These questions are ones that has been asked of me many times, over my last thirty years in this business, and it is an important issue for health.
Misconception 1: You should wait as long as possible before cleaning your carpet, because then it will just start getting dirty faster from then on.
No. Dirt is an abrasive – like sandpaper. Every time you step on your carpet, you grind dirt into your carpet fibers. This cuts your carpet, just as if you had used a knife, causing it to wear out faster. A dirty carpet will not last nearly as long as a clean carpet. And while vacuuming helps – by itself, it is simply not enough.
The longer you wait to have your carpet cleaned, the more damage you do to your carpet and the faster it wears out. The abrasion creates sites in the carpet that will tend to hold onto dirt from then on out, so the opposite is true in reality: the longer the periods between cleanings initially, the more soil the carpet will hold onto from then on out! So by trying to prevent having to clean it often by holding back, you aggravate the problem in the long run. The carpet will need more frequent cleaning in the future because you held back today, if you are concerned about its appearance.
A more important issue than appearance, though, is the indoor air quality issue, which relates to health. We must come to grips with this problem if we have any hope of achieving our potential health.
Misconception #2: The only reason to clean carpets is to get out the dirt.
Not true. As you probably know, outdoor air contains pollens, fungus, bacteria, air pollution, cigarette smoke, car exhaust, and hundreds of other chemicals. When you and your family members come into your home, you carry those pollens, bacteria and chemicals in your hair and on your skin, clothing and shoes. Of course, they also blow in from the outside air, and are contained in many of the normal household cleaners being sold at the local grocery store. Not surprisingly, all those chemicals, pollens and bacteria wind up – you guessed it – in your carpet. If you have allergies, asthma, emphysema, or other breathing problems, one major source of your problems could be the pollens, fungus, and chemicals in your carpet. The Environmental Protection Agency rates indoor air quality as more important than any other pollution problem that we have in the U.S. as it effects our health.