Did you know that your “carpet probably contains about 200,000 bacteria per square inch, making it 4,000 times dirtier than your toilet seat?” Studies have found salmonella, norovirus and E.coli hiding in carpet fibers. Seriously? And I sit on the rug when I’m stretching in front of the TV? Well, it does, according to Men’s Health. (Yes, you read that right. I picked up cleaning tips from a magazine for men.)

It’s really quite disgusting when you think about it. You walk on the carpet with your shoes, or your bare feet–both full of germs. The dog lies on the carpet. So does the cat. And, they were just rolling around in the yard. If it’s anything like my house, there are also plenty of crumbs, and a large juice stain from the cup your child swore she wouldn’t knock over. Yet, somehow you thought vacuuming once a week was enough to keep it clean.


Well, I’m thinking maybe it’s not. In fact, interior designer Robin Wilson, as quoted in Vacuuming does NOT Count as Carpet Cleaning…Seriously!, recommends calling in professional steamers every six months, and every four to six WEEKS if you have a pet. Other resources recommend only once every 12-18 months. Regardless, it’s a lot more often than I know I’ve ever had my carpets cleaned.

So, how and how often should you clean your carpets? According to Dawn Fiscella, owner of Immaculate Clean, regular carpet cleaning includes vacuuming often, edging around baseboards and having carpets professionally cleaned quarterly. She believes that is what’s necessary to maintain a truly healthy home, at least as far as your carpets are concerned.


A few other tips, according to Suzy Strutner, Associate Life Editor, The Huffington Post:

  1. Clean area rugs by vacuuming regularly and shaking them out outside every few weeks. You can also have them steam cleaned, if it’s safe for the rug to do so. Or, make it easier on yourself, use machine washable area rugs.
  2. Vacuum more slowly. I know we’re all in a hurry to get it done. But, it takes time for the vacuum to get up all those germs.
  3. Don’t rub stains. Blot them out. And, do it right away. Personally, I like to spray the spot, blot it with a rag, and then put a clean rag with something heavy on top of it for a few hours. It picks up the spot almost entirely.

And, finally, remember that taking care of your rugs will help ensure that the warranty is still valid. Now, I’ve never actually used the warranty on a carpet, but given most should last 15 years if well maintained, I suspect there are plenty of opportunities to do so. And, most carpet companies require you to have the rugs professionally cleaned every year or two.


If you’re in Carroll County or the Central Maryland area, you might want to try Genesis Flooring America. In addition to flooring/carpet sales and design, Genesis offers carpet cleaning and a wide variety of other home improvement services.