Carpet Cleaning: Fact Sheet

Free Fact Sheet: Carpet Cleaning and Maintenance

Fact 1

YOU SHOULD GET YOUR CARPETS CLEANED ONCE PER YEAR.

Many people only get their carpets cleaned once they look like they need it. This is a mistake – a carpet that looks like it needs cleaning is probably well overdue. Apart from the improved appearance and smell carpet cleaning should be completed on an annual basis for two fundamental reasons;
1. Health of the home.
2. Longevity of the carpet.
Carpet can provide an attractive floor finish to a home providing warmth and comfort for many years if it is looked after. There are three things you must remember about looking after your carpets to ensure a long and healthy life. They are;
1. Vacuum regularly – 2 or 3 times per week.
2. Clean up spills / soiling immediately to avoid them getting trampled into the carpet pile.
3. Spring clean carpets once per year.
Dirt is an abrasive and as a result of gravity and foot traffic will work it’s way down into the carpet pile where it cannot be removed by standard vacuuming and will cause damage to the carpet fibres.

Fact 2

CARPET CLEANING REDUCES THE INCIDENCE OF AIR-BORN ALLERGIES DEVELOPING IN YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS.

Carpet provides a trap for both airborne and foot borne dirt and bacteria and also provides a wonderful breeding ground for dust mites and other microscopic bug-life.
Vacuuming does not remove these potential allergens.
Deep cleaning does – at least partially and you may find you breathe more easily after such a treatment. Spring is the perfect time to do a deep cleaning.

Fact 3

STEAM CLEANING IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE METHOD OF CARPET CLEANING.

Basically there are two methods of cleaning carpets;
“dry cleaning”
“steam cleaning”

“DRY CLEANING”

Dry cleaning is not like dry cleaning your clothes. All carpet cleaning uses water in one form or another. “Dry cleaning” is typically performed in one of three ways;
The Dry Foam Method
When a carpet cleaner uses dry-foam he applies shampoo to your carpet, allows it to dry, and then sucks the dried shampoo into a vacuum. This is a little like applying shampoo to your hair, allowing it to dry and then removing it with a vacuum – not good. This method has a tendency to leave a residue of dried shampoo in your carpet – and is not considered the most effective method of carpet cleaning.

The Dry-Chem Method
This method is similar to Dry-Foam – the major difference being the use of a large cotton bonnet which is set on top of the carpet and then spins from side to side, absorbing the dirt that is in the carpet. The bonnet is replaced as it becomes saturated with dirt. Bonnet cleaning is like trying to use a large damp towel to rub the dirt out of your carpet.
The Dry Compound Method
Under this method an absorbent mixture that looks like wet sawdust is spread all over the carpet. A machine then brushes the mixture into the carpet and this absorbs dirt. When the mixture has dried a vacuum cleaner sucks the material out of the carpet. The carpet is not rinsed in anyway and so again residue is likely to be left behind.
“STEAM CLEANING”
This method is more correctly termed; “hot water extraction”. A hot water cleaning solution is forced into the carpet under high pressure and then is sucked out of the carpet. It is also referred to as “steam cleaning” although the only steam present is that which comes off the hot water!
This is the method my company uses.
Shaw Industries, the world’s largest carpet manufacturer, recommends steam cleaning.
There are two types of steam cleaning machine;
Truck mounted extraction
Portable extraction
They operate in much the same manner although truck mounted machines are generally more powerful (higher heat and greater suction) while the portable machines have the advantage of being able to get to places the truck mounted ones can’t (up stairs etc).
There is no question that the most effective way to clean your carpet is the hot water extraction method – “steam cleaning”.
Some people believe that hot water damages your carpet. This is not true. By washing and then rinsing your carpet with hot water we clean your carpet completely – in the same way that the person who lathers up and then rinses off the dirt and soap will be much cleaner than the person who only takes a sponge bath.

Fact 4

THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT DOES NOT ALWAYS PRODUCE THE RIGHT JOB.

