If warmth and comfort are your priorities at home, there’s no better type of flooring than carpet. It feels great against your feet, and it provides insulation from both the cold and noise. But this universally loved flooring isn’t without its drawbacks.
If you have carpet in your home, you’ll already know that it requires regular cleaning and maintenance. It might look and feel great, but it needs continuous care and maintenance.
Take a quick look at your carpet. It might look like its fit for a showroom, but you can never really be sure what lurks deep within the pile. And this is why daily cleaning of high-traffic areas is essential. Many of the most destructive substances in the average carpet are invisible to the naked eye.
The more you look after your carpet, the longer it will last. There are many reasons why the average household carpet requires regular cleaning, but here are seven of the most persuasive.
1. Greasy residues attract more dirt
We all live with grease in our homes. Some of it comes from our kitchen, but a lot comes from outside — via shoes or pets. Grease comes in many forms. It’s not always visible as a stain, however. But when it’s present, dust, dirt and allergens have something to hold onto.
Over time, even the slightest of greasy spots can drastically change the appearance of your carpet. But, more importantly, grease traps allergens — causing serious problems for people with common allergies.
This is why vacuuming alone isn’t enough. If you are determined to maximise the lifespan of your carpet, you’ll need to get it cleaned regularly. Perhaps the most effective solution is to call in the professionals. But this is expensive. Alternatively, you can use a carpet or steam cleaner for the job. The latest steam mops come with an attachment specifically designed to make carpet cleaning easier.
2. Grit and dirt destroy carpet over time
While your carpet might look spotless at first glance, it may well be harbouring millions of grains of dirt and sand. Weaker vacuum cleaners simply can’t access these grains, as they’re hidden deep within the pile. As people continue to walk over the carpet, these grains rip individual fibres to shreds. This is why using a powerful, cyclonic vacuum cleaner and all of its attachments is so important.
3. Your carpet could be making you ill
It’s often the case that the hidden dangers lurking in your carpet are the most serious. If you have allergy sufferers in your home, the need for clean carpets is of paramount importance.
The average household carpet harbours millions of microscopic mites — as well as their droppings and carcasses. Also hidden deep within the pile is pollen. And once it’s there it’s very difficult to remove. Every time someone walks across your carpet, these allergens are sent flying into the air.
To keep in the air in your home as fresh as possible, vacuum your carpets at least once a day. Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter or a decent alternative. The latest technologies can trap more than 99% of allergens. Just make sure you dispose of the contents carefully.
4. Bacteria love carpets
No matter how often you vacuum your carpets, you won’t be able to eradicate bacteria. Yes, you can minimise germs, but you’ll never be able to get rid of them completely. But when bacteria levels become too high, they have the potential to make you and your family ill.
The average carpet contains everything from food poisoning bacteria to chemicals — all of which can be hazardous to health. Of course, bacteria is invisible to the naked eye and odourless. This is why you should vacuum your carpets daily. It’s also why you should aim to steam clean your floors at least once a year.
5. A dirty carpet is a heavy carpet
It might surprise you to discover that the average household carpet can hold up to four times its own weight in dirt and contaminants. Moisture, mites, dust, grit, grease and various other substances all add to a carpet’s weight — which increases gradually over time. And the heavier a carpet becomes, the more prone it is to warping and stretching.
6. Carpets get flattened easily
The fibres of even the best quality carpets are relatively fragile. This isn’t a major issue in most areas. But in high-traffic zones, premature deterioration and flattening of fibres can become serious problems.
The suction of a powerful vacuum cleaner doesn’t just “pull” contaminants from your carpet — it pulls individual fibres back to their original, upright position. If you don’t do this regularly, these fibres may become permanently disfigured; changing the entire look and feel of your flooring.
There are a few things you can do to mitigate this problem, however. Perhaps the most simple is to enforce a “no shoe” policy in carpeted areas of your home. Shoes are far more damaging to carpet fibres than bare feet.
You should also consider adding mats and runners to high-traffic carpeted areas. You can always remove these protective covers for special occasions.
7. Your carpet will last longer
A good carpet should be capable of delivering a decade of faithful service. But that’s only possible if you take care of it. Daily vacuuming with the correct settings and attachments is a good start. It keeps damaging grit and dust to a minimum, which protects fibres from rips and tears. But maintenance should also involve regular deep cleaning. Having a steam mop in your home with a carpet attachment means you can clean your floors yourself — whenever the opportunity arises.
Should I get my carpets cleaned professionally?
This all depends on your budget and the spare time you have on your hands. Professional carpet cleaning services use specialised equipment and cleaning agents. They have both knowledge and experience, and they know how to protect a carpet from damage during the process.
Buying a carpet is only the first stage of your investment. In order to protect your flooring, you’ll need to spend money over the course of the carpet’s lifetime. The simple solution is to hire professionals. In the long run, this could well be cheaper than replacing your carpets every two or three years.
But a far more cost-effective maintenance solution lies with the power of steam. An everyday steam mop with the necessary attachment allows you to clean your carpets as often as you wish. And in many cases, this powerful cleaning tool is far cheaper than a single visit from a professional carpet cleaner.