We’ve been cleaning carpets for a long time at Alameda. Over the years we have heard a lot of different thoughts and beliefs about carpet cleaning. Here are a few of the misconceptions that we hear over and over.


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

No! Dirt is abrasive – not unlike 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. 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! You probably know that outdoor air contains pollens, fungus, bacteria, air pollution, 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. If you have allergies, asthma, emphysema, or other breathing problems, one major source of your problem could be the pollens, fungus, smoke, and chemicals in your carpet. Your carpets and upholstery become deposits for these pollutants.


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

No! The dry cleaning methods are dry foam, dry chemicals, and dry compound which 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 means a hot water cleaning solution, under high pressure, is forced into your carpet and then sucked out of your carpet. Shaw Industries, the world’s largest carpet manufacturer, recommends Hot Water Extraction as the primary method of cleaning carpets, along with an IICRC approved firm. 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. Shaw’s first choice is the truck-mounted unit, and it recommends the small, portable unit only in areas where the truck-mounted unit won’t reach. Truck-mounted extraction cleans much better because it heats the water to a higher temperature, which breaks up the dirt, bacteria, chemicals, and pollens in the carpet. Then, the machine uses high-powered suction to draw the dirt and chemicals out of your carpet. This is the method that Alameda Carpet & Upholstery Cleaners 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 few companies teach their employees how to use them properly.

This is why it’s essential that you choose your carpet cleaner carefully. The best cleaning companies are those that have been trained and certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, known as the IICRC. The technician who is doing the job must be IICRC trained. If not – do not use them!

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

No! I’ve seen so many problems arise from lowest-bid companies that I suggest you NEVER hire the company that quotes the lowest price. The two most common issues are:

(1) The price may not be for the services that you want performed. There is a reason why they are cheap! The company may be equipped to remove only the dirt from your carpet, but you may want bacteria, fungus, pollens, dust mites and tobacco residues removed as well.

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

(2) The price you see advertised may not be the price you pay. Many homeowners have learned that the 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 and usually end up charging more than a reputable company.)

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

I wish this was 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 me to tell you the exact cost of cleaning your carpet, I need to know the exact number of square feet that you want to be cleaned. To get an accurate measurement, I use a measuring wheel to calculate the exact size of the carpet area.


 We hope that you learned something from these 6 misconceptions, if you have more questions about carpet cleaning please contact one of our local professionals here in Portland, we would love to help you understand what we do.

Office & Rug Plant

Alameda Carpet &
Upholstery Cleaners
1100 NE 21st Ave, Suite B
Portland, OR 97232

Office Hours

Mon-Fri: 9-5

After hours drop-off/pick-up:
Tues/Thurs by appt.