Educational Information

Kidds Quality Cleaning understands that there are many questions regarding carpet cleaning, due to the amount of myths, misconceptions and misinformation in circulation. This part of our website is dedicated to educating consumers, allowing you to make informed decisions when it comes to your home, your carpet, and even your health.
This page covers:
Traffic Lane Appearance & Wear
Dispelling the Myths
6 Costly Misconceptions About Carpet Cleaning
8 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Carpet Cleaner
The Importance of Value and Price
Can Having Your Carpet Cleaned Help You Breathe Better?
What Allergy and Asthma Sufferers Should Know About Carpet Cleaning
Traffic Lane Appearance & Wear

The beautiful, uniform appearance of a fiber is in direct proportion to the amount of light (and color) reflected back to the viewer's eye.

When the fiber is new, there is maximum light and color reflected.

After carpet is in place for a period of time, fibers become scratched and abraded in traffic areas (as well as soiled). This causes the traffic areas to look darker than the rest of the carpet. In cleaning, the soil is removed but not the abrasion, which is permanent.

When the carpet is wet, the thin coat of moisture causes the carpet to reflect nearly as well as new carpet.

But after the carpet dries, the scratches and abrasions cause the carpet to reflect light unevenly, so the carpet in traffic areas looks different from that in the rest of the home. It can appear darker or lighter, depending on the original color, fiber, weave, etc. Often homeowners will assume that the traffic areas have not been cleaned thoroughly, when in reality the soil has been removed and the remaining change in appearance is permanent.

This abrasion cannot be prevented entirely, but it can be minimized by the following steps:

  1. Place walk off mats inside and outside exterior doors to remove most of the soil from shoes.
  2. Vacuum as often as possible and very thoroughly in high traffic areas. Even if you don't have time to vacuum the entire house, vacuum traffic areas a couple times a week if possible. Take several strokes over each area and vacuum slowly, it takes time for the vacuum to pull soil up the length of the fiber. If you vacuum quickly, you will never get the down deep soil all the way out.
Dispelling the myths

Occasionally we will have a client tell us that they want to wait as long as possible before cleaning their new carpet because they have heard that it will never be the same again. Once it is cleaned, they've heard, it will get dirty much faster. This myth is based in fact... fact that has changed over the years.

The original method used to clean carpet professionally was shampooing. A shampoo with a coconut oil base was scrubbed into the carpet, allowed to dry and then vacuumed out. The problem was that the shampoo could not be removed completely and the residue that remained attracted soil from shoes or pets or whatever walked across it. The carpet was dirty again in no time.

This residue problem has been eliminated with steam cleaning. Because steam cleaning's primary action is to rinse the carpet with very warm water, it is possible to remove any solutions that are used to pre-spray or spot clean. So no residue remains to attract soil, and the carpet does not re-soil more quickly.

If you wait too long to clean new carpet, the abrasive action of collected soil will cause unnecessary wear. Major manufacturers such as Shaw Industries, the largest carpet manufacturer in the world, recommend regular steam cleaning to help extend your carpet's life and keep it fresh and beautiful.
6 Costly Misconceptions About Carpet Cleaning

Misconception #1: You should wait as long as possible before cleaning your carpet.

No. Dirt is an abrasive, like sandpaper. Every time you step on your carpet, you grind dirt into the carpet fibers. This cuts your carpet, just as if you had used a knife. This cutting causes your carpet to wear out faster. A dirty carpet will not last as long as a clean carpet. And while vacuuming helps, by itself it's simply not enough. The longer you wait to have your carpet cleaned, the more damage you do to your carpet and the faster it wears out.

Misconception #2: The only reason to clean carpets is to remove the dirt.

No. As you probably know, outdoor air contains pollens, fungus, bacteria, air pollution, pesticides, cigarette smoke, car exhaust and hundreds of other chemicals. When you come into your home, you carry those pollens, bacteria and chemicals in your hair and on your skin, clothing and shoes. Not surprisingly, all those chemicals and toxins wind up in your carpet.

Misconception #3: One method of carpet cleaning is as good as another.

No. Dry-cleaning methods, which are dry foam, dry chemical and dry compound, do not rinse your carpet in any way. Instead, they leave a dirty residue. You might say they clean your carpet only halfway. The most effective cleaning method is hot water extraction.

