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10 Myths You Might Still Believe About Carpet Cleaning

10 Myths about Carpet Cleaning

10 myths about carpet cleaning

Being a carpet cleaning business, we constantly hear bad advice and incorrect info about carpet cleaning. We took the top 10 myths that you might still believe about carpet cleaning and debunk them.

10. Cleaning my carpets will cause them to get dirty faster!

IF you get your carpets cleaned improperly, this can be true. Since some methods leave behind sticky residue and soil, it is correct that improper cleaning can make your carpeting soil quickly. However, if you hire a pro company like Rendall’s, your carpets will not get dirty faster. In fact, your carpet stays cleaner longer because we do a thorough job of rinsing out all of the soil and cleaning agents,  leaving your carpet virtually residue-free with our cleaning methods.

9. Steam cleaning will cause mold or mildew to grow in my carpet!

Again this could be true IF you get your carpets improperly cleaned, but the proper way of cleaning will NOT cause mold or mildew to happen. We hear from a lot of clients about different companies who have left their carpets soaked for several days. This is not normal, and we never leave your carpets soaking wet. If your carpet is wet for several days, there is a chance that bacteria wants to grow in that environment. Properly cleaned carpets will not create mold or mildew.

8. Vacuuming too much will damage my carpet!

Modern installed carpeting is designed to hold up to lots and lots of vacuuming. That said, there are some vacuums on the market that may be too aggressive for everyday use. We are not at liberty to name names because we didn’t perform the tests. A large carpet manufacturer once reported that their tests revealed that one particular popular consumer vacuum caused 2 years’ worth of wear with one use! But that’s certainly not the norm and most vacuums are perfectly safe for frequent use on modern carpeting. The Carpet and Rug Institute has a list of tested and approved vacuums on their website: CRI Green Label Vacuums (clickable link). Our current favorite (as of 11/1/2016) is the Shark Rotator Professional vacuum. Bottom line – the majority of soil found in virtually every carpet is dry soil. Hoover vacuum’s testing revealed that about 80% of all soil carpeting is of the dry variety and much of it can be vacuumed out. Vacuuming once a week is usually sufficient for most homes, but high traffic areas and businesses may require up to daily vacuuming.

7. Baking soda or other powder deodorizers will remove the smell from my carpet!

We hear and see this one often. Unfortunately, it’s one of those old tales that get passed down to each generation. I know there is at least one of you reading this saying “this worked for me, this is a lie Jackie, a lie!” I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this method only masks odors and doesn’t remove the source. Baking soda can absorb some of the odors, but it does not remove the source of the odor. These powder deodorizers also cause havoc for us when we try to clean because it is impossible to vacuum it all out. The leftover powder eventually causes friction and wear, causing permanent damage to your carpet. Not to mention the smell probably will ultimately return. The best way to deal with odors is to remove the source of the odors. Let’s take pet urine, for example. When urine contacts the carpet, it soaks through the fibers and down into the pad. If the pet continues to eliminate in that same area, the urine may even penetrate through the carpet pad and into the subfloor. Each layer that’s contaminated must be neutralized in order for the odor to be removed. That means the carpet, the backing of the carpet, the carpet pad, and perhaps even the subfloor will require decontamination in order for those pesky odors to be fully removed. Suffice it to say sprinkling baking soda or powder deodorizers on the carpet only absorb moisture in the fibers, and do nothing for neutralization of the urine contaminants, nor the other layers of contamination under the fibers. The rule we use works every time: Remove the odor source to remove the odor – and we do this by flushing out the contamination rather than trying to mask it.

