How Often Should You Shampoo Your Carpet? And Other Key Carpet Cleaning Questions

May 14, 2020
how often should you shampoo your carpet

Giving your carpet a good cleaning can completely transform the look of a room. But, when you clean your carpets, you need to make sure you know what you’re going.

Otherwise, you could end up doing more damage than good.

How often should you shampoo your carpet and what should you use to clean it?

To learn the answer to these questions and more, read on to discover everything you need to know about cleaning your carpets.

How Often Should You Shampoo Your Carpet?

When cleaning carpets, the first question many people ask themselves is, “How often should I shampoo my carpet?”

Generally speaking, you should professionally shampoo your carpets every 12 to 18 months. But, this is just an estimate. How often you need to shampoo your carpet depends on a number of different factors, including:

Household Size

The number of people living in your house will determine how often you need to shampoo your carpets.

If it’s just you, then you can probably get away with shampooing your carpets every 18 months or so. If you’ve got a big family, then you’ll probably need to shampoo at least once per year.

Children

It’s no secret that children tend to be a bit messier than adults. Between spilling drinks, tracking in dirt from outside, and trailing crumbs, children can wreak havoc on a clean carpet.

If you have multiple children in your home, we suggest shampooing your carpet every 6 to 12 months.

Pets

Pets can be just as messy as children, if not messier. No matter how diligent you are with your pet, it’s always going to track in some amount of dirt and grass from outside.

If your pet doesn’t go outdoors, you still have to worry about shedding and the occasional accident. Pet owners should plan to shampoo their carpets every 6 to 12 months.

Pets and Children

If you’re living in a household with pets and children, then your carpet probably gets dirty very quickly.

It’s recommended that you shampoo your carpet 3 to 4 times per year.

Heavily-Trafficked Areas

Certain areas of the home tend to receive more foot traffic than others. Oftentimes, the areas that receive the most foot traffic are hallways, living rooms, and kitchens.

Bedrooms and entertainment rooms typically receive a moderate amount of foot traffic, while guest rooms and dining rooms tend to receive the least foot traffic.

As you may have guessed, heavily-trafficked areas will need to be shampooed more frequently than low traffic areas.

Environment

Your environment can also play a role in terms of how often you need to shampoo your carpet.

For example, if you live in an area with heavy rainfall, it’s more likely that household members are going to track in mud. If you live in an extremely dry climate, then people are likely to track in dust.

Keep this in mind when deciding how often to shampoo your carpet.

How Do You Prepare Your Carpet for Shampooing?

If you plan to shampoo your carpet, you need to make sure you prepare your home in the right way.

How do you get your home ready for carpet cleaning? Here’s what you need to do:

  • Review the directions that come with your carpet to ensure that the cleaning solution you chose is meant for your carpet material
  • Remove all furniture from the room (or if it’s an area rug, furniture that’s near the rug) and give your carpet a thorough vacuuming
  • Pay attention to high-traffic areas, as well as hard-to-reach spots and corners
  • Perform a spot test before shampooing your whole carpet
  • Treat tough areas with a stain remover
  • Clean the room so you dust mites don’t settle on the carpet before you shampoo it

By following these steps, you’ll ensure that your carpet is ready to be shampooed.

How Do You Prep the Carpet Shampooing Machine?

If you plan to tackle the carpet cleaning yourself, then you’ll need to know how to get the shampooing machine ready.

To get the machine ready, you’ll need to fill the water tank as well as the shampoo tank, per the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure you don’t use more shampoo than required, as excess shampoo will leave residue on your carpet.

What Should You Do After Shampooing Your Carpet?

After you finish shampooing your carpet, it’s very important that you take the necessary post-treatment steps. Here’s what you need to do:

Check for Excess Moisture

After you finish shampooing, press your fingertips against the carpet to check for residual moisture.

If there is excess moisture, you should continue to suction the carpet. Keep testing the carpet with your hand, and do this until there is no residual moisture.

Allow Plenty of Time to Dry

Don’t immediately start walking all over your carpet once you’ve finished shampooing it.

For small areas, it can take as little as 2 hours to dry. If you shampooed a large area, then it can sometimes take up to one day before the carpet completely dries.

If you want your carpet to dry quicker, you can open windows and turn on fans.

Moving Furniture

You should wait until your carpet is completely dry before you move the furniture back.

However, if you need to replace the furniture before the carpet is completely dry, place plastic or aluminum foil under the furniture legs. This will ensure that the furniture doesn’t stain the damp carpet.

Vacuum

Once your carpet is completely dry, you should give it one more vacuuming. This will ensure that any loose particles suspended on the carpet are picked up before anyone walks on it.

Are You Ready to Clean Your Carpets?

Now that we’ve answered the question, “How often should you shampoo your carpet?”, it’s time for you to clean your own carpets. Pretty soon, your carpets will be looking as good as new.

If you’re looking to hire a carpet cleaning service, then be sure to check out this guide to learn how to choose the right one.

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