CONSUMER’S GUIDE TO CARPET CLEANING
Choosing a carpet cleaner isn’t easy. Why? Because your bombarded with ads touting their cleaning is the best, bait-and-switch companies advertising ridiculously low prices, misinformation about other cleaning systems, etc. How do you ever find a qualified, competent carpet cleaner? You start by reading this guide.
Read this guide and you’ll discover:
- How to avoid 3 carpet cleaning rip-offs!
- 6 costly misconceptions about carpet cleaning
- The 4 methods of carpet cleaning: Which methods clean best?
- 6 mistakes to avoid when choosing a carpet cleaner
How To Avoid 3 Carpet Cleaning Rip-Offs!
RIP-OFF #1: UNBELIEVABLY LOW PRICE. To some degree, all of us are attracted by low price because we want to work within a budget. But some carpet cleaners use price as the bait for their false and misleading advertising. They offer a cheap price – usually between $3.95 and $9.95 per room – and then, once they’re in your home, they pressure you into buying “add-ons” and you end up paying more than if you had called an ethical company in the first place.
RIP-OFF #2: BAIT AND SWITCH. Dual process carpet cleaning describes the process of shampooing or heavy preconditioning, followed with hot water extraction cleaning. Unfortunately, unethical carpet cleaners often use dual process as a bait-and-switch technique. Here’s how it’s done: first, they “bait” you with a basic cleaning (single process, which means they use no cleaning solution, only water) at an unbelievably low price. Then, when you call, they try to “switch” you to more expensive dual-process cleaning. If you don’t fall for their scam and choose their basic service, you’ll likely receive poor workmanship using little or no chemical and they will not guarantee their work.
RIP-OFF #3: UNSUPPORTED CLAIMS. “THIS CLEANING METHOD IS THE BEST.” You’ll read this in almost every ad. You’ll hear this from virtually every carpet cleaner. Remember this: the method that’s best for you is the method that achieves your goal. If you want a method that dries quickly, then a method that takes a longer time to dry isn’t the best for you. So before you choose a carpet cleaner, identify your objectives. Then select the method that best reaches those objectives.
6 costly misconceptions about carpet cleaning
MISCONCEPTION #1: You should wait as long as possible before cleaning your carpet.
No. Dirt is an abrasive-like sandpaper. Every time you step on your carpet, you grind dirt into the carpet fibers. This cuts your carpet, just as if you had used a knife. A dirty carpet will not last as long as a clean carpet. And while vacuuming helps – by itself, it’s simply not enough. The longer you wait to have your carpet cleaned, the more damage you do to your carpet and the faster it wears out.
MISCONCEPTION #2: The only reason to clean carpets is to remove the dirt.
No. As you probably know, outdoor air contains pollens, fungus, bacteria, air pollution, cigarette smoke, car exhaust – and hundreds of other chemicals. When you come into your home, you carry those pollens, bacteria and chemicals in your hair and on your skin, clothing and shoes. Not surprisingly, some of those chemicals and toxins wind up in your carpet. If you have allergies, asthma, emphysema, or other breathing problems – one major source of your problem could be the pollens, fungus, smoke and chemicals in your carpet.
MISCONCEPTION #3: One method of carpet cleaning is as good as another.
No. The dry cleaning methods – which are dry foam, dry chemicals and dry compounds – do not rinse your carpet in any way. Instead, they leave a residue. You might say they clean your carpet only halfway. The most effective cleaning method is hot water extraction. Hot water extraction means a hot water cleaning solution, under high pressure, is forced into your carpet and then sucked out of your carpet. Shaw Industries, the world’s largest carpet manufacturer, recommends hot water extraction as the primary method of cleaning carpets, along with an IICRC-approved firm.
