A quarter of us never clean our carpets – here's why you should

The Proscenic M8 Pro vacuuming carpet
(Image credit: TechRadar)

There's no denying that vacuuming carpets is a chore, but it's a thing that we all do to keep our homes looking and smelling nice, right? Wrong.

A survey carried out by smart home technology experts Proscenic has revealed some home truths about what goes on behind the closed doors of households in the UK – and for many people, what goes on doesn't involve cleaning or vacuuming carpets. 

Now it's possible that householders in the US and other parts of the world are more diligent when it comes to such chores, but the results are surprising, to say the least, especially since there are so many of the best vacuum cleaners out there which are readily available, not too difficult to get hold of and, indeed, not at all difficult to use. 

Given at how quickly our carpets can start harboring unseen germs, as well as more noticeable dirt and grim, it's especially important to keep the floors clear and clean if you have children or pets.

So we were shocked to learn that 27% of those surveyed said they don’t clean their carpets. It should go without saying, but there are a range of risks that come with not cleaning carpeted floor such as irritated skin, allergy reactions and even weakening of the immune system.

A slightly higher proportion of respondents (27.5%) said they just vacuum their floors, with just under 20% of those surveyed saying they vacuum and spot-clean their carpets.

Presumably, one reason why so many people don't clean their carpets is that it can take a lot of time and effort, especially if you live in a home with multiple rooms and levels.

The best cordless vacuum is an appliance which can help here. They're lightweight, and can be easily converted into a handheld device for cleaning the carpet on the stairs or other areas off the ground. The majority of these have a battery life in excess of 60 minutes, so you may even find that you have time to clean the house, and the car, by the time the battery dies. And let's be honest – a one-hour clean doesn't take too much time out of your week.

But if you really are pushed for time, then you can always get one of the best robot vacuum cleaners to roam about in your home and take care of the chore for you. One of these little fellas will only clean one level of your home at a time, though, and although getting two is an option, you'll need two charging bases if you don't want to be moving one based between floors.

The survey also revealed that 17.8% don’t clean their hard floors – ever. So it's a good job that vacuum cleaners and robot vacuum cleaners transition well across all flooring. And hybrid robot vacuums, which can mop as well as vacuum, are becoming increasingly popular, so your hard floors can get all the attention they deserve, with zero effort from you.

How to vacuum efficiently

How often should you vacuum your floors? Well, it depends on factors such as the amount of foot and paw traffic running across them, how often rooms are used, and the flooring material. As a rule of thumb, the more often you vacuum, the better – and there's really no excuse not to, with so many floor care appliances to choose from that make it easier to keep the carpets clean, and suit your lifestyle.

If you don't have a robot vacuum cleaner to take care of the cleaning, here's how to vacuum properly.

1. Prepare your space. Remove any large pieces of debris such as toys, clothes and books from the floor. Also keep a look out for smaller items, such as earrings and hair clips.

2. Choose your attachment. Upright vacuum cleaners and cordless vacuum cleaners all come with a suite of attachments in addition the floor head. Although the floor head is definitely the best attachment for cleaning the floor, tools such as a pet tool may be of more use for targeting smaller areas, as well as for pet hair, while a crevice tool is handy for narrow spaces, such as where carpets meet skirting boards. 

3. Plug in to a nearby socket. This doesn't concern cordless vacuum cleaner owners but if you have an upright vacuum cleaner or roll-along model, then choosing a plug that will enable you to clean the maximum floor area without unplugging and re-plugging will make life easier.

4. Start vacuuming. Push the vacuum away from yourself in a straight line, then pull the vacuum back towards you at a slight angle – you're creating two imaginary lines, in a W shape. Now repeat, to make a WW shape.

5. Address bad odors in the carpet. To ensure that you're not among that 27% who have shamefully admitted that they don't clean there carpets, there is a very simple hack for this job. Get some bicarbonate of soda from the baking cupboard, and generously sprinkle this over the carpet or rug. Leave it for at least 15 minutes, then vacuum it up.

This will not only freshen the carpet, it'll also help to lift stray pet hair since it loosens the carpet fibers, and it deodorizes the vacuum cleaner inside, too. Every couple of months is enough to do this, rather than every week.

6. Maintain your machine. The various attachments you've used will need a detangle and a wipe down, and the filters will also need a rinse. The vacuum canister, if yours has one, will need a soapy soak every once in a while too. Be sure to read the manufacturer instructions about how to clean you vacuum cleaner.

Jennifer Oksien
Homes Editor

 Jennifer Oksien is TechRadar’s Homes Editor. Jennifer (Jenny) has over a decade of experience as a digital product writer specialising in appliances, smart tech and mattresses for some of the UKs leading retailers and magazine titles such as Real Homes, Ideal Home and Livingetc. Generally, you’ll find her watching the latest Netflix series, digging around in the garden or attempting to make a cake that is edible.