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Carpet Cleaning: Full Clean vs. Traffic Area Clean – Which One is Right for You?


Regular carpet cleaning is essential for maintaining a clean and healthy home environment. When it comes to professional carpet cleaning, you have two primary options: a full clean and a traffic area clean. Understanding the difference between the two can help you choose the right approach based on your carpet’s condition and your cleaning requirements.

Traffic Area Clean:

A traffic area clean focuses on the high-traffic portions of your carpet, such as hallways, entryways, and frequently used pathways. This type of cleaning is designed to address visible dirt, stains, and wear that accumulates in these specific areas. However, it does not involve moving large furniture.

Benefits of Traffic Area Clean:

  1. Targeted cleaning: By concentrating on the most heavily used areas, a traffic area clean allows you to tackle the visible stains and soiling effectively. This approach can be useful when you’re short on time or have a limited budget.
  2. Convenience: Since you don’t need to move large furniture, a traffic area clean can be a quicker and more convenient option. You can get your high-traffic areas cleaned without the hassle of rearranging your furniture.
  3. Cost-effective: As the cleaning focus is limited to specific areas, a traffic area clean typically costs less than a full clean. It can be a budget-friendly choice when you don’t require a comprehensive cleaning for the entire carpet.

Limitations of Traffic Area Clean:

  1. Incomplete cleanliness: While a traffic area clean addresses visible dirt and stains, it doesn’t cover the entire carpet. This means that areas under large furniture, where significant amounts of dust and debris can accumulate, will remain uncleaned.
  2. Uneven appearance: If the untreated areas are visibly different from the cleaned areas, it may result in an uneven appearance. This can be particularly noticeable if there are drastic color variations or soiling under the furniture.

Full Clean:

A full clean, also known as a deep clean or thorough clean, involves cleaning the entire carpet surface, including both high-traffic and low-traffic areas. This comprehensive approach ensures a thorough removal of dirt, dust, allergens, stains, and odors from your entire carpet.

Benefits of Full Clean:

  1. Complete cleanliness: With a full clean, no area of your carpet is left untreated. Professional cleaners or yourself, if you’re doing it yourself, will move large furniture to access all parts of the carpet, ensuring a deep and thorough clean.
  2. Enhanced appearance: By cleaning under furniture, a full clean ensures a uniform appearance throughout the carpet. It eliminates any stark contrast between cleaned and uncleaned areas, leaving your carpet looking refreshed and rejuvenated.
  3. Allergen and odor removal: A full clean effectively removes deep-seated allergens, such as dust mites, pollen, and pet dander, which can contribute to allergies and respiratory issues. Additionally, it helps eliminate trapped odors, leaving your carpet smelling clean and fresh.

Considerations for Full Clean:

  1. Furniture moving: Moving furniture is a crucial aspect of a full clean. Make sure to prepare in advance, enlist help if needed, and take precautions to protect both the furniture and the flooring during the moving process.
  2. Time and cost: Since a full clean covers the entire carpet, it requires more time and effort compared to a traffic area clean. Additionally, it may come at a slightly higher cost due to the extended cleaning scope.


Both traffic area clean and full clean have their merits depending on your specific needs and circumstances. If you’re dealing with time or budget constraints and mainly want to address visible stains and soiling, a traffic area clean can be a suitable option.

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