Cleaning a carpetIf your vacuum cleaning ritual involves vacuuming and nothing else, grab that phone and call the pros quick. Experts say vacuuming alone doesn’t make your carpet as clean as it should.

According to Robin Wilson, an interior designer specializing in allergy-free housekeeping, neglecting the upkeep of flooring and drapes, and not letting air inside the home can make the quality of indoor air ten times worse than that of outdoor air. In cleaning carpet flooring, however, it may not suffice to use a vacuum only.

Steam Cleaning Is a Must

Sure, vacuuming is the easiest way to rid your carpet of fibers and abrasive dust particles. To dispel allergy triggers and other health hazards lurking in soiled carpets, however, you need to have them steamed. DIY carpet steaming is a no-no; you need to onboard professionals from reputable companies such as anchorrestoration.com.

Professional steaming, Wilson says, is the only legal way to protect your carpet. Carolyn Forte, a Good Housekeeping Research Institute director, reminds that it’s also the only way to validate your warranty. Most carpet companies require professional steaming every 12 to 24 months to keep the warranty valid.

For a dust-free home, Wilson suggests enlisting the services of professional carpet cleaners every six months. If you own a pet, you need to have the carpet steamed every four months.

DIY Steam Cleaning Isn’t an Option

Wilson says only professionals can steam carpets in a manner that lifts dust from deep within. Otherwise, they will wear down and rip the fibers of the carpet. Professional machines, moreover, can zap all the moisture from steam, preventing the growth of a mold patch. Wilson adds that by doing the steam cleaning yourself, you are turning your home into an incubator for mold growth.

Between steams, vacuuming at least once per week is still necessary. Increase the frequency if you have pets, or in high-traffic areas of the home. Make sure to do it slowly, as it works best by vibrating carpet fibers and trapping dust in the vacuum.