How often should I vacuum?

I received a call today from a customer in Boise preparing for his carpet cleaning. His question to me was “How well do I need to vacuum?”. I answered back “how clean do you want your carpets?”

Vacuuming is probably the most overlooked and underused method, yet probably the most important factor to having a great carpet cleaning experience, and for maintaining the overall appearance of your home or office carpet. It has been estimated that up to 79% of dirt found in carpet is made up of dry solid particulate, i.e., dirt. This roughly 80% of soil in the carpeting is actually most effectively removed by a properly functioning vacuum cleaner!

Regular vacuuming helps to keep dirt from getting ground into the carpet, where it then causes permanent damage to the fibers. The more often you vacuum, less dirt is able to get down in the yarns, and will cause less damage. This also means it shouldn’t take as long to vacuum. Most manufacturers and the Carpet and Rug Institute recommend vacuuming in heavy traffic areas daily to prevent permanent damage to the fibers in those areas. Most will also say it is a good idea to vacuum in the exposed, but not high traffic areas 2-3 times a week, and then to get the areas under furniture once a week or so.

Regular vacuuming will also help to keep the build up of oils and dirt along the edges of your walls and under doors. These are known as filtration lines, because the carpet is literally acting like an air filter and pulling dirt and oils out of the air. The longer this soiling is allowed to stay on the carpet, the harder it is to get out, often causing a permanent stain to appear.

Flooring experts will recommend vacuuming thoroughly as well. We often quote 7 passes for an area, and changing the direction of the pass. We consider a pass once forward, and then back again. In areas where traffic doesn’t occur, you are probably safe with one or two passes, but in high traffic areas, regular, thorough vacuuming with a good vacuum will help keep those carpets looking great, far into the future!


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