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Only 3% of households have their carpets professionally cleaned, despite significant benefits

toy on carpet

A carpet can be an invaluable addition to any room, providing insulation and suppressing noise while offering comfort and softness underfoot. For these very reasons, carpet continues to be a popular flooring choice for many households.

With the right care and attention, a good-quality carpet can last for many years and continue to look and feel like new. Aside from frequent vacuuming and spot-cleaning, it’s advised to have carpets thoroughly cleaned by the professionals once a year.

To find out whether this was common knowledge among the British public, we carried out an independent survey. The results were very surprising…

Only 3% of households have their carpets professionally cleaned at least once a year.

More than half of the people surveyed admitted to vacuuming their carpets less than once a week.

One in 10 spot-cleans stains only when necessary.

These results highlight that most British households aren’t taking proper care of their carpets. Without this attention, not only can the carpets become permanently stained or flattened, they can even put people’s health at risk.

carpet cleaner

Why you should have your carpet professionally cleaned

Like any soft furnishing, carpets look their best when they’re properly cared for. However, the benefits of regularly deep-cleaning a carpet are more than purely aesthetic.

Having your carpet professionally cleaned each year can:

  • prolong its life
  • help prevent or lessen the symptoms of asthma
  • increase your home’s value or make it more desirable to buyers
  • help control or prevent dust mite infestations
  • eradicate most stubborn stains
  • remove all residue from cleaning products (whereas DIY methods may actually leave further stains)
  • restore areas trampled by heavy footfall
  • make sure dirt and bacteria are completely removed

How often you should have your carpet professionally cleaned

To discover how often the experts recommend having a carpet professionally cleaned, we spoke to Paul Pearce from the National Carpet Cleaners Association. Here’s what he had to say:

“You should have professionals clean your carpet at least once every 12 to 18 months. This will make sure that it always looks good.

A carpet that’s professionally cleaned on a regular basis will last for many years—often beyond its suggested life.

Professional carpet cleaners are taught to understand the fibres of the carpet and how it’s been manufactured. Knowing this allows them to use the correct cleaning techniques to provide the best, most long-lasting results.

While people can buy or hire DIY carpet cleaning machines, understanding carpet fibres and how to treat certain types of soiling is paramount.”

Vacuuming your carpet

Paul also offered his advice on vacuuming, highlighting that the public are spending far less than the recommended time caring for their carpets.

“How often you vacuum your carpet really depends on the footfall it gets from day to day. In some homes, carpets will need vacuuming daily. The most important thing is to keep on top of it.

Most bedrooms will get away with a good weekly vacuum, but the lounge, hall, stairs and landing will need vacuuming at least twice a week.

As Paul acknowledges: “We lead busy lives and so vacuuming the carpet often means we simply move the machine over the area where we see soil and not removing the embedded dirt. Sadly, this is partly how carpets suffer wear and tear.”

10 expert tips for maintaining your carpet:

Paul shares his top tips for keeping your carpet looking its best…

  1. When vacuuming, take time going over the area, slowly and continually with overlapping strokes.
  2. Make sure that the bag or container that collects the dry soil never gets beyond two-thirds full. This restricts airflow, which, along with the beater bar, is how the vacuum cleaner picks up the soil.
  3. Remember to adjust the beater bar for carpets of varying heights. This will make a difference in removing the dry soil.
  4. Concentrate on the main walkways, using a good upright vacuum cleaner that has a revolving beater bar.
  5. To keep a carpet looking good, spot-clean as well as doing your regular vacuuming.
  6. Deal with spillages, spots and stains as soon as possible. Often, just blotting liquid as soon as it spills on the carpet will help stop it staining permanently.
  7. If the soiling is a liquid, blot it—never rub! Rubbing can damage the carpet’s pile.
  8. There are many off-the-shelf carpet cleaning products that will do a reasonable job of keeping your carpet clean. However, to avoid damaging your carpet, always follow the instructions.
  9. Using DIY carpet cleaning machines—without knowing how best to treat specific types of carpet and so on—may not give you the results you want. In fact, it might even cause the carpet to dirty more quickly than you would normally expect it to.
  10. In many cases, it’s better to call in the professionals than trying to remove stains yourself.
dummy on carpet

How clean is your carpet?

The National Carpet Cleaners Association (NCCA) created the infographic below, which highlights some of the less-than-savoury stains that commonly work their way into our carpets. These unwanted stains give us even more reasons to clean our carpets thoroughly—and regularly.

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