5 Costly Misconceptions about Carpet Cleaning
Misconception #1: You should wait as long as possible before cleaning your carpet:
Dirt acts as an abrasive – like sandpaper. Every time you step on you carpet, you grind dirt in to the carpet fibres. This cuts your carpet, just as if you had used a knife. A dirty carpet will not last as long as a clean carpet. And while vacuuming helps – by itself, it’s simply not enough. The longer you wait to have your carpet cleaned, the more damage you do to your carpet and the faster it wears out.
Misconception #2: The only reason to clean carpets is to remove the stains
As you probably know, outdoor air contains pollens, fungus, bacteria, air pollution, cigarette smoke, car exhaust fumes – and hundreds of other chemicals. When you come into your home, you carry those pollens, bacteria and chemicals in your hair and on your skin, clothing and shoes. Not surprisingly, all those chemicals wind up in your carpet.
If you have allergies, asthma, emphysema, or other breathing problems, one major source of your problem could be the pollens, fungus, smoke and chemicals in your carpet.
Misconception #3: One method of carpet cleaning is as good as another.
No. The dry cleaning methods – which are dry foam, dry chemicals and dry compounds – do not rinse your carpet in any way. Instead, they can leave a dirty residue. You might say they clean your carpet only halfway. The most effective cleaning method is hot water extraction (otherwise known as steam cleaning).
Hot water extraction means a hot water cleaning solution – under high pressure – is forced into and then sucked out of your carpet. Shaw Industries, the world’s largest carpet manufacturer, recommends hot water extraction as the primary method of cleaning carpets.
Carpet cleaners use one of two types of hot water extraction. If they use a large unit that operates form a van or truck outside your home or facility, it’s called truck-mounted extraction. If they use a small unit that can be brought inside, it’s called portable extraction. Shaw’s first choice is the truck-mounted unit – and the recommend the small, portable unit only in areas where the truck-mounted unit won’t reach.
The truck-mounted extraction cleans much better than other methods because it heats the water to a higher temperature, which breaks up the dirt, bacteria, chemicals and pollens in the carpet. Then the machine uses high suction power to draw the dirt and chemicals out of your carpet. This is the method our company uses.
Misconception #4: Having the right equipment is all a company needs to clean your carpets properly.
Many companies own hot-water cleaners but very few companies teach their employees how to use them properly. This is why it’s important that you choose your carpet cleaner carefully. The best cleaning companies are those that have been certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, known as the IICRC. Before you choose a carpet cleaner, ask to see written proof of the company’s IICRC certification.
Misconception #5: The cleaning company that offers the lowest price is the company you should hire.
We’ve seen so many problems arise from lowest-bid companies that we suggest you NEVER hire the company that quotes the cheapest price. The two most common problems are:
- The price may not be for the services you want performed. The company may be equipped to remove only the dirt from your carpet. But you may want bacteria, fungus, pollens, dust mites and tobacco residues removed as well.
- The price you see advertised may not be the price you pay. Many homeowners have learned that the low price they saw advertised only lasted until the carpet cleaner got into their home. Then they were pressured into paying a lot more for a variety of add-ons. (Some carpet cleaners even break the law by using illegal bait-and-switch tactics.)
We have seen firsthand the damage caused by poor quality companies to carpets in homes and businesses. You may have heard the expression “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur. Read Tom’s blog post about how one company ended up paying heavily for this mistake here.