These guidelines will help you determine when and how often to clean carpets in the Cape.
If you’re wondering just how often this is necessary, the answer is… it depends. Several factors influence how regularly your carpets should be cleaned.
A general rule of thumb
How often you need to vacuum and deep clean your carpet will vary depending on your lifestyle, especially if you have pets. As a general rule, this is how often you should be tackling these chores.
How often to vacuum carpets
Carpets should be vacuumed roughly once a week. This should increase in frequency based on a few factors, such as whether shoes are worn in the house:
- light traffic – once a week
- heavy traffic – twice a week
- pets – daily or no less than three times a week
- children – daily or no less than three times a week.
How often to have carpets deep cleaned
Fitted carpets should be deep cleaned about once a year. Again, this will depend on your lifestyle and the amount of foot traffic:
- light traffic – once a year
- heavy traffic – every six months to a year
- children – every six months to a year
- pets – every three to six months
- smokers – every three to six months.
Factors to consider when scheduling carpet cleaning
Deciding when to have your carpets cleaned will depend on the time of year, carpet type, where you live and how many people live in your home.
Seasonal issues affecting carpets in the Cape
These are seasonal issues that you should consider before scheduling a deep carpet clean.
Cape allergies in spring
High pollen counts in spring and summer in Cape Town mean plant allergens can get trapped in your carpet’s fibres, causing reoccurring allergic reactions for residents.
To counteract this, clean your carpets more frequently. Deep cleaning with a hot-water extraction method removes all tree, grass and other pollens.
How often to clean carpets if you have allergies
If anyone in your home suffers from allergies, have your carpets professionally cleaned at least every three months. In severe cases, have them cleaned more often.
Vacuuming isn’t enough to remove dust, mites, pet dander and accumulated pollen – the main causes of runny noses, sneezing and red, itchy eyes.
Mould in the damp Cape winter
Anyone who lives in the Cape knows how quickly mould can manifest and spread in the damp winters. Mould spores are easily trapped in carpet fibres, making it more difficult to eliminate mould in the home.
Hot-water extraction uses water that’s hot enough to kill off mould spores, making new blooms less likely.
Is it a bad idea to have carpets deep cleaned in winter?
Even though the weather is damp, it’s not a bad idea to have your carpets cleaned in winter. A deep clean will eliminate mould spores and mustiness, helping your home stay fresh during the rainy months.
Try to schedule a winter carpet clean during a week when there’s no rain predicted, so you can open the windows to ensure good ventilation while the carpets dry.
Wildfires in summer
Wildfires are a common occurrence in Cape Town during the summer. This can lead to ash deposits and the smell of smoke getting embedded in your carpets.
A deep clean will eliminate the smell and any contaminants from a fire, which can be allergenic.
Carpet type and warranty
If you have new carpeting, it may be under warranty. Typically, the terms of a warranty state that you need to have a carpet professionally cleaned, using a hot-water extraction process, at least once a year.
Another consideration is the type of carpeting you have. High-grade, wall-to-wall carpeting is tough enough to withstand heavy traffic and frequent washing. Cheaper carpeting may fade if you wash it too often.
Inevitably, if a carpet has a lot of traffic, especially children and pets, it will get dirty faster and need to be cleaned more often.
If you have a busy home, have your carpets professionally cleaned every six to nine months. Aim for six-monthly cleaning if you have a baby or young children who crawl on the carpets or if you have pets that have “accidents” on the carpets.
If your carpet doesn’t get much traffic and isn’t subject to high wear and tear, have it deep cleaned every one to two years.
Location and carpet cleaning frequency
Where you live in Cape Town will influence how often you should clean your carpets. Aim for more regular cleaning if you’re in an area that’s dusty or has high humidity, which encourages mould growth.
If you live near the coast, salt from the sea air may build up on your carpets. If you live in a semi-rural area, you’ll have more dust and mud being brought into the house.