Home Hacks

Wait, We Need to Clean Our Rugs *How* Often?

A tidier home, right this way.

March 29, 2019

If you have a powerful vacuum cleaner, you might think you’re in the clear when it comes to cleaning your carpets and rugs. Giving them a thorough vacuuming once or twice a week keeps them looking fresh, so that’s good enough, right?

Unfortunately not.

No matter whom I ask, experts tell me that deep cleaning rugs is a necessary and important household chore. Not only will it pull out all the grime and bacteria that’s hiding deep down in carpets, but in many cases, it’s also mandatory to maintain your warranty.

You Should Professionally Clean Carpets Every…

Twelve months. If you’re relatively good about vacuuming and spot-treating stains, you should be fine having your rugs professionally cleaned once a year, according to Rug Doctor.

To keep your floor coverings looking pristine for the rest of the year, experts recommend vacuuming slowly. Dean Carter, owner of Carter’s Carpet Restoration, explains to TODAY that it should take 15 to 20 minutes to vacuum a 300-square-foot area… yeah, I’ve been doing that wrong. Whoops! This slow pace allows to vacuum to vibrate carpet fibers more efficiently, shaking out the majority of the dirt that’s hiding in there.

Pets and Kids Complicate the Matter

There are a few factors that make it necessary to deep clean your rugs more frequently than once a year. Namely: beloved children and pets.

If you have young children, experts recommend deep cleaning your carpets every six months—but not necessarily for the reasons you’re thinking! Sure, kids can bring more dirt into the house, but it’s actually a matter of safety. The American Lung Association explains carpets can trap mold spores, bacteria, dust and more, and children are more likely to be exposed to this type of pollution in carpets because they often spend time playing on the floor. So, you’ll want to have rugs professionally cleaned to maintain a safe play space.

Pets, on the other hand, just create a mess. Your pooch probably isn’t too concerned about wiping his feet when he comes inside, which means more dirt and grime is going to end up in your carpets. Plus, pet dander and fur can burrow its way deep into floor coverings, so you’ll want to give your rugs a more thorough clean every six months or so.

Oh, and Be Sure to Check Your Warranty

Deep cleaning carpets is good for both aesthetic and health purposes, but it might also be mandatory to maintain your warranty.

Many carpet companies require you to have their products cleaned every 12 to 18 months—and we’re talking about calling in the pros, or using one of their approved carpet cleaning devices. If you can’t prove you completed this maintenance, they may not honor your warranty if your carpet ever needs to be replaced.

However, if you don’t have a warranty, you can just scoop up a carpet cleaner and do the job yourself.

How Often Do You Need to Replace Carpets?

Have your carpets seen better days? Even though it’s sad for both you and your wallet, there will eventually come a time when you need to get rid of your rugs.

Monarch Carpet Cleaning explains that the average rug can last anywhere from five to 15 years, depending on where it’s located, how diligent you are about maintenance, and the general quality of the product.

However, there are a few sure signs that it’s time to start thinking about saying goodbye:

  • Stains that won’t come out
  • Fraying around the edges
  • Odors that won’t go away
  • Mold growth
  • Damaged or deteriorating padding
  • A dull, dirty, or matted-down appearance

If you notice any of these signs, it’s probably time to replace your rugs—not only for appearances, but for health purposes, too!

When’s the last time you gave your rugs a deep-clean? Let us know in the comments!

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Freelance writer, product tester & baking enthusiast.