6. Carpet causes allergies!

Even though this is more so about carpet itself, it still pertains to carpet cleaning and needs some explaining. We have heard over the years of allergists telling people that carpets cause allergies, so they should rip it out of their house! We are cleaners of many things like tile, wood, stone, etc., so we aren’t saying this because we are only ‘carpet cleaners’. We think the origins of this comes from the fact that carpet acts as a filter. Yes, dust, dander, and soil will settle onto your carpet and will stay there if it’s not maintained properly. That is the secret keyword: Maintenance. We know that many people don’t get their carpets cleaned professionally. We also know that many people don’t vacuum as often as they really should. So, if you don’t do those two things, then there is some truth to this. Tearing out carpet doesn’t change the amount of dander, dust, and soil coming in to your home. In fact, where does it go if you don’t have carpet anymore? The air, the floors, the walls, everywhere it wants to! If you have switched to tile or wood from carpet, you may have noticed that you are sweeping and cleaning a lot more than you’re used to. Not to say that having/switching to wood or tile floors are bad by any means, but we want to educate our clients on the facts. Here are some other links that talk about this misconception:
United Allergy Services | Canadian Carpet | Shaw Floors

5. My carpet isn’t that old, it doesn’t need to be cleaned!

When people refer to their carpet as ‘new’, most of the time it’s already a few years old. Carpet is designed to hide soils, so even if it looks “clean”, more than often it’s not. In fact, by the time the dirt is visible, most of the damage has already occurred. Generally speaking, you should get your carpeting cleaned between 6 and 12 months. You should go no longer than 18 months without a professional cleaning.

4. I can use any grocery store cleaner to remove a stain!

This myth can be disastrous to your carpet! Many of the big brand name carpet spotters attract soil and can even ruin your carpet. We have seen it all too many times. From our experience, if a client uses one of these “bad” carpet spotters it is extremely difficult to try and correct the problem. What’s the solution? Well, we know of a fantastic product that will remove hundreds of different spots and stains called… Stain Fu! We might be a bit biased because it is our product, but this is exactly why we created this carpet spotter in the first place. It is a carpet spot cleaning product that we can guarantee to be safe and effective.

3. I can get my carpets cleaned for the “$95 Whole House Special!”

The carpet cleaner’s favorite myth! This is one of those times where the saying “if it’s too good to be true…” comes into play. We don’t like ‘bashing’ other companies, but we do want people to know the truth about these types of ads. With that said. the types of cleaners that charge this way are commonly referred to as “bait and switch” artists.  These companies typically advertise a very low price and once they get their foot in the door they add dubious charges on to the bill that they claim are necessary to do an acceptable job. Fox News did an expose awhile back about these types of cleaning companies. What they found is that the typical bill came out to upwards of six times or more the advertised cost! A secondary problem with these types of cleaners is that they don’t use state of the art equipment and supplies, and don’t have trained professional technicians like we do. Additionally, since many of their customers don’t agree to their exorbitant charges, they can’t afford to do a good job.

2. Steam cleaning will shrink my carpet and upholstery!

Most installed carpet is made of synthetic materials that will not shrink. However, we test everything before we clean to ensure that there will be no problems. If we find a carpet or piece of upholstery that may have problems with “steam cleaning”, we can employ one of the other 4 cleaning methods to ensure as good a job as possible. Keep in mind, however, that approximately 87% of all carpeting and 75% of all upholstery is perfectly safe to “steam clean” so long as the technician knows exactly what they are doing.

1. Dry cleaning is a better method than “steam cleaning”!

I’ve noticed there is a trend here about improperly cleaned carpets, as this myth was probably derived from bad carpet cleaning. Each method has its pros and cons and is a hot debate among other cleaners. The pros of dry cleaning is that yes, your carpets are technically drier versus using hot water extraction. Con is that it is more of a surface cleaning, not really a deep cleaning because there is no extraction. Because of this, it has the tendency to leave residue in the carpeting, causing it to re-soil faster. However, on certain types of carpeting, “dry cleaning” can be a better method. Especially if you correctly clean and use the right products. So for this, we can’t really say one is better than the other; It is a matter of choosing the right cleaning method for each client and their situation.

Did you believe any of these Top 10 myths before this post? Let us know!

Scott Rendall
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46 thoughts on “10 Myths You Might Still Believe About Carpet Cleaning

  1. I wish more could be done to get rid of bait and switch cleaners. Not only is it bad for the consumer, but it makes it hard for reputable carpet cleaners to justify their prices.

    • We try to overcome them by educating as much as possible! Upon writing this list, we noticed the theme of the myths were coming from bait and switch cleaners, or cleaners who don’t do the job correctly. We’re hoping this article will help many, so share away! Thanks for your comment 🙂

  2. It’s interesting that vacuuming won’t actually damage your carpet. It makes sense that modern carpets are designed to withstand it. I’ll have to remember this because I didn’t want to get my carpets cleaned for this reason but now that I now that I know it’s not true, my carpets have gotten gross.

