I remember the first time I walked on my carpet -- so soft, bouncy and looked incredible. Today, it still looks that way thanks to a strict regimen of care. But it wasn't always like that.
It all starts with having the right equipment and schedule. I, like many, am not much for replacing equipment that isn't broken. I had the same vacuum that was handed down to me from my mother for years. It wasn't until I was fed up with replacing the bag that I broke down and bought a new vacuum.
This changed my view on a lot of things -- the right equipment makes life easier. My new vacuum cut down my actual time spent vacuuming by half. I just didn't have to roll over the same parts of the floor over and over. It picked up the pet hair and brought a lot of the bounce back as an effective vacuum actually pulls the accumulated debris from the very bottom of the carpet that work like sandpaper to degrade your carpet fibers.
So for high traffic areas experts suggest more than once a week -- but at a minimum once a week.
It used to be so annoying to drive down to the supermarket and rent a carpet cleaner. So, I only did it when we were moving to try and get the deposit back. But that's the wrong way of doing things. Professional Cleaning should be done every 6 months in high-traffic areas and every 12 months elsewhere. (*most carpet manufacturers REQUIRE a professional clean every 12-18 months or you will void your warranty!)
The difference has been noticeable. With this regimen, you can double the effective lifetime of your carpet, not to mention the noticeable visual difference as well as comfort. It will also improve the general aroma of your home as carpet is extremely good at trapping scents, bacteria, and disease.
This scent, while probably not noticeable to you, is apparent to any visitor (even if it isn't necessary unpleasant!).
Luckily nowadays, effective Professional Cleaners are inexpensive. When you factor in the allergen reduction, Chem-Dry is definitely worth it.
Experts suggest daily mopping and cleaning tile/vinyl with water to remove dirt and grime. This will help prevent mold and mildew buildup as well as debris that can scrape and nick your tile.
An inexpensive spray mop will easily tackle hardwood, vinyl, and tile. This is nice and light and easy to grab and do a quick, basic clean-up job. Tile and grout are very porous though, so call in the Professionals once a year or as needed to really scrub deep, SANITIZE, and reseal everything!
Grout, being porous, can quickly collect liquids, bacteria and debris if not properly sealed and cleaned. Re-sealing grout once a year can extend the life and appearance as grout can stain very easily. To check if you need to reseal your grout, drop a few small drops on to your grout -- if it puddles, you're good. If it the grout absorbs it at all, it's time to reseal.
In the bathroom and areas where the tile gets wet use penetrating grout sealers. They use a water base that penetrates the grout.
In the kitchen and other surfaces that don't have standing water often, we use a membrane forming grout sealer.
To extend the life of the seal, avoid/or minimize the use of harsh cleaners throughout the year.
A daily sweep or dust mop is important for hardwood floors as even small amounts of dust can be scraped along the bottom of your feet and damage the floor. A weekly vacuuming using the bare floor setting should suffice. Avoid using wet mops or steam mops which will damage the finish and wood over long periods of time. Moisture is the enemy of wood and your finish so spills should be quickly cleaned with a dry or damp cloth.
Extend the life of your hardwood by using a wood flooring cleaner monthly. Which one you should use will depend on your finish.
Experts suggest a Professional Cleaner who will sanitize and then add a 'maintenance' coat of finish sealer every year.
Swiffers are great, but it will be cheaper in the long run (as well as better for the environment) to pick up a washable microfiber mop such as Chem-Drys 'The Razor'. This one also includes wet mops for tile and vinyl.