Clean or Stretch?

I've been at the Idaho Falls Spring Home and Garden Show this weekend, and have had several people come up to me and ask the same question- should I clean or stretch my carpet first?

The answer to this question is that it really doesn't matter that much. Some carpet stretchers prefer the carpet to be cleaned prior to stretching, as they think cleaning the carpet can cause the carpet to flex and become loose. They prefer to loosen the carpet prior to stretching so it doesn't come loose during the subsequent cleaning.

In reality, if the carpet is cleaned properly, using a counter-rotational brush system and a hot water extraction unit (preferably truck mounted), the carpet won't move or loosen up during the cleaning. (See our post about carpet rippling here) It really doesn't matter that much whether the carpet is cleaned before or after stretching.

Some pros and cons of cleaning before the stretching are:

1. You can be assured that the cleaning won't dislodge the newly stretched carpet.

2. The cleaned carpet is a little more malleable for the stretcher- it is a little easier to work with.

The cons might include:

1. Wrinkles in the carpet might have areas the cleaner can't get to because of the wrinkles, and so you may have a line of soiling on the carpet after the stretch (you will almost definitely have a line where the wear on the carpet is different, and that sometimes is confused with soiling)

2. You now have someone who is walking and working on carpet you just had cleaned.

On the other hand, cleaning after stretching pros are-

1. The carpet is cleaned after all the hard work is done.

2. Furniture is usually already out of the way for the stretcher (yes, it needs to be moved), and so now we as cleaners can get the whole room.

3. The cleaner can get both sides of the wrinkle(s) really well

The cons are:

1. The carpet is less malleable for the stretcher, and is a little harder to work with.

2. The carpet may be less malleable for the stretcher, but is now more malleable for you when you move your furniture back in. Be careful not to drag your furniture across the carpet!

In the end, as long as the wrinkles and waves are gone, and the carpet is clean, it doesn't matter which comes first. If you have any concerns, or are looking to have your carpet cleaned and or stretched, give Zerorez Idaho Falls a call!

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