To Scotchgard or Not to Scotchgard?
July 19, 2013
To Scotchgard or not to Scotchgard, that is the question. Are carpet protectants a sales gimmick to earn your carpet cleaner more money, or are they valid products worth the extra cost of application? Well, let’s take a look at some of the underlying factors.
1. It works
Scotchgard, and other carpet protectants, do work. Many of us, however, may need to have our expectations adjusted just a bit. This is not a miracle worker. Your carpet WILL stain if you do not remove spills in a timely manner. Fiber protectants help to delay spills from becoming stains so that we have time to clean them up before they become permanent.
2. New carpets have it
Most carpets manufactured in the mid eighties and later have some type of stain resistant application already worked into the fibers of the carpet. This protectant will wear off over time and, if you want to continue protecting your carpet, then it must be reapplied after each deep clean the carpet receives.
3. There are dangers
Many studies have been done since 1979 on the effect of perfluorooctanyl (PFOS) chemistry, the process used to create protectant products, on our environment. It was found that the process contaminated both humans and wildlife, sometimes leading to cancer. 3M, the manufacturer of both Scotchgard and Dupont, changed their processes in 2000. Unfortunately, it appears that the new processes also lead to carcinogenic issues.
4. Every household is different
If your household is made up of kids and pets, then Scotchgard is a product that might be worth your investment. It gives you those few extra minutes you may need to begin working on a spill. The cost would most likely outweigh the potential stain risk involved. If you are a more adult household, tend to remove your shoes, and eat in the kitchen, then carpet protectant would most likely not be worth the cost involved. It really is a very personalized decision.
5. The cost
I have heard many different stories about how much carpet protectant costs. It is usually quoted at about 40% to 50% of the cost of your regular carpet cleaning. Meaning that if you spent $100 in carpet cleaning, then you will probably spend $45 to $50 to protect your newly cleaned carpet. It is based on the square footage involved. One thing you can do to save money is to only protect the high traffic areas of your home.
There are carpet cleaners out there who will try to gouge you this product. Keep in mind that anyone trying to make an easy buck is likely to cut corners in other places as well. The integrity of your carpet cleaner will eventually lead to the integrity of the cleaning your carpet receives.
At Aaron’s Quality Cleaners we do not push carpet protectant. We carry it in our vans as part of our service to our customers. Aaron charges based on the price of the product and the time it takes for his technician to apply it. His rate comes out to about 42%, a very fair price indeed.
In the end, it is only you who can accurately answer the Scotchgard question. Weigh the factors above against each other and you will reach the decision that best fits your family’s needs.
Julie Rosenfeld serves as an Administrative Assistant for Aaron’s Quality Cleaners, a carpet-cleaning company that services the Fresno and Clovis (CA) areas. She is the author of “Julie’s Corner” and provides information and perspective on topics related to the carpet-cleaning industry.
Aaron’s Quality Cleaners performs carpet cleaning, tile cleaning, aggregate cleaning and upholstery cleaning in Fresno, Clovis, Madera and Sanger.