When you first have a new section of carpet installed, there are two feelings accompanied by it: joy and worry.
You’re probably happy for the fantastic feeling and appearance, but it’s a lot of responsibility as well. How are you supposed to know when and how to clean it?
Fortunately, it’s much simpler than you might think.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the pros and cons of cleaning a brand new carpet.
10 Pros of New Carpet Cleaning
1. The carpet will smell better
Cleaning a new carpet makes it smell much better by removing dead skin cells and other debris that collects on the surface.
Crumbs, bacteria, and other unwanted bits can build up over time, but cleaning will easily remove them all. Without them sticking around, you can maintain a like-new carpet for years to come.
2. It looks better
The visual benefits of cleaning a carpet are one of the biggest reasons that so many people feel that it’s necessary. For example, it can make a darkened, stale area appear bright and new again in only a short amount of time.
3. It removes stains
Some spills are nearly impossible to clean without doing a deep clean. Wine, blood, and other hard-to-clean stains won’t come out from a simple vacuuming session. You may be required to use a professional cleaner in this case.
4. It can remove fiber sheddings
When carpet first gets installed, it leaves behind fibers from the job. This is known as carpet shedding, and it can feel gross when the old fibers get stuck between your toes and on your feet. Although many services do their best to remove these fibers, you might have to deep-clean it yourself.
5. It removes the long term effects of stains.
Urine and pet dander are another issue that makes it hard for you to put off cleaning for a while.
It might be tempting to let the new carpet sit and stay fresh. However, nothing will spoil the appearance and integrity of carpets like acidic urine and bacteria-filled pet dander.
6. It can remove tangles
Certain carpet fibers, such as those that are longer than ¾ of an inch, can bunch up and tangle when they’re first installed. This causes a clumped appearance, harboring dirt and debris much quicker than non-clumped carpet. Deep cleaning might be a good idea to untangle it all.
7. It removes the factory smell
In some circumstances, a new carpet can hold onto a factory chemical smell. When they’re created in massive factories, all of the other scents get put into the carpet fibers. You can’t brush this odor out, which means you could have to opt for deep cleaning to remove it entirely.
8. It loosens dense fibers
The fibers of newer carpet tend to be much denser than older carpet. This is because they’re pressed together when they’re created. In most cases, it doesn’t create a problem. However, cleaning a new carpet with dense fibers will loosen them up a bit for a much softer feeling.
9. It fluffs the fibers
Similar to the previous pro on the list, carpet can be flattened out when it’s installed. After sitting in a rolled form for so long, it can mat down quite a bit. You can easily fluff the carpet up with a cleaning from a professional service, which will create a cloud-like feeling that won’t damage the surface.
10. Professional cleaning can make it look and smell amazing
Regardless of how long you’ve had the carpet, a steam cleaning or chemical cleaning performed by a professional company makes all carpet smell and look better. If you have a big event planned at the location, it might be worth cleaning to create a better appearance.
8 Cons of Cleaning Brand New Carpet
1. It can loosen the fibers too much
Cleaning brand new carpet has been known to loosen the fibers a bit too much. This damage can often be irreversible, especially if too many chemicals, steam, or heat is used on fresh carpet.
2. It removes the “new” scent
Once you clean a new carpet, there’s no going back. The original ‘new’ scent is forever gone, as is the initial fluff or matted feeling. This may or may not be a downside, depending on your personal preferences.
3. It can lift poorly installed carpet roots
New carpet can have loose roots if a good company does not install it. Poor carpet roots can be lifted and feel tacky after the initial cleaning. This problem eventually rolls the carpet along as you step on it.
4. The liquid used for cleaning can harbor bacteria
Carpet cleaners often use a variety of liquids to clean the fibers. While it works well to eliminate odors, the liquid can sit around and build bacteria. Once this happens, gross odors that require constant cleaning might arrive.
