Blog / Carpet Cleaning: Why Dry Cleaning Ruins Your Carpets
Posted on Wednesday, February 1st, 2017
You might be surprised, even shocked, to learn that dry cleaning your carpets and rugs could be the death of them.
After all, people have been having their carpets (not to mention other household items and clothing) dry cleaned for decades, havenâ€™t they?
Well, like lots of things that began decades ago, more recent discoveries show us that the old way isnâ€™t necessarily the best way.
Sure, dry cleaning your carpets (or your clothes) can give some great results â€¦
â€¦ the first few times.
But after that is when the trouble begins.
You see, dry cleaning carpets relies heavily on the use of detergents. Detergents are great at their job. Their â€śjobâ€ť is to seek out particles of dirt and stick to them like glue. They work their way through the fibres of your carpet, latching onto all the dirt and impurities, which can then be vacuumed out.
The problem is, detergents donâ€™t stop doing their job when the cleaning is done.
Unless you (or your cleaner) remove every trace of detergent post-clean, they will sit unseen in your carpets and continue to attract dirt â€¦ meaning your carpets get dirty quicker than they did before.
And that starts a vicious cycle: your carpets get dirtier sooner, so you have them cleaned more regularly, which means more detergent beds into your carpets â€¦ and so on.
Letâ€™s take a look at the two main types of carpet dry cleaning, and why each one can be potentially harmful to the carpets in your home:
As the name suggests, a detergent-loaded foam â€śshampooâ€ť is applied to the carpet, given time to bond with the dirt and germs, and then hoovered out (despite the term â€śdry carpet cleaningâ€ť, incidentally, all these methods use water in the extraction and rinsing process).
As we described above, this frequently leaves a sticky residue in your carpet that not only deprives it of its â€śshow homeâ€ť lustre but also continues to attract dirt after the clean is finished.
Similar in nature to dry foam carpet cleaning, the â€śdry chemâ€ť process involves the use of a fabric â€ścoverâ€ť which spins over your carpet, absorbing dirt as it goes.
This is an even more abrasive method of cleaning carpets, and is far from ideal for deep cleaning, as the â€ścoverâ€ť cannot work its way deep into the pile of your carpet or rug.
As you can see, both of these methods can deliver some short-term, superficial benefit â€¦ but neither is ideal if you want to get your carpets and rugs truly clean, or preserve their lustre for any length of time.
Did you know: Many carpet cleaning shampoos are actually made of rather ineffective detergents. In order to mask this, they make use of â€śOptical Brightenersâ€ť – chemicals which take invisible ultraviolet light and convert it to visible light, making your carpets appear brighter (and therefore cleaner) than they really are? Not only do these brighteners conceal a poorly done job, they can also eventually give your carpet a yellowish tint which cannot be removed.
Itâ€™s not only in the short term that dry-cleaning carpets can be harmful, either.
More frequent cleaning of your carpets also contributes to shortening their lifespan â€¦ so youâ€™re faced with a potentially costly replacement bill much sooner than you need be.
But donâ€™t worry â€¦ there is good news!
Professional carpet cleaning companies like MyHome have realised the shortcomings of dry cleaning, so we have worked to develop alternative methods that really can restore your carpets and rugs to show home condition, without leaving them feeling harsh or in more regular need of cleaning.
The latest evolution of the process is what we call encapsulation dry cleaning.
Encapsulation dry cleaning works in a similar way to traditional dry cleaning, but with a key difference. Rather than the detergents simply being vacuumed out of your carpets and rugs (or rather, nearly vacuumed out!) they are combined with newly-developed crystal polymers that chemically bind to the detergent (and the dirt it attracts) and â€śencapsulateâ€ť them.
This means that every trace of detergent can be removed with vacuuming â€¦ meaning no sticky residues, no harsh-feeling fibres and no rapid re-soiling!
You can discover more about encapsulation dry cleaning here, and if you wish to restore the full lustre, comfort and cleanliness of your carpets and rugs (as well as leaving your home more hygienic for your family and loved ones) then we recommend that you read about our unique 6-step Dry-Touch carpet cleaning system here.