Pristine Carpet Care - Costly Misconceptions
- You should wait as long as possible before cleaning your carpet.
No! No! No! Why not?
Dirt type 1 - Grit. This is an abrasive, just like filling your carpet with sandpaper. Every time you step on your carpet, you grind dirt into the fibres. Ths cuts your carpet just as if you had used a knife. It is this cutting that causes your carpet to wear out faster and a dirty carpet will not last as long as a clean carpet. Regular vacuuming is a must, but by itself is not enough.
Dirt type 2 - Greasy Soil. This comes from airborne soil. From traffic fumes and cooking oils and partly burnt fossil fuels. All this falls into your carpet and vacuuming just won?t shift it.
The longer you wait to get your carpet cleaned, the more damage you will do to your carpet and the quicker it will wear out.
- The only reason to clean your carpet is to remove the dirt.
No again! Why not?
As you will doubtless be aware, the outside air contains car exhaust fumes, cigarette smoke, asphalt, chemicals, dust, germs, pollen, tar, soot and hundreds of other contaminants. Every time you come in you track in all this dirt and pollution from outside. These pollutants get lodged into your carpet just like other dirt and join forces with the little critters that just love to live in your carpet to attack the respiratory systems of your family. Dust mites (and what they leave behind) are thought to cause many allergies. If you suffer from allergies, asthma, emphysema or other respiratory problems, one major cause could be the poor quality of the air in your home. Even if this is not the cause, it will most certainly aggravate your problems.
- One method of cleaning is as good as another.
No! Why not?
Most carpet cleaning processes originate in the USA where 95% of all carpet sold is synthetic. Because of this the cleaning materials used are highly alkaline. However, here in the UK we still have predominantly wool rich carpets, which are totally unsuited to cleaning with such agents. When wool is treated with water there is shrinkage. The higher quality the carpet and/or the hotter the water, the greater the shrink. Most people would never dream of putting their wool suits into a washing machine, your carpet is just as sensitive. The shrinking property in wool is used to produce products as widely varying as blankets and tennis balls. Blankets are made by loosely weaving woolen fibres then treating with hot soapy water, then the surface fibres are brushed to produce the soft fluffy feel we all know and love.
If you then take that woven blanket and subject it to hotter water under pressure, it will become compacted and impervious felt. This is used in a range of industrial applications from tennis ball covers to gaskets and washers through to pads for grinding and polishing diamond - the hardest substance we know.
Understanding the relationship between a blanket and a felt polishing pad should help you to see why letting an unskilled operative loose on your precious woolen carpet, brandishing hot water solution or steam cleaning equipment can be a very bad idea. You are at risk of losing the soft, bouncy feel and turning your floor covering into the sort of compacted, felt-like surface so often encountered in department stores, cinemas and car ferries. It may be clean - but its texture is ruined.
- Having the right equipment is all a company needs to clean carpets properly
No! Why not?
Having the equipment is one part, but all that takes is money. To get the best out of the equipment, especially Hot Water Extraction systems, and more importantly getting the best out of it without damaging the carpets takes a lot of training, practice and experience.
A safer choice is to go for a company that uses Dry Extraction systems to clean your carpet. To get outstanding results still takes skill, but in the worst case, the amount of harm that can be done is minimal as there is no hot water involved.
- The company offering the lowest price is the one you should hire.
No! Why not?
Neil Armstrong, the American astronaut said once ?I only got scared when I realised that everything keeping me up there was provided by the lowest bidder?. In so many cases, taking the lowest bid has proved to be a false economy, either leaving a poor quality job, or worse still, causing damage to expensive carpets. There are two key reasons for avoiding the lowest bidder:
- The price quoted may not be for the service you actually want. See the tricks of the trade section for the full story on companies that offer more than one level of service, you are quoted for the lowest level, then they try to upsell you to the higher level. If you stick to your guns and stay with the original quote you are very likely to get a poor service at best, and at worst a carpet seriously damaged by heat, overwetting or inappropriate chemicals.
- The price you see advertised may not be the price you pay. Many people have learned the hard way that the low price advertised lasted only until the carpet cleaner was in their home. Then, with a scratch of the head and a sharp intake of breath he tells them that the situation is worse than he thought and that if they want the job done right there will be extra services needed at �xx.
- Any honest carpet cleaner should be able to give you an exact price over the phone.
No! Why not?
Carpet cleaning is usually priced by the square metre, so if you want to know the exact cost of cleaning your carpet you will need to know the exact area that you want cleaned. What is also important when preparing a quote is the level of soiling, the heavier the soil, the longer the cleaning time. I would challenge anyone to accurately assess this over the telephone! These are the factors other than size that influence the cost of cleaning your carpet:
- Carpet type Some types are harder to clean
- The amount of soiling Ten years worth of grime will take more time to remove than six months worth
- Moving furniture The more we have to move, the longer it will take. You can save money by doing this bit before we arrive.