8 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Carpets

Approximately 4.7 billion pounds of carpet ends up in landfills. And, this takes an estimated 1,000 years to degrade, according to the Institute of Inspection Cleaning & Restoration Certification (IICRC). But, you can take an active role in reducing your carbon footprint. You can accomplish this by maintaining your existing carpets and significantly extending its life. This will make your carpet look its best for years to come and save you money in the long run.Carpets and cleaning

Carpet is an expensive investment and with proper maintenance, modern commercial carpeting can last more than 20 years. How you care for your carpet helps determine its longevity. Follow the advice below to extend the life of your carpet:

  1. Invest in High-Quality Carpet Padding

    Everybody knows that quality carpet padding makes floors more comfortable. But, did you know it also increases the longevity of your carpet by protecting the binding and backing of it? Good quality carpet padding also allows more air flow into your vacuum which increases suction. As a result, more dust, dirt, and debris will be removed with regular vacuuming.

  2. Use Floor Mats

    Mats are a great way to keep dirt and debris from ever reaching your carpet, but they should be used both inside and outside to make them effective. According to the IICRC, floor mats should be large enough to allow a person to walk at least two steps across it. This will sufficiently wipe soil from their feet before encountering the carpet.

  3. Vacuum Regularly

    Vacuuming is the most effective and simplest way to keep carpets looking great. According to the Carpet & Rug Institute, vacuuming once a week will prolong the life of your carpet. Also, rooms with heavier traffic should be vacuumed at least twice a week. Dirt tracked inside eventually shifts down to the carpet backing, affecting the fibers. Remember to remove your vacuum bag (or the bagless cylinder) when it’s half full. Anything more and it will start to lose suction power, making the vacuum less effective.

  4. Invest in a Good Vacuum

    A good quality vacuum should have the suction power to collect dirt and debris trapped in the carpet fiber. Also, make sure that you properly maintain the vacuum and that it is operating efficiently to ensure suction power. Most repair shops can look over your vacuum for approximately $40. For most carpet, we recommend an upright vacuum with brush agitation, unless your canister vacuum is well designed.

  5. Steam Clean Your Carpets Regularly

    Annual carpet cleaning can lengthen your carpet’s life, restore it to its original condition and maintain peak performance. Look for professional carpet cleaners like Anderson Bros. Steamatic who are certified through the IICRC and are highly trained. Professional carpet cleaners will use the hot water extraction method, otherwise known as steam cleaning. This is a safe and earth-friendly way to deep clean carpets. This method also utilizes super-heated water and a water softener to remove dirt and bacteria without soap or chemicals. The super-heated water breaks up dirt and grease without damaging the fibers or over-wetting the carpet. Powerful vacuums then extract the dirty water, leaving your carpets clean, soft and odor-free.

  6. Ban Shoe Inside

    It can take up to seven steps to rid shoes of dirt and debris. Contaminates from outside are tracked in if people are allowed to wear shoes inside. Have people remove their shoes at the door to avoid stains and contamination throughout the house.

  7. Rotate Furniture

    This will change foot traffic patterns and protect your carpet from prolonged periods of direct sunlight over time. Sunlight can affect the hue of your carpet (and furniture) and may gradually lighten it over time. Consider rearranging your furniture every six to 12 months if your layout allows it.

  8. Spot Clean Immediately

    If you treat spots immediately, most will respond with warm water and little cleaner will be necessary. The longer you wait though, the more difficult it will be to remove the stain. Gently blot the stain and avoid rubbing the carpet, which may ruin the fibers.


When it comes time to replace your carpet, consider recycling it instead of throwing it away. According to the IICRC, there are many options when it comes to recycling your carpet and depending on its condition. It may even be able to be reused. The Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) is a great resource when you need to replace your carpet. In 2012, 351 million pounds of post-consumer carpet were diverted from landfills and 294 million pounds were recycled.

In summary, establishing a proper cleaning and maintenance schedule of your carpet significantly extends its life. Anderson Bros. Steamatic is an IICRC-certified cleaning and restoration company with more than 45 years of experience. With offices in Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids, Michigan, they employ certified technicians who follow IICRC standards. They are available for all of your cleaning and restoration needs. This includes carpet and rug cleaning, upholstery cleaning and flood, fire and smoke damage restoration and more.

For more information or to schedule a cleaning, visit www.steamaticab.com or call us at 800.968.2453!