Do I Need to Vacuum Before Carpet Cleaning?

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While they offer homes a sense of coziness, texture, and the added benefit of sound buffering, carpets carry allergens, dirt, and debris—not to mention, given their fibrous material,  they hold onto tough stains longer than other surfaces. To get ahead of the grime, it’s recommended that you routinely deep clean your carpets every eight to twelve months. 

If you’ve just scheduled a professional carpet cleaning,  it’s worth following a few best pre-cleaning practices to get the most out of the service and ensure the longevity of your carpets after they’ve been cleaned. In this article, we’ll explore why vacuuming is an essential first step in preparing for carpet cleaning, common pitfalls to avoid before a professional cleaning, and advice from our experts so you get the most out of your carpet cleaning services.

Why You Should Vacuum Before a Carpet Cleaning

You might be wondering why you have to vacuum before a professional carpet cleaning.  After all, isn’t that why you scheduled a carpet cleaning service in the first place? The general consensus in the cleaning community and within home cleaning guides is that pre-vacuuming before any professional carpet cleaning is not only highly recommended, but a critical step in setting your carpets up for success. Below are just a few reasons why you should vacuum before the professionals arrive.

Prevent Blockages

In the same way you would sweep your tile or wood floors before mopping, you should vacuum before deep cleaning a carpet. In short, vacuuming beforehand removes a layer of dirt, debris, and pet hair that might not be visible but is likely lingering on the surface of your carpet. In taking the time to pre-vacuum, this allows the eventual added cleaning agents to fully penetrate the fibers without any blockages. 

Professional cleaners have access to the equipment needed to perform full extractions of allergy-causing contaminants, but if there is a layer of unseen debris in the way, this will act as a barrier between the cleaning solutions and the carpet.

Streamline the Cleaning Process

The time it takes to clean a carpet depends on factors such as the size, type, and determined cleaning method. On average, professional carpet cleaners can cover about 500 square feet of carpet within 60 to 90 minutes

While you of course expect the professionals to do a thorough job, you also don’t want the service to take too much time away from your other daily activities. Vacuuming your carpets before they arrive goes a long way in helping to streamline the process. Taking care of this means the technicians can immediately get down to the nitty-gritty—optimizing the service and giving you your space back as soon as possible.

Maximize Results 

When you’ve scheduled professional carpet cleaning services, you’re investing your time and money. So, to maximize the results of the service, it’s a critical step in the overall success of the cleaning to vacuum your space before the professionals arrive. In doing so, you’re ensuring the cleaners will be able to provide a truly deep clean, which will contribute to the longevity of your carpets. 

Carpet Cleaning Benefits

A layer of crumbs, sand, dirt, and even gravel on carpets can be abrasive. Along with standard foot traffic, as these particles collect over time, the friction between the two will cause wear and tear on your carpet. As far as carpet maintenance tips go, it is recommended to keep up with weekly vacuuming. This is especially recommended before a professional carpet cleaning service. Let’s dig into a few other best pre-cleaning practices and the benefits of vacuuming before a carpet cleaning.

Improved Air Quality

Carpets tend to trap and hold onto allergens and pollutants, which means you’re, in turn, breathing those things in. In many ways, carpets act as a sort of large filter, and like any other filter, need to be routinely cleaned. By vacuuming on a regular basis, you are ensuring the top layer of potential allergens is removed from your home, essentially cleaning out the filter and improving overall air quality. 

Prevent Mold Growth

Yep, carpets can grow mold. Mold is especially prone to grow in humid environments, and so while controlling the humidity levels in your home is an important step in mitigating mold growth, so is vacuuming. 

Vacuuming sucks up the surface layer of dust, debris, and lingering moisture that would otherwise contribute to mold growth. So, to set your carpets up for success before their next professional cleaning, be sure to vacuum so that when the heavy-duty solutions are added, they can fully penetrate carpet fibers and get rid of any potential growing spores. 

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Extend the Life of Your Carpet

Taking the extra time to vacuum any potential abrasive particles before a professional carpet cleaning will allow the cleaning agents to fully penetrate deep into the fibers and extract any set stains and allergens lurking beneath the surface. In taking this precautionary step, you will ultimately protect and extend the life of your carpets.  

To summarize, here are the benefits of vacuuming before a carpet cleaning:

  • Improved air quality—vacuuming removes unwanted allergens and pollutants from carpets, which act as a filter and must be routinely cleaned
  • Prevent mold growth—spores can grow in carpets, so it’s imperative to vacuum up any lingering surface moisture on carpets to get ahead of potential mold growth 
  • Extend the life of your carpet—over time, particles can become abrasive, so routinely vacuuming before and after a carpet cleaning increases the lifespan of your carpet

What Happens If You Skip Vacuuming Before a Carpet Cleaning?

Skipping out on vacuuming before a carpet cleaning can negatively affect the overall outcome of your service. 

If there is an existing layer of dirt and debris sitting on the surface, these particles will be pushed further into the carpet fibers once water is added during the shampooing process. Additionally, if there is a significant amount of dirt on carpets, once water is added, this dirt will quickly turn into mud, which will of course contribute to dirtier carpets and even greater stains. 

What Do Expert Cleaners Say?

When the goal is to have clean carpets, COIT experts say vacuuming beforehand is your best bet. Not only will pre-vacuuming boost the longevity of your carpets, but it also ensures existing dirt doesn’t seep further into the fibers and cause more potential long-term damage. 

Although carpets come in a variety of styles and are made with varying materials, they each collect and hold onto more particles than hard surfaces do. Given this, it’s a good idea to vacuum beforehand no matter what type of carpet you have.  

That said, there are a few common mistakes people make when vacuuming before a professional cleaning. For starters, make sure your vacuum filter isn’t clogged. Vacuuming any area with a clogged filter will limit the amount of debris it’s able to pick up. 

Once you begin vacuuming, you’ll want to make sure to vacuum under all furniture and move it to the side if needed.  Another common vacuuming mistake is that people will often only vacuum in a single direction, but this ultimately lowers the amount of dirt you’re able to vacuum up. 

Step-by-Step Guide to Effective Vacuuming Techniques

Here are a few basic tips on how to clean carpets:

  • Replace or clean out your vacuum filter to ensure it can suck up as much dirt and debris as possible.
  • Dust collects underneath furniture, so be sure to move furniture out of the way to vacuum spots that might otherwise be missed.
  • Pick up any objects such as shoes and toys to ensure they won’t get in the way or get stuck inside your vacuum.
  • Instead of vacuuming in straight lines, vacuum in overlapping criss-cross patterns to maximize the amount of surface area covered.

While vacuuming before a professional carpet cleaning service is standard practice, in terms of general carpet maintenance tips, experts recommend weekly vacuuming to extend the life of your carpets. Your professional cleaning will take about a day to fully dry. During this time, COIT recommends limiting the foot traffic in the newly cleaned area and refraining from rearranging any furniture for 48 hours to avoid varnish stains on your carpet. 

Contact COIT for a professional cleaning!

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