I started Extra Effort Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning in 1984. Ever since, I have had the pleasure of servicing countless homes and businesses all across greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. And, in my more than 30 years of carpet cleaning, I have fielded a myriad of questions and heard pretty much every theory out there related to carpet cleaning. Here are my thoughts on some of the most common.
Only older carpets need professional carpet cleaning
False. And you don’t have to just take my word for it. Mohawk Industries, one of the leading manufacturers, requires professional hot water extraction every 18 months to maintain the warranty on your carpets. In other words, if you have new carpet (with a warranty), you will especially want to make sure you are getting your carpets professionally cleaned. Given that few (if any) know more the ins and outs of carpet, it’s reasonable to believe that manufacturers have strong reasons for this requirement.
Only visibly stained carpets need professional carpet cleaning
False. Those that aren’t worried about keeping a warranty intact may think carpet cleaning is only necessary when carpets are too dirty to ignore. However, there are two points to consider.
The first point to consider has to do with the health of your carpet. Every day, dirt and debris are tracked into your home. Some of this is removed by regular vacuuming (assuming you are vacuuming on a weekly or semi-daily basis) while some settles down between the carpet fibers. Little bits of fine grit might not seem like that big a deal until you consider that when you bind little bits of grit to a piece of paper, it becomes sandpaper! If fine grit can be used to take paint off metal, it’s not hard to imagine it grinding against the fibers of your carpet with every step.
The second point to consider is also related to the dirt and debris tracked in on a daily basis. However, instead of being related to the health of your carpet, it has to do with the health of your household. In addition to bits of grit, you have germs, allergens, and other assorted nasties sticking to the bottom of your shoes. And, if you have pets, well…you get the idea.
If you are still not convinced, I’ll point you to a previous post on professional carpet cleaning that noted the disturbing study which showed the average indoor carpet to be about 4,000 times dirtier than a toilet seat.
Steam cleaning is the same thing as the hot water extraction method
True! As noted in our service areas section, Shaw Floors explains it well. I don’t know the origins of this confusion of language, but I suspect it has to do with a desire for clever marketing. It’s easier to say, “get your carpet steamed cleaned,” than “get your carpets cleaned using the hot water extraction cleaning method.”
Store-bought spot treatment sprays are the same as professional cleaning
False – but as a professional carpet cleaner, you knew I was going to say this! However, still hear me out. While spot treatment sprays can be effective, it is critical that they are used correctly. If they aren’t used correctly, the sprays can leave a sticky residue that will actually attract dirt. Unfortunately, this will lead many to use MORE spray, which only exacerbates the problem. In other words, the spray might provide a short-term solution that leads to a long-term problem. As I noted last month, I prefer a simple DIY carpet cleaning solution that uses items you most likely already have on hand. The bigger issue is that stains need the deep cleaning that only professional equipment can provide. Which brings me to the next issue…
Renting a machine is the same as professional carpet cleaning
False. Again, I’m biased, but you can read my take on carpet cleaning machines and decide for yourself. There is a reason we used specialized equipment that we are trained to use.
Carpet cleaning will cause my carpet to mildew
False – at least if it’s done by a reputable company using professional equipment and trained technicians. Mold and mildew in carpets are caused by excess moisture. This is most likely to happen with inferior equipment or inexperienced operators. Our state-of-the-art equipment is designed to provide the ultimate in cleaning power without over-wetting the area, which is why we have been able to maintain our A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Carpet cleaning companies charge hidden fees for needed services
True – at least for some of the companies that advertise too good to be true specials. This is perhaps one of the most unfortunate and frustrating issues customers face. I can’t tell you the number of times I have talked to a disillusioned customer that had previously tried an “x rooms for $x” special was shocked at the final cost. The problem is that these “specials” often tack on additional charges for service or materials that are needed – i.e., “Would you like them to use cleaning solution? If so, that will be an extra charge…Would you like them to drive to your house? If so, there is a fuel surcharge.” Before asking for pricing, I recommend reading How Much Does Professional Carpet Cleaning Cost? and How to avoid costly mistakes when requesting a free estimate for tips and questions to ask.
All carpet cleaning methods are equally effective
False. While there is a good deal of marketing hype around the various types of cleaning methods, carpet manufacturers recommend the hot water extraction method. As discussed above, the hot water extraction method is not only recommended but required by some carpet manufacturers to maintain your warranty.
Elliott S. Fishman, Co-Owner
Extra Effort Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning, Inc.
About Elliott S. Fishman
Elliott Fishman, along with his son Brian, is the owner and operator of Extra Effort Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning, Inc. We serve the residents and businesses of Greater Cincinnati to include West Chester, Mason, Maineville, Loveland, Wyoming, Fairfield, Indian Hill, Montgomery, Hyde Park and Anderson Township. Elliott started this company in 1984, based on the belief that it takes Extra Effort to make each job a success. The father/son team puts the extra time, extra care, and extra effort into every task they undertake – no matter how large or small the job. Extra Effort’s quality equipment, trained technicians and safe products have made the company a top choice for residential and commercial carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning, water damage / water extraction, fabric protection, odor control and spot removal.