6 Costly Carpet Cleaning Misconceptions

Misconception #1: You should wait as long as possible before cleaning your carpet

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 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 get out the dirt.

No. 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.  Not surprisingly all those chemicals, pollens and bacteria wind up, you guessed it, in your carpet because of gravity.

If you have allergies, asthma, emphysema, or other breathing problems , one major source  of your problem could be the pollens, fungus, and or chemicals caught in your carpet.

If you’re sensitive to cigarette smoke, you also might find that you’ll breath easier after you hire  a company to get those harmful chemicals out of your carpet.  So in addition to getting rid of dirt., another important reason to clean your carpet is to get  rid of residue from tobacco smoke.  Since, as you may know, tobacco smoke contains over 4000 different chemical  compounds, 43 of which cause cancer. So even if you don’t smoke, but somebody in the house does, those chemicals get left in your carpet.

Misconceptions #3: One method of carpet cleaning is as good as another.

No. You can choose from two primary methods: Dry cleaning or Hot water extraction. First I’ll explain dry cleaning. Many people believe that dry cleaning your carpet is like dry cleaning you clothing. It’s not the same. All carpet cleaning methods use some water one form or another.

Here are the three methods of dry cleaning carpet

1 ) Dry foam method. When a carpet cleaner uses dry foam, he applies shampoo to your carpet, allows it to dry, and then sucks the dried shampoo into a vacuum.  Can you imagine applying shampoo to your hair, allowing it to dry and then removing the shampoo from your head with a vacuum?  This method can leave a residue in your carpet, which is one reason dry foam is not very effective.

2 ) Dry-Chem method is similar to dry foam. The major difference is that when a  dry-chemical is used, the company sets a large cotton bonnet on your carpet. Using a machine, the bonnet spins form side to side, absorbing  the dirt in the carpet. After the bonnet is  saturated with dirt another cotton bonnet is applied.  Bonnet cleaning is like trying to use a large towel to rub the dirt out of your carpet.  Like dry foam, its not very effective for deep down restorative cleaning.

3 ) Dry-compound method spreads an absorbent mixture that looks like wet sawdust all over your carpeting. Then the machine brushes the mixture into the carpet, which in theory causes dirt to absorb in the mixture. When the mixture has dried, a vacuum cleaner sucks the material out of the carpeting. Because the carpet is not rinsed in any way, this method is not very effective.

The second carpet cleaning method is called hot water extraction.

This is a fancy way of saying that a hot water cleaning solution under high pressure is forced into the carpet and then extracted (sucked) immediately back out of the carpet. This method is also  referred to as steam cleaning even though steam is not used.

Shaw Industries, the world’s largest carpet manufacturer, recommends hot water extraction, and you can choose from two different types,  Portable extraction. which is done with a small machine, or truck mount extraction which means the large cleaning machine is mounted in a truck or van.

Not surprisingly. the truck mount extraction cleans much better because it heats the water to a higher temperature and shoots the cleaning solution into the carpet at higher pressure which breaks up the dirt, bacteria and pollens.  Then the machine uses higher suction to draw the dirt out of the carpet. (This is the method  To The Rescue!  uses )

No question, the most effective way to clean carpeting is with a hot-water unit mounted in a truck. It’s the most powerful cleaning machine on the market and the only machine that thoroughly cleans your carpet and rids it of dirt, harmful bacteria, fungus. chemicals, pollens and tobacco residue.

Some people believe that hot water damages your carpet, but this isn’t true.  By washing and then rinsing your carpet with hot water we clean your carpet completely in the same way that the person who showers and then rinses off the dirt and soap will be much cleaner  than the person who takes only a sponge bath.

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. You probably know someone who bought the newest  computer on the market, but didn’t learn how to use it for a year or more.  The same is  true with carpet cleaning machines. The company may own good equipment, but the employees may not know how to use it correctly.  This is why it’s important that you choose your carpet cleaning technician carefully.

The best carpet cleaning companies are those that have been certified by 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  a 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.

Then you’ll find other carpet cleaners, professionals like me who work hard to earn your  trust and respect.

Misconception #5: The company that offers the lowest price is the company you should  hire.

Maybe, … but not always. Here are two important points to consider;

Point #1: The price you see offered may not be for all the services you want performed.

Before you select a company, decide what you want to accomplish.  If you want the carpet cleaner to remove only some of the dirt, you can choose from hundreds of companies that use small shampooers or other cleaning methods. You can even rent a machine at the grocery store and do the job yourself.

On the other hand if you want your carpet thoroughly cleaned ,if you want to remove the harmful dirt, bacteria, pollens, chemicals and tobacco residues, then you need to hire a company that uses a hot water cleaner mounted in a truck.  This is the only way to assure that your carpet remains healthy and free from dirt, disease-causing bacteria, and hurtful chemicals.  So remember that the price you see offered may not be for the services you want performed.

Point #2: The price you see advertised may not be the price you end up paying.

Many homeowners have found that the low price they saw advertised was not the amount  they were charged. If you’ve ever hired a carpet cleaner, you too may have been the victim of false or misleading advertising.  You may have learned the hard way that some carpet cleaners offer a cheap price usually between $9.95 and $12.95 per room and then pressure you into paying a lot more once they get inside your home. Some of them may even break the law by using illegal bait and switch tactics.

As in all businesses and professions, the carpet cleaning industry has its share of bad apples. I take no pleasure in telling you this. but some are unethical and sadly, a few are dishonest.  By their misleading advertising and false promises. they cast a dark shadow on our entire industry.

First, honest, reputable carpet cleaning companies across the USA usually price carpet cleaning by the square foot.  So if you’d like me to tell you the exact cost of cleaning your carpet, I need to know the exact number of square feet that you want cleaned.  To get an accurate  measurement, I have a measuring tape I use to calculate the exact size of the carpet area.   You’ll be glad to know that the carpet area to be cleaned is not nearly as great as most  people think.  For example, if you want your entire home cleaned and your home is 2000 square feet, the amount of carpeting to be cleaned might be only 1200 square feet.  This is  because most home measurements are outdoor measurements.  Plus I deduct the area taken  up by walls, room dividers and the like.  The result is that the actual area to be cleaned is  usually only about 60% or less of the square footage of most home.

So even though I can’t give you an exact quote over the telephone, here are things I  consider when quoting a price.

First, the type of carpet. Certain types of carpet are harder to clean than others.  So before I can give you a quote, I need to know the type of carpet you want cleaned.

Second, the amount of soiling.  Carpet that hasn’t been cleaned for ten years will take longer to clean than carpet that was cleaned within the last six months.

Third, the amount of furniture that has to be moved.  If we have to move your furniture  the bid must include that labor. But if you move your furniture, you’ll save money.

To recap, I consider the type of carpet, the amount of soiling, and the amount of furniture that has to be moved.  So, as you can now imagine, every quotation is different.