9 Carpet Cleaning Myths

  1. You should wait until your carpet looks bad to get your carpets cleaned.

Dirt is to carpet fibers as sandpaper is to wood. When you walk on your carpet, the fibers are cut and damaged by the dirt, just like wood is scuffed up when you rub sandpaper on it. Once the carpet fibers are damaged, they cannot be repaired. As much as one pound of dirt can be found in one square foot of carpet without the appearance being greatly affected. The longer you wait to have your carpet cleaned, the more damaged it will become.

  1. Removing dirt is the only reason to have your carpets cleaned.

Removing dirt is a very good reason to have your carpets cleaned. However, there are many other contaminants that can be found hiding in your carpet: dust mites, air pollution, chemicals from automobile exhaust, pollens, fungus, grease, pet dander, and tobacco smoke; just to name a few. According to the U.S. EPA, poor indoor air quality costs the American Economy $60 billion in lost worker productivity every year.

If maintained properly your carpet can act as your homes largest filter, but if left unclean, it can contribute to allergies, and poor indoor health quality.

  1. All methods of carpet cleaning are the same.

While I agree that all methods of carpet cleaning have a time and place where they are effective based on the needs of a client, they do not all reach the same level of effectiveness. Many methods of carpet cleaning, such as encapsulation, dry foam, dry chemicals, and dry compounds are excellent forms of maintenance cleaning, but they are not a deep clean.

Hot water extraction (often called steam cleaning) from a truck mounted unit is the most effective form of carpet cleaning when it comes to the removal of dirt, grime, bacteria, chemicals, and other pollutants that are embedded in your carpets. A few reasons this is the most effective form are:

  • The cleaning solution is sprayed deep into the carpet with a pressurized sprayer.
  • The water from a truck mount unit used in rinsing the carpet reaches about 250 degrees Fahrenheit, which is much more effective in breaking up the contaminants in your carpet.
  • The vacuum, which is connected to the engine of the van, uses powerful suction to extract all of the cleaning agents and contaminants out of your carpet, leaving it fresh and clean.
  1. Having the right equipment is all a cleaning company needs to clean carpet properly.

Oh, how I wish this was true. I could have saved lots of money that has been spent on education. Unfortunately, some unethical carpet cleaners out there grab anybody and their brother off the street to wet your carpet down. It is important that the technicians have been properly trained prior to cleaning your carpets.

  1. The Company that advertises the lowest price is the one I should hire.

If they have the lowest price there is usually a good reason for it:

  • They bid the project incorrectly and will try to cut corners to make up for the mistake.
  • They do not invest in education for their employees and may do an inferior job.
  • They do not buy the best machines, cleaning agents and protectors, which your carpets deserve.
  • They do not have the proper insurances to be doing work in your home. Did you know that if a company does not have workers compensation, and an employee is injured in your home, you may be required to pay for the medical attention they receive?
  • The price you see advertised is not the price you will end up paying. Once the company gets their foot in the door with the unbelievable price, they may try the ol’ bait and switch or the hard up sell to make up the difference.
  1. Honest carpet cleaners should be able to give me a quote over the phone.

Honestly, most trustworthy carpet cleaners price their services by the square foot and they only charge for the actual amount of carpet they clean. There are so many factors that go into the proper cleaning of your carpets, that a good accurate price cannot be achieved unless the carpet is inspected.

  • The amount of carpet to be cleaned. I believe it is important to measure the true amount of carpet to be cleaned, subtracting areas under beds, cabinets, and other furniture that will not be moved.
  • The level of soiling. Carpets that do not have large amounts of spots will be cleaned faster than carpets that have a lot of spots.

I find it much easier to evaluate the job and give an accurate quote before the day of the job, so there is no pressure and the proper expectations are set and able to be met.

  1. Your carpet gets dirtier quicker after every carpet cleaning.

This can be true if the person cleaning your carpet does not properly rinse your carpet. If there are cleaning agents left in the carpet, it would be just like washing your hands with soap, but not rinsing them off after scrubbing. Yes, your hands are clean now, but all the dirt that you encounter the rest of the day is attracted to your soapy hands. It will not take long for your hands to get gross. It is imperative to rinse the carpet well so that your carpet returns to its natural state. 

  1. Carpet Protector is not important, it is just an add on sale to make carpet cleaners more money.

Unfortunately, this belief is perpetuated by the fact that some carpet cleaners try to pressure customers into adding it on during the cleaning process. I prefer to have carpet protector as part of the process, because it is an important part. When carpet is manufactured, carpet protector is applied to your carpet, but it does wear off over time due to wear and tear. Re-applying carpet protector after cleaning is important because:

  • It makes the carpet fibers more resistant to soil, minimizing the amount of wear that shows in your carpets.
  • It allows you more time to clean up spills, so they do not become permanent stains.
  • It makes vacuuming more effective, because the dirt and contaminants in your carpet are less likely to stick to the carpet.
  1. Hot water damages your carpet.

Some people think that hot water damages your carpet, but that is just not true. The truth is that technicians who do not know how to operate the carpet cleaning machines properly damage carpet, but hot water leaves your carpet more sanitary than cold water or non-rinsing methods of carpet cleaning ever would.