When Should I Have My Carpets Cleaned?

Businesses     Homes

How often should businesses clean their carpets?

I am asked this question all the time. One would think after focusing on commercial carpet cleaning for 13 years I could give a definitive answer to this question. Unfortunately, I can’t. There are many variables that alter the frequency in which the carpets in Minnesota businesses need to be cleaned. Here, in the Twin Cities Area, we deal with a lot of sand and salt. This increases the frequency of cleanings needed considerably compared to other areas of the country. These cleaning schedules listed below are for Twin Cities and surrounding areas of Minnesota companies only and based on my personal carpet cleaning experiences:

  • If you are a retail store with lots of foot traffic, you should be having the carpets cleaned and protected every 3 months to 6 months depending on the amount of people who come in off of the street and the cleanliness of the parking lot.
  • If you are a restaurant or bar you should be sure to have the carpets cleaned and protected quarterly. This is important because of how often people spill and as well as the grease that gets tracked in from the kitchen.
  • Office buildings should have their carpets cleaned every 6 months to a year depending on the number of employees and the conditions they walk in on the way to the building entrance.
  • Automotive and trucking companies tend to be heavy in oil. This oil attracts dirt and will cause the carpet to rapidly soil. I recommend that these companies clean and protect anywhere from quarterly to twice a year. Falling behind on this causes the oil to compound exponentially, meaning the longer it goes without cleaning the faster the damage will occur.
  • Churches should have one thorough cleaning and protecting a year on all carpet. However they should have certain areas like their entrances or narthex cleaned multiple times a year depending on their size.
  • Industrial companies rarely clean as often as they should. Metal shavings and oil from factory machines and forklifts do a real number on carpets. They often accept the fact that they will need to replace their carpets eventually and let it go. This is not necessary however. Cleaning and protecting quarterly will almost always prevent permanent damage from forming in the high traffic areas and although the carpets will still get discolored eventually between cleanings the fibers themselves should stay sound and the cleanings will provide a night and day change.

I’m sure it goes without saying that these are not concrete numbers. Every business is different and the weather has to be considered as well. A carpet will get dirty faster during winter months than summer months. Total number of people, exits, and how often people go from the outside to the inside of the building are variables that I have had to average out. The amount of sand and salt used on roads and sidewalks in your specific area are factors that affect Minnesota businesses as well.

When should I have my carpets cleaned at my home?

Good question. If you ask any random person on the street you will get a full range of answers from every month to never.

Who is right? I have been cleaning carpet in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota for over 13 years and I wish I could give one blanket answer for all customers, but I can’t. I can however, do the next best thing. I have created a list of options based on different factors that affect that timeline. Note that these are specific to the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota and may not apply to the climate and practices of other states.

  • Residential carpet should never go longer than a year without being cleaned for health reasons such as allergens, and mold.
  • Light carpet such as white or off white, even light shades of other colors has more room in the dye sites to take on dyes and needs to be cleaned and protected more often than other carpets and should be cleaned before traffic areas are visible for best results. Fiber damage and traffic wear patterns show up more noticeably on light colored carpet. For light colored carpet, we recommend every 6 months to a year.
  • If you wear your shoes on residential carpet we recommend cleaning and protecting every 6 months at the very least.
  • If you have residential carpet that is a darker color you are more susceptible to the carpet looking lighter in the high traffic areas than looking darker. This comes from actual fiber damage. Dark carpet should be cleaned once a year for health reasons but if based strictly on looks you can go from a year to up to 2 years depending on the amount of traffic.
  • Even dark carpet needs to be cleaned at least every 6 months if shoes are worn in the house as that speeds up the fiber damage in high traffic areas considerably.
  • Wheel chairs and walkers are very hard on carpet. This carpet should be cleaned and protected every 6 months at the very least.
  • Variables such as amount of foot traffic, spills, and age of the owners can affect the frequency of the carpet cleaning as well. Not every household is the same.
  • One reason for all carpet to be cleaned and protected as well is the sun itself. The sun’s rays will fade carpet color. Carpet protectants help protect the carpet from this. This fading is usually noticeable when the furniture is moved. The area where the furniture sat didn’t receive any sunlight and appears darker and richer as a result.

Please keep in mind that this is based on my 13 years of experience as a carpet cleaning expert in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota. Experience has also taught me that there will always be exceptions to these rules and people should keep an eye on their carpet and if it starts to appear dirty or dingy before the recommended time of cleaning then the safe choice is to have it cleaned and protected sooner rather than waiting for the scheduled date to come up.