents, Filters, Blinds
Regularly vacuum flyscreens on windows and doors as part of your vacuuming routine, dusting down blinds, clean vents and replace filters on the air-conditioner as required. All of these fittings act to capture dry particulate as it enters your home but they can only capture so much. If not cleaned the dust will build up and they won't be able to capture more, letting it go straight into your home.
Limit Open Windows & Doors
Airing out the house is excellent for your families health and it should be done every day, however limit open windows and doors to just enough time to air out the house (~30-60 minutes per day). Leaving windows and doors open for extended periods of time allows the free movement of dust and dry particulate into your home.
Pet Care & Grooming
If you have pets that spend time outside and inside the house, wiping their paws and drying their coats is recommended before they re-enter the house to prevent them from tracking in dirt. Brushing pets outside is also an excellent idea to prevent shedding indoors, which together with regular grooming significantly helps prevent the accumulation of pet hair and other dry particulate residues inside the house.
Rotate Furniture & Rugs
Walking over the same area of carpet can over time wear the pile and push dust and dirt deep into the carpet pile and backing. If your room layout allows it, rotate your furniture around every 6 months to spread the foot traffic around - your carpet will love you for it, and this will extend the life of your carpet significantly. Furniture sliders available from Bunnings will be a great help in sliding your furniture around the room. It's also a great idea to do this with floor rugs as well, particularly with rugs in front of the lounge sofa which frequently receive foot traffic over the same area. Area rugs should be vacuumed along with your carpet and cleaned once a year together with your carpet cleaning service to neutralise bacteria and extend their life.
Professionally Clean Carpets Before Soils Build Up
While we've produced some miraculous results on heavily soiled carpets featured in our before & after pictures, to extend the lifespan of your carpet and keep it cleaner for longer in between cleans it's important to have carpet professionally cleaned before too much soiling builds up on the carpet. As soiling builds up on the carpet the pile will run out of room to hold soils and additional soils will eventually be pushed into the primary/secondary backing which results in a state known as "Soil Impregnation", where the carpet backing has been impregnated with foreign soils. After cleaning the carpet will eject these soils from the backing which can result in stains appearing to come back or rapid re-soiling of affected areas. To ensure you never experience this problem always have the carpets professionally cleaned before the carpet becomes heavily soiled.
Avoid Discount Carpet Cleaners, Sticky Residues
Discount carpet cleaners commonly use cheaper chemicals which leave behind sticky chemical residues in your carpet. These sticky residues attract soils from people's feet, causing carpet to re-soil quickly after cleaning. Discount carpet cleaners will also often skip steps from the cleaning process to finish the job quicker. If you are paying 50% of the price, expect to only get 50% of the clean.
Use Modern Polymerisation Based Carpet Cleaning Systems
When having your carpets professionally cleaned if you want your carpets to stay cleaner for longer, use a service provider that has incorporated the latest advances in micro-polymerisation carpet cleaning technologies. These cleaning systems (such as our SMARTClean system) are non-toxic so perfectly safe for family and pets, environmentally friendly and sustainable, leave behind no sticky chemical residues to attract soils and apply a layer of durable microscopic polymer onto the carpet fibre which helps to deflect future soiling. These modern technologies help keep your carpets cleaner for longer as future soils will be less likely to stick to your carpet and hence more easily removed through regular carpet vacuuming.