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Carpet Cleaning Myths and Misconceptions Exposed

Jan 30, 2008
It's only natural that as time goes on, we are constantly receiving new information and compiling facts. This is what enables us to throw off the myths and misconceptions that influence our decisions.

Unfortunately, some myths die a hard death. This is especially true when they are repeated over and over by the uninformed.

The urban legends about carpet cleaning are right up there with Elvis sightings and Jimmy Hoffa's final resting place. Hopefully, this article will dispel these many myths about carpet cleaning in general and hot water extraction specifically.

Below are a few of the most popular misconceptions along with the facts that offset them.

1. Hot Water Extraction Cleaning Shrinks Carpets

Within the last fifteen years, the carpet manufacturing industry has made a unified change in tufting carpet, not in jute, but into a woven plastic known as polypropylene. Now, using this as a primary backing in carpet and adding poly as a secondary backing, we have carpet fibers that are entirely synthetic. It's impossible for these fibers to shrink! The only way cleaning can cause shrinking is to have over-wetting of a woven carpet or jute backed carpet. This is not a fault of the method used but rather of the technician.

2. Hot Water Exraction Will Take The Twist Out of the Carpet.
Nylon is the most popular face yarn on the market today. These yarns used in making carpet are set under constant heat to make them maintain their twist and resiliency. Even under the worst conditions, steam cleaning cannot take the twist out of the fibers. Low density yarns that produce less expensive carpets have little twist so they can cover more area. This creates an opportunity for the yarn to lose its twist with just traffic. However, cleaning it will make no difference, no matter what method is used.

3. Once You Clean a Carpet, it Will Get Dirtier Faster

I noticed that when I clean a new shirt, it loses some of that crispness it had when it was new. So, now I'm thinking maybe I shouldn't clean it for a while... you know, just keep wearing it until I finally lose all of my friends. (Just kidding)

Or, what I could do is WASH it and just restore the body with sizing. The choice is much the same with carpet except for a few differences. We deal with mostly synthetic fibers in carpet and repeated professional cleaning does not make it attract soil.

What DOES cause a carpet to resoil rapidly is that the leftover cleaning residues from an inept carpet cleaner attracted soil as we walk across it. here's the deal: Hot water extraction performed by a trained and certified professional actually refreshes the texture of a carpet. When proper and periodic cleaning is combined with the proper application of a carpet protector, the result is extended life and beauty for your carpet.

4. You Should Hold Off Cleaning Your Carpet as Long as Possible

The single most important issue with regard to carpet cleaning that began in the 90's had to with health. The level of cleanliness we can achieve in our carpets will have a direct relationship to our indoor air quality.

We walk on carpet. Our pets lay on it - and sometimes do some disgusting things on it as well. Kid crud and husband havoc cause stains and spots. All of the junk from outside settles on it. Then our kids crawl and play on it; and husbands fall asleep on it watching football, leaving drool. Doesn't it make good sense to clean our carpets regularly if for no other reason than to improve our family's home environment?

5. You Should Not Over Vacuum Carpet

This is impossible to do.

The average consumer would never have to worry about this. A recent study suggested that the average carpet in a home should be vacuumed three to four times a week. But even if you vacuumed every day (and twice on Sunday), it would never harm a quality carpet.

In the real world, the average number of times carpet gets vacuumed is two to three times a month. So, we actually have some room for improvement in this area. By the way, the vacuum bag should be emptied when it is 1/2 to 2/3 full. So don't get cheap and wait until it's clogged all the way to the top!
About the Author
David Gruttadaurio is the president of UBS Clean Care, a residential carpet cleaning and janitorial company serving the southwest Indiana cities of Newburgh 47630, Evansville 47725 and Princeton 47670. You can find more valuable information about carpet care by going to http://www.MyCleanCarpet.net
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