We get it: house work can be, well, a real chore. And when you manage a bustling family life, it can be even harder to add cleaning to the list. However, busy lives bring more dirt–and the allergens that go with them–into the home, adding sickness and fatigue to our packed calendars. The good news is that with a regular schedule of vacuuming and professional cleaning, you can ease your eyes, and your mind, with carpet that remains in excellent shape.
Before deciding how often you should vacuum, you should make sure the vacuum itself is high quality and that you are vacuuming the right way–namely, slowly and methodically. Vacuum lines may look clean, but if you’ve just skimmed the surface, you’ve left most of the dirt behind. Make the most of your time by taking your time, vacuuming back and forth with repetitive strokes.
A good baseline rule is to vacuum all of your floors at least once per week. From there, isolate those areas that receive a lot of foot or pet traffic, such as living rooms, family rooms, hallways, and entryways. Those areas should be vacuumed more frequently, maybe even daily. The debris from shoes and pets can pile up quickly, making your floors not only look icky, but become icky, with allergy-inducing dander and dust.
Vacuuming regularly is a great step toward maintaining a beautiful and healthy home. You may even begin to notice a difference in your home’s air quality just a week or two into the regimen. In addition to vacuuming, however, you will want to have your carpets professionally cleaned.
On a practical level, professional steam cleaning protects your investment. In fact, many carpet companies will not honor your warranty unless you hire cleaners every 12 to 18 months. While vacuuming helps keep your carpet in good shape, only professional cleaning gets deep enough to remove the hidden dirt that eventually breaks down fibers and shortens your carpet’s life.
Interior designer Robin Wilson, who specializes in allergy-free housekeeping, recommends scheduling steamings twice per year and sometimes even more often, depending on the number and “shedding styles” of your pets.
While home steamers can be helpful for occasional spot cleaning, they cannot replace professional machines, which lift all moisture from the fibers. In fact, sometimes home cleaning can worsen allergies, inviting mold to grow where moisture was left behind.