Does Your Carpet Feel Crunchy?


A couple of years ago, I put out a blog post attempting to dispel the myth that your carpeting
actually soils more rapidly once it has been professionally cleaned. This myth was at one point based in reality; however as it was referenced, carpet and textile cleaning was in its infancy.

The science behind the chemicals and processes was not fully realized. Not to mention the fact that huge innovations have been made within the carpet manufacturing process along with the groundbreaking fibers they have designed and created over the last 50 years. However, today I would like to elaborate on this topic, because even with the innovations in the cleaning,chemistry and the manufacturing processes...it is still possible for an individual floor cleaning operator to fail miserably, if proper steps and outlined procedures are not followed correctly.

So, if you have ever had to ask yourself why your carpeting seems to be re-soiling more rapidly directly after a professional cleaning...this article just might be for you.

If you are experiencing this phenomenon....than generally speaking, this is an indication of a poorly done carpet cleaning. And I would venture to guess that the underlying symptoms are one of two things:

  1. Your carpeting was “crunchy” to the touch, once it had actually dried.

  2. Your carpeting was probably left sopping wet upon job completion.

Because each of these “symptoms” entails a significant amount of information, I’m actually going to break this topic down into a two part series. So, today, I’m specifically going to address the crunchiness and I’ll follow this up in the near future to discuss moisture...and why it is so bad for your flooring. But first, I would like you to think back to the last time your carpeting was cleaned...how did it actually feel? Was it dry, soft and fluffy afterward? Or was it sopping wet and crunchy once it finally did dry? Could you see (and sometimes hear) each little footprint in the carpet the next day? Herein lies the problem:

Crunchy Carpet

The fact that your carpeting now resembles the bangs of any of Twisted Sister’s band members’ circa 1982, could indicate a few different root causes:

  1. The operator used a very high alkaline cleaning compound, which he failed to properly neutralize.

  2. The allocated concentration of the detergent utilized was far more than was actually needed.

  3. The extraction equipment didn’t properly extract all of the detergent...not to mention the suspended soils left behind.

All 3 are bad news, and all 3 can lead to crunchy carpeting. That “crunchiness” you feel is actually a mixture of a high alkaline soapy, dirty water solution, which hardens as it dries.

Further, as your carpeting is walked upon, this stiffness is broken down into a microscopic powdery residue which clings to carpet fibers, breaks down their stain resistant capability, and attracts any new soil and dirt to those carpet filaments. This wears down new carpet and wears out old carpeting. It always comes back to the education, certification and experience of your operator:

  • If an operator has been properly educated and trained and follows procedures as mandated by the IICRC, than this “crunchiness” scenario could be avoided even when faced with less than powerful equipment.

  • An experienced and certified operator is able to properly identify various carpet fibers. He is keenly aware of which compounds and at which dilution ratios they can be applied on each specific fiber, as well as which fibers might have a propensity to retain and absorb more water.

  • An IICRC carpet cleaning technician would also use a pre-treatment solution which contains a combination of surfactants, alkaline builders and green-rated solvents along with detergent and dispersant polymers which would impart anti-resoiling characteristics. In this industry it always comes down to “who” is actually cleaning your flooring.

When you are deciding whether you want to hire a cheap carpet cleaner, or rent a small extractor from your neighborhood grocery store, you ought to keep these points in mind. When you contract a top-of-the-line professional, like SUDS, LLC here is what you can expect:

  1. Furniture manipulation or removal

  2. Pre-vacuuming of your flooring with an HEPA filtered vacuum removing 99.9% of particles, down to microscopic spores.

  3. Pre-treatment of spots and soiling patterns utilizing an eco-friendly solution to break down oils and staining.

  4. Pre-grooming of your carpeting in heavy traffic patterns to further loosen dirt and oils.

  5. Cleaning and sanitizing with Rotovac 360 with the additive of an emulsifying, extraction acidic rinse to prevent resoiling.

  6. Dry pass extraction of moisture with jets turned off to further pull out suspended soils and remaining moisture.

  7. Hand tool edge cleaning of corners, edges and transition strips

  8. Post-Grooming with a carpet rake to ensure that the pile fiber dries evenly.

  9. High velocity speed drying featuring 2 Studebaker 360 Airpath fans to significantly reduce the dry time.

When it comes to carpet cleaning, we don’t leave anything to chance. We guarantee our work with a 100% “No questions asked...Money Back Guarantee.” Over 100, 5 Star reviews across the web could not be wrong! If your carpeting won’t stay clean, call SUDS. We’ll get it clean and keep it clean, guaranteed.