Choosing a carpet cleaner isn’t easy.
Why? Because you’re bombarded with misleading advertising, confusing claims and simply bad information.
From super-low prices and high-pressure sales – to unqualified technicians and near-worthless methods – how do you ever find a qualified, competent, professional carpet cleaner?
You start by reading this Consumer’s Guide. In this fact-filled booklet, you’ll discover how to avoid four carpet cleaning rip-offs, eight mistakes to avoid when choosing a carpet cleaner, and four steps to a fresh, clean, healthy carpet.
We wrote this guide to help you better understand carpet cleaning. Now, with this information, you can make an informed, intelligent decision.
Read this guide and you’ll discover:
• How to avoid four carpet cleaning rip-offs!
• 5 costly misconceptions about carpet cleaning.
• Which methods clean best.
• 3 mistakes to avoid when choosing a carpet cleaner.
• Why you want a clean, healthy carpet.
• 100% no-risk guarantee.
• 4 steps to a fresh, clean, healthy carpet.
HOW TO AVOID FOUR 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 around £10-15 per room–and then, once they’re in your home, they pressure you into buying “add-ons.”
It’s as if you were buying a car and found that the dealer was charging you extra for the tires and steering wheel. Carpet cleaning is not as cheap as some unethical carpet cleaners would like you to believe.
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) 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 switch 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 long 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.
RIP-OFF 4: OUTDATED BELIEFS. “HOT WATER DAMAGES YOUR
Years ago, many people believed this was true because their carpets were damaged by “technicians” who didn’t know how to properly clean using hot water. But today, we know it’s false.
By washing and then rinsing your carpet with hot water, your carpet is thoroughly cleaned – in the same way that the person who showers and then rinses off the dirt and soap will be much cleaner than the person who takes only a sponge bath. Obviously, each carpet cleaner will be biassed towards his own method. And each method does have advantages. So I suggest you look to what carpet manufacturers say. Shaw Industries, the largest carpet manufacturer in the world, recommends only hot water extraction cleaning.
5 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 fibres. 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, all 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 dirty 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 approved firm.
MISCONCEPTION 4: Having the right equipment is all a company needs to clean your carpets properly.
Not true. Many companies own hot-water cleaners but very few companies teach their employees how to use them properly. This is why it’s important that you choose your carpet cleaner carefully.
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 price may not be for the services you want performed. The company may be equipped to remove only the dirt from your carpet. But you may want bacteria, fungus, pollens, dust mites and tobacco residues removed as well.
(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.)
WHICH METHOD CLEANS BEST?
Dry foam: The carpet cleaner applies shampoo to your carpet, allows it to dry, and then, without rinsing, sucks the dried shampoo into a vacuum. Can you imagine applying shampoo to your hair, allowing it to dry and then removing the shampoo from your head with a vacuum? This method leaves dirty residue in your carpet, which is one reason dry foam is not too effective.
Absorbent pad (bonnet cleaning): This method is similar to dry foam, except that the company sets a large cotton bonnet on your carpet and with a floor polishing buffer machine on top “buffs”
The carpet. The rotating motion causes the bonnet to absorb dirt from your carpet. This method is also called bonnet cleaning. Bonnet cleaning is like trying to use a large cotton towel or mop to rub the dirt out of your carpet. It’s not very effective.
Dry, absorbent powder: The dry-compound method spreads a moist, absorbent powder through the carpet. The powder is allowed to dry and then sucked into a vacuum. This method leaves dry sponge particles at the base of the carpet yarn. And because the carpet is not rinsed, this method is not very effective.
Hot water extraction: This is a fancy way of saying that a hot water cleaning solution under high pressure is forced into your carpet and then sucked out of your carpet.
In a recent Technical Bulletin, Shaw Industries, the world’s largest carpet manufacturer, “recommends the hot water extraction system, which research indicates provides the best capability for cleaning.”
No question, the most effective way to clean carpeting is with a hot-water unit. It’s the most powerful cleaning machine on the market and the only machine that cleans your carpet of dirt, harmful bacteria, fungus, chemicals, pollens, tobacco residue and dust mites.
Some people believe that hot water damages your carpet, but this isn’t true. By washing and then rinsing your carpet with hot water, we clean your carpet completely – in the same way that the person who showers and then rinses off the dirt and soap will be much cleaner than the person who takes only a sponge bath.
3 MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN CHOOSING A CARPET CLEANER
MISTAKE 1: 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 employees who are skilled at operating that equipment. Many companies own hot-water extractors, but very few companies teach their employees how to use them properly.
MISTAKE 2: Choosing a carpet cleaner based on low price.
Low price could be a problem in three ways: (1) low price can be the bait that attracts your phone call. But once the cleaner gets into your home, he pressures you into a much more expensive job. (2) Low price can be for single-process cleaning. Rarely does the consumer know what this means and, when told, ask s for dual-process cleaning instead, which costs much more. (3) Low price means the carpet cleaner has cheap equipment, which will not effectively clean your carpet.
MISTAKE 3: Choosing a carpet cleaner without getting comments from his other clients.
Any carpet cleaner can say anything about his past jobs. And, sadly, some of what he says may not be true. Make sure you ask for references or read comments from current customers so you can depend on the carpet cleaner and his work.
WHY YOU WANT A CLEAN, HEALTHY CARPET!
Which is more important to you: a clean carpet – or a clean and healthy carpet? Yes, I assure you, there is a big difference.
Each carpet cleaning method has advantages and disadvantages. Some methods will get out only the dirt. Other methods will get out dirt and grease.
Have you ever seen how dirty a little boy’s pants get when he plays outdoors? If you have, then you know you can brush off his pants and make him think they’re clean. Or, if you want the job done right, you can machine wash them in hot water and detergent and you’ll KNOW they’re clean.
The same is true for your carpet. You can hire someone for £25 to £50 who will “brush off” your carpeting and make you think it’s clean. Or, if you want the job done right, I’ll wash your carpets with hot water and detergent using state-of-the-art cleaning machine and you’ll KNOW they’re clean.
4 STEPS TO A FRESH, CLEAN, HEALTHY CARPET
If you’re thinking about having your carpets cleaned, we encourage you to follow these four steps:
STEP 1: Make a commitment to yourself to get your carpets cleaned. The longer they remain dirty, the sooner they’ll wear out. Plus, the longer you have to breathe all the pollen, fungus and chemicals that hid in your carpet.
STEP 2: List your objectives. Do you want only the dirt removed, something you could do with a rented machine? Or do you want all the bacteria, fungus, chemicals and dust mites removed, which will require a hot water hi-tech cleaner, as we use? Do you want to work with an honest, reputable company – or are you willing to risk working with the company that offers you the lowest price – knowing that the company might not be in business tomorrow?
STEP 3: Ask questions. The way you learn about a company is to ask specific questions and listen carefully to the answers. Here are eight tough questions to ask a carpet cleaner before he begins to clean your carpet:
1. What method of carpet cleaning do you recommend?
2. What type of equipment do you use to clean carpet?
3. What will your equipment remove from my carpet?
4. How often should I get my carpets cleaned?
5. What training have you had in cleaning carpets?
By following these steps, you’ll gain all the information you need to make an informed, intelligent decision. If you want a quick, cheap carpet cleaning job, many companies in the phone book can help you. Or you can rent a machine and do the job yourself.
We’ve dedicated our business to consumer education and service. We’ll be pleased to help you in every way.