How Often Should You Shampoo Carpets?

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How Often Should You Shampoo Carpets?

Not only can carpet be beautiful to look at, but it is also comfortable to walk on, and it's warm during the winter months. Carpet can add to the R-value of your floor's insulation, which can help to lower your energy bills. And when properly cleaned, carpeted floors can actually help reduce allergy symptoms. The key phrase is "when properly cleaned."


Household Size

Many carpet manufacturers and professional carpet cleaning companies recommend having residential carpets professionally cleaned every 12 to 18 months. One of the factors that affects the frequency of shampooing is the number of people in the household. A couple with no children who do little entertaining would not need to shampoo their carpets as frequently as a family with several children who frequently entertain guests.


Pets that stay inside all or most of the time have a smaller impact on the frequency of carpet shampooing than pets that are permitted to go outside frequently. Pets that have unattended access to the outside via a doggy door can track significantly more dirt into the house and onto the carpet. This type of traffic will require more frequent spot cleaning and carpet shampooing.


Heavy Traffic Areas

Most homes have an obvious traffic flow. Because people tend to walk the same path between rooms, these areas of the carpet will get soiled much more quickly than other areas. Some rooms in the home, such as the living room or entertainment room, will get more foot traffic than a spare bedroom. These heavily trafficked areas will need to be shampooed more frequently than their less-used counterparts.


Environmental factors can affect how frequently you need to shampoo your carpet. During periods of heavy rain, it is easy for family members and guests to track mud into the house and onto the carpet. Dry seasons make dust a problem that can settle into the carpets, requiring shampooing. By asking everyone to remove their shoes at the entryway, much soiling can be prevented.



Proper maintenance of your carpet can extend the time between professional cleanings. Regularly vacuuming the carpets, at least twice a week and more often on heavily trafficked areas, will help remove a great deal of dirt and debris. Spot cleaning stains as soon as they occur will also help to extend the time between shampoos.


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Mike Parker

Mike Parker is a full-time writer, publisher and independent businessman. His background includes a career as an investments broker with such NYSE member firms as Edward Jones & Company, AG Edwards & Sons and Dean Witter. He helped launch DiscoverCard as one of the company's first merchant sales reps.