Q&A: Is it Worthwhile to Scotch Guard Carpet?

An interview with Rich Gilbert of Sunshine Home Maintenance & Flooring

Is it really worth it to Scotch guard carpet?

In a word, yes. Although it has been mis-sold as a “magic bullet”, it really does help in protecting your carpet. Scotch guard works as a soil retardant – stains will come out quicker, making cleaning your carpet easier the next time you do it.

Does it leave a strong odor?

No. The product we use is made of liquid Teflon (plastic) that has been diluted. We apply it to carpets after steam cleaning, while they are still wet. The product lays on top of the carpet, and there is hardly any odor.

How exactly does it work?

While you can apply scotch guard to carpets at any time, we have found the best method is to apply it right after steam cleaning. It can also be applied to brand new carpets.

What does it protect against?

The big two enemies of carpet are children and pets. But it also protects against coffee, soft drinks, food spills, and normal wear and tear. However, it does not protect against pet urine. Certain red wine spills will stain regardless, but Scotch guard increases the likelihood of at least lightening the stain to make it less noticeable.

Basically, stains on carpet follow the same principles as stains on clothing – only Sunshine extracts the stains from the surface instead of churning the carpet in a washing machine.

How long does it take for it to set?

Almost immediately. If applied immediately following a steam cleaning, by the time the carpet dries, the Scotch guard is set.

It is important to note that Scotch guard is a topical treatment, not an impregnating treatment. Some carpet manufacturers will dip carpet fibers so they are immersed in a soil retardant, but Scotch guard sits on top of the fibers, and so does have to be reapplied periodically.

How soon can I walk on my carpets?

Almost immediately, as long as you are not wearing shoes from outside.

Is it only for light colored carpets?

No, it is good for any color of carpet.

Why do you feel it is worth it?

While we definitely recommend the Scotch guard treatment, we leave it up to each client to decide for themselves. If you are the type of person who doesn’t get their carpets cleaned on a regular basis, it is more beneficial because it keeps your carpet looking fresh for a longer period of time.

How long does it last?

Depending on the amount of wear your carpet gets, it can be 6 months to a year and a half. The treatment will last longer in areas without children or pets, and if you don’t wear your shoes inside. Sunshine recommends reapplying Scotch guard each time you steam clean your carpets.

Why should I hire someone to Scotch guard my carpets versus doing it myself?

You can certainly apply Scotch guard yourself, just as you can change your car’s oil yourself. Most consumers will try and treat their carpets with an aerosol can, but this is not the proper way to apply it to carpets. Also, people who clean their own carpets using consumer-grade steam cleaners will find the Scotch guard needs to be reapplied more often. The advantage of hiring a professional like Sunshine Home Maintenance is that we have years of experience, we won’t leave residue, and we have the proper equipment.

Rich Gilbert is the owner of Sunshine Home Maintenance & Flooring. He has over four decades of experience in home and commercial cleaning. To schedule your free consultation, call (415) 457-4363.