I often get asked if carpet protection, like Scotch Guard or Teflon, really works or is it just a scam for cleaners to make more money. Let’s start with “does it work?” All carpet manufactures apply some form of protection to their carpets because they know it works and helps the carpet to last longer, in fact, that’s how they warranty the carpet. Without carpet protection they would not be able to offer warranties or produce the commercials that show wine and other spills “bedding up” after it was spilled on the new carpet. Most carpet protections are fluorochemicals that help to reduce the surface tension of the fiber which make the fiber “resist” the spill and keep it on the surface. It’s kinda like when you put two magnets together and they push each other away.
Well if the carpet manufacturer puts it on why do you need to have it re applied? That’s a good question, like all applications to any surface the products will wear off, it doesn’t matter if it is paint on your home or wax for your car, protections don’t last forever. Most manufactures recommend re applying the carpet protection every 1-2 years depending on the traffic. Cleaning can affect the protection but if the cleaner is well educated on proper cleaning it shouldn’t affect the protection. If there has been extreme issues, like pet urine, the cleaner will have to be more aggressive with the cleaning and that could affect the protection.
Now to the “scam for cleaners to make more money”, I hear stories all the time from clients telling me they felt that the cleaner just applied water to the carpet. It’s important for you to do your homework and find a reputable cleaner who will clean and apply the protection properly. I want to be honest and say that yes, I make money on applying carpet protection, that’s why we are in business… to make money! Carpet protection is expensive, it’s the most expensive product I buy, so it’s no surprise that I have to charge for this service. Re applying the carpet protection should cost 40-50% of the cleaning cost. I hope this answered your question.