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How Often Should I Clean My Carpet?

This is a commonly asked question.  I have had people say that they have not had their carpets cleaned in 10 years or more because they have relied on myths and misconceptions.  The fact is that cleaning extends the life of your carpet and saves you the tremendous amount of money required to replace prematurely worn carpet.  Carpets cleaned on a regular basis provide a healthy, safe living environment for you and your family at the same time adding years of life to one of the larger investments in your home.  So the question is, how often should they be cleaned?  The answer can depend on several factors.  The chart below taken from the IICRC Reference Guide for Professional Carpet Cleaning can assist you in answering this all important question.

Traffic Soil Rating Carpet Owner / Maintainer Professional Carpet Cleaner / Restorer
    Vacuuming Spot Cleaning Heavy-Use Area Cleaning Restorative Cleaning
Light Soil 1x per week Daily or as soon Traffic areas every Every 2 years or per 
      as spots are 12 to 18 months manufacturer warranty.
Normal Soil 1 to 2x per week Daily or as soon Traffic areas every Annually  
(families with   as spots are 6 to 12 months    
children,     noticed.      
Heavy Soil 2 to 4x per week Daily or as soon Traffic areas every Semi-Annually
(families with   as spots are 3 to 6 months (2x anually)
pets, smoking)   noticed.      
Extreme   Daily Daily or as soon Traffic lanes every Quarterly  
Conditions   as spots are 2-3 months (4x annually)
(large families,   noticed.      
multiple pets)          

Did you know that according to the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and TIME PER YEAR depending on the amount of traffic?  The IIRC is a professional association that trains & monitors cleaning technicians throughout the United States.  To help you decide how often your carpets need to be cleaned, I have included a graph from the IIRC S100 book, 2002.  These standards provide the guidelines used by the Carpet Industry to give your carpet the longest life possible.