Carpet cleaners use one of two types of hot water extraction. If they use a large unit that operates from a van or truck outside your facility, it’s called truck-mounted extraction. If they use a small unit that can be brought inside, it’s called portable extraction. Shaw’s first choice is the truck-mounted unit – and it recommends the small, portable unit only in areas where the truck-mounted unit won’t reach. The truck-mounted extraction cleans much better because it heats the water to a higher temperature – which breaks up the dirt, bacteria, chemicals and pollens in the carpet. Then the machine uses high suction to draw more dirt and chemicals out of your carpet. This is the method my company uses.
MISCONCEPTION #4: Having the right equipment is all a company needs to clean your carpets properly.
Not true. Many companies own good truck mounted units, but not all companies teach their employees how to use them properly. This is why it’s important that you choose your carpet cleaner carefully. The best cleaning companies are those that have been certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, known as the IICRC. Before you choose a carpet cleaner, ask to see written proof of the company’s IICRC certification.
MISCONCEPTION #5: The company that offers the lowest price is the company you should hire.
No. I’ve seen so many problems arise from lowest-bid companies that I suggest you NEVER hire the company that quotes the cheapest price. The two most common problems are: (1) The cheapest price company is going to use the cheapest equipment, the cheapest labor and the cheapest cleaning products they can find. That’s the only way they can stay in business. Is that really who you want cleaning in your home? (2) The price you see advertised may not be the price you pay. Many homeowners have learned that the low price they saw advertised only lasted until the carpet cleaner got into their home. Then they were pressured into paying a lot more for a variety of add-ons. (Some carpet cleaners even break the law by using illegal bait-and-switch tactics.)
MISCONCEPTION #6: Any honest carpet cleaning company should be able to give you an exact price quote over the telephone.
I wish this were true, but it isn’t. Honest, reputable carpet cleaning companies almost never price carpet cleaning by the room. Instead, carpet cleaning is usually priced by the square foot. So if you’d like me to tell you the exact cost of cleaning your carpet, I need to know the exact number of square feet that you want cleaned. To get an accurate measurement, I use a laser measuring tool to calculate the exact size of the carpeted area. To give you an idea of how we estimate the cost of cleaning, here are several things we consider: First, the amount of soiling. Carpet that hasn’t been cleaned for ten years will take longer to clean than carpet that we cleaned within the last six months. Second, the amount of furniture we have to move. A client who wants every piece of furniture moved and cleaned underneath will pay more than someone who just wants the visible carpet cleaned. Third, the type of stains. Carpet that has issues such as pet urine stains, red Kool-Aid type stains, or other types of difficult to remove stains will cost more to clean than carpet that carpet that only has general type soiling. These stains take much longer to remove and involve using special stain removing products that are quite costly for us to purchase.
The 4 Different methods of Carpet Cleaning: Which Method Cleans Best?
- Dry Foam: This method uses a machine to apply a foamy cleaner to the carpet, allows it to dry, and then, without rinsing, vacuums the carpet. Can you imagine applying shampoo to your hair, allowing it to dry and then removing the shampoo with a vacuum? Why would you do this to your carpet. This method leaves way too much residue in your carpet which is why it’s not effective.
- Absorbent Powder: This method consists of sprinkling a moist powder onto the carpet and brushing it in. The theory is that the powder, which contains a solvent, will loosen and absorb dirt. After 30 minutes or so the powder is vacuumed out. This method leaves a ton of residue in the carpet and again is not very effective.
- Absorbent Pad or Bonnet Cleaning: This method involves spraying the carpet with a cleaning solution, and then running a floor buffing machine with a cotton bonnet over the carpet. The cotton bonnet will absorb the dirt. Again, it’s not very effective, it’s like trying to rub the dirt out of your carpet.
- Hot Water Extraction (Steam Cleaning): this method consists of spraying a cleaning solution onto the carpet, scrubbing it (if necessary), rinsing the carpet with hot water under pressure and then sucking the dirt and water out of your carpet.
