Carpet Freshener Powders / Cleaners

by on March 15th, 2011
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Using carpet fresheners or similar type powdered products can cause damage to your carpet. In severe cases, it can cause problems with air conditioners, and the homeowner’s health.Since I would never recommend using these type products, let me share some experiences that explain my position.

Over the years, my cleaning company has been called to clean carpets where these products have been over used. When this happens, hours are spent vacuuming the carpet while still not being able to remove all the powder. The powder is like tiny pieces of sand that can scratch the fibers of the carpet and cause the carpet to wear out even faster over time. As you walk on the carpet, some of the powder will become air born and create dust in your house, which can aggravate your allergies.

In a few extreme situations we have heard homeowner’s complain their house is always dusty, they have bad allergy problems, and having to change their HVAC filter every week. After determining the cause being the carpet freshener powder they are using weekly (or more), we are then able to reverse the problem. However, in these extreme cases, it was not a quick fix. The house must be vacuumed thoroughly, which may take hours or even days. A professional vacuum called a “pile lifter” may also be necessary to remove as much powder as possible. Then professionally steam clean the carpets and change the HVAC filters. If the problem still persists in a few days, then the process must be repeated. Since these powders are so fine, they can work themselves through to the backing of the carpet and down to the pad. When this happens, no amount of vacuuming or cleaning will remove the powder.

It is important to remember that whatever you put into your carpet you need to be able to remove it. These powders are so fine that they tend to work their way down below where your vacuum can remove them or enough time is not spent vacuuming them out. A better alternative to these powders is a thorough vacuuming to remove soil that might be causing odor. To vacuum thoroughly you first need to make sure your vacuum is in proper working order, with all the debris removed from the brush / beater bar. Then make sure the bag or soil collection bin is clean. When vacuuming you should vacuum north, south, east, and west. This will ensure that the fibers are moved in all directions so that the soil can be pulled up into the vacuum. Then once every 1-2 years you should have your carpet professionally cleaned by a trained and certified technician.

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