How Often Should I Clean My Carpets?

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.

Residential Carpet Cleaning Frequency Chart

Did you know that according to the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IIRC) you should have your carpets cleaned AT LEAST ONE 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

We use temperature, a cleaning solution and agitation synergistically in order to optimize the cleaning of your carpet or upholstery item.   

  • Spot: A spot has not bonded to the material or fabric and can possibly be removed.  However the longer a spot dwells (time) the higher chance it can migrate from a spot to a stain.
  • Stain: A stain is more permeant and has most likely dwelled and has changed the color of the affected fiber/material.

Listed below, is a list of items that can be spot and or a stain that we find in our inspection process prior to our clean.

  • Pet Stains – Pet stains can be hair, urine, vomit or feces.  Any of these cleaned immediately and not allowed may not stain the carpet, rug item or upholstery piece.  However, pet stains that have dwelled will penetrate the carpet and rug backing and wet the carpet pad.  Pet urine at the carpet pad level is considered to be a sub-surface stain and will not come out with a standard carpet clean because a standard carpet clean is topical.  In order to prevent the urine stain at the carpet level from whickering up from the carpet pad level is clean the carpet at the carpet pad level.
  • Food Stains – Grease,  Spaghetti Sauces, Oatmeal,…
  • Beverage Stains – Wine, Coffee, Milk,…
  • Water Damage – May require industrial dehumidifiers, air movers and an antimicrobial application along plus an odor blocker.
  • Bleach Stains – The fabrics color has been removed and a repair needed because a standard carpet clean will not bring back the color of the fabric item.
  • Split Seams – The transitional bind between two pieces of carpet is not secure.  The seamed may need to be reseamed.
  • Rust Stains – A lot of the time, there is a screw at the bottom of the leg of your furniture that gets wet and leaves a rust spot on your carpet. 
  • Yellowing –  Yellowing can occur for variety of reasons (i.e. sun, beverages, sub surface moisture,…).
  • Paint Stains – Urine, fecal, pet dander,…
  • Filtration Soiling – These stains are typically found along the edge where the wall meets your carpet.  As the pressure in your room changes, air is being pulled/pushed from behind your wall.  Within the air is both soil and carbon from carbon monoxide.  These stains can be found along steps, rooms, and closets as well.  Air filtrations will come out with a standard clean.  However, Micro Clean Restoration has a air filtration process to remove air filtration lines.  Air filtration removal will not come out with a standard carpet clean.
  • Worn Fabric – Wear and tear cannot be restored with a standard clean.
  • Color Fading – Color fading cab come from sun and or wear and tear, but limited to the examples.
  • Ripples – Ripples occur in carpet where the carpet has a bubble.  in
  • Burns – Burns typically have to repaired.
  • Missing Grout – Grout is missing and needs to be repaired.  Repair should occur after the tile has been cleaned, so the grout color can be matched.
  • Broken Tiles – Broken tiles should be cleaned after the tiles and grout lines have been cleaned, so grout can be matched. 


There are four main variables that need to work together synergistically in order to clean and remove spots.  These for variables consist of the following temperature, time, chemical and agitation.

  • At Micro Clean, our primary method of cleaning consist our truck mounted steam cleaning system, which heats up the cleaning solution-chemical  (chemical, botanical solution, hypoallergenic solution) up to 250 degrees (temperature).  At 250 degrees, we are able to emulsify soil and sanitize the relative item being cleaned.
  • Time- can work for you or against.  If something spills.  The sooner the spill is extracted, the higher probability the spilled can be removed completely without staining.  Stains are more permeant than a spot.   Conversely, if we applying a pre spray in order to remove a spot, we need to allow the prespray time to dwell; so we can allow the prespray to bind itself to soil or the stain.  As the prespray binds and hopefully encapsulate the soil, so it can be extracted.
  • Chemical-Cleaning solution options consists of our standard cleaning solution, which is chemically based. As an alternative to our standard cleaning solution, we offer a 100% botanical based cleaning solution which is 100% green and wool safe.  For those suffering allergies, we offer a hypoallergenic cleaning solution.  Each of our cleaning solutions (chemical, botanical solution, hypoallergenic solution) cleans better when mixed with heat, which is why we use truck mounted equipment.
  • Agitation– with each wand stroke, we are working the cleaning solution into the carpet or upholstery item.  As the cleaning solution is disbursed from the wand, it is dispensed at a relative rate up 500 pounds of pressure per square inch.  For tile and stone, we increase the pressure to 1000 pounds per square inch in order to effectively clean tile/stone and grout lines.


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