This process can be accomplished with either a truck mounted system, or a portable system that is brought into your home. The truck mounted system is the preferred choice because it produces much hotter water temperatures (everyone knows hot water cleans better than cold) and produces much more suction to remove more dirt and water from your carpet, leaving it cleaner and drier. This is the method my company uses.
Some people believe that hot water damages the carpet, but this isn’t true. By washing and then rinsing your carpet with hot water your carpet is cleaned much more thoroughly – in the same way someone who showers and then rinses off the dirt and soap will be cleaner than someone who takes a sponge bath.
6 Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing A Carpet Cleaner
Mistake #1: Choosing a carpet cleaner based on price. Low price can be a problem in three different ways. first, it could be the bait that attracts your phone call. But once the cleaner gets into your home, he pressures you into a much higher price. By this time you’ve probably taken a day off work, gotten the house ready for cleaning and feel like you have no other choice but to go along with this shady company. Second, a low price may mean that the cleaner has cheap, inferior equipment (because that’s all he can afford) which will not effectively clean your carpet. Third, a low price may mean this is just a part time job for this cleaner and he doesn’t have the experience, knowledge or training to do a good job cleaning.
Mistake #2: Choosing a carpet cleaner based on equipment alone. No question your carpet cleaner needs first rate equipment. But he also needs something else. He needs someone skilled at operating that equipment. Many companies own truck mounted units, but not all have skilled, experienced employees operating that equipment. Most companies give their employees just one or maybe two different cleaners to use, and if a spot doesn’t come out, oh well! We have up to six different pre-sprays to use depending on the carpet type and soil type in that carpet. We also have many different specialty spotters for individual types of stains.
Mistake #3: Choosing a carpet cleaner based on a single phone call. Instead, invite the cleaner into your home for an exact written quote. Then you’ll know exactly what the cleaner recommends, how he operates and what the charges will be when your cleaning date arrives.
Mistake #4: Choosing a carpet cleaner who doesn’t offer a money back guarantee. Every company should be accountable for their work. If you aren’t pleased with the job, you shouldn’t have to pay.
Mistake #5: Not doing your homework about your carpet cleaner. Ask for comments from past clients or references from other professionals. Ask for his certifications. Anyone can say anything about their own business.
Mistake #6: Choosing a carpet cleaner who doesn’t use a truck mounted system. Truck mounted systems are simply the very best way to clean your carpet. The hotter water and more powerful vacuum removes more dirt from your carpet and leaves it cleaner than any other method. The only downside is that it does take a little longer for your carpet to dry, but that is a small price to pay for the vastly superior results.
Your next step:
Thanks for reading this guide. Now call the owner Mark at 708-479-1599 and he’ll come out and clean one room of carpet (up to 150 sq. ft., that’s the size of an average bedroom). There’s no cost or obligation whatsoever! You can see for yourself how effective our cleaning system is. (There are a few restrictions, you can read them on the coupon below). He’ll also inspect the rest of your carpet and evaluate its condition. He’ll let you know what it will take to restore it to it’s best possible appearance and what it will cost. He can clean more rooms at that time if you wish, make an appointment to return at a later date or just thank you for trying us out and be on his way. No pressure, no hassle!
You might be thinking,”why would anyone give away free carpet cleaning?” It’s really very simple. It’s just like getting a free sample of food at the grocery store. It’s a way for you to try our service before committing to a purchase. We know that most people who try our cleaning services become clients of ours for a long time. So we don’t mind giving away a free room at first.
We’re not your typical cleaning company. But don’t take our word for it. Check out our testimonial page and see what many other people have to say about us. We’re proud of our reputation and we’ll do everything possible to maintain it!
P.S. We’ll also give you a free bottle of our excellent spot remover just for having us over!
Our 100% No Risk Guarantee
We want you to be delighted with our cleaning. If for some reason you aren’t, we’ll reclean that area. If you’re still not pleased, we’ll refund your money! It’s as simple as that!