In other words, vacuuming is not enough. Neither is steaming carpets yourself. Professional steaming is, like it or not, legally the only way to protect your carpet in most cases. And it’s also a way to protect your health.
“Indoor air quality can be eight to ten times worse than outdoor air quality, if you don’t clean your flooring, clean your drapes and let air inside regularly,” says interior designer Robin Wilson, who specializes in allergy-free housekeeping. Whenmillions of Americans suffer from indoor allergies, air quality is a huge issue.
Wilson — and the other experts we spoke with — says that to keep the air in your home clean, it’s important to follow a few carpet-cleaning rules.
Call professionals to steam your carpet, more often than you think you should.
Many carpet companies won’t honor your warranty unless you hire professional cleaners every 12 to 18 months, says Carolyn Forte, a director at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute. In some cases the requirement may be 24 months — check your carpet’s warranty for specifics.
Wilson, meanwhile, recommends even more frequent steamings in the interest of a dust-free home: she says to call in professional steamers every six months, and every four to six WEEKS if you have a pet. (Keep in mind this applies to carpets, not area rugs).
Regardless of how often you choose to use them, our experts agree that professional steam cleaners are hands-down necessary — you shouldn’t attempt to steam carpets yourself. Only steam can effectively lift dust from deep within your carpet, Wilson says — if left there, it will wear down and rip the carpet’s fibers. But only professional machines can truly zap all the steam’s moisture from the carpet when you’re done cleaning. The results of trying to do it yourself can be sickening.
“I’ve been on job sites where you pull up the carpet and see a mold patch,” Wilson says. When you steam clean yourself, “you turn your house into an incubator for mold growth,” Wilson adds.
We like to think we can keep our carpets clean on our own, thank you very much. We just need to vacuum every month or so and blot when there’s a stain... right?
Wrong. What you’re likely forgetting (or, if you’re like us, what you never knew) is that almost all carpet companies require you to professionally steam clean your carpet every 12 to 24 months, to keep your warranty valid.
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