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Frequency Matters: How Often Should You Clean Carpet & Upholstery?
Frequency Matters: How Often Should You Clean Carpet & Upholstery?

Carpet and upholstery are important investments that can drastically improve the look and feel of a home or business. However, just like other surfaces, they can accumulate dirt, problem spots, and funky odors over time. In order to keep them looking their best and smelling fresh, it’s important to clean them regularly. But how often should you be cleaning your carpet and upholstery?

The frequency of cleaning depends on a few factors, including the type of material, the level of foot traffic, and the presence of pets or children. Here are some general guidelines for how often to clean carpet and upholstery based on fabric type and traffic:

Carpet Cleaning Frequency

Light-colored or low-pile carpet

If you have light-colored or low-pile carpet in a low-traffic area, you can probably get away with vacuuming once a week and deep cleaning every twelve months. However, light-colored carpets will show soil much more quickly. If you have pets or children, or if the carpet is in a high-traffic area, you may want to increase the frequency of vacuuming to every three to five days and deep clean every six months to twelve months.

Dark-colored or high-pile carpet

Dark-colored or high-pile carpet doesn’t tend to show dirt and stains as easily, so you may be able to clean less frequently. Aim for vacuuming every five to seven days and do a deep cleaning every twelve to eighteen months. 

Dirt Causes Damage:

In both cases keep in mind that just because you don’t see dirt doesn’t mean that it isn’t accumulating and doing damage to the rug. On average a carpet will gain twenty-five pounds of soil per year. If the home has pets or children living in it, or if the carpet is in a high-traffic area, that total can be much higher. Increase the frequency of vacuuming and deep cleaning when such conditions exist. Also, it is important to do spot cleaning when spills occur. We recommend you check out these two articles on Emergency Spot Tips and 4 Products to Never Use on Carpet.   

Upholstery Cleaning Frequency:

The frequency of cleaning upholstery depends on the material and the level of use. Some fabrics require special care or just aren’t as durable as others.

  • Velvet: Velvet is a soft, plush fabric that is durable but it can easily become crushed or matted. It can typically go about a year in between cleanings but does require special care. Since it is prone to water damage it is important not to drench the fabric when spot cleaning. Use a damp microfiber cleaning cloth and wipe in the direction of the fabric grain. Avoid purchasing spot cleaners from the store.
  • Wool: Wool is a natural fiber known for resisting stains. However, regular vacuuming and spot cleaning are important. Dry cleaning is the best method for wool carpets because high heat and moisture can cause shrinkage.
  • Microfiber: Microfiber is a synthetic fiber that is soft, durable, and stain resistant. It is a popular choice for upholstery, especially in high-traffic areas like living rooms and family rooms. This is very easy to spot-clean. Use a damp microfiber cloth or unscented baby wipes to quickly clean up spots and spills. While this fabric is stain resistant and cleans up easily, it does tend to show spots rapidly. A professional cleaning may be needed once every six months to a year.  
  • Natural fibers: Natural fibers like cotton, and linen, but can be prone to shrinking, fading, and wrinkling. They can also show damage quickly and may show marks like scratches that can be permanent. Spot-clean the fabric with a solution of white vinegar and water as mentioned above. Natural fibers can fade and should be protected from heat and direct sunlight. It is best to clean fabrics like linen and cotton every 6 months to a year.

Cleaning Methods

When it comes to deep cleaning your carpet and upholstery, there are a few options to consider. One highly effective and efficient method is dry cleaning with the encapsulation method.

  • Dry cleaning with the encapsulation method: Dry cleaning with the encapsulation method involves using a dry compound or absorbent pad that contains a cleaning solution. The solution forms a crystalline encapsulation around the dirt that traps it and prevents it from sticking to the carpet fibers and fabric. Once dry, the crystalline material easily vacuums away, leaving the surface clean and refreshed. This method is quick, convenient, and safe for most materials. Plus, it doesn’t require the use of a lot of water, so there’s no need to worry about drying time or the risk of mold or mildew.

Other deep cleaning methods to consider include:

  • Steam cleaning: Steam cleaning, also known as hot water extraction, involves using high-pressure hot water and a detergent solution to deep clean your carpet and upholstery. It’s effective at removing dirt, stains, and odors, but it does require the use of lots of water and long drying times.
  • Shampooing: Shampooing involves using a foaming detergent to deep clean your carpet and upholstery. It’s a good option for spot cleaning, but it can leave a sticky residue that attracts dirt and may not be as effective at removing stains and odors as steam cleaning or dry cleaning with the encapsulation method.

No matter which method you choose, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Don’t let dirty carpet and upholstery hold you back. Contact a professional cleaning service today to schedule your next cleaning.