Keeping up on the housework can be a constant battle, especially with busy work and school schedules. Even if you are able to regularly vacuum, dust, and mop, you may only be scratching the surface when it comes to truly removing all of the dirt and germs in your house. Regular deep cleaning – especially of your carpets, ducts and tiles – can ensure your home is not only clean, but healthy.
Marla Rigas of Natural Carpet Cleaning says it’s best to have your carpets professionally cleaned every 6-12 months.
“How often you have this done really depends on how much traffic your carpet gets,” she said. “If you have pets and children, you may want to have it done more often.”
Regular, professional cleaning not only makes your carpet look better, but it also extends the life of your carpet and creates a sanitary environment. Carpet attracts and traps all kinds of nasty things – bacteria, allergens, dust mites, pet dander, salt, dirt, and much more. It’s also a good breeding site for mold, as the warmth of the material is conducive for growth. These contaminants are not only unhealthy to breathe in, but can also wear down your carpet and permanently damage fibers.
Typically carpet will last 10 to 15 years, whether you clean it or not. But remember, regular deep cleaning is much less expensive than replacing your carpet.
“It’s also important for homeowners to remember that regular vacuuming can really help preserve carpet,” she said. “I would suggest vacuuming at least twice a week…more often in high traffic areas.”
Air ducts are large collectors of dust, dander, dirt, etc. These contaminants can pollute the air in your home and trigger allergies. Also, if dust is present in your ducts, the air blowing through can spread that dust around your home, requiring more frequent cleaning. If your ducts are easy to access and no major problems exist – mold, rodents, etc. – you can probably clean them yourself. However, if the problem is more complicated you may want to hire a professional to ensure proper cleaning.
The Environmental Protection Agency specifically suggests cleaning your ducts if there is substantial visible mold growth, the ducts are infested with vermin, or the “ducts are clogged with excessive amount of dust and debris and/or or particles are actually released into the home from your supply registers.”
Even if you regularly mop your tile floors, or get down on your hands and knees to scrub the grout, it is sometimes impossible to get the deep-cleaning you want. Grout is porous material and can easily collect dirt, grime and spills, which often discolors the surface. Regular mopping and spot cleaning might miss the hidden dirt found deep in the grout pores.
If it has been a long time since you have had your tile professionally cleaned, you may want to hire someone to get the job done. Tile and grout can be maintained by vacuuming/sweeping before mopping, rinsing your mop, and avoiding harsh chemicals.
While regular cleaning is definitely critical, Rigas says there are also a few simple things you can do to help limit the amount of dirt that enters the home.
“Shoes can bring in a lot of dirt and grime that can end up on your carpeting or tile,” she said. “Take off your shoes before you walk through the home, and place doormats or rugs at all the entrances to help catch dirt and debris.”