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Do carpets shrink?


In all of my years as a professional carpet cleaner in Liverpool, I have never shrunk a carpet, but it does happen to some!

It doesn’t matter how clean your home is, you take your shoes off at the door, don’t eat in the lounge and you even float delicately down the stairs. The fact is if you want to keep your valuable soft fluffy carpet in tip top condition it will need a good deep clean every now and again.  As well as looking great the carpet will be much healthier too.

But WAIT!  Will it shrink?  Well, it’s not impossible for this to happen, but you would be unlucky if it did.


Not all carpets are prone to shrinking.  The two that can are called Axminsters and Wiltons.

  • An Axminster carpet will have a wool face fibre and a jute backing yarn that interweaves with the wool fibre. Its not easy to shrink an Axminster but when the jute becomes wet through poor cleaning the backing could shrink.
  • The type of Wilton that can shrink are known as Belgian Wiltons.  These can be made with a  polypropylene face fibre a with and a  jute backing.  The polypropylene part of this carpet cannot hold water upon cleaning and so the moisture gets into the backing of the carpet and shrinking may occur.


This is generally down to bad cleaning techniques.  It may be a splash and dash carpet cleaning operative that over wets the carpet.  This may be also a negative effect of using an underpowered extraction machine.  (The piece of machinery that sucks the dirty water from the carpet)  Carpets that get too wet and are of the woven variety may shrink.


So the key here is to choose a carpet cleaner that is fully trained, experienced and insured.  This way they will have the knowledge to take on this clean.

A competent professional will keep the moisture to a minimum.  A lot of time will be spent pre-vacuuming the carpet before and wet clean in order to remove as much dry soiling as possible.  If thought to be the best option then a low moisture clean may be used by implementing the use of a dry compound or rotary bonnet system.  This low moisture system is what Dirtbusters choose to use on commercial carpet cleaning in Liverpool and The Wirral.

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