FAQs

IS LOWER PRICE BETTER?

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 $13.95 and $19.95 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. Some carpet cleaners even break the law by using illegal bait-and-switch tactics.

WHAT IS 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 a 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.

WHAT 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 cleans the deep-down soil in the carpet, then a method that top cleans only would not be the best for you. So before you choose a carpet cleaner, identify your objectives. Then select the method that best reaches those objectives.

DOES HOT WATER DAMAGE YOUR CARPET?

Years ago, many people believed this was true because 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 biased 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 with a truck-mounted unit used by firms that are IICRC Certified.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR MY CARPET TO DRY?

Dry time is affected by humidity, temperature and air flow to the area. It can take anywhere between 8-24 hours for the carpet to completely dry, depending on the aforementioned variables. Using fans in any rooms cleaned and turning your air conditioning or heating system on, depending on the time of year, can help accelerate drying time. Be sure to leave the protective blocks under furniture legs and any paper used with upholstered items in place until the carpet and/or furniture is completely dry to avoid any color transfer. You may walk on your carpet immediately after cleaning, but avoid wearing street shoes, as they may re-soil your carpet. We suggest wearing clean rubber soled shoes. Be especially careful when walking from damp, carpeted areas on to non-carpeted areas to avoid slipping.

SHOULD I WAIT TO CLEAN MY CARPET UNTIL IT'S VERY DIRTY

A. 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. This cutting causes your carpet to wear out faster. 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.

IS THE ONLY REASON TO CLEAN CARPET 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.

DO I NEED TO VACUUM BEFORE THE REW ARRIVES?

A light vacuuming in the traffic areas is recommended but not required. If needed, the crew can pre-vacuum the area to be cleaned. Also, the equipment is vacuuming the entire time we are cleaning.

IS METHOD OF CARPET CLEANING IS AS GOOD AS ANOTHER?

No. The dry cleaning method – which is dry foam, dry chemicals, and dry compound – do not rinse your carpet in any way. Instead they leave a dirty residue. You might say the 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 you 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-mount 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-mount extraction cleans much better because it heats the water to a high temperature – which breaks up the dirt, bacteria, chemicals and pollens in the carpet. Then the machine uses high suction to draw the dirt and chemicals out of the carpet. This is the method our company uses.

IS HAVING THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT ALL A COMPANY NEEDS TO CLEAN CARPETS PROPERLY?

A. 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! If they don’t have it – don’t use them!

CAN I GET 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 measuring wheel to calculate the exact size of the carpet area.

To give you an idea of how we estimate the cost of cleaning, here are the three things we consider:

First, the type of carpet. Certain types of carpet are harder to clean than other types.

Secondly, 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.

Third, the amount of furniture we have to move. If you move your furniture, you’ll save money.

WHICH METHOD CLEANS BEST?

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.”

You can choose from two different types: Truck-mount extraction, which is done with a large machine mounted on a truck or van. Or portable extraction, which is done with a small hand-held unit.

On which type to choose, Shaw’s Technical Bulletin states: “[cleaning] can be done from a truck-mounted unit outside the facility with only the hose and wand brought inside, or where a truck-mounted unit cannot reach, by a portable, self-contained system brought into the facility.”

As you can see, Shaw recommends the truck-mounted unit first. And this isn’t surprising. You see, the truck-mounted unit cleans much better because it heats the water to a high temperature – and shoots the cleaning solution into the carpet at higher pressures. This breaks up the dirt, bacteria, chemicals and pollens in the carpet. Then the machine produces huge vacuum volume to draw the dirt and chemicals out of your carpet. This is the method our company uses.

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.