Carpet Cleaning Misconceptions

Welcome to the section discussing the "Six Costly Misconceptions about Carpet Cleaning".   Like everything else in life, we all have ideas on what it is that we want when we call a service company, and what it is that we feel we have to do to maintain ourselves and our property.  This is no different when we talk about getting our carpets cleaned.   Before I became a carpet cleaner, I believed many things about carpet and upholstery cleaning that simply were not true. This section will discuss these misconceptions and hopefully arm you with some valuable information you can use when choosing a carpet cleaner.

Carpet Cleaning Misconceptions
Click below for answers to misconceptions

Misconception #1 You should wait as long as possible before getting your carpets and upholstery cleaned because after they are cleaned they will get dirtier faster.
Not True. Click to read why.
Misconception #2 The only reason to clean carpets is to get out the dirt and my carpets do not look dirty.
Not True. Click to read why.
Misconception #3 One method of carpet cleaning is as good as another.
Not True. Click to read why.
Misconception #4 Having the right equipment is all a company needs to clean your carpets properly.
Not True. Click to read why.
Misconception #5 The company that offers the lowest price is the company you should hire.
Maybe but not always.
Click for two important points to consider.
Misconception #6 Any good carpet cleaning company should be able to give you an exact price quote over the telephone.
I wish this were true, but it isn't.
Click to learn what factors will influence your price.

Misconception #1

You should wait as long as possible before getting
your carpets and upholstery cleaned because after
they are cleaned they will get dirtier faster.

Not true.

Dirt is abrasive - just like sandpaper. Every time you step on your carpet, you grind abrasive dirt into your carpet fibers. This cuts your carpet, just as if you were using a knife, causing it to wear out faster. A dirty carpet will not last nearly as long as a clean carpet and to loose it's like new shine. And while vacuuming helps by itself, its simply not enough. The longer you wait to have your carpets cleaned, the more damage you can do to your carpet, the faster it will wear out and the sooner you will have to go through the expense of replacing your carpets.

Misconception #2
The only reason to clean carpets is to get out
the dirt and my carpets do not look dirty.
Not true.
As you probably know, outdoor air contains pollens, fungi, bacteria, air pollution, cigarette smoke, car exhaust - and hundreds of other chemicals.  When you and your family members come into your home, you carry those pollens, bacteria, and chemicals in your hair and on your skin, clothing and shoes.  Not surprisingly, all those chemicals, pollens and bacteria wind up - you guessed it - in your carpet.   Most people do not understand that your carpets are the biggest air filter in your home. As the air moves about your house the particles in the air are "grabbed" by the carpet as the air moves over it. These particles are then ground into the carpet by you, your children and your pets.

If you have allergies, asthma, emphysema, or other breathing problems - one major source of your problem could be the pollens, fungi, and chemicals in your carpet.

In addition, as you may know, tobacco smoke contains over 4000 different chemical compounds, 43 of which can cause cancer. And even if you don't smoke, those chemicals can get on your shoes, and you may track them into your home and you leave them in your carpets.

If you're sensitive to cigarette smoke, you might find that you'll breathe easier after you hire a carpet cleaning company to get those harmful chemicals our of your carpet.

So, in addition to getting rid of dirt, another important reason to clean your carpet is to get rid of pollens, fungi, bacteria, chemicals and the tars and residue from tobacco smoke.

Misconception #3
One method of carpet cleaning is as good as another.
Not true.
You can choose from three primary methods: "Natural" Carbonated Cleaning, Dry Chemical Cleaning, or Hot Water Extraction commonly known as "Steam Cleaning".

Dry Chemical and Hot Water Extraction methods have a tendency to leave dirt attracting sticky residues on your carpet and either fail to thoroughly remove the soil from the fibers or take several hours, even days to dry if the technician doing the cleaning doesn't know what they are doing! Know whether or not you are getting a truck mounted cleaner or a portable system. Portable steam cleaners cannot provide the type of deep cleaning you may require, where as a truck mounted steam cleaner may.

The Chem-Dry method is a hot carbonating extraction method that utilizes a patented cleaning product called the "Natural". The "Natural" is a mineral based solution that contains no soaps, detergents, bleaches or brighteners. This process is offered only by Chem-Dry franchises and offers such benefits as carpets that dry in about 1 hour.

