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16 March 2023

How often should you clean carpets at home?

Carpets are a great way to make your home feel cozy, but they accumulate dirt, dust and bacteria over time. Regular cleaning of carpets is crucial to maintain a healthy home environment, and this blog post will help your decide how often you should clean yours. 

Getting ready to clean carpets in children's room, but how often do carpets need cleaning

It's not just about looking clean and removing unsightly stains. Regular carpet cleaning helps extend the life of your carpet by removing abrasive dirt particles that wear down the carpet fibres, causing them to fray and unravel. Through proper cleaning you can delay replacement costs and maintain the appearance and value of your carpets.

So How Do You Decide How Often To Clean Your Carpets?

Factors That Affect Carpet Cleaning Frequency

There are a few factors you need to consider before deciding on a carpet cleaning schedule.  These include:

Foot Traffic in the Room

How often the room is used plays a key role in deciding how often you need to clean your carpet. High traffic areas such as hallways, living rooms, and entryways require more frequent cleaning than low traffic areas like bedrooms. The more people walk on the carpet the more dirt, dust, and other contaminants build up, making it necessary to clean them more often. 

Pets in the House

Pet hair and skin (often called pet dander) can accumulate in your carpets and cause unpleasant smells. Furry friends might walk through the house with muddy paws and have occasional accidents too. If you have a dog, cat or other free roaming house pet it will be essential to clean your carpets more frequently to maintain a hygienic environment and prevent allergies or infections. 

Frequency of Spills and Stains

Stains and spills are inevitable, especially in high traffic areas and homes with young children and pets. If you have small children who spill drinks or food regularly, you will need to clean your carpets more frequently than someone who lives alone (unless you are really accident prone).

Type of Carpet Material

The type of carpet material and weave you have plays a role in determining how often you should clean your carpets. Certain materials, and light-coloured carpets, require more frequent cleaning than others. Wool fibres are delicate and require specialised cleaning techniques to avoid damage. Nylon and polyester carpets are normally more durable and can withstand frequent cleaning.


Carpets can trap a surprising amount of dirt, dust mites, pollen and other allergens that float in the air. If anyone in the house has allergies or asthma these contaminants can lead to respiratory problems, and other health issues, especially in vulnerable individuals like children and the elderly.

Signs that your carpet needs cleaning

1. They smell

You don't need to get down on your knees and sniff, but if you notice an unpleasant smell coming from your carpets it's a clear sign that they need cleaning. Dirt, pet hair, food particles, and other debris can accumulate in your carpets making them smell. You might not realise it's the carpet, but if when you return home or walk into a room you notice a lingering odour it is probably the carpet or other soft furnishings.

2. Presence of visible stains and spots

Stains and spots are a common sight on carpets, especially if you have children or pets. Generally the sooner marks are treated the easier they are to remove. If marks are allowed to dry fully or be walked on then the stain can get pushed deeper into the carpet fibres and they can be really difficult to remove. For set-in stains you will probably need professional help. 

3. Discolouration of the carpet 

Over time the carpet can change colour as dirt gradually builds up. This normally happens slowly and you may not notice it until you move a piece of furniture and realise the original carpet colour. Regular cleaning can help restore the colour, beauty and texture of the carpet pile. 

Recommended carpet cleaning schedule

Depending on the factors mentioned above monthly or quarterly cleaning may be necessary, but for many households every 6 months will be enough. It is worth scheduling a reminder for a whole house carpet clean in May and September when the weather is warmer so you can have the windows open to help the carpet dry faster. You might then only need to clean the highest traffic areas in the winter. 

Using Professional cleaning services vs. DIY carpet cleaning methods

When it comes to cleaning carpets, you have two options: professional cleaning services or doing it yourself. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of each method.

Professional Cleaning Services

Using a professional carpet cleaning service offers several advantages over DIY methods:

  1. Efficient and effective cleaning: Professional carpet cleaners have the expertise, equipment, and cleaning products to ensure that your carpets are thoroughly cleaned. They can remove dirt, stains, and odours that are difficult to remove with DIY methods.
  2. Convenience: Hiring a professional cleaner is convenient as you don't have to spend time and effort cleaning your carpets yourself (carpet cleaners are heavy and it can be hard work). Instead you can focus on other tasks while the professionals take care of your carpets.
  3. Time-saving: Professional cleaners can clean your carpets faster than you could. Due to their experience and tools they can handle large areas quickly and efficiently.
  4. Space saving: Carpet cleaners are the same size as a large vacuum cleaner (or bigger) so you need to have space to store one if you have your own. A professional cleaner will bring their own equipment. 

DIY Methods

DIY methods for cleaning carpets have several advantages:

  1. Cost-effective: DIY carpet cleaning methods are much cheaper than hiring professional cleaners. If you invest in a good carpet cleaning machine it can cost the same as a professional company doing a one off full house clean, but of course you can use it on many occassions.
  2. Flexibility: You can clean your carpets whenever you want, without having to schedule an appointment.
  3. Personal attention: You can pay close attention to high traffic areas and stains, and ensure that they are cleaned properly.

The solution for many households is to clean their own carpets most of the time and to use a professional carpet cleaning company every couple of years for a more thorough clean.

3 Tips For Keeping Your Carpets Cleaner

Regular vacuuming to remove surface dirt and dust

Don't underestimate how much regular vacuuming can keep carpets clean. In a family home, rooms that are in regular use may need daily vacuuming. A handheld vacuum cleaner can make this easier as you don’t have to waste time plugging it in as you move from room to room. In quieter homes you may only need to vacuum once or twice a week. 

Don’t forget to regularly clean any hard floors in your home too as dirt is easily picked up from wooden floors, vinyl or tiles and walked into carpeted areas where the carpet catches and traps the dirt. 

Immediate cleaning of spills and stains

Prioritise spot cleaning any carpet stains, spillages or dirty marks because they will be much easier to remove in most cases if cleaned straight away. There are a few exceptions to this eg mud, which can be easier to clean if left to dry so it can be brushed away.

Use doormats at entrances

Whether you encourage people to take their shoes off in the house or not, having door mats at your front and back door will help stop a lot of the dirt from the outside world from getting spread around your house. These can be regularly shaken outside to get rid of the build up of dust. You might also find area rugs on high-traffic areas help to protect your carpets.


Having a clean carpet in your home doesn’t just make it look nicer, it can also make the carpet last longer and prevent the build up of allergens making a healthier home environment. How often you clean your carpets will ultimately depend on your needs and whether you choose to use professionals or do it yourself. 

Please note: always check your carpet manufacturers instructions before cleaning your carpet. If using a new cleaner it is advisable to clean a small area initially to ensure it doesn't cause any damage. Ensure you only use carpet shampoo suitable for your machine and carpet.

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