  3. I never understood the theory that cleaning your carpets makes them dirtier but I’m glad you cleared it up for everyone else. Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. This article gives the light where we can observe the reality. Appreciate it for writing this Article. I feel as though I know so much more about this than I did before. Your Article brought some things to light that I would never have thought about before reading it.

  5. I am so glad that you mentioned that steam cleaning if done properly, won’t cause mold or mildew to grow in your carpet. A friend of mine told me the opposite a few years ago so I have always been wary of the whole process. It seems like hiring a professional to do the job would be the safest option so that you don’t damage your carpet in any way and so that it gets the best cleaning possible. We will have to keep these tips in mind, thank you for sharing!

  6. Thank you for clearing up that allergies are from a range of things such as walls, floors, and air instead of just carpet. Recently I’ve noticed that my carpet has become very dirty from all the water and snow tracked through my home. I think it is time to research carpet cleaners in my area. I want to get my carpets cleaned as soon as possible.

  7. It’s helpful to know these truths about carpet cleaning. I like how you said that steam cleaning won’t actually affect it in a negative way. We want to get our carpet cleaned, so we’ll make sure the professionals we hire don’t leave it soaked through.

  8. It’s so true about hearing the baking soda trick so often. I’m always being told this one but it’s true that it only masks the scent. It is still somewhat there and I’m thinking I should contact a proper carpet cleaning service that can help me get rid of whatever is on my carpet.

  9. I liked what you said about carpet needing constant maintenance. Our daughter has some allergies that we have to keep in mind and we have a lot of carpet in our home. We’re trying to be more diligent in keeping our carpet maintained, but I know that we can always to better to make sure that we have as little dust as possible in our home. We’ll be sure to redouble our efforts and call in a professional cleaner soon.

  10. I tried to clean my carpets with one of those rental machines from the grocery store. It seemed to be dirtier sooner. I will always go with calling a professional from now on.

  11. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I didn’t know that vacuuming could actually be so effective! maybe, I should vacuum before I get my carpet cleaned! That way, it will be extra clean!

  12. I think that it is interest that people think that carpet causes allergies. I agree that it can cause allergies only if it is not cleaned. That is why it is important to get a steam cleaning done often so that you know the dust is removed.

  13. That’s good to know that you shouldn’t go longer than 18 months to have your carpets professionally cleaned. The carpet in my living room is starting to look dingy since my two sons and our German Shepherd will play in there, so I’m looking up what to do to keep it looking nice. I’ll have to find a carpet cleaning service I can hire to clean my carpet to get it clean and them make sure to have them come at least once a year so I can maintain it.

  14. Thanks for pointing out that vacuuming too much will not likely damage my carpet as they are designed to hold multiple vacuum cleaning. I’ve been doing a lot of vacuuming lately because my carpet got stained by tomato sauce and wines from the previous night party. Though I attempted cleaning it, it seems that it needs professional help. It’s time for me to get help from carpet cleaning experts.

  15. I love what you said about carpet cleaning and how it will not shrink. Carpet cleaning is a great option for home value. If I noticed large stains, I would contact the best cleaning company around.

  16. Great article! I have a question I was hoping you might be able to help with. What is the best way you know of to get pet stains out of carpets? I just purchased a home and the carpets are a mess. Thanks for the post, and I look forward to seeing your reply.

  17. I will be hosting a party this weekend and I want to make sure that my apartment is clean, especially the carpet. I agree that when the carpet is not cleaned properly, it’s easily dirty because of sticky residue. Moreover, it’s recommended to go to trusted experts when in need of carpet cleaning services.

  18. It’s good to know that properly cleaned carpets will not create mold or mildew. My wife and I would like to sell our house, and in order to do that, we’ll need to get our carpets cleaned. We don’t want there to be any mold, so we’ll be looking into our options for having professionals come and help us.

  19. It’s good that you mentioned how getting your carpets steamed will not cause mildew or mold to grow if it is done properly. My wife wants to clean our living room carpet for a family reunion but wanted to know if the carpets would smell strange if we had them steam cleaned. I’ll let her know that the carpets will look and smell clean if we hire a professional service.

