Is vacuuming enough to keep carpets clean?

Here’s some good news.  Regular vacuuming does remove some of that soil, as long as it’s dry, and as long as it is situated in the top section of the fibres.  That’s why it’s important to vacuum regularly.  A daily vacuum is ideal (but unlikely in our busy modern lives), whilst a weekly vacuum should be viewed as the minimum.  Beyond that, and the dirt that was once sat close to the surface will have travelled deep into the fibres as our feet and environmental vibrations continually force it down the pile. 

But how do you make sure your vacuuming gets the best possible results between professional cleans? 

  • Vacuum at least once a week.
  • Make sure that your vacuum is working efficiently by replacing its bag regularly, or emptying the canister on bagless cleaners, and cleaning/replacing any filters when necessary.  Check and clean the rotating brushes from time to time if you have them.
  • Vacuum slowly – you need to give the vacuum’s suction (and, preferably, rotating brushes) time to loosen and capture the soil as it passes. 
  • Pass your vacuum across each area a number of times and in different directions.
  • Use the crevice tool to vacuum around the edges of your carpet to limit filtration soiling (the dark marks that appear over time next to skirting boards and beneath doors).
  • Don’t forget to vacuum around/under furniture where you can (it pays to move furniture from time to time to get those hard to reach areas).

Whilst regular vacuuming is essential, it cannot shift soil that has travelled down into the carpet’s fibres, it cannot shift wet soil, and it cannot shift any of the dry soil that has become suspended in the oils that accumulate in carpets over time. To clean all that, you'll need a professional clean.

What about spills?

If you spill something on a carpet, the faster you act, the better.  If you can remove the majority of the spill straightaway (scraping up solids with a spoon and blotting up liquids with kitchen towels), the spill will have less time to sink into the pile or be absorbed by the carpet’s fibres.  Then, you can try spot cleaning if necessary.

Professionals advise against over the counter carpet stain cleaners, as they can sometimes do more harm than good.  Often, a little mild detergent solution (5ml of gentle clothes detergent per 300ml of warm water) applied with a white towel or kitchen cloth in a blotting action (never scrubbing) will work.  You just need to make sure you rinse it with clean water and then dry it as quickly as possible with white towels and then a hairdryer on low heat.  

Although these tips will help, they won’t be enough to keep your carpets looking good, smelling fresh, healthily clean and long lived.  For that, you'll need the services of a fully trained professional carpet cleaner. Did you know that a properly cleaned carpet can last up to seven years longer than one that’s neglected?