Carpet Cleaning - 10 Things You Didn`t Know About Carpet Cleaning

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Carpet Cleaning - 10 Things You Didn`t Know About Carpet Cleaning

Carpet Cleaning – 10 Things You Didn`t Know About Carpet Cleaning

Carpeted floors are a common feature in a lot of homes and businesses. Carpets are easy to maintain and easy to clean. Or so it appears.

Most people have no idea what carpet cleaning techniques are the best, what way the carpets are washed, what carpet cleaning shampoos are the most efficient, what carpet cleaning machines are more suitable or if after a deep carpet cleaning job the carpet is actually clean. This article will explain to you in detail all you need to know about carpet cleaning.

Carpet Cleaning – 10 Things You Didn`t Know About Carpet Cleaning

First of all, you need to understand that carpeted floors act like a sponge. They absorb dirt, dust, grease and bacteria. The carpet does not have to look very dirty or stained to be a hazard to your health. All carpet manufacturers recommend at least one professional carpet clean per year. Dust that hides and builds up inside the carpets can be a nightmare for people with asthma.

Now you know what can be lurking inside your carpets. If you have a pet or children you should use the services of a professional carpet cleaning company more often. Dog or cat hair can be a health hazard for small children and a carpeted floor is a great place for the hair to accumulate.

Types Of Carpet Cleaning Systems

  1.            Wet Carpet Cleaning – also called extraction carpet cleaning systems. This type of carpet cleaning system works more or less like your washing machine. There is hot water tank or a cold water tank with a heater installed, some carpet cleaning shampoo and a lot of rough power. The hot solution will be injected at high pressure into your carpet. The high PH carpet cleaning detergent will break the dirt instantly and will prepare the surface for extraction. Two very powerful extraction motors (two in some cases or one in smaller machines) will extract between 60% to 90% of the moisture. The amount of moisture extracted can vary from carpet cleaning machine to carpet cleaning machine. Job done. The operator will use a stainless steel wand that is fitted with two nozzles for spraying solution and an extraction head. The nozzles will spray carpet cleaning solution into the front of the wand head. The solution acts fast, the wand extracts it. Some very dirty carpets will require pre-spray treatments to break heavy duty stains. There are a wide range of spot and stain removers available. The most popular brand of spot remover is Craftex. When cleaning stair carpets, a special wand just for stairs will be used. Most carpets will dry in about 1 to 3 hours after the initial wash. Some people love the idea of a hot water carpet cleaning system while others hate it. There are eco friendly carpet cleaning shampoos and there are 100% organic carpet cleaning shampoos.
  2.            Dry Carpet Cleaning – this type of carpet cleaning system is more popular with the American franchises that also operate in Ireland. They will use a dry foam to pre-spray your carpets and they will scrub your carpets with soft brushes. The carpet will be left 90% dry. Dry carpet cleaning systems are highly recommended for areas where there is constant traffic and there is no time for the drying. A dry carpet cleaning system is as efficient as a wet or extraction carpet cleaning system. A dry carpet cleaning costs a bit more than a wet one. Again, some people love it while other people wouldn`t have it in their homes. It is a personal option.
  3. Types Of Carpet Cleaning Machines

The better the quality of the carpet cleaning machine means it will have higher power pumps and therefore more moisture will be extracted. Some carpet cleaning machines have 20 L solution tanks and 1 pump while other ones have 60 L solution tanks, two pumps and two extraction motors. For smaller jobs, a smaller machine is more suitable while for a big commercial carpet cleaning job, bigger carpet cleaning equipment is required. In the dry carpet cleaning industry, there are special low speed buffers designed for carpet cleaning but there are many local carpet cleaners using standard floor buffers and bonnets.

Truckmounts are becoming more popular in Ireland. A truckmount is a big van fitted with a very powerful carpet cleaning system. A truckmount carpet cleaning system would have up to 100 meters (300 feet) of hoses and it will not require water connections or electricity. The van will be parked in front of your house and only the hoses will enter your home. Truckmounts are very powerful and very efficient. Due to the high cost of buying such systems, many contractors do not use them. A truckmount can be used for floor cleaning also. Truckmounts are not very suitable for apartment carpet cleaning.

