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Before you hire any Carpet Cleaner...

Rip Offs To Avoid


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.” Carpet cleaning is not as cheap as some unethical carpet cleaners would like you to believe.


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.


“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.


“HOT WATER DAMAGES YOUR CARPET.” 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 rinsing your carpet with hot water, your carpet is thoroughly cleaned, in the same way that the person who showers and 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 biased towards their own method, and each method does have its advantages. I suggest that you look to what carpet manufacturers say. Shaw Industries, which is the largest carpet manufacturer in the world, recommends only hot water extraction cleaning with a truck-mounted unit used by firms that are IICRC Certified.

Costly Misconceptions

You should wait as long as possible before cleaning your carpet.

The longer you wait to have your carpet cleaned, the more damage you do to your carpet and the faster it wears out.

The only reason to clean carpets is to remove the dirt.

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 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 pollen, fungus, smoke and chemicals in your carpet.

One method of carpet cleaning is as good as another.

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 by an IICRC-approved firm.

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. 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 and the technician's certification. If they don’t have them, don’t use them!

What are the different cleaning methods?

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 with a floor polishing buffer machine on top that “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. Since the carpet is not rinsed, this method is not very effective.

Hot Water Extraction

Hot water and cleaning solution goes under high pressure and is forced into your carpet which is then sucked back out. 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.”

Mistakes to avoid when choosing...

MISTAKE #1: Choosing a carpet cleaner based on equipment alone.MISTAKE #2: Choosing a carpet cleaner based on low price.MISTAKE #3: Choosing a carpet cleaner based on a single telephone call.MISTAKE #4: Choosing a carpet cleaner who doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee.MISTAKE #5: Choosing a carpet cleaner without getting comments from his other clients.MISTAKE #6: Choosing a carpet cleaner who isn’t certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC).MISTAKE #7: Choosing a carpet cleaner who isn’t a member of the Carpet and Fabricare Institute (CFI).MISTAKE #8: Choosing a carpet cleaner who doesn’t use a truck-mounted hot water extraction system.

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