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How Often to Professionally
Clean Your Carpets
Articles by Josh Almanza
Owner, My Pro Cleaner™
Expert Fabric Care
and Carpet Cleaning Specialist
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How Often Should You
Have Your Carpets Professionally Cleaned?

If you find yourself wondering how often you should get your carpets deep cleaned by a professional, it really depends on many factors. How many kids are in your home? How many pets? How many other occupants are there? How often do you entertain guests? Are occupants subject to allergies? Are your carpets under warranty?

how often to clean

The article below discusses these factors and others to help you determine how often you should have your carpets professionally cleaned.

For the average household, the general recommendation by most carpet manufactures and by the IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration) is to have your carpets cleaned by hot water extraction every 12-18 months. You want your carpeting to look great, to be comfortable to walk on, to be clean and healthy, and to last a long time.

One of the largest carpet manufacturers in the world,
Shaw Industries, puts it this way:

If carpet is cleaned before it becomes too unsightly, the cleaning will be more successful. Carpet in a typical household should be cleaned every 12 - 18 months ... Choosing the proper cleaning system is important. Some systems may leave residues which accelerate re-soiling ... Research indicates that the hot water extraction system provides the best capability for cleaning."

Source: Shaw Industries, Carpet Cleaning Recommendations

Check to see if your carpet warranty requires a specific cleaning schedule

warranty symbol

If you have a carpet warranty that you'd like to keep valid, check your paperwork for the details.

Most of the popular carpet manufacturers require you to have your carpets professionally steam-cleaned (also known as Hot Water Extraction) regularly.

I also recommend that you keep your cleaning receipts in case a warranty issue arises.

Factors that may require more frequent cleaning ...

 Do you have any pets?

Pet stains are always a concern because of the complexity of the staining itself. Bacteria and urine salts can cause health issues in some people. Pets can bring a lot of dirt and bacteria into the home if they go outside (to do their business, for example), and then come back inside and track whatever is on their paws onto the carpeting.

Debris and Dirt: Their fur is also a magnet for yard debris — grass, twigs, burrs, and dirt can be brought inside in their fur. Speaking of fur...

Shedding Fur and Dander: Almost all dogs and cats shed fur and dander (skin cells) which can build up in your carpet and upholstery. This dander can be kicked up and become airborne, which can really irritate people with allergies. Brush your pets often, and between professional cleanings, I recommend to households with pets to vacuum at least 3 times a week!

Fluids and Oils: Does your pet like to curl up in the same spot every day? The natural oils secreted from their skin and hair will begin to cause discoloration and odor in these areas. Needless to say, these areas will need more cleaning.

It is clear that households with pets generally require more frequent professional deep cleaning.

 Do you have kids?

We love our children, but they certainly can cause messes on carpet and upholstery. This largely depends on how strict you are with food and drinks that you allow in carpeted areas of your home. Add muddy shoes, paint, crayons, fruit juice, popsicles ... you get the idea. If you are pretty relaxed about letting your kids eat, drink, and play on the carpet, you may consider having your carpets cleaned every 6 months rather than the average recommended 12-18 months.

 How much foot traffic?

Occupants and Frequent Guests

One major consideration is the sheer amount of foot traffic in a given area of your carpet. A couple with no children or pets who don't have many guests over will not need to have their carpets and upholstery cleaned as often. In this case, every 18 months may be sufficient.

 Maintenance and Prevention

Maintaining your carpet regularly can extend the time between professional cleanings. Proper vacuuming, spot cleaning spills as soon as they occur, using floor mats and hallway runners, and removing your shoes when indoors can help keep carpet clean.

Protect your carpets from premature wear and tear.

Over time, dirt and debris will settle deep in your carpet fibers and can actually act like sandpaper when you walk on the carpet. The debris grinds away at the fibers, causing premature wear and tear.


At My Pro Cleaner, I'm dedicated to helping you keep your carpets and upholstery in the optimal condition that you desire. I usually recommend that the time frame between professional cleanings is once a year — or 18 months maximum. Anything over 18 months makes stain removal and restoring the beauty and color of your carpet a little more difficult, and may result in a more costly restoration cleaning.

Also, if I determine that any or all of the factors I've explained in this article applies to your household, I'll be happy to help you choose a more frequent cleaning schedule that is optimal and that satisfies you and your family. As always, I'm here to help!

Josh Almanza

If you have any questions about this article, or anything related to cleaning carpet, upholstery, tile and grout, and maintaining a healthy home, please feel free to give me a call, and let's talk!

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