Carpet Cleaning Shampoos

The carpet cleaning industry is evolving very fast and every year new and improved carpet cleaning products are entering the market. A few years back, most carpet cleaning companies were using one or two carpet cleaning detergents, now, you can buy hundreds of different types of carpet cleaning products from a number of brands. There are universal carpet cleaning shampoos and there are specific types of carpet cleaning shampoos.

The universal carpet cleaning detergents can be used with most carpet cleaning systems and are usually suitable to deep clean sofas, upholstery, mattresses, rugs and carpets. Low ph cleaning products, safe to use on sensitive fibres. Then there are the specific types of carpet cleaning like:

High PH Carpet Cleaning Shampoos – suitable to use as a pre-spray for very dirty areas

Traffic Lane Cleaner – active carpet cleaning shampoos suitable for commercial carpets

Wool Carpet Cleaning Shampoo – a carpet cleaning shampoo for wool carpets

Silk Safe Carpet Cleaning Shampoo – a carpet detergent suitable for rugs

Colour Safe Carpet Cleaning Shampoo – a detergent suitable for antique rugs

Natural Carpet Cleaning Shampoos – 100% organic carpet cleaning products

Knowing what type of carpet cleaning shampoo works where and what type of carpet cleaning shampoo is not suitable for some carpets is the key to success for a carpet cleaning contractor.

The dilution factor in a carpet cleaning shampoo is one of the most important factors. Two carpet cleaning shampoos can have huge differences in dilution rate. Some premium carpet cleaning chemicals can have a dilution ratio of 1 to 500 while other can have a dilution ratio of 1 to 50. Having a higher dilution ratio means that the shampoo will last longer, it will work better even at the highest recommended dilution and it will save money. Good for your pocket and for the planet.

Carpet Cleaning – 10 Things You Didn`t Know About Carpet Cleaning

The PH (potential of hydrogen) of a carpet cleaning product will tell the user about the products power. Low PH carpet cleaning products will have a PH of 2-3 or even 0 while high PH carpet cleaning shampoos can have a pH of 12.5 to 15. Very high PH chemicals can be dangerous and can lead to burns and discolorations. Precaution needs to be taken at all times. The PH represents the level of acidity in a product.

Some carpet cleaning contractors love carpet cleaning powders. A carpet cleaning powder is the most cost efficient product. Most powders are suitable for all types of extraction cleaning jobs. Craftex Premium Clean & Prochem Double Clean are two of the most widely used carpet cleaning powders. The dilution ratio for these two carpet cleaning powders is around 1 to 500. It ends up costing only 1 to 2 euro per 3 bed house (detergent cost). Some carpet cleaning machines are not suitable to use powders.

Antibacterial Carpet Cleaning Chemicals

Visible dirt is easy to spot and remove but what hides beneath the carpet fibre is the real danger. As we mentioned already, carpeted surfaces absorb all the dirt. All this dirt is being deposited at the bottom of the carpet. It is the perfect breeding ground and habitat for bacteria. A decent carpet cleaning company uses average carpet cleaning shampoos and treatments. Those shampoos will remove most of the dirt and the carpet will be left pretty clean but if you have pets or sick people in the family, you will want something a bit stronger.

Carpet Cleaning – 10 Things You Didn`t Know About Carpet Cleaning

Craftex & Prochem make some of the best anti-bactericial deodorisers and carpet cleaners. These products are designed to penetrate the carpet, kill the bacteria and refresh the whole carpet instantly.

Using antibacterial carpet cleaners and deodorisers does not cost much more than standard carpet cleaning shampoos but the results can make a lot of difference.

Carpet Cleaning Prices

Most people seem to think that cleaning carpets is one of those superficial jobs that can be done by anyone. A bit of water, some shampoo and the job is done. They could not be more wrong. The difference between a skilled carpet cleaning specialist and a chancer is huge. A professional carpet cleaning expert is well trained, well experienced and is using the latest technology in the carpet cleaning industry. Knowing how much water to use to achieve the best results but without soaking the carpet is a great skill. A very wet carpet can take days to dry and it can create very bad damp odours.

Carpet Cleaning – 10 Things You Didn`t Know About Carpet Cleaning

Prices for carpet cleaning can vary from job to job and carpet cleaning machine to carpet cleaning machine. Like in anything else, you pay a bit extra for a better service. Usually, the international carpet cleaning franchises charge a bit extra for carpet cleaning. Local carpet cleaning companies will charge between 30 euro to 100 euro per room, depending on condition, location and treatments required. Just because your neighbour got his living room carpet cleaned for 30 euros, it doesn`t mean that your living room carpet will cost the same. You might have a lot of furniture, you might have different type of carpet and you might have worse stains. It is always a good idea to agree a rate before starting the job.