There are some very good steam cleaning and dry chemical companies on the market today. What you need to understand is what it is you want and what they are offering before you give them the go ahead to have your carpets cleaned. You need to know how long it will take for your carpet to dry and what kind of guarantee they offer should spots and stains reappear. What you need to ask a cleaner will be provided in another section of this information line.

Misconception #4
Having the right equipment is all a company
needs to clean your carpets properly.
Not True!
For a start, all personnel from the company owner to the technicians and sales staff should be thoroughly trained in the theory and practice of carpet and upholstery cleaning and maintenance. Proper carpet and upholstery cleaning is part chemistry, part investigative research and lots of hard work. Since the carpets in your home are likely the most expensive single item in your home, are you going to trust their maintenance and care to the first guy that comes along who says he has just bought all of the equipment, and now he is a Carpet cleaner!. Not likely. That would be like letting your neighbor work on your brand new car after he went down to Sears and bought a few tools at the pre-Christmas sale.  It's just not that easy.

Then how do you know who is qualified to clean your valuable carpet and upholstery investment?  There are ways!

There is an International organization call the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification or IICRC that is an independent, non-profit certification body for the cleaning and restoration business. They certify carpet and upholstery cleaners, provide training courses and exams, they have all members agree to a code of ethics, and they provide IICRC Certified Firms customers with a dispute resolution mechanism if required. You should be looking for a cleaning firm that is "IICRC Certified" and who has IICRC certified technicians.   Company's cannot buy this certification, they must earn it through study, experience and the successful completion of formal written examinations. Cleaners who are fully certified by the IICRC have, in effect, earned a diploma in carpet and upholstery cleaning and water and fire damage restoration.

The IICRC provides written credentials to the companies it certifies. So before you choose a carpet cleaner, ask to see written proof of the company's IICRC Certification. In addition, a list of IICRC Certified firms in your area can be obtained by calling the IICRC at their toll free number at 1-800-835-4624.

In addition, many firms are members of the Better Business Bureau and the local Chamber of Commerce.  Call the Better Business Bureau.  It won't take you very long to find the "bad apples".

Misconception #5
The company that offers the lowest price
is the company you should hire.
Maybe ... but not always.
Here are two important points to consider:

Point #1
The price you are offered may not be for the services you want performed. Before you select a company, decide what you want to accomplish. If you want the carpet cleaner to remove only some of the dirt, you can choose from about 100 companies that use shampoos or other cleaning methods or you can go to the grocery store and rent a portable machine. Chances are, this will not produce the results you were hoping for, your carpets will resoil very quickly, and in the end you will not have saved as much money as you thought you might have.

On the other hand, if you want your carpet thoroughly cleaned - if you want to remove the harmful dirt, bacteria, pollens, chemicals and tobacco residues - then you need to hire a company that uses a deep cleaning restorative cleaning process. This is the only way to ensure that your carpets remain healthy and free from dirt, disease - causing bacteria and harmful chemicals.

So remember that the price you see offered may not be for the services you want performed or for the way you want them performed!

Point #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 was not the amount they were charged. This is called "Bait and Switch" and these types of operators are the bane of our existence. By educating yourself on their tactics and methods you can protect yourself from falling prey to their methods.

And if you've ever hired a carpet cleaner, you too may have been the victim of false or misleading advertising. You probably learned the hard way that some carpet cleaners offer a cheap price ... usually between $20.00 and $40.00 per room or area ... and then pressure you into paying a lot more once they get inside your home. Some of them may be breaking the law by using these illegal "bait and switch" tactics.

As in all businesses and professions, the carpet cleaning industry has its share of bad apples. I take no pleasure in telling you this, but some are unethical ... and, sadly, a few are dishonest. By their misleading advertising and false promises, they cast a dark shadow on our entire industry. I have dedicated myself to finding these unscrupulous operators and exposing them to the public.

However, you will find many carpet cleaners out there who are professionals, who offer excellent customer service, guarantee their work and who offer fair value packed pricing ... in a word, "professionals" who work hard to earn your trust and respect each and every day they come to work. Find them and use them..

