As a carpet cleaning professional I routinely come across a number of misconceptions. Here are 5 that I hear most frequently.
1. The main purpose for carpet cleaning is spot removal.
Many people think the main purpose for carpet cleaning is to get spots out. I see this when I walk into a home and the homeowner quickly begins to point out spots on her carpet. This is obviously her number one concern. That’s understandable because we want to have a home that looks clean and that is one of the important things about hiring a carpet cleaner. However, carpet cleaning is much more than spot removal. It is a critical part of maintaining the health of your carpet as well as extending its life. Regular cleaning is recommended by almost every carpet manufacturer. Without regular cleaning carpets wear out much faster. In fact, in many cases the life of the carpet can be cut in half or more without regular cleaning.
2. The carpet machines the you rent at the store are a viable alternative to professional cleaning.
The carpet machines that you rent do contribute to clean carpet. However, there is no way to get enough power into a small portable unit like that to do a thorough job of cleaning your carpet. If that were possible, every carpet cleaner on the planet would use one. Take it from me, if I could avoid dragging hoses in and out of every house and having to purchase $20-$40,000 worth of equipment, I would in a heartbeat. The truth is there simply is no way to get enough water pressure, heat, and vacuum power from a small portable unit. This is why almost every major carpet manufacturer recommends not just “steam cleaning”, but “truck-mounted steam cleaning”. In a nutshell, that means the manufacturers understand the need for the power a truck-mounted unit provides.
3. If the carpet looks clean it doesn’t need to be vacuumed.
Vacuuming has many purposes, not just for appearance of the carpet. Every day our homes are assaulted with any number of fine or even microscopic particles that contribute to the wear of our carpet. Things like dust, dander, hair, and just dirt in general settle on our carpet. These act like sandpaper on the carpet fibers which, over time, wears them out. Many of these things are so small that they are not readily seen. But just because they can’t be seen doesn’t mean they are not doing damage to your carpet. So, one of the most important things you can do to prolong the life of your carpet is to vacuum regularly.
4. Carpet cleaners offer “carpet protector” as a way to make a quick buck.
Modern carpeting, known as fifth-generation carpeting in the business, is vastly improved from prior generations. Today’s carpet contains some amazing stain fighting characteristics including Teflon-based protectors and something called acid dye blockers. While these advances have made carpet stay cleaner, longer, they do wear out over time. Because of this it is beneficial to re-apply carpet protector periodically.
5. Carpets will soil more quickly after they have been professionally cleaned.
Years ago, when carpet cleaning companies primarily used the method known as shampooing, this effect was possible if the carpet cleaner did not follow proper procedures. However, with today’s carpet cleaning methods, specifically truck mounted steam extraction, this is no longer the case. Unless the carpet cleaner in question is using cheap chemicals in improper way, today’s steam cleaning methods and cleaning agents to not leave sticky residue behind. This means carpets will not re-soil more quickly because of the cleaning process.
With this knowledge in hand you are now better prepared to determine your carpet cleaning needs and to hire a quality company when the time comes.