Carpets are major investments, in both residential and commercial establishments. Like any other flooring material, they will need to be well cared for them to retain their beauty, strength, and structural integrity. The cleaning process involves different aspects, and it is a massive industry. Not surprisingly, there have been rumours cropping up all over, and myths about the cleaning. Some are outright ludicrous and one can see through them, while there are those that will put your investment at risk and set you back financially. Here, we’ll debunk these costly misconceptions and shed light into various issues concerning carpet cleaning.
- “The carpet cleaning frequency doesn’t matter”
The longer you wait, the greater the risk. The carpet is the largest dirt filter in the establishment, and catches everything that falls onto it. It’s constantly piling up grime, from the gunk that is scrapped off under peoples shoes, dust particles floating around in the airspace, pollutants wafted into the interior space by wind, pet fur and dander, all through to food and drink spills, faecal residue from dust mites feeding on skin flakes, and the insects that come to gorge themselves on the food crumbs dropped onto the carpet. The particles are abrasive, and they wear down the carpet’s fibres as people walk on it. The longer it remains dirty, the greater the threat level to your carpet, which reduces the life of your installation. For the stains, waiting too long increases the difficulty of removing them and restoring the original colour to the carpet. You don’t want to risk permanent damage to your investment, and end up coughing up more funds to purchase a new one, or incur costly repairs. Scheduling regular carpet cleaning sessions will enable you to prevent things from going down this route.
- “Carpet cleaning methods are all the same”
Far from it. Different methods use varying systems and processes, and lead to different results. From hot water extraction, to dry cleaning methods, the approach used determines the speed of the process, and the level of cleanliness that is obtained. Take for instance dry carpet cleaning using absorbent compounds. Here, powders are mixed with specialised solvents and cleaning agents, then applied onto the carpet. They are brushed into the material using counter-rotating brushes, and absorb the soiling that is in the carpet. Thereafter, the contents are all vacuumed up. It’s a fast process, but residue ends up being left behind in the carpet. It’s also difficult to ensure a deep clean is achieved. Hot water extraction systems are the preferred option by professional carpet cleaners and manufacturers all around the world. It is a tested and proven approach that gets to the soiling that is buried deep within the carpet, and ensures that it’s left truly clean. It requires a heavier set of machinery, and also high levels of skill to operate. However, the quality results are what make it a trusted option. The products used for the cleaning also vary. This is because of the different types of carpets, from the natural to the synthetic materials. Add to this the specific types of stains, and cases where odour removal is also needed, and it becomes a delicate balance where each situation has its unique approach.
- “If I rent a carpet cleaning machine, I can do a job as good as the professionals”
Carpet cleaning is not a walk in the park. There are plenty of things that come into play, and mistakes can be costly. For starters, there’s the cleaning chemicals used. Using products that are incompatible with the carpet can ruin the fibres. For instance, they may be have a very low pH that results in corrosion of the yarn. The mode in which the cleaning solutions are used also factors in. Overwetting the carpet is a common occurrence with the DIY projects. Too much moisture leads to colour bleeding, as the dyes of the carpet get leached out. Shrinkage can also occur, with cases of the carpet tearing up from the floor having been reported. This ruins your investment, causing you to incur high costs in repair and maintenance. With overwetting, the drying time is also increased. This is an inconvenience to the persons on the premises, and also risks mould and mildew growth. You also need to factor in the safety of the rented machines. There are those that will require anti-foam products to be used, in order to protect the component parts from damage. Remember that you are liable in case of any mishap, adding to the list of concerns with the DIY project.
- “The more cleaning agent you use, the better the clean”
Another problem with DIY and rookie carpet cleaning is going overboard. Just because you’ve come across a stubborn stain doesn’t mean that you should drench it in cleaning chemicals. Cases like overshampooing are common. Assuming that the right cleaning agents had been selected for the job (according to the type of carpet, level of soiling and types of stains, and the dilution ratios prepared according to the specifications), then the formulation already has optimal performance. All that’s needed is some agitation and to allow the appropriate dwell time for the product to dissolve the stubborn stain and dirt spots. Using too much product leads to residue being left behind in the carpet, which increases the rate of resoiling.
- “It’s all about the cost, so cheaper is better”
Going for the companies with the lowest bids will actually cost you more in the long run. For starters, the price as advertised may just last until the company crew get to your establishment. Here, hidden charges will crop up, with the bait-and-switch tactics being an infamous tactic by scrupulous companies. Paying low prices also means that there are aspects that will be neglected. For instance, the company can just come with the equipment to remove the surface soiling, leaving pollutants, allergens and pathogens still in the fibres of the carpet. This is because, in order to provide the lowest cost available, compromises have to be made and shortcuts taken. There are cases where the company doesn’t even have insurance, which exposes you to liabilities in case of any mishaps.