Jan 27, 2014

Carpet Manufacturers: Hot-water extraction best choice to clean carpet, but not the only one

About a year ago a customer tried to convince me the best spot chemical for removing stains on carpet is "stainless steel cleaner." I of course (in a professional manner) questioned that tactic. Then without permission or warning he proceeded to "pre-treat" the stains on the wool rug I was cleaning for him with said cleaner. I assume this was an attempt to prove me wrong. I guess 13 years of experience, countless certifications and thousands of hours of classroom training just wasn't quite enough to convince him. But as a maintenance employee at a local casino, he felt he had the answers.


Do not use stainless steel cleaner to clean carpet

This illustrates the misinformation out there about properly maintaining carpet and rugs. There are probably a few home remedies out there that might do the trick in a pinch if you’re just trying to quickly remove a spot, but this article is not about spotting stains; it’s about choosing a carpet cleaning method provided by a professional carpet cleaning company. 

Carpet can be the biggest investment in your home, and if you want to protect that investment you need to maintain it, much like changing the oil in your car. If a car manufacturer states the oil needs to be changed every 3,000 miles, and you change the oil every 6,000 miles, you should not expect your vehicle to run very well...and for very long. 

The major carpet manufacturers like DuPont and Shaw tell us we should have our carpets professionally cleaned every 12 to 18 months. So if you wait 5 years to clean your carpet, that’s like changing the oil in your car every 10,000 miles instead of 3,000. The damage done by improper maintenance can be permanent. That’s why there are maintenance guidelines in the first place. If you don’t follow maintenance guidelines, don’t be upset with the service provider when they cannot reverse permanent damage.

The debate about what is the superior carpet cleaning method has been an exhausting dialogue over the years. If you’re a professional and have taken certification courses, you know that every carpet cleaning method has its place. But as a homeowner and a consumer, you want a deep restoration cleaning, not a maintenance or surface cleaning.

So I decided the best solution would be to ask the carpet manufacturers themselves instead of asking a professional carpet cleaner (or consumer).

Below is a list of the top 20 carpet manufacturers in the US with all their contact information (feel free to contact them yourselves to verify).
This includes the top dog of them all: Shaw Industries . Shaw sells almost $5 billion (yes, with a "B") worth of carpet annually. Most of the carpet they sell requires a professional "steam" cleaning every 12 to 18 months to maintain a valid warranty. Don’t take this article as a legal document; I recommend you read your warranty yourself because they are all different. 

You'll see that every manufacturer endorses "hot-water extraction." Some manufacturers also recommend "dry compound." Dry compound is a very non-intrusive type of cleaning typically performed with a CRB (counter-rotating brush) machine. You'll often see this type of cleaning in commercial buildings for preventative maintenance cleaning.

Atlas Carpet Mills
Phone: 800-372-6274
Deep Cleaning Method: Hot Water Extraction

Barrett Carpet Mills
Phone: 800-241-4064
Deep Cleaning Method: Hot Water Extraction

Beaulieu Group, LLC
Phone: 800-227-7211
Deep Cleaning Method: Hot Water Extraction

Bloomsburg Carpet Industries, Inc.
Phone: 800-233-8773
Deep Cleaning Method: Dry Compound Extraction/Hot Water Extraction

Burtco Enterprises, Inc.
Phone: 800-241-4019
Deep Cleaning Method: Hot Water Extraction
Carpets America, Inc.
Phone: 800-433-2440
Deep Cleaning Method: Hot Water Extraction
Recommended Service Providers: IICRC Certified Firms and Technicians

Creston Carpet Mills LLC
Phone: 800-899-7776
Website: N/A
Deep Cleaning Method: Hot Water Extraction

Fortune Contract, Inc.
Phone: 800-359-4508
Deep Cleaning Method: Hot Water Extraction

Interface, Inc.
Phone: 800-336-0225
Deep Cleaning Method: Dry Compound Extraction/Hot Water Extraction
J & J Industries, Inc.
Phone: 800-241-4585
Deep Cleaning Method: Hot Water Extraction
Recommended Service Providers: IICRC Certified Firms and Technicians

Langhorne Carpet Company, Inc.
Phone: 215-757-5155
Deep Cleaning Method: Hot Water Extraction

Mannington Carpets, Inc.
Phone: 800-241-2262
Deep Cleaning Method: Hot Water Extraction

Mohawk Industries, Inc.
Phone: 800-622-6227
Deep Cleaning Method: Hot Water Extraction

Monticello Carpet Mills
Phone: 866-287-7847
Website: N/A
Deep Cleaning Method: Hot Water Extraction/Bonnet Cleaning

Royalty Carpet Mills, Inc.
Phone: 800-854-8331
Deep Cleaning Method: Hot Water Extraction

Shaw Industries, Inc.
Phone: 800-441-7429
Deep Cleaning Method: Hot Water Extraction
Recommended Service Providers: IICRC Certified Firms and Technicians








Some manufacturers simply point to the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) for carpet cleaning guidelines and cleaning methods. You can also check out the IICRC (Institue of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) for some great information and also to find an IICRC technician or certified company.
As far as the wool rug my customer used stainless steel cleaner on, he called me a few days later to tell me to never use that on carpet—as if I had actually taken his advice.