5. It can speed up the fraying process
It’s no secret that fraying is one of the biggest issues with older carpet. It’s also no secret that deep cleaning can speed the fraying process up quite a bit if you have it cleaned too often or too soon. Brand new carpet is especially susceptible to fraying if it’s not worn in a bit from walking.
6. It can expose nails or staples
When you clean a new carpet, the edges tend to give way first. This can make the nails or staples used to hold it down wear away and expose themselves. The result is an uncomfortable, unsightly connection between carpet and other surfaces.
7. It can remove the manufacturer’s chemical treatments
Many types of carpet these days come with chemical treatments used to ward off bacteria and mildew. While it might not seem safe, they’re harmless to humans. However, a deep clean will immediately remove these chemicals, opening up the possibility of mildew and bacteria.
8. A carpet cleaning company might damage it
When you hire a service to clean your new carpet, you have to look through all sorts of companies before choosing the right one. New carpet can be impacted much more severely when treated by a not-so-good company. This is because it looks perfect before, making all the bad details show immediately. While it might not be a con, it sure is a thing to worry about!
How Often Should You Clean a New Carpet?
You can’t answer this question in only one answer because carpet cleaning varies dramatically. There could be one area of the house where everyone constantly walks that might require much more frequent cleanings.
These areas include hallways, bedrooms, and living rooms. On the other hand, carpeted floors in closets, laundry rooms, and sunrooms might not need it as often.
Most professionals suggest that you have your carpets professionally cleaned once a year. This can extend from 12 to 18 months, again depending on how necessary it is. For areas that don’t see as much traffic, you can extend the time between cleanings to 24 months.
Without these deep cleaning cycles on a brand new carpet, you might start to notice that it begins to get old. Stains won’t remove themselves, and neither will dirt, grime, and other debris. Even after a few vacuuming sessions, you’ll eventually have to give in and wash the carpet after a year.
You should also note that almost all carpets require a deep cleaning right when they’re installed these days. The fibers mentioned in the pros section briefly covered the necessity of doing these cleanings. When you have a new carpet installed, the shedding fibers can be inhaled and cause lung damage and irritation.
Homeowners usually wonder if they should clean a brand new carpet after the initial installation cleaning. Despite the pros and cons, you should never avoid the first session.
You’ll experience many more problems if you skip out on it, starting with the shedding mentioned above. However, don’t feel that you’re required to go through with the first cleaning after a year.
As a general rule, no brand new carpet should go longer than 18 months before it’s cleaned for the first time (after the initial installation cleaning).
Although it might still feel and look new, you can’t do much in the way of avoiding all the grossness from building up. Do yourself a favor by spending money now to save much more money down the road!
Are the Chemicals in New Carpet Unhealthy?
You might notice a strange smell when your brand new carpet is first installed. These chemicals are designed with two specific purposes:
- They preserve the carpet and allow it to prevent bacteria from growing.
- The chemical smell can come from the glue that’s used to hold the carpet in place.
If you’re worried about the smell being unhealthy or you simply want to avoid it completely, ask for the installation crew to use nails instead.
While nails aren’t ideal for every carpeted area, you might be able to use them to reduce the gross odor that’s released from a new carpet. This process of releasing the fumes from a new carpet is called ‘off-gassing,’ which might make it sound even more dangerous than it is.
Typically speaking, these odors wear off in about 4 to 7 days. Proper ventilation and optimal airflow from floor and ceiling fans, as well as open windows, can help to reduce the timespan. You should also try to avoid walking on it as much as possible. Despite the initial deep clean, the chemical smell tends to linger, nonetheless.
So, is that unpleasant chemical odor in a new carpet bad for you?
In a way, yes, it is.
You don’t want to breathe it in, touch it, or otherwise come in contact with the carpet if you can avoid doing so. If you live with people who have respiratory problems, pregnant women, senior citizens, or young children, you should probably stay somewhere else while it airs out.
Some people get by just fine while living in a house with brand new carpet, while others are a bit skeptical of the whole situation. If you’re worried, try to spend as little time in the house as possible.
