Help! Carpet Turned Crunchy After Cleaning

Homeowners love carpeting because of its soft, comfy texture. Sometimes we receive phone calls from unhappy homeowners complaining about crunchy, stiff carpet after having their carpets cleaned by a less-than-reputable carpet cleaning company or after renting do-it-yourself carpet cleaning machines. There are several reasons why carpet fibers harden and clump. Here are the details.

Improper Cleaning Methods

When a carpet is cleaned too quickly, water, soap, and dirt are extracted from the surface only. As the carpet dries, the remaining residue wicks up through the carpet fibers and the moisture dissipates, leaving behind dirt and soap particles.

Improper Cleaning Products

Carpet cleaning technicians encounter a variety of stains and cleaning problems on a variety of carpet types. Selecting the appropriate cleaning products with the appropriate pH levels is important. When an improper cleaning product is used, carpet fibers may turn stiff. Cleaners with unnecessarily high pH levels can be harsh on the carpet.

Improper Product Amount

The water-to-cleaning-product ratio should be accurate for optimal results, that is, fresh, clean, soft carpeting. If the carpet feels crunchy, it could be because too much cleaning product or not enough water was used.

Carpets Not Suitable For Water-Based Products

There are many different types of carpeting, and some are more water-tolerant than others. For example, cotton and synthetic carpeting are water tolerant, and wool can tolerate water in limited amounts, but “natural” (paper) fibers are not water tolerant at all.

Water-intolerant carpets that have been cleaned with water-based products may soften and fluff if raked with a carpet groomer and vacuumed.

Hard Water

If your tap water contains a lot of minerals and this water is used to clean your carpets, it can result in stiff, crunchy carpet. Vacuum often to dislodge the minerals.

How To Ensure Fresh, Clean, Soft Carpeting After Cleaning

Crunchy carpet is a dirt magnet. If your carpet is stiff, it is important to resolve the situation before abrasive substances stick to the residue, and after exposure to foot traffic and regular use cause permanent damage to the carpet fibers. If you are insistent on resolving the situation yourself, we recommend misting the carpet with distilled water and a neutralizing rinse (you can purchase a pH neutral rinse or use 1 cup vinegar per 1 gallon of water), immediately followed by extraction. The cheap route may not produce the desired result, though, and could make matters worse. The only sure way to resolve the situation is to hire a professional.

Tru-Clean Surface Care has highly trained technicians who know how to select appropriate cleaners to resolve different types of carpet cleaning problems. We use the proper ratio of conditioned rinsing agents to the cleaning solution, and thoroughly treat and extract moisture from deep within the carpet fibers. Although dry time is always necessary with carpet cleaning, it should not take long, and once the carpet is dry, appropriately cleaned carpet will feel soft, fresh, and clean.

Tru-Clean Surface Care is a Certified Partner with the prestigious Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and the International Carpet & Rug Institute (CRI).  In addition, we are A+ Rated with the Better Business Bureau and a six-year-in-a-row-winner of the coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award.

When inviting a carpet cleaning company into your home it will serve you well to thoroughly investigate the company and their cleaning procedures.  Don’t be fooled into thinking that “all carpet cleaning companies” are the same.  Some companies use uneducated or non-certified technicians who can do more damage than good to your carpeting or upholstery.  Some companies do not carry general liability insurance in case damaged is caused while at your home.  Worse yet, many carpet cleaning companies do not carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect YOU in case one of their employees should slip and fall or otherwise hurt themselves while at your home.  Did you know that the homeowner can be sued for damages, pain, and suffering as well as lost wages, etc. if a contractor is hurt on their property and the employer does not carry the appropriate insurance?

Who you choose to service your home matters!

If Tru-Clean Surface Care can ever be of service to you, please do not hesitate to give us a call any time at 239-541-4888 – Lee County, 239-206-1935 – Bonita Springs and Collier County of 941-621-2198 – Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte or visit us on the web at