The carpet in a typical household should be professionally cleaned every 12 to 18 months, depending on the number of residents, color of the carpet (light or dark), and amount and type of activity. However, if you allow your carpet to become overly soiled in between cleanings, it may become irreversibly damaged and necessitate expensive repairs. To extend your carpet’s life and preserve its aesthetic value, it’s important to keep a regular vacuuming schedule. Consider the following tips for maximizing the effectiveness of your vacuuming:
• Use a high-quality, upright vacuum cleaner with a reel-type brush to move the tips of the carpet pile so the dirt can be removed with the air velocity created by the vacuum.
• To determine how often you should vacuum, consider the amount of foot traffic and the relation of the carpet to dirty access areas. Don’t allow dirt to settle in the carpet—walking on dirt or grit that’s settled into the base of the carpet fibers causes an abrasive action, which results in the appearance of traffic lanes and worn areas.
• Vacuum traffic lanes every day. Use a back-and-forth motion in one direction, and then finish the carpet by slowly going back and forth in the opposite direction.
• Filled vacuum bags result in less suction and dirt removal, so empty them often. Be sure to check the belt that drives the brush or beater bar—a broken or worn belt reduces efficiency. Don’t be concerned by the amount of fiber you pick up from new carpet. These are ends that aren’t removed in the manufacturing process and often appear for many months.
• Never use a broom of any kind on the carpet; it’ll just move dirt around and create dust problems.
• Place removable mats at each entrance to your home (inside and outside) to prevent soil from being tracked throughout the inside. These mats can be laundered, hosed, beaten or vacuumed as soil accumulates to a noticeable degree.
• Dust can build up in corners and other hard-to-reach places. To remove it, run a vacuum attachment along the baseboard while you’re cleaning the edge of the carpet.
• If your vacuum isn’t working properly or if the brush roll stops turning, you may have to change the belt. Refer to your model’s user guide for installation instructions. With bagless vacuums, clean filters are critical to maintaining cleaning performance. Over time, filters can become dirty and clog, so it’s important to regularly clean and monitor them.