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Is Regular Carpet Cleaning Damaging to Residential Rugs and Flooring?

April 17, 2020

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As a homeowner, it’s vital that you schedule regular carpet cleaning by a floor care specialist near you. Professional rug cleaning ensures a pristine and hygienic surface along a home’s flooring and also enhances indoor air quality! However, many homeowners wonder if regular carpet cleaning damages residential rugs and floors or encourages mold and mildew growth underneath carpeting.

Do-it-yourself carpet cleaning often leaves behind sticky shampoo residues or excess rinse water, increasing the risk of mold and mildew growth and a carpet trapping more dirt than before cleaning. However, professional carpet cleaning actually increases the expected lifespan of carpets and keeps them looking like new for far longer than if you neglected rug cleaning.

To ensure you keep your home’s surfaces, including flooring, in excellent condition and as clean as possible, you might note some important details of carpet cleaning, tile and grout cleaning, and other floor cleaning processes. Discuss your choices and options for your home with a floor cleaning company near you, and remember that regular cleaning is an investment in your home’s overall condition and appearance as well as its value!

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Is Regular Carpet Cleaning Damaging to Flooring?

Note a few reasons why homeowners often mistakenly assume that professional carpet cleaning damages rugs, and why it’s best to avoid DIY rug cleaning, wood floor refinishing, and tile and grout cleaning for your home.

  • First consider that carpet fibers as well as pits and pores in tile and grout hold layers of dirt, dust, mud, and other residues, trapping and locking this debris too deeply for household vacuums and mops to reach and remove. Even a heavy-duty vacuum and high-quality scrub brushes are insufficient for cleaning away caked on dirt and mud.
  • Over time, layers of dirt and residues cause carpet fibers to become matted down and threadbare, leading to an old and worn look. Tile and grout also tends to look gray and dull even after a thorough mopping.
  • Without regular, professional cleaning, built-up dirt might outright ruin carpet fibers and become so ground in along tile surfaces that your floors need replacing, not just cleaning.
  • Professional carpet cleaning typically includes steaming, which loosens fibers and unlocked trapped dirt and dust while also softening mud and other solid debris. It’s then easier to extract layers of dirt and debris even from the lowest areas of a home’s carpeting and from all those pits and pores of tile and grout.
  • Steaming also kills growing mold and mildew even from underneath carpeting and along its underlying padding.
  • While steam cleaning involves hot water extraction, a professional ensures all excess water is removed so that carpets are not overly damp after cleaning.
  • A professional floor cleaner might use a high-quality scrub brush, also loosening dirt and pulling up matted carpet fibers. This also means less need for rinsing and extraction.
  • Dry cleaning solutions are also an excellent choice for carpet shampooing, using foam, powders, and other such materials. These cleansers need less fresh water for rinsing and extraction, also keeping carpets dry and reducing the risk of eventual mold or mildew growth.
  • DIY carpet cleaning is different than professional cleaning! A homeowner might not extract all excess steam and rinse water, increasing the risk of mold and mildew growth underneath carpet padding.
  • Homeowners also tend to use far too much shampoo on residential carpeting, making it difficult to remove all traces of that cleanser. Residual shampoo leaves behind a sticky residue, attracting more dirt and dust than before.
  • Heavy brushes especially when used incorrectly might mat down carpet fibers rather than fluff them up, leading to a dull and damaged look.

It’s also vital to remember that not all residential carpets and rugs are manufactured with the same materials and processes! Delicate silk fibers might require a lighter cleaning method than durable wool, cotton, nylon, or polyester, while tall nap and closed loop fibers might need a heavier cleaner method to extract trapped dirt and dust.

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What Is the Best Carpet Cleaning Method?

Homeowners often don’t realize that there are many carpet cleaning methods available today, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. If you haven’t scheduled professional rug cleaning in many years, you might consider some details about these methods so you know what to discuss with a floor cleaning contractor near you.

