4 Considerations in Traditional versus Green Cleaning

When it comes time to have your carpets cleaned there are many factors to be considered. Choosing out of the dozens of Raleigh-based companies can easily become overwhelming, but before you even begin to narrow them down there is one major decision to make. Do you want a traditional cleaning company or one that utilizes newer, more environmentally friendly methods?

Traditional cleaning methods are tried and true, companies have been perfecting their cleaners and tools are decades. By going this route, you know exactly what you’re paying for and can be reasonably confident in what the results will be. Green companies are newer, and their methods are still being developed. There is a wide variety of cleaners, tools, and methods used. Some companies are certified green, while others advertise such methods without an official certification. There are many factors to consider if you decide to go green. Ultimately, though, the question is which method, traditional or environmentally conscious, will be a better experience for you personally. There are a few benefits and pitfalls to consider for each option when making that decision.

  1. Traditional methods can require lengthy drying time.

The harsh chemicals used in traditional carpet cleaning can be very difficult to remove. Companies must use high-volume hot water to flush them out of the carpet fibers. This deep saturation leads to a long dry time. During that time there is the risk of bacteria growing deep within the fibers, and any movement on the damp carpet will cause it to become dirty again. High quality companies will combat this by bringing industrial fans to set up in the room to speed the drying process, thus saving you from the hassle of avoiding the space and the risk of bacterial growth.


  1. Green solvents can require multiple applications.

Because green companies avoid the use of harsh chemicals, their cleaners are often plant or water based. While they are still highly effective, they do not have the benefit of high powered chemicals doing the heavy lifting. For this reason, they are sometimes most effective on stubborn stains after additional applications. Companies with good customer service will not hide this fact, and will return to your home at no additional cost to make sure the job is finished properly.


  1. Traditional cleaning solutions can have dangerous long and short term effects on the carpet and home.

Carpet cleaning shampoos and detergents utilize strong chemicals such as perchloreothylene and naphthalene to obliterate the stains in your carpet. The lingering fumes from these chemicals can cause dizziness, headaches, and respiratory problems. Coming into contact with them on the carpet can lead to skin irritation in both humans and pets. If the chemicals are not completely removed from the carpet they can leave a sticky residue. This will cause the carpet to become brittle upon drying. It will also attract dirt and lead to the carpet becoming dirty more quickly. A trustworthy company will warn you of these risks and be sure to remove all traces of the chemical-laden cleaners before leaving your home.


  1. Green cleaning companies can use varying definitions of the word.

Professional certifications do exist to prove that a company’s methods and supplies are environmentally safe. But much like the local farmer at a farmer’s market, many small companies cannot afford the process to receive and maintain that certification. That doesn’t necessarily mean that their practices are any less green. When determining whether a company truly meets your standards there are a two important questions you can ask: “What cleaning products do you use?” and “How do you dispose of the cleaning waste once you are finished with my carpets?”. If a company cannot answer these to your satisfaction than it is likely they’re simply using the term “green” as an advertising gimmick.

Both traditional and green carpet cleaning are highly effective, and both come with their own set of risks. What truly determines whether or not you will receive a highly quality cleaning is the caliber of company you hire. Whether you want the tried and true method, or a process less harsh on your home, it is important to pick a company that is trustworthy and committed to high quality customer service. When hiring a company do not be afraid to request industrial fans or inquire about their policy on repeat visits. Make sure to ask how they ensure all chemicals are removed from carpet fibers, or get a good understanding of how committed they are to being green. If a company cannot answer these questions satisfactorily or seems to be hiding something, they are not the kind of company you want to hire. Cleaning methods are an important consideration, but ultimately you need a company you can trust.

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