Carpet Cleaning – 10 Things You Didn`t Know About Carpet Cleaning

Now, bear in mind that a carpet cleaning specialist owns a business or he works for a business. Anything costs money so they have to recover their expenses and they also have to make some profit to stay in business. If you are looking for a carpet cleaning estimate, you should expect to pay a small fee for that. During the recession most carpet cleaning contractors were offering free estimates, free rooms, free tea and many free things. But the recession is well gone and people are looking for some profit again.

Carpet Cleaning – 10 Things You Didn`t Know About Carpet Cleaning

There are different ways of charging for carpet cleaning. Contractors that quote a low amount over the phone will usually charge you a bit extra when they get to your home and contractors who do not charge for quoting initially, they will add the cost of doing this into the quote. It is unreasonable to expect a van to drive to your home, quote for the job and to send you an email free of charge. Nothing is free in this world and you will be charged for it in one way or another.

Carpet Cleaning – 10 Things You Didn`t Know About Carpet Cleaning

There are a range of discount websites that offer 80% discounts on carpet cleaning deals. These kind of deals never end up great. The kind of carpet cleaning companies offering very cheap deals are usually new companies looking for a bit of advertising or old companies in financial trouble. Either way, you lose. If you get a start up to clean your fancy carpets for about 50 euro, you are taking a big chance. If you hire a nearly bankrupt carpet cleaning company to deep clean your carpets you are taking a chance again. They are in that situation for a reason. The 75 euro you pay for a 3 bed house carpet clean, instead of 150 euro, is not the amount of money your carpet cleaning contractor is getting. 40% of the money goes to the website running the deal. This is not ideal and you will be booked when they can do it not when you want it.

Carpet Cleaning – 10 Things You Didn`t Know About Carpet Cleaning

Commercial carpet cleaning jobs are priced per square meter or room. Jobs over 100 sq meter will be charged less. Commercial carpet cleaning is usually a bit more expensive because in most cases the job is not as simple as it looks. Most commercial jobs have to be done overnight, after office hours or over the weekends. Commercial carpet cleaning starts from about 0.5 euro per square meter and it can go up to 5 euro per square meter. Very dirty carpets that require additional spot and stain treatments will cost extra. The prices quoted for commercial carpet cleaning are usually without VAT.

Using 100% natural carpet cleaning shampoos will increase the price of your carpet cleaning job by 50%. Organic carpet cleaning shampoos are not as efficient as standard carpet cleaning chemicals, cost much more to purchase and will take much longer to finish a job. Many people ask for a quick wash without any cleaning agent but that is not carpet cleaning, that is just wetting the carpet.

Carpet Protectors

Carpet is very absorbent. Whatever you do, the carpet will get dirty sooner or later and it has to be cleaned. There is no treatment to keep the dirt away for good. Most people have the wrong idea about how scotchgard or carpet protectors work. Most people think that if you just apply a scotchgard to a carpet the carpet will never get dirty again and you can spill wine and dark drinks all over the carpet without staining it.

Carpet Cleaning – 10 Things You Didn`t Know About Carpet Cleaning

Here are the facts about scotchgard. A professionally applied scotchgard will “increase” your carpet stain resistance. A thin invisible film will be applied to your carpet. This protective coat will not allow the carpet to absorb a spillage as fast as usual and it will give you some time to remove the spillage. If a glass of red wine is spilled all over the carpet a carpet without any protection will stain instantly while a carpet with protector on will stain in about 2 minutes and  will not stain as badly. If you move quickly and remove the wine with a towel or some paper, the chance of removing most of the stain from a protected carpet is pretty high. These are the facts about carpet protectors or scotchgard.

A carpet that was treated with a scotchgard will absorb less dirt and will be easier to clean. Most of the small particles of dust will stay on the top of the carpet and will be easier to remove with a vacuum. You can buy carpet protectors online and you can treat your own carpets but be sure to work in well ventilated areas and wear a mask.

