Here’s How Often You Should Be Cleaning Your Carpets, According To Experts

Carpets Being Cleaned

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Vacuuming may be part of your regular cleaning schedule, but how often do you give those carpets a major deep clean? It turns out, cleaning or shampooing your carpets is one of the most important household tasks on your list, as our carpets—be they wall-to-wall or a stylish area rug—can harbor loads of unwanted guests.

“Your carpet can actually hold up to 200,000 bacteria per square inch,” says Kelley Melchior, Hoover’s senior group product manager. “That’s up to 4,000 times more than your toilet, which is why it’s so important to clean and maintain your carpets regularly. Plus, it will help extend the life of your carpet while preventing odors and bacteria from growing throughout your home.”

Now that we’re thoroughly convinced to start cleaning those carpets, how often do they need to be cleaned—and how do we go about cleaning them in the first place? We asked Melchior and the Hoover product team everything you need to know.

How Often To Clean Your Carpets

“Frequency varies from home to home and the number of mess makers in your household but once a quarter is a good rule of thumb to keep carpets fresh,” says Hogan Johnson, Hoover’s assistant product manager. 

Depending on if you have pets, children, and the stage of life your family is in, she recommends hitting high-traffic areas once every two months or so. While this may sound like a lot, especially if you vacuum frequently, Johnson says that there is so much more to our carpets than our eyes can see.

How To Properly Clean Your Carpets

While there are plenty of professional carpet cleaning services out there that will eliminate the hassle for you, it also may be worth investing in a carpet cleaner of your own to save money and tackle messes as soon as they happen. This could be especially helpful for households with large families or multiple pets.

The Hoover product team advises first vacuuming the area to get rid of any hair, dirt, or debris, and pretreating any spots or stains with a pretreat solution to ensure proper extraction.

“It’s important to purchase the right machine and solution for your home,” says Grace Lenning, also an assistant product manager for the brand. “These two act in tandem as a system to ensure that your home stays clean.”

Lenning explains that different types of pretreat solutions tackle different types of stains. For example Hoover OXY solution paired with the brand’s SmartWash Carpet Cleaner is great for families with small children who might encounter more colored stains from food, beverages, and craft materials while they also make a targeted cleaning solution for eliminating pet stains and odors

The good news is that you can use your carpet cleaner on more than just carpet: try it out on rugs, stairs, upholstery, and more. You just may need to use different solutions for items such as antique runners, which may require gentler products. It could be worth reaching out to your favorite neighborhood rug dealer to learn about proper care or allowing yourself to splurge on a professional clean for heirloom items like these to keep them in tip-top shape.

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