MISCONCEPTION #1: You should wait as long as possible before cleaning your carpet.
NO. Dirt is abrasive-like sandpaper. Every time you step on your carpet, you grind dirt into the carpet fibers. This cuts your carpet, just as if you had used a knife. This cutting causes your carpet to wear out faster. A DIRTY CARPET WILL NOT LAST AS LONG AS A CLEAN CARPET! And while vacuuming helps, it’s simply not enough.
MISCONCEPTION #2: The only reason to clean carpets is to remove the dirt.
NO. As you probably know, outdoor air contains pollens, fungus, bacteria, pollution, cigarette smoke, car exhaust and hundreds of other chemicals. When you come into your home you carry these pollutants on your hair, skin, clothing and shoes. Not surprisingly, all those chemicals and toxins end up in your carpet. If you have allergies, asthma, emphysema or other breathing problems one major source of your problem could be your carpet.
MISCONCEPTION #3: One method of carpet cleaning is as good as another.
NO. THE DRY CLEANING METHODS WHICH ARE DRY FOAM, DRY CHEMICALS, AND DRY COMPOUND DO NOT RINSE YOUR CARPET IN ANY WAY. Instead, they leave a dirty residue. THE MOST EFFECTIVE CLEANING METHOD IS HOT WATER EXTRACTION.
MISCONCEPTION #4: Having the correct equipment is all a company needs to clean your carpets properly.
NOT TRUE. Many companies own hot water extractors but very few companies teach their employees how to use them properly. This is why it’s important that you choose your carpet cleaner carefully. The best cleaning companies are those that have been certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, known as the IICRC. Before you choose a carpet cleaner, ask to see written proof of the company’s IICRC Certification. IF THEY ARE NOT IICRC CERTIFIED DO NOT USE THEM!
MISCONCEPTION #5: The company that offers the lowest price is the company you should hire.
Probably not. I’ve seen so many problems arise from lowest bid companies that I suggest you NEVER hire the company that quotes the cheapest price. The two most common problems are:
(1) The price may not be for the services you want performed. The company may be equipped to remove only the dirt from your carpet. But you may want bacteria, fungus, pollens, dust mites and tobacco residues removed as well.
(2) The price you see advertised may not be the price you pay. Many home owners have learned that the low price they saw advertised lasted only until the carpet cleaner got to their home. Some carpet cleaners even break the law by using illegal bait and switch tactics.
Dry foam: The carpet cleaner applies shampoo to your carpet, allows it to dry, and then, without rinsing, extracts 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 leaves dirty residue in your carpet, which attracts more soil, DRY FOAM IS NOT EFFECTIVE.
Absorbent pad (bonnet cleaning): This method is similar to dry foam, except that the technician uses a floor polishing machine set on top of a cotton bonnet which “buffs” the carpet in a rotating motion. This rotating motion causes the bonnet to absorb dirt from your carpet. This method is also called bonnet cleaning. Bonnet cleaning is like trying to use a large cotton towel or mop to rub the dirt out of your carpet. IT IS NOT EFFECTIVE!
Absorbent powder: This method uses a moist compound which is spread onto your carpet fibers. This absorbent compound is allowed to dry and then is vacuumed off. This method leaves dry sponge-like particles at the base of the carpet yarn. And because the carpet is not rinsed, will re-soil quickly. THIS METHOD IS NOT EFFECTIVE!
Hot water steam: Your carpet is pre-conditioned with a solution to first loosen the soil and then a hot water rinse is applied under pressure to extract or “vacuum” out the unwanted pollutants.
In a recent Technical Bulletin, Shaw Industries, the world’s largest carpet manufacturer, recommends the hot water extraction system. Shaw Industries research indicates, hot water steam extraction provides the best capability for cleaning carpet.
You can choose from two different types of hot water extraction: Truck mounted extraction, which is done with a large machine mounted in a truck or van. Or portable extraction, which is done with a small, hand held unit. Truck-mounted hot water extraction is by far the most thorough and effective method.
Value vs Price
Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.
When you select a carpet cleaner, you will choose from a wide variety of cleaning methods, prices and technicians.
Shaw Industries, the world’s largest carpet manufacturer, recommends HOT WATER EXTRACTION FROM TRUCK MOUNTED UNITS.
Here’s why: A truck mounted unit cleans much better than a small portable carpet cleaner for there reasons:
(1) It heats the water to a higher temperature. For every 18 degrees F, you double the water’s cleaning ability. So if the water temperature is 136 degrees F, it will clean twice as well as water that is 118 degrees F.
(2) A truck mount carpet cleaning machine applies the cleaning solution into your carpet at higher pressures, which breaks up the dirt, bacteria, chemicals and pollens. 300 to 400 pounds per square inch is the optimum pressure for truck mount hot water extraction.
(3) A truck mount carpet cleaning machine uses a stronger vacuum to extract the dirt, chemicals, bacteria, pollens and tobacco smoke residue out of your carpet.
Not surprising, having your carpet thoroughly cleaned with a truck mount hot water extraction costs more than renting a shampooer at the grocery store.
If you want your carpet to look good and give you years of dependable service, then you need to take extra good care of it. This means you need to have it cleaned by a skilled and qualified technician at least every six months to one year, depending on the amount of soiling and foot traffic it receives. And you need to have it cleaned thoroughly and disinfected, as only a truck-mount hot water extractor can do