  • Steam cleaning is quickly becoming a favorite carpet cleaning method as it doesn’t create bothersome shampoo smells or use irritating chemicals. Steam also “fluffs up” carpet fibers and kills mold and mildew, for a clean carpet that looks like new.
  • Carpet shampooing is not always recommended as shampoos create bothersome odors and need lots of rinsing and extracting. However, thick dirt and especially oily or greasy stains might necessitate shampooing, to remove that ground-in debris.
  • Bonnet cleaning provides lightweight cleaning for surface areas. A wand with a specialty towel or bonnet applies detergent over a carpet and then another clean bonnet removes this shampoo along with trapped dirt and debris. If you need a quick surface clean, such as for an upcoming event or to remove some dirt between heavy-duty carpet cleaning, consider bonnet cleaning.
  • Dry cleaning and foam cleaning are excellent choices for humid areas, where steam cleaning might not allow carpets to dry thoroughly. However, these carpet cleaning methods also don’t reach to underlying padding where mold and mildew form. If you notice a mildew smell in your home, you might choose steam cleaning to kill growing mold, mildew, algae, and other such contaminants.

Why Choose Tile and Grout Cleaning With Carpet Cleaning

Even homeowners who schedule regular carpet cleaning tend to neglect tile and grout cleaning as well! Some homeowners might assume that carpets hold more dirt and debris than tile, and some tile materials are very dense and resistant to built up dirt and grime, but note that many floor tiles and surrounding grout trap and hold lots of residues. Many floor tiles have lots of pits and pores along their surfaces and grout also tends to get pitted over the years; dirt settles into these pits and becomes too ground-in for a mop to reach!

Kitchen and bathroom floors are also prone to holding germs, bacteria, and other such materials. Food debris and airborne grease work their way into kitchen floor tiles while dirty feet and laundry on the bathroom floor transfer germs and bacteria as well. A household mop and over-the-counter cleansers might remove some surface dirt but these cleaning methods are often insufficient for providing a deep clean and hygienic surfaces.

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Professional tile and grout cleaning often starts with a thorough steam clean, loosening dirt and grime from all those pits and pores. In some cases, a floor cleaning contractor might also recommend applying a cleanser before all that dirt and grime is extracted and floors are rinsed clean. Homeowners are often surprised at their floor’s appearance after a professional tile and grout cleaning, while those surfaces are also clean and hygienic.

How Often Do Carpets Need Cleaning?

A homeowner might schedule regular carpet cleaning every other year, or more often as needed. For example, if you have children or pets or entertain often, your home’s floors might see lots of added dirt and grime and need annual cleaning, if not shampooing twice per year!

Your everyday habits might also affect your floor’s cleanliness. Cooking with lots of grease on the stovetop often means airborne grease and oil that gets trapped in carpet fibers, making them dirty and matted. If you eat in the living room or bedroom, or smoke anywhere in the house, your home’s carpets are probably holding lots of food residues, cigarette smoke and ash, and other such residues, and need cleaning on a more consistent basis than average.

Homes in the tropics and areas prone to high humidity might also suffer from mold and mildew growth underneath carpet padding. Steam cleaning kills mold and mildew, as said, and you might consider scheduling steam cleaning every year or as needed to ensure a clean and hygienic interior environment.

How to Clean Water Damaged Rugs

Cleaning water damaged rugs is different than standard steam cleaning, as floodwaters often bring lots of germs, bacteria, and toxins. A water damaged rug needs proper sanitizing to remove these residues and ensure a safe surface and interior environment.

Thorough water extraction is often the first step in cleaning water damaged rugs. Extraction removes standing water and trapped toxins and other debris. Wall-to-wall carpets are often pulled up so a carpet cleaning professional can clean the carpet padding and a home’s subfloor as needed.

Steam cleaning and then sanitizing, often with dry cleaning chemicals, are next for water damaged carpets. Proper extraction ensures all debris is removed with that steam while cleaning chemicals kills any remaining germs and bacteria. A final odor neutralizing keeps carpets smelling fresh.

As with all carpet cleaning, restoring water damaged rugs and ensuring proper sanitizing is an investment in your home. Carpet shampooing keeps rugs from becoming overly matted with dirt and filth and ensures they look their best for years to come, reducing the need to replace your home’s carpets over time.

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