Dirty carpets can make your entire home look and feel grimy, even when it’s sparkling clean! If concerns about carpet cleaning prices abound, this article will help you decide if you need a professional’s help or if you can do it on your own. If you decide a professional would be better suited for your carpet cleaning needs, we have also included a list of a few carpet-cleaning companies in the San Francisco area.
Why even bother cleaning the carpets?
Aside from aesthetic appeal (giant juice stains, pet stains and black marks from shoes hardly add to the décor), you should clean your carpets for health reasons. This is particularly true if anyone in your home suffers from allergies.
According to Men’s Health, your carpet may contain around 200,000 bacteria per square inch. You read that right! It is actually 4,000 times dirtier than your toilet seat! One reason your carpet gets so nasty is that the average human sheds tons (over a million) skin cells per hour. Those bad boys have to go somewhere, and that’s usually the carpet.
When you factor in food, pet, outside dirt, and pollen, your carpet becomes a bacteria buffet. If that isn’t enough to convince you that your carpets need regular maintenance, consider that your vacuum only pulls up surface dirt and germs, which means E. coli, salmonella and other bacteria can breed deep in the carpet. Every time you walk, roll or play on the carpet, you disturb the surface and bring some of those nasties up top, according to Men’s Health.
Now that we have (hopefully) convinced you that routine cleaning is in order, here are a few other things to keep in mind:
• You need a professional cleaning at least once a year. A professional steam cleaning digs deep into the carpet to remove dirt, grime and bacteria from below the surface.
• Not all carpets are equal. If you tried to save a few bucks by choosing a less expensive carpet, you may pay for it later. Higher end carpets are easier to clean and let go of dirt much easier.
• Rugs need some loving too! Don’t forget your area rugs and bathroom rugs when cleaning. These are usually much easier to clean on your, but larger rugs (and Oriental rugs) may need to be professional steam cleaned.
You can do some of the dirty work yourself
You do not need to call a professional every time you get a stain on your carpet. You can do many eco-friendly options all on your own. Here are a few of our favorite carpet cleaning tricks:
Vinegar is a home’s best friend: If you stock up on anything, make it vinegar. This versatile ingredient is great for cooking and cleaning! For synthetic carpets, mix one cup of white vinegar with two cups of water. If your carpet is natural fiber, use ¼ cup of white vinegar with ¼ cup of water.
Club soda works… sort of: Club soda is widely touted as a good stain remover, and it can be, but you have to know how to use it. For the most effective results, make sure to blot the area with club soda. You can also spray the entire area and let it soak for 10 minutes and then push a clean sponge on the area to soak up the stain.
Once the stain comes up, rinse the carpet with warm water and use paper towels to absorb the remaining moisture.
Shaving Cream: Shaving cream is great in a pinch. If you have a small stain, spray the shaving cream directly onto the stained area. Let the shaving cream set for at least 30 minutes, and then blot it away with a dry cloth. Get better results by spraying a vinegar mixture to the area after you clean off the shaving cream and wipe it away.
No rubbing: One common mistake that makes stains bigger and harder to remove is rubbing the stain. Resist the urge and use a cloth, sponge or paper towel to dab the stain gently. This takes longer but you will save yourself a ton of work.
Use your iron: If you spill wax on your carpet, clean it up in a snap with your iron and a paper grocery bag. Simply place the bag over the wax and heat your iron on low. Run the iron over the bag to melt and soak up the wax.
Get rid of blood: If you cut your finger, or your little one had a bloody nose all over the carpet, do not dismay! Head to the bathroom and grab your hydrogen peroxide. Pour peroxide directly onto the blood (it will bubble) and wipe it away.
What type of professional services should you consider?
Whether you need to schedule your annual steam cleaning or you are dealing with a huge mess, professional services can make the job a snap. Here are a few of the most common carpet cleaning services you might see:
Host Carpet Cleaning: Host carpet cleaning uses a specific compound to pull dirt from the top of your carpet. Typically, the cleaners will pour something that looks a bit like sawdust onto your carpet. The cleaner will then use a machine to agitate the cleaner. This agitator loosens dirt and grime. Then it’s all vacuumed away. While your carpets will dry immediately, it only cleans the surface, so it may not be sufficient for a deep cleaning or pet odors.
Dry Cleaning: This type of carpet cleaning uses an absorbent pad, and ironically is not actually dry. This method uses cleaning solution to break down dirt and germs. Then a buffer machine with the attached sponge moves across the surface of the carpet absorbing the cleaning solution and dirt. This type of cleaning works great on thinner carpets or rugs and has relies on very little water which means faster drying times. However, if you have heavily soiled areas or pet urine in the carpet, this type of cleaning will not help much.
Steam Cleaning: Steam cleaning is the most common residential carpet cleaning solution and in fact, if you have a warranty on your carpet, you may only be allowed to steam clean it or risk voiding your warranty. This type of cleaning involves treatment with carpet soap. Then pressurized hot water and steam is used to remove the cleanser from the carpet. A hose attached to the steam machine removes dirt, germs and the soap.
This method is great for deep cleaning and removing stains and dirt embedded deep into carpet fibers. It does have a longer drying time, but the results are worth it.
Professional Carpet Cleaners in San Francisco:
According to Angie’s List, the average company charges about $51 per room. Some companies charge per square foot. Keep these numbers in mind when choosing your professional company. Here is a list of companies in the San Francisco area that can help with your carpet cleaning needs:
B&G Chem Dry:
Options are key with B&G Chem Dry. This green-certified company offers various cleaning alternatives. In particular, this company utilizes chem-dry, which uses less water in the cleaning process. They specialize in pet odor removal and upholstery cleaning as well. Visit the company page and fill out a brief form for a free quote or call 415.657.0114 for more information.
This San Francisco-based company specializes in cleaning carpets and restoring the look and feel to like-new condition. They offer customized carpet treatments and use non-toxic products to get your carpets clean and healthy. Call 650.697.6190 or visit their website to get an estimate for commercial or residential cleanings.
Chem Dry: The world’s largest carpet cleaning company has several locations in the San Francisco area. They specialize in carpets, furniture, tile, and specialty rugs. They specialize in green cleaning with eco-friendly cleaning products and a process that allows your carpet to dry faster. They can be reached at 866.924.3637. Visit their website to find out if there is a location closer to home.
All Green Carpet Clean: They specialize in cleaning carpets, tiles, rugs and furniture. Certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration, this company uses green technology and products to give your home a great clean without relying on toxic chemicals. Visit their website for a free quote or call them at 866.669.9663.
Sears: Sears uses a special heated cleaning solution to dig deep down into your carpets for dust, dirt and allergens. This deep cleaning leaves them fresh, clean and soft. Each technician is professional trained and background-checked to ensure maximum customer service. To get an estimate call 866.370.0471 or visit their website.
Green Living Planet: It’s all in a name. This company specializes in cleaning with eco-friendly products and technology. They offer deep cleaning as well as spot treatments and commercial services. Call 415.400.5671 for a free price quote or visit their website to learn more about the company.
Dome Cleaning: Dome is unique in that it offers cleaning services for a variety of surfaces including carpets, stone, upholstery, wood flooring, brick and cement. They even offer graffiti removal. You can get a free estimate by calling 415.442.0766 or visit their website for more information about their services.
Bay Area Carpet Master: This business offers a wide range of carpet-cleaning services including Oriental rug cleaning and water damage restoration. They even offer mattress cleaning. You can fill out a short form on their website for a free quote or call them at 415.295.4652.