As a San Diego owner operator carpet cleaner I have always protected myself from the industry chemicals. Yeah, sure, I’m a rebel when it comes to B.S. At the get go when I started I was indoctrinated to all the recommended sells and chemicals. Unfortunately I’m not a follower. When it came to Carpet Protectant in San Diego I did exhaustive research.
Now, this will agitate many carpet cleaners that can’t or won’t think for themselves and are just money motivated. I mean, who cares right? The industry pushes it, sell it, stick to their script, make money and it’s not your fault, right? Well, the problem is that I know what I know and I have to share that with a client, let them decide and then expose myself to the product.
Are the benefits true and accurate with these carpet protection products? In 25 years my opinion has been the same – not very. I won’t go into all the technical issues of what it is supposed to do but keep it simple. First, let me say that I used to sell the Green version of it thinking it was safer but quickly discovered it wasn’t very Green or safe. The advertisement & marketing write up really sold to my clients but when I realized it was B.S. I quit.
So, there are absorbant carpet fibers, not so absorbant fibers and non-absorbant fibers. In order for a carpet protector to work it needs to absorb and anchor to each fiber. Here is what the industry won’t tell you or carpet cleaners – It won’t anchor to carpet fiber that it can’t absorb into. They would say “define anchor”. Listen, if it dries on a plastic carpet fiber, it may anchor very temporarily but quickly peels of as walked on and vacuumed! Common sense. The carpet protector is supposed to be designed to stay for a significant time between cleanings. In my opinion it never does.
In my opinion and experience it has never lived up to customer or my expectations. My experience is that the solvent based carpet protectors are the only ones that live up partially to what they claim. Solvent based protection products are expensive compared to the water base products that most cleaners sell. You won’t pay for the better solvent based.
My base are clients and customers that demand Green carpet cleaning. My definition of Green is true not fake. The ingredients have to pass my high safe and non-toxic definitions. Many natural things are not Human Safe, many Green products contain 1 or 2 Green items and the rest of harsh chemicals, that is not true Green, in my opinion.
So, if I’m cleaning Green with the goal to leave True no Residues in your carpet, why would I introduce a carpet protector of not so good chemicals that are mostly carcinogenic? On top of that, leave that chemical in your carpet that has a residue that may peel off for you to breathe or for your feet to absorb into your blood stream? Now I’m upsetting some carpet cleaners easy bread and butter extra sells.
I personally do not recommend it 95% of the time, those that request it I do my best to talk them out of it by educating them. When I do recommend it I lay it all out there to them first and let you decide. My most recommended areas have been on nylon carpet stair noses or nylon transition areas to and from hard floors.
Does it really help with stains? In my opinion only somewhat. It has given many a feeling of security and they usually leave spills rather than clean them up ASAP. The carpet protectant is designed to give you time to clean it up, not leave it. It is also designed to keep soil from staining the fibers in traffic lanes and protect the fibers from wear. In my experience from pre 911 when clients had their carpets cleaned periodically like every 4-6 months it worked great. Not today with annual and longer cleaning plans, in my experience it needs to be applied periodically.
Your greatest defence that I always preach is: vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. Your best weapon is constant vacuuming those daily traffic lanes. I vacuum daily. Why? Your biggest threat is particulate soil like grit and sand. No carpet protectant defends against this. In San Diego it’s all about sandy soil. Scratch those carpet fibers and the carpet is toast. Oily traffic lanes from bare feet will attract & hold the scratching grit, so break out that vacuum.
Consider your carpet fiber just like what is exactly like: transparent fishing line. It’s invisible in the water because the light can pass through it. Once it is scratched, the light us blocked and it’s no longer transparent. The carpet turns gray in those areas leading you to believe your carpet cleaner didnt clean it very well. Take a plastic water bottle (same product used on cheap carpets) and scratch it up with sand paper.
Bottom line is that the extra sell of a carpet protectant needs to come with proper information to the customer. The thing that turned me off was visiting a client after they requested it and applied it was that they were very unhappy with it. This was simply because they heard it worked great but did not need to my information.
Before you consider it do your own research on it. You can also buy it and do some testing for yourself. The biggest thing is to research each ingredient for yourself. Now, if you have a polyester or polypropylene (olefin) carpet, ask yourself how this product will adhere, stay adhered to plastic fibers?
If you are considering carpet cleaning in San Diego or carpet repairs, give us a call at 619 990-3541. Click for prices