Didn’t your mom tell you that beauty is only skin deep? A person’s true, often hidden, character lies far deeper than their face. If you spent more time with someone, worked in conversation at different angles, what kind of dirt might you find? I like to think about CARPETS like people. If you spent more time vacuuming your carpet, worked the passes of the vacuum at different angles….I ask you again: What kind of dirt might you find?
First of all – What does “CLEAN” mean? People clearly have different definitions of this term. But for the purpose of this article, I mean the absence of: visible dirt or stains, harmful embedded dirt, and illness-causing allergens, critters or pathogens. Clean things not only look and smell better, but they last longer and improve your personal quality of life as you use them. Here’s why…
Looks can indeed be deceiving… In our line of work, “clean” is NOT just surface deep. For instance, vacuum cleaners are designed to take care of your carpets by removing dust, dirt, hair and allergens. Some vacuums do a very nice job of getting the stuff you see off of the carpet’s surface. But does that mean it’s really clean? NOPE! These “leftovers” are not only gross, but can cause catastrophic carpet damage over time. Many of those particles (like sand or “Carpet Fresh”) are microscopically abrasive. Left in the base of the pile, they act like tiny knives sawing away at the fiber as you walk over top. Foot traffic also grinds in dirt and dust to all layers of the carpet, and flattens or bends the pile over. This matted look is hideous, but also means that broken fibers will begin to release excessively when you vacuum later.
Lastly, if you have allergies, asthma, emphysema, or the like, one major source of your problem could be the pollens, fungus, and or chemicals caught in your carpet. Vacuuming thoroughly with a true-HEPA vacuum can bring you a lot of relief. Quality of life is always paramount, with protecting the quality of your household goods, a close second.
Here are a few TIPS from “How Things Work” to keep your carpet trulyclean and prevent damage:
- Carpets need to be vacuumed once a week and more often in areas of heavy traffic. Every few weeks, take a little extra time and use your crevice tool for cleaning around baseboards and radiators and in other hard-to-reach places.
- Take your time when you vacuum a carpet, especially a plush carpet in which dirt and allergens are sure to be deeply embedded. One pass with a high-powered vacuum (with brushroller/agitator) is not enough. Go over each section of carpeting several times, and work slowly to allow the agitator brush to vibrate out all the ground-in dust and dirt, while the suction takes it away into the collection bag or bin.
- Pay special attention to the areas where people sit and move their feet. Vacuum these areas of heavy traffic with a crisscross pattern of overlapping strokes.
- Rule No. 1 regarding spots and spills on your carpeting: Clean them immediately. If you catch the spill when it’s fresh, you’ve got a good chance of removing it totally. Visit this link for specific techniques.
Don’t let this information scare you away from carpets or rugs altogether. Aside from adding color, warmth and reducing noise in rooms, its “attractive” nature also keeps allergens on one place (on the floor and out of your face!) The trick is just to clean them properly.
Alternatively, hard surface flooring may be the “prescription” for many folks suffering from allergies, but cleaning them can pose a whole new set of surprising challenges.The good news is that nearly all of them can be solved in one shot. How? Vacuum your hard floors with a high-filtration, top-exhausting canister-style vacuum with deluxe, natural bristle brush. (And yeah, we sell those!)
If your vacuum truly does have the ability to deep-clean your rugs andtake care of your bare floors properly, fantastic! However, is it trappingALL of that collected dust? If not, then some of dust blows out the vacuum’s exhaust into your breathing air, then settles back on every surface in the house. This is a lot like sweeping a pile of dirt under the rug (because you’ve only moved the debris from one area to another instead of removing it altogether!) Not only is that a waste of time, but creepy stuff that usually is exclusive to the floor now transfers everywhere, worst of all – into your lungs! NOT CLEAN.
With all of this said how CLEAN are your floors and carpets?
I could torture you for hours with examples of lurking dirt and germs in unforeseen places, but what’s the point? We all know that some germs can make us really sick and we do our best to avoid and/or kill them. Others we gladly ingest on purpose (as I now snack on yogurt.) None of us tolerate the look of dirt and grime very well. This article is NOT an attempt to make you feel like a lazy or dirty person, turn you into a psychopathic germaphobe, or scare you into buying a type of vacuum you can’t afford. The point is to show you, that in the world of vacuums and floor coverings, the dirt you miss can be very destructive and unhealthy.
P.S. So as not to leave you discouraged…if you’d like some super easy tips to make cleaning more fun (and even glamorous) watch our new YouTube video!