Cleaning carpet with sponge

We run a vacuum store and repair center, so we like to think we know a thing or two about carpet care. We spend a lot of time talking to our customers about how to properly clean and maintain the carpet in their homes, so we figured it was time to write another blog post about it.

Some carpet care myths are pervasive, and we don’t know where they originated. In the interest of helping you keep a cleaner, more beautiful home, we’ve put together a list of six commonly-believed carpet cleaning myths.

We’re including the truth, too, of course. We want you to get the upper hand when it comes to keeping a clean carpet.

Myth #1: Suction Completely Cleans Carpets

Many people believe their vacuum cleaner’s magnificent level of suction is enough to fully clean their carpet.

Dwight Schrute False

This is false.

You might think moving back and forth over the same soiled spot on your carpet a few times gets the dirt out. The truth is, if you only do a couple of passes, you haven’t even started.

Vacuuming over the same spot in a different direction (not just back and forth) can help a little bit, but you really need to pass over each part of your carpet more times.

For a lightly soiled area, pass your vacuum cleaner over the carpet three to four times. For a heavily soiled area, use five to seven passes.

People just vacuum their carpet as quickly as they can and assume it’s good to go– but it’s not that easy.

Even if you do enough passes over your carpet, you’re still only getting what your vacuum cleaner is capable of sucking up. For a fully clean carpet, you need greater agitation and deep cleaning methods.

Myth #2: All Spot Removers are the Same

Are all spot removers the same, as many people seem to think?

They are not. Not even close. All spot removers are not created equal.

Different spot cleaners work on different kinds of spots. You’ll need a different spot cleaner for spilled fruit juice as opposed to grease or oil. The issue is, many people seem to think “a spot is a spot.”

You have to use different products for different spots, which requires some research. If you aren’t satisfied with the answers you’re getting from a Google search, we’re happy to help. Just call us or come into any of our stores, and we’ll be glad to point you in the right direction.

Myth #3: I Can’t See Any Dirt in My Carpet, So It’s All Gone

This is also false. Just because you picked up all the dirt you can visibly see, doesn’t mean your vacuum cleaner got all the dirt that hides below the surface.

Even a low-grade vacuum cleaner will help make your carpet cleaner, but it won’t get all the dirt you never see. There’s still plenty of dirt deep within your carpet.

To solve this problem, you either need to deep clean regularly, or buy a vacuum machine that’s capable of deep cleaning. It needs to be in good working order, too.

Something like the Riccar Radiance will do wonders.

Myth #4: Shampooing Removes More Dirt than Vacuuming

You might think shampooing your carpet gets out more dirt than vacuuming.

This is false. Surprising, right?

If you’re relying on a shampooer to deep clean your carpet, you probably need a new vacuum cleaner.

Shampooers are meant to remove the soiling film that discolors your carpet. They’re not meant for deep cleaning. Instead, they work well for keeping your carpet looking new and protecting it from distracting stains. Shampooers also help restore color to high-traffic areas.

Even when you shampoo, you should get your vacuum cleaner out on a regular basis. Shampooing is for discoloration; vacuuming is for cleaning.

Even with both a shampooer and a regular vacuum cleaner in place, deep cleaning is still necessary.

Myth #5: I Never Need to Professionally Clean my Carpet

When was the last time you had your carpet professionally cleaned? If you answered “never,” you might not think professional carpet cleaning is necessary.

This is false.

You should have your carpet professionally cleaned at least once a year. Twice is better.

The Huffington Post shares some insight:

“We like to think we can keep our carpets clean on our own, thank you very much. We just need to vacuum every month or so and blot when there’s a stain… right?

Wrong. What you’re likely forgetting (or, if you’re like us, what you never knew) is that almost all carpet companies require you to professionally steam clean your carpet every 12 to 24 months, to keep your warranty valid.

In other words, vacuuming is not enough. Neither is steaming carpets yourself. Professional steaming is, like it or not, legally the only way to protect your carpet in most cases. And it’s also a way to protect your health.”

Professional cleaning will remove the dirt and other junk your regular vacuum cleaner won’t, and does what shampooing cannot.

Even if you rent a steam cleaner from time to time, you still need your carpets cleaned professionally. A rental steam cleaner just can’t do the same job– it only cleans the surface.

Professional cleaning makes for a cleaner home, a protected warranty, and a healthier family.

Myth #6: Vacuuming 1-2 Times Per Week is Plenty

We know you’re busy, so vacuuming even once per week is sometimes difficult. When you accomplish it, you might feel like you’ve done more than enough to clean your carpets.

According to most carpet and vacuum cleaner manufacturers, though, it’s not enough.

The manufacturers recommend vacuuming daily to keep your carpet at peak cleanliness.

Obviously, this isn’t realistic for everyone’s schedule. But when you know how much your carpet manufacturer recommends, it might help you vacuum more often.

You have to find a routine that works with your busy life, but remember– vacuuming more often is better for the health of your home.


Have you heard any other carpet care myths you’re unsure about? As a vacuum store and repair shop, we’re happy to answer any and all questions.

We want to help you keep your carpet clean and healthy, and make sure it lasts for years to come. Let us know if you need anything.

For the love of vacuums!

Jones Sew & Vac Team