Carpet Cleaning: What You Should Know as a Homeowner


Becoming a homeowner comes with a whole host of responsibilities, many of which involve the maintenance and upkeep of your home. Not only do keeping up with these responsibilities help make living in your home more enjoyable, but they also maintain the value of your home if you plan on selling it in the future.

Flooring is a big factor in a home’s value, and most homes have anywhere from a portion to the large majority of their home’s floor covered in carpet. That means that from time to time, carpet cleaning is must to keep your home looking clean and also just as important, maintaining its value.

When it comes down to it, all carpet cleaning methods are not created equal. As a cost-conscious homeowner, it may be tempting to opt for the carpet cleaning offers that come at the lowest prices. In the end, what really matters is not just the cost of the cleaning, but how effective that cleaning will be in the long run. To know this, it’s important to have a good idea of what types of carpet cleaning are available, and which methods work best for your lifestyle and the type of carpet that is in your home.

Here is a brief overview of some of the most common carpet cleaning methods available:

Carpet shampoos: While this method was once the standard, other methods have recently taken its place as the most common and recommended method for effective carpet cleaning. A carpet shampoo is applied to the rug or carpet, agitated, left to dry, and then vacuumed up once dry. This method has shown to be less effective than others because many of the dirt and soap molecules from the shampoo are left behind even after extraction, causing the carpets to look dirty soon after they are ‘cleaned’.

Dry cleaning: With this method, a dry product is sprinkled over the carpet, which essentially acts as a magnet to dirt particles. The product is then vacuumed up, removing dirt and soil that was once in the carpet. Many consumers like this method due to the fact that dry times are not required.

The bonnet method: Unless you have industrial carpets in your home, this method is probably not your best choice. While it’s extremely effective in removing dirt and stains with minimal water, it has the potential to damage carpet fibers, causing “fuzz” with carpets that have somewhat of a pile.

Steam cleaning/extraction: This method is probably one of the most common for homeowners and is also one of the most effective. Using powerful machinery, a mixture of hot water and detergent is forced through the carpet fibers and then extracted, removing dirt particles with it. Because the forced extraction of the water removes the majority of the soap and dirt particles, carpets cleaned with this method tend to stay cleaner longer.

Things to consider when choosing a carpet cleaning method:

The best type of carpet cleaning method for your home depends on lifestyle and surroundings as well. If you live in a humid climate, cleaning methods that leave water residue behind and require 1-2 days of drying time could be problematic. In humid climates, this could lead to mildew in the carpets or pads beneath the carpet.

It’s also a good idea to consider the current state of your carpets. Rugs that are extremely soiled in more than just spot areas should probably be treated with heavy duty cleaning methods for carpet stain removal. If your carpets only have a few areas that would need heavy treatment, you may be able to consider less involved methods. Also keep in mind the pile of your carpets – high pile carpets are best served by the steam cleaning/extraction method, as it provides the best opportunity for the cleaning detergent to reach the entire depth of the carpet rather than just the surface.

Make note if anyone in your home has sensitivities to cleaning chemicals and smells. Certain carpet cleaning methods use strong cleaning detergents that, depending on their chemical makeup, could cause problems with individuals who have chemical sensitivities.

But most importantly, make sure to consult with more than just one carpet cleaning company before deciding on the best method for your home. Make sure they explain their products and methods first and get sure to get a professional appraisal for the cost per square foot of your carpet.


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