Misconceptions of Carpet Cleaning
Here are some common misconceptions of carpet cleaning
Misconception #1: You should wait as long as possible before cleaning your carpet or having your carpet cleaned too frequently will damage the fibers.
No. Dirt is an abrasive like sandpaper. Every time you step on the carpet, you grind dirt into your carpet fibers. This cuts your carpet, just as if you had used a knife, causing it to wear out faster. A dirty carpet will not last nearly as long as a clean carpet. And while vacuuming helps, it’s simply not enough. Proper vacuuming only recovers 85% of the soil that your carpet accumulates. The longer you wait to have your carpet cleaned, the more damage you do and the faster it wears out.
Misconception #2: The only reason to clean carpets is to get out the dirt.
No. Indoor air quality is greatly affected by the condition of your carpet. As you probably know, outdoor air contains pollens, fungus, bacteria, air pollution, cigarette smoke, car exhaust, and hundreds of other chemicals. When you and your family members come into your home, you carry those pollens, bacteria and chemicals in your hair, on your skin, clothing and shoes. As your homes largest filter, all those chemicals, pollens and bacteria wind up in your carpet.
Misconceptions #3: One method of carpet cleaning is as good as another.
No. Dry Cleaning vs. Hot Water Extraction.
DRY CLEANING / CARPET ABSORBENT CLEANERS
A dry absorbent compound (containing small amounts of water, detergent, and solvent,) is sprinkled over carpet or worked into the carpet with a machine. This purpose of this cleaner is to attract and absorb soil. Mechanical agitation from a brush works the cleaner through the carpet.
These products usually contain an absorbent carrier, water, detergent, and solvent. The theory is that the liquids dissolve the soil and this soil/detergent/solvent mixture is absorbed into the carrier and is then vacuumed up. They are often used with a detergent pre-spray in heavily soiled areas.
The absorbent cleaner most commonly is organic, but may also be polymers. The compound is supposed to absorb the dislodged soil and is then vacuumed away. Carpet must be thoroughly vacuumed before and after cleaning.
Very thorough vacuuming should be used to ensure that most of the carrier comes out of the carpet. With the extremely fine powder types, indoor air quality can be reduced. If a white powder starts appearing on shoes and cuffs of pants, too much was used and it was not thoroughly vacuumed up
Manufactures who recommend this type of cleaning also state that for deep cleaning, Hot Water Extraction is the preferred method.
The reasons why some companies use low moisture cleaning methods are: 1) They dry fast, 2) They are easy to produce, 3) Technicians can work very fast, 4) The price is cheaper than a properly done hot water extraction process.
HOT WATER EXTRACTION CARPET CLEANING
This is the cleaning method nearly all carpet manufacturers and carpet fiber producers recommend.
This is the only cleaning method classified as “deep cleaning”. All the others are considered “light surface cleaning” because they are incapable of removing soil deep in the pile. Also, all other methods leave large amounts of cleaning agent in the carpet after cleaning.
The maintenance brochure published by the world’s largest carpet manufacturer, Shaw Industries, recommends this method, because its own research indicates that it provides the best capability for cleaning.
This method is frequently called “steam” cleaning due to the fine spray of water used to force dirt out of the carpet which is sucked up by the vacuum slot immediately in front of the spray. Seldom is real live steam used, however. This process consists of spraying a solution of water and detergent into the carpet pile and recovering the water and soil with a powerful vacuum into a holding tank. This can be done from a truck-mounted unit outside the home with only the hose and floor tool brought inside, or by a portable, system brought into the home or office.
From a health standpoint, the truck-mounted system is preferred because the dirty air and humidity are exhausted outside rather than re-circulated around the house. Additionally, truck-mounted systems usually are more powerful than portable units and do a much better cleaning job and get the carpet dry more quickly.
Misconception #4: Having the right equipment is all a company needs to clean your carpets properly.
Not true. Many companies own hot-water cleaners, but a large number of employees don’t know how to use them. The best carpet cleaning companies are those that have the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, known as the IICRC. A carpet cleaning company cannot buy this certification. The carpet cleaner must earn the certification through study, experience, and the successful completion of formal, written examinations. Cleaners who are certified by the IICRC have, in effect, earned a degree in carpet cleaning.
The IICRC provides written credentials to the companies it certifies. So before you choose a carpet cleaner, ask to see written proof of the company’s IICRC certification.
Misconception #5: Any honest carpet cleaning company should be able to give you an exact price quote over the telephone.
We wish this were true, but it isn’t. Consumers often think that if they want to clean four rooms there should be a price set for the cleaning.
Honest, reputable carpet cleaning companies price carpet cleaning by the square foot. We are only going to charge for the space that we actually clean. So if you’d like us to tell you the exact cost of cleaning your carpet, we need to know the exact number of square feet that you want cleaned. To get an accurate measurement, a technician will need to be scheduled to come and measure the areas you want to have cleaned. Quotes from Arizona Hydro-Pro are free of charge!