Misconception #1: You should wait as long as possible before cleaning
No. Dirt is an abrasive - like sandpaper. Every time you step on the
carpet, you grind dirt into your carpet fibers. This cuts your carpet,
just as if you had used a knife, causing it to wear out faster. A dirty
carpet will not last nearly as long as a clean carpet. And while
vacuuming helps -- by itself, it's simply not enough. Then, 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 get out 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 and your family members 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, pollens
and bacteria wind up -- you guessed it -- in your carpet.
If you have allergies, asthma,
emphysema, or other breathing problems -- one major source of your
problem could be the pollens, fungus, and chemicals in your
In addition, as you may know,
tobacco smoke contains over 4000 different chemical compounds, 43 of
which cause cancer. And even if you don't smoke, those chemicals get on
your shoes, you track them in to your home and you leave them in your
carpet. If you're sensitive to cigarette smoke, you might find that
you'll breath easier after you hire a company to get those harmful
chemicals out of your carpet. So in addition to getting rid of dirt,
another important reason to clean your carpet is to get rid of pollens,
fungus, bacteria, chemicals and the tars and residue from tobacco
Misconception #3: One method
of carpet cleaning is as good as another.
No. You can choose from two primary methods: Dry cleaning or hot water
extraction. First I'll explain the carpet cleaning method called hot
water extraction. This is a fancy way of saying that a hot water
cleaning solution under high pressure is forced into the carpet and then
sucked out of the carpet. This method is also referred to as steam
cleaning even though steam is not used. Some people believe that hot
water damages your carpet. Not necessarily. However you need to be
careful not to over wet the carpet.
Sometimes because of the type of
soil or because technician error the carpet gets too wet. This causes a
number of bad things. Excessive drying times, microbial growth including
mold and mildew. Also over wetting can weaken backing and seams and can
activate long dormant odors such as old pet accidents. Also while
cleaning solution is sprayed into the carpet and immediately sucked out
with the soil it had a chance to emulsify in ˝ second, there is no
rinsing with clean solution free water. The chemical residue left behind
can in fact attract soil and cause your carpet to get dirty faster than
Then there is dry carpet
cleaning. Many people believe that dry cleaning your carpet is like dry
cleaning your clothing. This is not true. All carpet cleaning methods
use water in one from or another.
Here are the three methods of
dry cleaning carpet.
- When a carpet cleaner uses
"dry foam", he applies shampoo to your carpet, allow it to
dry, and then 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 can leave a
residue in your carpet, which is one reason dry foam is not very
- The "dry-chem"
method is similar to dry foam. The major difference is that when
dry-chem is used, the company sets a large cotton bonnet on your
carpet. Using a machine, the bonnet spins from side to side,
absorbing the dirt that's in the carpet. After the bonnet is
saturated with dirt, another cotton bonnet is applied. Bonnet
cleaning is like trying to use a large towel to rub the dirt out of
your carpet. Like dry foam, its not very effective.
- The dry carpet cleaning method
spreads an absorbent dry carpet cleaning mixture on your carpet. Then a
special machine gently brushes the mixture into the carpet. The
brushes move vertically through the carpet pile lifting and fluffing
as they clean. The special compound emulsifies and absorbs the soil.
Then a powerful on-board vacuum sucks the cleaning compound and the
absorbed soil out of the carpet leaving it clean, Dry and without
dirt attracting residue. The secret to carpet cleaning is
controlling the moisture applied to the carpet. With this method
there is total moisture control. In fact there is only about 10
ounces of moisture applied per 50 feet of carpet. The result is, the
carpet is clean and dry within a few minutes. You can actually have
your carpets cleaned this afternoon and have a dinner party tonight
with clean, bright, sanitized and DRY carpet. More than 100 of the
world's carpet manufacturers, recommends this Dry-extraction
cleaning process. There is no question that the most gentle and
effective way to clean carpeting is the dry-compound method with the
special dry-extraction machine. We use the most powerful extractor-vac
machine on the market. This is the best machine to thoroughly clean
your carpets and rid them of dirt, harmful bacteria, fungus,
chemicals, pollens and tobacco residue.
Misconception #4: Having the
right equipment is all a company needs to clean your carpets properly.
Not true. Many companies own hot-water cleaners or dry cleaning
equipment -- but a large number of employees don't know how to use them.
You probably know someone who bought the newest computer on the market
-- but didn't learn how to use it for a year or more. The same is true
with carpet cleaning machines. The company may own good equipment, but
the employees may not know how to use it correctly. This is why it's
important that you choose your carpet cleaner carefully.
We have been trained by the leading Dry carpet cleaning company in the
Misconception #5: The company that offers the lowest price is the
company you should hire.
Maybe -- but not always. Here are two important points to
- Point #1: The price you
see offered may not be for the services you want performed.
