Should You Clean Your Home's Carpets Yourself?

Your home's carpets should be cleaned on a regular basis, not just to make them look better, but to also preserve the life of the fibres. Built-up, ground-in mud, dust, pet hair, and other dirt that is not removed on a regular basis can flatten carpet fibres so severely that they are eventually ruined, and the carpet then needs replacing. Cleaning carpets regularly, however, can prevent this, and ensure those fibres are strong and in good condition, so the carpeting itself lasts longer over time.

While a homeowner certainly can clean their home's carpeting themselves, this isn't always recommended. Note why that is, and a few tips to determine if you should clean your home's carpeting yourself, or leave this job to a professional.

How old is the carpet?

While cleaning a home's carpeting can prolong its life, eventually those carpet fibres are going to be worn down, threadbare, or otherwise simply too old and damaged to be cleaned. You may assume that a dingy carpet just needs cleaning in order to look good, but if the carpet is very old, it may be time for a replacement.

This expected lifespan of a carpet is affected by its material; a durable cotton or nylon carpet may last longer than a delicate silk, for example. Treatments added to the carpet surface, to repel dirt and grime, can also prolong its life. However, you may not know the carpet material, if it's been treated, or how old it is! A professional can determine that carpeting material and its overall age and condition before cleaning begins, to note if that work will restore the carpet or if it's simply too worn to be cleaned.

Do you have sensitivities or allergies?

If you have allergies, those sensitivities might be triggered by various carpet cleaning shampoos and detergents, as these can become airborne during a carpet cleaning. A professional carpet cleaner will know what detergents are best for those with sensitivities, or might be able to thoroughly clean the carpeting with steam or carbonated water alone, foregoing detergents altogether.

Can you tell when carpets are truly cleaned?

Running a carpet shampooer over a home's carpeting just once may not be enough to get the material truly cleaned, but repeating this process unnecessarily might mean added wear on the carpet fibres. A professional will know how to check the fibres thoroughly to note if all dirt has been removed, but without having to scrub those fibres needlessly. This will ensure the carpets are truly cleaned but not damaged in the process.