DIY Stain Removers

Here is a big mistake that most people make. When a spillage happens, most people run to the kitchen and they start pouring whatever they can find in the press all over the stain. This is mad. The wine or food stain will react instantly with the baking powder or anything else used and will damage the carpet fibre. We are not saying that DIY stain removers are not efficient but we are saying that many people manage to destroy their carpets for good because they act in panic and they haven`t got a clue what they are doing.

Many carpet cleaning companies are hired to do a “tiny” spot treatment in a house only to discover that the homeowner has used the whole kitchen on that stain and there is little to be done to restore the carpet.

Here are few tips:

-when a spillage happens, try to remove as much of the stain as you can with a towel or some kitchen paper

-do not overreact and do not attempt to clean the spillage with cooking chemicals

-buy a professional stain & spot remover and have it handy in your home (craftex crystal spray)

-call a carpet cleaning company

Even if the stain on the carpet is tiny a carpet cleaning contractor will still need to charge you at least 50 euro. He has to drive to your home and work 1 hour to get rid of the stain. Some stains cannot be removed.

Carpet Cleaning Insurance

Carpet is a fabric. A carpet cleaning shampoo is a chemical. Reactions can happen at any time and to anyone. Just because a carpet cleaning contractor is charging you 500 euro for a 4 bed house carpet cleaning, it does not mean that he cannot damage your carpet. Many people are using whatever they can find in the grocery shop to clean and maintain their carpets and in many cases where reactions happen it is the homeowners fault for not telling the carpet cleaning contractor what carpet protectors or treatments were used before.

Carpet Cleaning – 10 Things You Didn`t Know About Carpet Cleaning

People order cheap scotchgard online, cheap insecticides, cheap deodorisers, etc. These chemicals are not visible to the naked eye and over time your carpet can become saturated  with chemicals. A carpet cleaning contractor will drop around, will quote, will start doing the job only to notice that the whole carpet has changed colour because his carpet cleaning shampoos have reacted with the chemicals used by the homeowner. It has happened so many times. Who is to blame for this? This is the reason why you, as a homeowner, should be hiring fully insured carpet cleaning contractors.

A tradesman on your property is your liability. Even if the carpet cleaning contractor finishes the job without any issues and then breaks his leg on the stairs you could be sued for compensation because your baby has left a toy on the stairs. Don`t take a chance and ask for a copy of the insurance cert.

24/7 Opening Times

Here is a thing that confuses many people. A spillage happens at 3 am and you have to start looking for a professional carpet cleaning company fast. What can you do? You go online and you notice that most of the local carpet cleaning companies are advertising 24/7 opening times. You call 10 companies only to find out that none of them are open. What is going on?

Carpet Cleaning – 10 Things You Didn`t Know About Carpet Cleaning

Here is the thing. 24/7 does not mean that a person is ready to take your call at any time. Expecting a person to wait beside a phone at 3 am is not a realistic expectation. Having a 24 hour opening time means that they will book you at any time, day or night, if you pre book. If you call a carpet cleaning company and you book them for 1 am on a Monday night they will be there at 1 am on Monday night but if you call a carpet cleaning company at 1 am on Monday night, you will not get an answer.


If your carpet was stained or looks in very bad shape, you will want it to look like new again. You will only hire a carpet cleaning company that can guarantee you 100% stain removal and outstanding results. Well, this is not the case and we can promise you that there is no magic bullet. Some carpet cleaning companies can use better and more efficient carpet cleaning products and systems but no carpet cleaning company can guarantee you 100% stain removal.

Carpet Cleaning – 10 Things You Didn`t Know About Carpet Cleaning

There are stains like ink, fake tan, glue, silicon, coffee, tea, paint, tar, watermarks, chemical burns, hair dye, bleach stains, etc. Even the best stain removers cannot always work. This is the reason why you should have realistic expectations. If your carpet is a mess, you have two options, change the carpets or attempt to clean the carpets. Changing 1 bedroom carpet can cost 100 euro to 500 euro, depending on the type of carpet and the room size. Cleaning a bedroom carpet will cost 30 euro to 100 euro, depending on condition. You will also have to take a chance.

No carpet cleaning contractor will ever go to a job planning not to remove a stain. They will do all they can to sort it out but there are limits. There are no guarantees in this business. If you ask for a quote and the contractor will promise you that all the stain/s will be removed, without having a look at the stain, he is a liar.

Carpet Cleaning – 10 Things You Didn`t Know About Carpet Cleaning

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