  20. Thanks for the carpet cleaning tips. My carpets are dirty. I’ll get them professionally cleaned.

  21. I liked your tip that baking soda can only absorb some of the odors and won’t actually eliminate the source of them. My mom is pretty clumsy and frequently spills things on her carpet. I’ll be sure to recommend that she abandon this myth and hire a professional to clean her carpets properly.

  22. It’s good to know that carpet is designed to look clean even when it’s not. My wife and I are expecting our first child soon, and we want to make sure that our home is clean and free of dirt and debris when she comes. We’ll be sure to get our carpets cleaned to make sure that they are truly clean instead of just looking clean to do so.

  23. I wanted to have my carpet cleaned, but I was thinking that maybe vacuuming it too much may damage it. Thank you for sharing that vacuuming wouldn’t do any damage because modern installed carpeting is designed to hold up lots and lots of vacuuming. Maybe it’s time for me to look for a carpet cleaning service that can help with my query.

  24. Thanks for listing these carpet cleaning myths. I didn’t know that it was recommended to get a carpet cleaned every 6 months. This caught my attention because I moved to my apartment more than a year ago and I still haven’t done any maintenance work to the living room carpet. I’ll make sure to search for carpet cleaning services ASAP!

  25. It’s good to know that proper steam cleaning won’t cause any mold or mildew to grow in your home. My wife and I have noticed that our carpet has been dirtier than usual recently, and we’d like to change that. We’ll be sure to look into our options for professionals who can help us get our carpet properly steam cleaned.

  26. There is some really good myths that hard to believe. Anyway I love reading this article. It is so informative.

  27. It’s awesome that modern carpeting is meant to withstand a lot of vacuuming so that you can keep it clean without worries. I just moved into a house that smells like cat pee, which is as horrible as it sounds. I want to get the carpet cleaned so that the smell goes away eventually.

  28. I am glad that you mentioned how you can’t just use any type of cleaner to remove stains on the carpet. My husband and I have noticed that our kids seem to make a bit of a mess and no matter how hard we try, we can’t get the stains out. I think we should call a carpet cleaning company who has the right tools and cleaners to help clean our carpet.

  29. I once made the mistake of using a hard detergent on my carpet and it was a sad story to tell. Another sceneraio was the damages caused by the casters omy chairs and that led to the purchase of chair mat. Thanks for sharing this information. I learnt my lesson in the hard way.

  30. It was helpful when you explained that we shouldn’t wait for carpets to show visible dirt because the damage will already be done at that point. My husband and I haven’t had our home’s carpets cleaned since we moved here about a year ago. Thanks for helping me see why we shouldn’t wait any longer to hire a carpet cleaning service!

  31. I was surprised to read that we should keep our carpet cleaned every 6-12 months. I’ve never cleaned my carpet before. I will look for a cleaning service to help with this.

  32. Its been about a year and we have 4 kids who are messy, and like to run around. as you can imagine, it gets pretty messy pretty quickly. we have it cleaned at least once every 2 years.

  33. It’s great that you talked about carpet cleaning and how you must use the right cleaning products for it! A few weeks ago, my wife and I installed carpeted floors in our home. We want to make sure our carpets last for a long time and don’t get damaged when we clean them, so we’ll be sure to look for an expert’s help! We appreciate your insight on cleaning our carpets without damaging them!

  34. Best article! Carpets can get real filthy giving a bad odour. I was looking for a way to clean my carpets and now the ideas mentioned here will surely help me. Thanks.

  35. As a homeowner who owns a lot of carpets, I appreciate you talking about how steam cleaning won’t shrink your carpets at all. This is something that I can really see being important to factor in as that means that we can freely have this method used to clean the ones we have without worrying about anything. I’ll take my carpets to a cleaning service that uses this method from now on to make sure they stay clean.

  36. It’s great to know that modern carpets can withstand lots and lots of vacuuming processes. That means that we can hire carpet cleaning services as frequently as we can and not worry about the damage to the material. That is great news because it means that we can avoid dust and dirt accumulating, especially when we have a dog.

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