Most of us, as long as they’re vacuumed and given the occasional shampooing, take our carpets for granted. However, ignoring what’s under your feet can lead to harmful and expensive repercussions for your carpet. To help retain the look and longevity of the carpet, we’re busting some of the commonest myths.

 ‘My carpet is only a year old, I don’t need to have it cleaned yet’ 

One of the most commonly held beliefs about carpets is that, unless they actually look dirty and have been down for several years, you don’t need to clean them. Unfortunately, however, by that time, your carpet is showing the effects of dirt, dust, and other debris, the carpet fibres may already be damaged. 

Microscopic bits of dirt and grit can get caught in the carpet’s pile, and with feet constantly moving those particles around, over time the fibres can break down. 

Regular visits from a professional and reliable carpet cleaning company will eliminate this problem. 

‘Surely I can just rent a machine myself?’

Many supermarkets and DIY stores sell or rent machines to clean carpets. This might seem like  a quick and easy solution; however, these machines can cause a lot of damage. They use a large amount of water which soaks down to the base of the fibres, but are not powerful enough to suck it all back out again. 

Not only does mean that your carpet takes much longer to dry, but as a result of ongoing dampness as it dries, mold and mildew can gain a foothold

In addition to the damage caused by the rental machines, many stain removers that are sold alongside them can actually bleach the colour out of your carpet, and are full of potentially harmful chemicals – harmful to both your family and pets, and the environment. 

‘A sprinkle-on carpet deodoriser will clean my carpet, won’t it?’ 

Actually no, they won’t. 

These commonly sold products can be yet another disaster for your carpets. Often containing insoluble talcum powder, every time you vacuum, some is inevitably left behind.

This accumulates at the base of the carpet fibres, and eventually a solid mass of talc is formed. This encourages mould spores, bacteria and even insects to develop, exacerbating any allergies and generally producing an unhealthy environment. 

If that isn’t off putting enough, when you next use a carpet shampoo, the powder and water mix and form a paste deep down in the fibres. When this dries, it can leave stubborn and very obvious white marks on the surface of the carpet. 

‘Spots and stains are the same thing, aren’t they?’ 

Carpet spots and stains are actually very different. Spots tend to be the result of a spill or mark on the carpet, such as food, drink or heavy traffic. Stains on the other hand are spills that can do damage or change the carpet structure in one way or another. Red wine, for example, when spilled, bonds to the fibres, making them sticky and stained. 

‘Scrubbing the carpet gets rid of marks, stains and spots’

It’s usually a first reaction to scrub away at any dirty stains on fabric, which often removes the marks, however carpets are different because of the pile. Scrubbing merely pushes the stains deeper into the fibres.

What you need to do is carefully blot the dirt from the surface. Using a solution of water and dishwashing liquid or washing machine detergent, spray the mix onto the stain, and dab or blot it away with a paper towel or rag. 

‘It doesn’t matter if I don’t clean a stain immediately, does it?’

The moment you see a hint of a stain or dirt on your carpet, take care of it immediately. Letting a stain sit there for hours will damage the carpet, be harder to remove and potentially create an unwanted odor.

Hopefully, this has cleaned up some of those myths around carpet cleaning. 

For more information, please contact Clean That Carpet.