Misconception #6
Any good carpet cleaning company should be able
to give you an exact price quote over the telephone
I wish this were true, but it isn't.
Consumers often think that if they want to clean four rooms at the price of $15.00 per room, then the price will be $60.00. But this isn't always true. Why? Because many "By-the-Room" carpets cleaners have charges for special fabrics, travel charges and compulsory deodorization applications, or they won't guarantee their work.  Know what you are getting for your money before inviting them into your home.

Size of your home
First, professional and reputable carpet cleaning companies usually price carpet cleaning by the square foot.  So if you want  us to tell you the exact cost of cleaning your carpet, you will need to know the exact number of square feet that you want to have cleaned. To get an accurate measurement, an in-home inspection of the carpeted area may be required in order to calculate the exact size of the carpet area to be cleaned.  The in home inspection/estimate is not a gimmick.  It gives the carpet cleaner a chance to measure the areas to be cleaned, to see the carpeting to be cleaned and to answer any questions you may have.  For the customer, it is a no risk means by which you can get a firm written quote, it gives you the opportunity to ask questions and also gives you a chance to see if this is the type of company you want to do business with.

You'll be glad to know that the carpet area to be cleaned is not nearly as great as most people think.  For example, if you want your entire home cleaned and your home is approximately 2000 square feet in size, the amount of carpeting to be cleaned might only be 1000-1200 square feet. This is because most home measurements are outdoor measurements. Plus, when the areas taken up by walls, room dividers and the like. are deducted, the result is that the actual area to be cleaned is usually only about 50% of the square footage of the home.

In addition, you may only want to have the "high traffic" areas of your home cleaned.  This makes sense if the furniture in a given room has always been in one place and will likely always be there.   Why pay to clean areas of your home that are covered up and are not dirty.  High Traffic cleaning can save you a lot of money.  This only happens when a cleaner charges by the square foot.

So even though a professional carpet cleaning company can't give you an exact quote over the telephone, don't dismiss them as not knowing what they are doing, On the contrary, they need to see the carpets to be cleaned so they can consider such things as:

The type of carpet
Certain types of carpet are harder to clean than others. 100% Wool carpets are a good example. So before a professional carpet cleaner can give you a quote, they need to know the type of carpet you want cleaned.

Second, the amount of soiling
Carpet that hasn't been cleaned for ten years will take longer to clean than carpet that was cleaned within the last six months. In addition, carpets that are regularly maintained and have a stain guard applied are easier to clean than those that are not maintained and have let the stain guard protection inherent in modern carpets get walked off.

Third, the amount of furniture that has to be moved
If the carpet cleaner has to move all of your antique furniture, the bid may include the time spent moving, Many companies offer to move your furniture for free. It is best to ask what their policy is on moving furniture before they arrive to do the cleaning.

To recap, professional cleaners will consider the type of carpet or upholstery to be cleaned, the amount of soiling on the carpets or upholstery, and the amount of furniture that has to be moved. So, as you can now imagine, every quotation is different and in many cases is very difficult to provide over the phone.

A reputable carpet cleaning company will offer a free in home estimate of the cleaning that you will require. This quotation should be free, no obligation and should include a written report that is a firm quote for the work to be completed. Take advantage of the estimate process, it gives you an up front, painless method to see who you are dealing with. Besides, it will give you the opportunity to test out the information you have learned in this consumer information section of our website.

Free Report Reveals facts YOU need to know before you invite a CARPET CLEANER into your home!!!


#1 The most thorough cleaning you have ever experienced or it’s FREE! I am so confident in my system and my technicans that I offer you an “ Un-heard of-in the industry” guarantee. If you are not happy with any part of my cleaning, I will be back to re-clean those areas for free. If you are still not happy YOU DON’T PAY.

I can not offer you a cheap.”quick, get rid of the dirt cleaning”. If that is what you are looking for I respectfully ask that you call someone else. BUT, if you want the Cleanest, Fluffiest, Healthiest, Longests Lasting Carpet Cleaning at a reasonable price, please give me a call, I’d love to talk to you

#2 30 Day Warranty. Should a stain re-appear after we are long-gone, we will return to remove it - FREE of charge.
#3 5 Day Spot/Spill Guarantee. This is our “Murphy’s Law” guarantee - Your carpets are freshly cleaned and sure enough - Rufus prances across the carpet with his big muddy paws. We will come back for a touch-up FREE of charge.
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