Hot water extraction, also called steam cleaning, means a hot water cleaning solution, under high pressure, is forced into your carpet and then extracted from your carpet. Shaw Industries, the world's largest carpet manufacturer, recommends hot water extraction as the primary method of cleaning carpets.

Carpet cleaners use one of two types of hot water extraction. If they use a large unit that operates from a van or truck outside your facility, it's called truck-mount extraction. If they use a unit that can be brought inside, it's called portable extraction. Shaw's first choice is the truck mounted unit, and it recommends the portable unit only in areas where the truck mounted unit won't reach. These are the two methods Kidds Quality Cleaning uses.

Misconception #4: Having the right equipment is all a company needs to clean your carpets properly.

Not true. Many companies own hot water cleaners, but very few companies teach their employees how to use them properly. This is why it's important that you choose your carpet cleaner carefully. The best cleaning companies are those that have been certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, known as the IICRC. Before you choose a carpet cleaner, ask to see written proof of the company's IICRC certification. (Some unethical companies just put IICRC logos in their ads, without ever getting the certification.)

Misconception #5: The company that offers the lowest price is the company you should hire.

No. We've seen so many problems arise from lowest bid companies that we suggest you NEVER hire the company that quotes the cheapest price. The two most common problems are:

  1. The price may not be for services you want performed. The company may be equipped to remove only the dirt from your carpet. But you may want bacteria, fungus, pollens, and tobacco residues removed as well.
  2. The price you see advertised may not be the price you pay. Many homeowners have learned that low price they saw advertised lasted only until the carpet cleaner got into their home. Then they were pressured into paying a lot more for a variety of add-ons. Some carpet cleaners even break the law by using illegal bait and switch tactics.

Misconception #6: Any honest carpet cleaning company should be able to give you an exact price quote over the phone.

We wish this were true, but it isn't.

Honest, reputable carpet cleaning companies almost never price carpet cleaning by the room. Instead, carpet cleaning is usually priced by the square foot. So if you'd like us to tell you the exact cost of cleaning your carpet, we need to know the exact number of square feet that you want cleaned. To get an accurate measurement, we use a measuring wheel to calculate the exact size of the carpet area.

Even though we can't give you an exact quote over the telephone, here are two things we consider when quoting a price.

First, the amount of service you want us to perform. For example, you may want us to move your furniture for you or you may want to move it yourself. Or, you may want to skip the pre vacuuming step and perform that part of the service yourself and save money. You may or may not be interested in fiber protection or our speed drying service. So as you can imagine, every quotation is different.
8 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Carpet Cleaner

MISTAKE #1: Choosing a carpet cleaner based on equipment alone. No question, your carpet cleaner needs first-rate equipment. But he also needs something else. He needs employees who are skilled at operating that equipment. Many companies own hot-water extractors, but very few companies teach their employees how to use them properly. The best way to know that the carpet cleaner's employees have been properly trained is to make sure the cleaner and the technician have been certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). Before you choose a carpet cleaner, ask to see written proof of the company's and the technician's IICRC certification.

MISTAKE #2: Choosing a carpet cleaner based on low price. Low price could be a problem in three ways. (1) Low price can be bait that attracts your phone call. But once the cleaner gets into your home, he pressures you into a much more expensive job. (2) Low price can be for single-process cleaning. Rarely does the consumer know what this means, and when the customer is told, he or she asks for dual-process cleaning instead, which costs much more. (3) Low price means the carpet cleaner has cheap equipment, which will not effectively clean your carpet.

MISTAKE #3: Choosing a carpet cleaner based on a single telephone call. Instead, invite the person to your home and ask for a specific written quotation. Then you'll know exactly what the carpet cleaner recommends – and you won't be the victim of high pressure tactics when the technician steps into your living room.

MISTAKE #4: Choosing a carpet cleaner who doesn't offer a money-back guarantee. In our view, every carpet cleaning company should be fully accountable for its work. And if you aren't pleased with the job in every way, you shouldn't have to pay for it. Period. Not all carpet cleaners offer a guarantee. Or, if they do, the guarantee may be "limited." Ask the carpet cleaner if he offers a money-back guarantee and then make sure the carpet cleaner includes his guarantee with his written quotation.

