How Often Should I Clean My Carpets?

Lydia Schapiro
Written by Lydia Schapiro
Updated October 1, 2021
Dog sleeping on living room carpet
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It's important to nurture your carpets with regular DIY cleaning and professional cleanings

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Your carpets may add to your interior design, but all bets are off when your dog adds to your carpet by leaving a little present. Whether you’re preparing for a dinner party or having your parents in town, cleaning your carpets should be an essential part of your deep-cleaning regimen. 

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to how often you should clean your carpets, since all households are different and thus have different cleaning criteria. Your carpet cleaning demands will depend on each unique household and the residents.

Factors Affecting How Often You Should Clean Your Carpet

Like every carpet, every household is different, so your cleaning schedule will vary depending on a few things:

If You Have Kids

Kids and babies often spend a lot of time on the ground and on carpets, which inevitably translates to spills. Moreover, it’s second nature for children to put their fingers in their mouths, which means ingesting whatever has accumulated in the carpet. That’s why it’s so important to keep up with cleaning when you can.

With kids in the house, it’s a good idea to clean your carpets at least every six months. In addition, make sure to hire a local carpet cleaning company at least once each year for a deeper clean. You should also vacuum your carpets in between cleanings as needed.

Your Carpet Warranty

Carpets often come with warranties, which might have a cleaning requirement. If yours does, your carpet manufacturer may also require that you keep your receipts to demonstrate that you followed the warranty’s instructions. This requirement can help guide how often you should be cleaning your carpet.

If You Have Pets

Any pet owner can attest that while we love our furry friends, they definitely amp up cleaning necessities. Pets often track in dirt and other gunk from outdoors, which can be hard to clean mud and dirt in the carpet. In addition, even the most well-trained and mild-mannered pets can have accidents, leading to unsightly stains and foul odors.

Depending on how messy your pets are, you should be vacuuming your carpet anywhere from two times a week to daily. Also, consider getting a professional cleaning twice a year. 

Note: There are several types of vacuums and cleaners designed for cleaning up after pets, so be sure to do your research.

Carpet Color

Modern living room with rug
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Maybe you bought a pretty white carpet to brighten up your living room, but now you’re just left with brown coffee stains on your carpet. Unlike dark carpets, light carpets will almost always reveal stains and grime accumulated immediately, making it more difficult to put off cleaning. 

Depending on whether you have children and pets, you’ll want to vacuum light carpets a few times a week and shampoo them every three to six months.

If You Have Allergies

Carpet fibers gather and filter out dust and allergens from the air. On the other hand, when they accumulate enough, they flow into the air again. If you or someone you live with has allergies, it’s necessary to clean your carpets thoroughly to eliminate the allergens. 

We recommend vacuuming the carpets at least once a week and getting them cleaned professionally every two to three months.

Is Professional Carpet Cleaning Worth it?

The short answer is yes. Hiring professional carpet cleaners helps to ensure that you’re removing as many particles from the carpet as possible. The cost for professional carpet cleanings is typically between $120 and $230. On the flip side, renting a machine from a company and doing the job yourself tends to cost around $35 to $50 per day, not including the costs for added cleaning material fees.

Note: Vacuuming serves to eliminate loose surface particles from the carpet before they erode the fibers. Vacuuming on a more regular basis will increase the time you can go between professional cleanings and extend your carpet’s life. 

To maintain your carpet between professional cleanings, it’s important to regularly clean it yourself. By following some simple carpet cleaning tips, you can ensure it’ll be a job well done.

When Should You Replace Your Carpet?

Noticing stains and odors that don’t go away, visible damage, or increased allergy symptoms? These are all signs that you need a new carpet and may indicate that the carpet cleaning you’re doing is not enough. Talk to a professional carpet cleaner to get their take, and then you may want to consider the cost of installing a new carpet.

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