In most cases, the worst thing that could happen is eye, throat, and lung irritation. You might experience a scratchy feeling, but usually nothing more than that.
The true details behind the potentially harmful nature of an off-gassing carpet aren’t concrete yet. Some companies say it’s harmful, and others say it’s not. If you experience any discomfort, it’s best to ventilate and evacuate until you’re feeling better.
Removing the Chemical Smell from New Carpet
If you don’t like the chemical smell in your new carpet, it’s relatively easy to remove.
Here’s the process:
- After the initial deep clean has happened, sprinkle a light layer of baking soda across the carpet. Don’t use too much or it’ll clog the roots of the carpet.
- You can also add a nice mist mixture of cold water and 15 drops of essential oils to the carpet.
- After about 30 minutes of the baking soda sitting on the carpet, vacuum it with a manual or automatic vacuum. Avoid using steam since it’ll likely clump the baking soda and make it hard to remove.
This process won’t completely remove the odor, but it’ll certainly make it more bearable. Unfortunately, time and proper ventilation are the only two tools that’ll get rid of the foul new carpet chemical smell. Don’t worry, though! It’ll be gone in less than a week.
Steam Cleaning vs. Vacuum Cleaning
People often worry about cleaning their new carpet to the point that they don’t even want to use a regular vacuum. However, all carpets need to be cleaned with a vacuum regularly.
A deep-cleaning usually consists of chemical treatments or a steam cleaning process. The pros and cons of this list apply to deep-cleaning, not traditional vacuuming.
When you’re vacuuming your brand new carpet, use the following tips:
- Do your best to go in vertical lines. Vacuuming in random directions can look bad, fray the carpet, and make certain spots cleaner than others.
- You should vacuum slowly to avoid roughing up the carpet.
- Some manual and robotic vacuums come with abrasive brushes. Short carpet tends to react well with these brushes, while long carpet can become fluffed and frayed easier. Use your judgment to decide if the brush should be used or removed. As with any carpet cleaning process, perform the cleaning on a small patch first to test it out.
Steam cleaning is a much different process.
In many cases, you should seek the help of a professional company, as the errors that an inexperienced person can make with a steam cleaner can ruin the carpet completely. Using too much steam in one area can make it moist enough to harbor mold and mildew. You can also accidentally flood the carpet by over saturating it.
Steam cleaning shouldn’t be done more than once every 9 to 12 months. Remember that most carpets require deep-cleaning every 12 to 18 months, but you don’t want to overdo it.
Steam is fantastic for cleaning a new carpet because it strips away dirt and other debris that holds onto individual carpet fibers. It loosens up the debris and removes it from the carpet quickly.
How Long Does New Carpet Last?
Three key factors contribute to a carpet’s longevity.
The general idea is that a newly installed carpet should last for about 5 to 15 years. However, spills, improper care, and other issues can shorten or lengthen the lifespan of your carpet.
Here are the three key factors to consider how long your carpet will last before it needs to be replaced:
- You need to monitor the foot traffic going in and around the carpeted parts of your house. If every member of the house uses a hallway for access to bedrooms and bathrooms, you might have to replace it sooner than other parts of the house. Also, wearing shoes on the carpet will expedite the process.
- Urine, juices, mud, and other liquids and solids that spill onto your carpet weaken it over time. This is because it can cause the fibers to fray and the roots to loosen. If you can start cleaning the carpet as soon as the accident happens, you have a better chance of preventing permanent damage.
- The length, density, and quality of the carpet also directly affects how long it will last. If you buy a cheap carpet, it won’t last as long. Another related item is the materials used to hold the carpet in place. Nails can become brittle if they’re picked at, and glue can loosen from excessive use and stomping.
Using these three factors, you’ll probably get a better idea of how long your carpet should last.
Following the weekly vacuuming treatment paired with a recommended cleaning every 12 to 18 months, you should have no problem getting a decade out of the carpet. After that time, you might notice traffic lanes, fraying, and other common carpet problems.