The quick answer, YES. And sometimes even more often than once a year.
Here’s why . . . It’s a fact, soil and oil build up on your carpet fiber. Sometimes you can see it, when spills or accidents happen. For many of us, it’s gradual and you don’t really notice it. For others it all comes at once, when the dog runs through with muddy paws! No matter what happens in your home; soil, dust and dander settle on your carpet. Even in the rooms that are rarely used. For example, the formal living room or the guest bedroom get minimal traffic but dust is everywhere and it settles nicely into your carpet fibers.
On a side note – this is why carpet can actually be better for people with severe allergies than hard surface flooring. The dust settles into the carpet and isn’t floating around. On a hard surface like tile or wood, the dust is easily disturbed and remains more present in the air.
Anyway, if the soils and oils are not removed, they gradually settle deeper causing friction and wear. The tiny pieces of soil rub on the delicate carpet fiber and cause it to break down or make tiny cuts in it. Think of it like a piece of sand in your shoe – an irritant. This process is not immediate, in some cases it can take years to wear down a good quality carpet. In other cases, damage can be done quickly. But if you let your carpet get to the point where you’re seeing soil then it’s probably overdue and ready for a steam cleaning.
Most carpet manufacturers recommend a steam cleaning or hot water extraction once a year. So, does carpet really need to be cleaned once a year? The answer is yes, if you’re looking to get the most life out of your carpet then take good care of it before it begins to show signs of soil and wear. And vacuum often!