Carpets are no strangers to our homes and businesses. However, how healthy your indoor living environment actually depends on how well you maintain your carpets. It is not surprising that carpets can actually act like a huge sponge, attracting all sorts of toxins and pollutants that are transported from the outdoors through our clothes and bodies. Your carpets can end up stained and smeared with soil, cigarette smoke, car exhaust smoke, and various other nuisances.
On the bright side, the dirt stored in your carpet only means there’s less of that stuff out in the air that you breathe. However, this only means that your carpet eventually becomes as dirty as an air filter that hasn’t been changed in a while. This means that the pollutants are being released right back into the air with every step you take on the carpet. It is therefore very important to keep your carpets properly cleaned and maintained.
Cleaning carpets are no easy business, and the market is filled with misleading ads, outrageous claims, and false information. Choosing a reliable and trustworthy professional carpet cleaner can be hard, but after reading this Consumer Guide to Carpet Cleaning, you’ll be able to spot the right qualifications required, as well as learn how to avoid common mistakes and rip-offs.
There’s more than one way to clean a carpet, and hot water extraction is strongly and widely recommended in almost all cases. It is important however that you have a decent understanding of each process to decide what suits you best.
Hot Water Extraction (Steam Cleaning): Simply put, hot water cleaning solution is pumped into your carpet under high pressure and is then power vacuumed out of the rug. Shaw’s Industries, which is the world’s largest carpet manufacturer; “recommends the hot water extraction system, which research indicated provides the best capability for cleaning,” as stated in a Technical Bulletin.
Absorbent Pad (Bonnet Cleaning): In a process similar to the “dry foam” process described below, a large cotton bonnet is rotated with high pressure by a buffer machine, which “buffs” your carpet. The circular motion is meant to absorb dirt from your carpet. Imagine a large cotton towel being used to rub dirt out of your rug; it’s actually not super effective.
Dry, Absorbent Power: This method utilized a moist, absorbent powder that is spread throughout the carpet. Once the power is dry, it is then vacuumed. Unfortunately, dry sponge particles are left at the base of the carpet yarn, and since the carpet is not rinsed, this method isn’t very effective.
Dry Foam: Imagine rinsing your hair with shampoo, waiting for the shampoo to dry, and then vacuuming your hair! This is very similar to the dry foam technique, where shampoo is applied onto your carpet, allowed to dry, and then vacuumed. The problem with this method is that dirty residue is left stuck in your carpet, which is why this method is not recommended.
Furthermore, here are some common misconceptions about carpet cleaning that could cost you time and money:
- “I can wait long periods of time between each carpet cleaning.”
- “I should probably only clean the carpet to remove dirt.”
- “All carpet cleaning methods are pretty much the same.”
- “Any company with the right equipment can clean a carpet properly.”
- “I should go with the cheapest company.”
- “Any honest carpet cleaner should be able to give an exact price quote over the phone.”
There are also a few common mistakes that most homeowners do when choosing a carpet cleaner:
- Choosing based on equipment alone.\
- Selecting based on the lowest price.
- Deciding based on a single talk over the phone.
- Opting for a company that doesn’t offer cash-back guarantees.
- Not looking into the carpet cleaner’s past clients.
- Settling for a carpet cleaner who is not certified by the Institute of Inspection,
- Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC).
- Not making sure that carpet cleaner is a Carpet and Fabricare Institute (CFI) member.
- Picking a carpet cleaning company with no truck-mounted hot water extraction system.
For more information, check out www.georgetowncarpetclean.com today!