Once you have selected steam cleaning as your preferred method of cleaning you need to select a technician to do the work and two carpet cleaners with the same equipment will not necessarily produce the same result – just as two racing car drivers in identical cars will not finish in a dead heat.
My point is that good equipment still needs to be used correctly to get the best results.
The best carpet cleaning companies are those that have been certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IICR) and or the Australian Carpet Cleaning Institute (ACCI). A carpet cleaning company cannot buy such a certification – they must earn it through study, practical demonstration and experience. In effect they have earned a degree in carpet cleaning. I have such a degree.

Fact 5

THE CHEAPEST PRICE WILL NOT PRODUCE THE BEST JOB.

When selecting a carpet cleaner by all means get more than one price for comparison purposes. However you must be certain of three things;
That the prices you get are for the job you want – not the job someone wants to sell you.
That you are comparing apples with apples – i.e.; the prices you get are for the same scope of works/methodology etc.
The price you see advertised is the price you pay.
Before you select a company decide exactly what you want to accomplish – if all you want is a spot clean of a particular stain then there are many businesses with small shampoo ‘ers that can help you (Note; you can even rent such a machine at many supermarkets).
On the other hand, if you want your carpet thoroughly cleaned, if you want all the harmful dirt, bacteria, chemicals and pollens and tobacco residues removed then you need to hire a company that uses the hot water extraction method. This is the only way to ensure that your carpet remains healthy and free from dirt, disease-causing bacteria, and harmful chemicals.
Many home owners have learned that the low price they saw advertised was not the amount they were charged. If you’ve ever hired a carpet cleaner you too may have been the victim of false or misleading advertising. You may have experienced carpet cleaners offering very cheap room rates ($5 or $10 per room) but then pressuring you to pay more once they get to your home. These “bait and switch” tactics are illegal.
Although the carpet cleaning industry has it’s share of unethical and even dishonest operators there are also many highly reputable businesses. I’d like to think United Home Services falls into this category. That’s why we are happy to provide informative, factual documentation such as this guide to prospective customers even if they end up using someone else – the industry will be better off.

Fact 6

PRICES OVER THE PHONE ARE NOT ACCURATE.

It would be nice if phone prices could be accurate but if your carpet cleaner is genuine then a phone estimate is just that – an estimate. The following circumstances all contribute to the cost of getting your carpet cleaned;
Carpet types,
Pile length,
The amount of soiling,
The amount of furniture to be removed,
The total area to be cleaned and even
The number of rooms
These all have a bearing on the amount of chemicals used and on the time a job will take. As such they have an impact on the real cost of your requirements.
To provide an accurate assessment of the cost of your job – the carpet cleaner should inspect the job.

RECOMMENDATION 1 CLEAN YOUR CARPETS ANNUALLY

Make a commitment to yourself to get your carpets cleaned once every year and your spring clean is the best time to do this – the longer they remain dirty the sooner they will wear out and the longer you and your family and friends will have to breathe chemical, dust mites and other allergens that reside in dirty carpets.

RECOMMENDATION 2 ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS

When you contact a carpet cleaner ask them lots of questions about their business – try and get an idea of how much they know about their industry. I recommend the following questions;
What method of carpet cleaning do you recommend?
What type of equipment do you use?
What does your equipment remove from my carpets?
How often should I get my carpets cleaned?
What training have you had in carpet cleaning?
Are you a member of any trade associations – if so, which ones?
Once you have established that your contact sounds honest, competent and professional only then invite them into your home to provide a written quote.
RECOMMENDATION 3 GET A WRITTEN QUOTE

A written quote gives you the certainty that you know exactly what your job will cost – no surprises. Incidentally it also protects the carpet cleaner avoiding any dispute over what a job has cost.

CONCLUSION

I hope this guideline has provided you with some pointers that will assist you to make an informed decision about the care and maintenance of your carpets.
If you want your carpets to be completely and thoroughly cleaned; removing the bacteria, dust mites, chemicals, pollens and other allergens then I invite you to call me.
I’ll be happy to answer your questions, provide a cost estimate over the phone, inspect your home and provide a free written fixed quote without obligation of any kind.
Finally I make one final point;
I guarantee my work – if you’re not happy I’ll do it again. If you are still not happy I’ll pay someone else to do it.
That’s right. I fully guarantee every carpet cleaning job I do. If you are not happy with the work we will re-clean the area for FREE*. What could be fairer?
* Offer valid for 3 days after service.
As a matter of fact you should add this to your list of questions;
Do you guarantee your work?