We moved to our new Lewes house in August, so we have been here for about four months. My son and girlfriend came to visit us for Thanksgiving, and we thought it was a good time to clean the carpet. Suddenly it dawned on me; we didn’t clean the carpet when we moved in.
But should you clean brand new carpet?
Brand new carpets may seem clean, but it is a good idea to have them cleaned to remove all the manufacturing material leftovers, residue, and potential toxins. To do this, you are better off hiring professionals who use adequate products and equipment.
Here is what I have learned about this topic that may be useful to you if you are getting a new carpet.
Are New Carpets Dirty?
As lovely and clean as a new carpet may seem, they are not really as clean as it may look.
The many steps involved in getting a carpet from manufacturing to installation in your home may leave invisible dirt in your carpet.
Carpets are manufactured in factories with various materials, transported to warehouses, protected with different covers, and treated with chemicals to keep them safe during this process. All these steps leave residue that stays on the finished product.
Some of the products used on carpets, such as floor adhesives, and cushion, result in volatile organic compounds (VOC) evaporating and forming potentially toxic fumes. Some of these substances may not be healthy, especially for small children, older adults, and sensitive people. Pets may also be affected.
But it depends on who you ask.
What The Carpet Rug Institute Thinks
The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI), which represents the carpet and rug industry, says that there are misconceptions about the effect of new carpet emissions on the indoor environment.
According to CRI, other products such as paint and wall coverings may emit VOC levels up to 10 times higher. CRI states that “with proper ventilation, the minimal VOC emissions and the nonhazardous odors from new carpet dissipates within the first 48 to 72 hours after installation.”
What Some Professional Carpet Cleaners Think
Most professional carpet cleaners agree that the first 72 hours are the worst and that you need to have your home well ventilated during that time.
But some professional carpet cleaners think that ventilation is insufficient. They believe that only “deep cleaning carpet removes the VOCs for good.”
What the EPA Thinks
The EPA agrees that the “CRI program has contributed to significant reductions in the emissions of certain compounds from carpets.” However, the EPA is not convinced that emissions from carpet, will not affect some people.
So, who do you believe? The CRI is there to defend the carpet industry. The professional carpet cleaners want you to clean your carpet often to keep them in business. Probably the EPA’s opinion represents a compromise. The emissions from carpet may not be too bad for most people but may affect some.
What to Consider When Cleaning Brand New Carpet?
Clearly, it is safer to clean brand new carpet as long as you do it correctly.
Simple vacuum-cleaning or wiping the carpet with a wet cloth won’t do the trick.
A deep cleaning by a qualified professional is your best bet for peace of mind.
Do your homework and review the company before you hire someone. Just because they call themselves carpet cleaners doesn’t mean they know how to do it.
Ask the right questions. The CRI recommends that you make sure of the following:
- They have been in business for a while. You want to make sure the company has some reputation and experience.
- Ensure they vacuum before they deep clean.
- They should charge based on square footage covered, not the number of rooms. You may have tiny rooms and may be overcharged.
- Get an estimate.
- Ask them if their price includes moving the furniture. You don’t want to be surprised with extra charges.
You DIY pretty much everything in your home. How hard is it to clean new carpet?
It’s tricky because you need to have the right equipment, products and, of course, know how to use them.
Carpet fibers are covered with beneficial chemicals that repel liquids and prevent stains from becoming permanent if you spill something.
Cheap products and improper use of carpet cleaning machines can remove this protecting layer.
Using bad products may be counterproductive. Your carpets may become prone to staining, collecting dirt, or even losing fibers.
Abrasive cleaners are especially harmful. They may also be toxic. You should use certified and safe products to deep clean the carpets and save the protective layer.
The cleaning should be done within the first 72 hours after installation and before moving in.
Don’t forget to book an appointment with the cleaning company in advance, before the carpet even arrive, because they may not be available at the last minute.