Before you select a company, decide what you want to accomplish. If
you want the carpet cleaner to remove only some of the dirt, you can
choose from hundreds of companies that use small sharnpooers or
other cleaning methods. Or, you can even rent a machine at the
grocery store and do the job yourself. On the other hand, if you
want your carpet thoroughly cleaned -- if you want to remove the
harmful dirt, bacteria, pollens, chemicals and tobacco residues --
then you need to hire a company that uses a process that will not
only clean these things out of your carpet but at the same time
sanitizes your carpet. This is the only way to assure that your
carpet remains healthy and free from dirt, disease-causing bacteria,
and hurtful chemicals. So remember that the price you see offered
may not be for the services you want performed.
- Point #2: The price you
see advertised may not be the price you pay. Many homeowners
have learned that the low price they saw advertised was not the
amount they were charged. And if you've ever hired a carpet cleaner,
you too may have been the victim of false or misleading advertising.
You probably learned the hard way that some carpet cleaners offer a
cheap price -- usually between $3.95 and $9.95 per room -- and then
pressure you into paying a lot more once they get inside your home.
Some of them may even break the law by using illegal bait and switch
tactics. As in all businesses and professions, the carpet cleaning
industry has its share of bad apples. I take no pleasure in telling
you this, but some are unethical -- and, sadly, a few are dishonest.
By their misleading advertising and false promises, they cast a dark
shadow on our entire industry. Then you'll find other carpet
cleaners -- professionals like me who work hard to earn your trust
and respect. As a way of improving our profession, I've dedicated my
business to educating the public. The only way you can make an
intelligent decision is to have all the facts you need. This is why
I've published this guide. And to help promote my efforts at
consumer education, I am constantly educating myself and keeping
abreast of new carpet cleaning methods and carpet types and what
cleaning procedures manufacturers recommend.
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. Consumers often think that if
they want to clean four rooms and the price is $6 per room, then the
price will be $24. But this isn't always true. First, honest, reputable
carpet cleaning companies usually price carpet cleaning 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 have a measuring wheel I use
to calculate the exact size of the carpet area. You'll be glad to know
that the carpet area to be cleaned is not nearly as great as most people
For example, if you want your
entire home cleaned and your home is 2000 square feet, the amount of
carpeting to be cleaned might be only 1200 square feet. This is because
most home measurements are outdoor measurements. Plus I deduct the area
taken up by walls, room dividers and the like. The result is that the
actual area to be cleaned is usually only about 60% of the square
footage of the home.
So even though I can't give you
an exact quote over the telephone, here are things I consider when
quoting a price. First, the type of carpet. Certain types of carpet are
harder to clean than others. So before I can give you a quote, I need to
know the type of carpet you want cleaned. Second, the amount of soiling.
Carpet that hasn't been cleaned for ten years will take longer to clean
than carpet that was cleaned within the last six months. Third, the
amount of furniture that has to be moved. If we have to move your
furniture, the bid must include that labor. But if you move your
furniture, you'll save money.
To recap, I consider the type of
carpet, the amount of soiling, and the amount of furniture that has to
be moved. So, as you can now imagine, every quotation is
If you're thinking about
having your carpets cleaned, I offer these four recommendations:
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 pollens, fungus, chemicals and dust mites that live
in your carpet.
List your objectives. Do you want only the dirt removed, something you
could do with a rented machine. Or do you want the bacteria, fungus and
chemicals safely removed, which will require a dry-extraction process
like I 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 company might not be in business tomorrow.
Ask questions. The way you learn about a company is to ask specific
questions and listen carefully to the answers. Here are the questions I
suggest you ask: 1. What method of carpet cleaning do you recommend? 2.
What type of equipment do you use to clean carpet? 3. What does your
equipment remove from my carpet? 4. How often should I get my carpets
cleaned? 5. What training have you had in cleaning carpets?
Recommendation #4: Once
you're satisfied that you're working with an honest, competent
professional, invite him into your home and ask for a specific quotation
in writing. A written quotation gives you the assurance that you know
exactly what your job will cost -- no surprises.
By following these four
recommendations, 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 shampooer and do the job yourself. But if you want your carpeting
to be completely and thoroughly cleaned -- removing the bacteria,
fungus, chemicals, pollens, and tobacco products -- then I invite you to
call me. I'll be happy to answer your questions -- provide you a cost
estimate over the telephone --or come into your home and give you a free
written quotation -- without obligation of any kind.
Here's one last point: I know that many consumers are skeptical about
carpet cleaning companies. Before I got into the business, I was
skeptical too. So in addition to dedicating my business to consumer
education, I do one more thing as well. I guarantee my work. That's
right. I fully guarantee every carpet cleaning job we do. If you aren't
happy with our work, we'll re-clean the area for free. And if you still
aren't pleased, you pay nothing. Not one cent. What could be more
As a matter of fact, add this
question to the list...
Question #6 is "Do you
guarantee your work?" Not all companies do -- and it's important
that you have this information before you make your decision.
Thanks very much for reading
this guide. I hope you found it helpful. If you have questions or
comments -- or if you'd like to schedule a free, in-home quotation,
please call us at ProDry Carpet Care.
On behalf of ProDry Carpet Care--I thank you for your kind
attention. This is Tim Berg.