Imagine this: you're in high school, it's early on a Saturday morning, and you're trying to sleep. Suddenly you hear a door slamming; it happens to be the closet in the hall. You realize what's happening. Your mom is about to vacuum. **REdfjrisjiehr!!!** Or however you spell the sound a vacuum makes.
"MOM," you yell.
She pretends she can't hear you yelling...
When I was younger, I thought the vacuum was invented for moms to be passive aggressive towards their kids. It was Mom's way of telling us to get out of bed.
The truth is, carpet cleaning is probably more important than we thought, and you will probably thank your mom after you read this.
Your carpet might be the most disturbing part of your home or apartment. It can be a host to thousands of different bacteria and contaminants. Every time you walk across or play on the carpet, you are stirring up these irritants into the air. If you want to control the cleanliness of your carpet, you need to know what you are dealing with.
That list of inhabitants failed to mention the mud, animal hair, human hair, bugs, food, pet urine, and other things that can be brought into a house by people or pets. Now that we have a decent picture of how gross our carpets are, how do you go about cleaning them?
Oh.. That noise machine that you hated growing up has a purpose after all. Vacuuming consistently and often is an excellent start to keeping your carpet clean. The best practices for the most efficient vacuuming are:
I recommend using a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. These are helpful for people with allergies because it filters the air of 99.97% of air particulates. It prevents you from just tossing those mold spores and bacteria back into your air. Even if you vacuum twice a day, every day, you will never completely rid your carpet of germs. This bacteria refuge doesn't give up that easily, meaning further tactics must be taken.
If you have never had your carpet cleaned, you might want to consider it now. Getting your carpet cleaned is an incredibly satisfying experience, and it leaves your entire home feeling refreshed and clean.
Here are a few areas carpet cleaning can improve your carpet and your home:
You might be surprised to find out that there are different types of carpet cleaning that professionals use regularly. While there are some that are recommended for different situations, these are the most commonly used practices. Which one you choose is based on the type of carpet you have and how often you have your carpet cleaned.
- Hot water extraction is also known as steam cleaning. It may be called steam cleaning, but it is not the steam that is doing the cleaning. Hot water extraction is done by applying some type of cleaner to the carpet and using water and a high-powered extractor to remove it and the soil. The extractor can be portable or is sometimes a hose attached to a truck. The steam comes in because the water is heated to scorching temperatures to kill bacteria and mold.1
This is the most recommended form of carpet cleaning. Mainly because it provides the most thorough clean. The deep penetration along with the high temperature remove most dirt and bacteria from any carpet.
Every carpet cleaner you meet will probably tell you why their way of doing it is the best way. Hot water extraction is often called the best type of carpet cleaning, but it can really disrupt a day because of how long it takes to dry. Dry cleaning techniques involve little to no water, so daily functions can continue without interruption. They all have their pros and cons, so it should come down to which method is best for you.
If you want to know which type is best for your carpet, you might need to do some research to find out the best option. It is a good idea to talk to your carpet manufacturer to find out which cleaning method they recommend for which type of carpet. Either that or talk with a cleaner about which type they recommend. If they are a professional, they will help you make the right choice.
Many industrial cleaners may contain some harsh chemicals. So it is important to be aware of that before you hire a professional. There are green cleaning options available. There are also countless do-it-yourself cleaning solutions that you can use to spot clean stains and eliminate carpet odors.
Most experts you ask would give you a similar answer, and that is it should be done every 12-18 months. There are a lot of variables going into a question like this. As a homeowner, you need to think about the type of foot traffic your carpets receive. If you have a family of eight and are regularly cleaning up stains, perhaps you should consider doing it more often than once a year. The same goes if you have pets.
Something to be aware of is your carpet's warranty. Apparently, some carpet manufacturers require that a carpet gets professionally cleaned every 12-18 months. Not only that, but the homeowner must save the receipt to show to the company. It may even have to be cleaned using a certain method. If not done, the warranty could potentially be voided.
Again, this is an answer that is determined by many qualifying factors. Prices can vary from company to company, but two of the primary determinants are size and dirtiness.
Alan Fletcher, also known as the Carpet Professor, has mapped out some general estimates for carpet cleaning and how to price it. He says, "the typical cost to clean your carpet ranges from 15 cents to 45 cents per square foot." Soil level is the reason that the price per square foot is so broad. A company might charge 15 cents per square foot for a clean carpet, but if that same carpet is twice as dirty as a usual carpet, they will be inclined to charge twice as much for the job.
In conclusion, your home's carpet needs grooming. I frequently write about the house as if it's a system or a body. Carpet cleaning is an important thing to factor in when considering "house hygiene.” The wide range of benefits that come from consistent vacuuming and cleaning should be enough to convince any homeowner.
Now go thank your Mom.