MISTAKE #5: Choosing a carpet clearer without getting comments from its other clients. Any carpet cleaner can say anything about his past jobs. And, sadly, some of what he says may not be true. Make sure you ask for references or read comments from current customers so you can depend on the carpet cleaner and his work.

MISTAKE #6: Choosing a carpet cleaner who isn't certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). If your carpet cleaner isn't a close friend, you may not know whether he has the knowledge or experience to clean your carpet well. If you want to be sure you're hiring a competent professional, make sure he is IICRC certified. The carpet cleaner must earn that certification through study, experience and the successful completion of a formal, written examination. In effect, cleaners who are certified by the IICRC have earned a college degree in carpet cleaning. Ask to see written credentials for this certification.

MISTAKE #7: Choosing a carpet cleaner who isn't a member of the International Society of Cleaning Technician (ISCT). The ISCT is a trade association of carpet cleaners who are dedicated to: 1. Honest, ethical business practices; 2. Staying current on the latest methods for carpet and upholstery care, cleaning and restoration; and 3. The highest possible level of customer service.

You're making a wise decision when you have your carpets cleaned by a member of the International Society of Cleaning Technicians.

MISTAKE #8: Choosing a carpet cleaner who doesn't use hot water extraction system. You might expect this from us, since our employees and we use this type of system. But there are several good reasons, the most important of which is that this is the method recommended by Shaw Industries, the world's largest manufacturer of carpeting. Who better to know how to maintain a carpet than the people who make carpet?
The Importance of Value and Price

Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.

When you select a carpet cleaner, you'll choose from a wide variety of cleaning methods and prices.

Shaw Industries, the world's largest carpet manufacturer, recommends hot water extraction from a truck-mounted unit, and using a portable unit in areas where the truck-mounted unit won't reach.

If you bought the cheapest carpeting you could find, then renting a small shampooer might be all you need. No question, it will get out some of the dirt – but the key word here is "some." It will not get out many of the pollens, chemicals, bacteria and tobacco smoke residue.

On the other hand, if you bought high quality carpeting – if you want it to look good and give you years of dependable service – than you need to take extra good care of it. This means you need to have it cleaned by a skilled, qualified technician at least every six months to one year, depending on the amount of soiling and foot traffic it receives. And you need to have it cleaned thoroughly and disinfected, as only hot water extraction can do.
Can Having Your Carpet Cleaned Help You Breathe Better?

What Allergy and Asthma Sufferers Should Know About Carpet Cleaning

Until recently, carpet has been blamed for creating a poor environment in the home for allergy and asthma sufferers. But recent research has shown that carpet actually filters the air in your home. It traps airborne pollutants, improving your indoor air quality. That's good news for asthma and allergy sufferers who like carpet in their home.

That also makes it very important to keep the carpet in your home clean. Dirty carpet cannot filter the air as efficiently as clean carpet can. And it is easy to let your carpet become too dirty. That's because modern carpets are designed to hide dirt. In one test, it was found that a square foot of carpet can hold up to seven pounds of soil before it begins to look dirty. That creates a problem for those who have to have the cleanest air possible.

The solution is to have your carpets professionally cleaned on a regular basis. The Environment Protection Agency's guidelines recommend cleaning every six months for households with two persons, and every three to six months if pets are in the home. This frequent cleaning is needed to remove all the dust, dust mites (and their feces), bacteria, pesticides, pollens, pet dander, etc., that have blown in or have been tracked on your carpet.

The best method of carpet cleaning for allergy and asthma sufferers is called hot water extraction (also called steam cleaning). This is the only method that thoroughly rinses your carpet at the end of the cleaning process, leaving no solution or residue or dirt behind.

Because hot water extraction uses water to clean with, and excess moisture can cause a problem for allergy and asthma sufferers, Kidds Quality Cleaning has developed a process called speed drying that is used for clients who need the shortest drying time possible.

And because Asthma and Allergy sufferers may be sensitive to odors, we use our special low odor Baby Safe method, which uses the gentlest, yet very effective, cleaning solutions available.

Please see out Carpet Cleaning Packages for information on our Allergy & Asthma Sufferers' Carpet Cleaning Program.