Wall-to-wall carpet gets soiled and needs regular maintenance. However, most consumers, residential and commercial, renters as well as owners, often neglect this to the point that the carpet gets overly soiled. Also, pets, mostly cats and dogs, can add to the problem, especially if they have “accidents” on Many of you may have found yourself wondering, ” is this carpet worth cleaning?” This article is to help you answer that question.
First, let’s talk about carpet for a moment just to get some basic facts about cleaning established. How often should carpet be cleaned? Well, carpet makers say on their warranties and product instructions that it needs to be cleaned professionally, at least every year and a half. As a certified cleaner with twenty-five years experience, I have concluded that it needs to be cleaned as often as is needed. Some restaurants need to have the service every two weeks.
Contrary to the “conventional wisdom,” cleaning is good for the health of your product, and does NOT harm carpet if done properly by a certified company (look for a certified carpet cleaner on Google-it is done through a non-profit organization called IICRC). This is the main reason that you should not seek to find a cheap price, just find someone who is truly qualified. If they are, they will be able to prove to you that they are IICRC certified.
How long does a new carpet last? Most carpets have about a seven-year life expectancy, assuming you have it professionally maintained adequately. Vacuuming, while very important, only removes about 70% of dry particulate soil (dirt).
If it is a quality product, it is probably going to clean up a lot better than if it is a cheap product (you get what you pay for).
If your carpet has gone for years without a pro cleaning, you may have what we in the industry call “soil build-up.” This means that the dirt has soaked deep into the carpet and possibly soaked into the polypropylene mesh backing.
If this is the case, it may be a challenge for even the best carpet cleaner to get all the dirt out in one visit. If you hire the company once, then have them back again, possibly in three to six months, you will notice that the second cleaning is more effective. That doesn’t mean they did a bad job the first time, it just means that your carpet was so dirty that it took two cleanings to get all the dirt out.
However, if your carpet is over seven years old, or nearly seven years old, you may find that your money is better invested in getting new flooring in that area or those areas.
Carpet gets discolored in traffic areas over the years, and sometimes consumers expect their cleaner to make it look new again, but it’s simply getting worn out and discolored, and cleaning won’t change that. In those instances, the carpet still looks “dirty’ even if your cleaner gets all the dirt out. In those instances, it can be likened to “bald tires.” When you have bald tires, you have to get new tires and there’s no other solution.
If you have pet stains and can smell urine, you may need pad replacement or flushing to get a decent carpet cleaning result, so that also plays into this decision. Also, bright colored-stains like Koolaid, red soda and marking pens or ink can be permanent.
So, to summarize, here is a list of the factors you should consider when deciding whether to clean or to replace a carpet that looks really bad:
How long since last pro cleaning?
Quality of carpet
Pet stains? Brightly colored stains?
Age of carpet (seven years is average lifespan)