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Consumer Guide to Carpet Cleaning

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6 Misconceptions About Carpet Cleaning

Consumer Information Report Reveals Insider Information About Carpet Cleaners That Will Show You How To Get The Best Value For The Money.

Hi! This is Scot Neal.  Thanks very much for your interest in our services.  I’m the owner of A Clean Solution, LLC. We’ve been in business since 2001 in the Raleigh/Durham Area.  I’m grateful for the opportunity to provide you with information about carpet cleaning and help you choose a carpet cleaning company.

Over the years, carpet cleaning has been the subject of much confusion.  In fact, people have so many misconceptions about carpet cleaning that I decided to offer this consumer education message so when you select a carpet cleaning company, you can make an informed intelligent decision.

In just a moment, I’ll share with you six costly misconceptions about carpet cleaning.  Plus I’ll offer four recommendations.  And I’ll give you seven questions you should ask a carpet cleaner before you invite them into your home.

Here we go!

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 the carpet, you grind dirt into your carpet fibers. This cuts and scratches 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, its simply not enough.  Then longer you wait to have your carpet cleaned, the more damage you do to your carpet and the faster it wears out.

Misconception #2The 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 carpet.

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 smoke.

Misconceptions #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.

There are several types of dry cleaning with varying degrees of effectiveness.

DRY CLEANING: First, I’ll explain dry cleaning. Many people believe that dry cleaning your carpet is like dry cleaning your clothing. This is not true.

Clothes are dry cleaned with an intense solvent cleaner called “Perc” (a product that has been shown to cause cancer). Solvents like Perc are waterless liquids and they are not used in carpet cleaning because the solvent oils in the solution dissolve the latex glues that bind carpet yarns to the backing.

The truth is…all carpet cleaning methods use water in one form or another. Some use less water than others.

The reasons some companies use low moisture cleaning methods are: 1) They dry fast, 2) They are easy to produce, 3) Technicians can work very fast, 4) The price is cheaper than a properly done hot water extraction process.

Four Methods of “DRY” or Low Moisture Carpet Cleaning.

DRY FOAM METHOD: 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 effective.

DRY CHEMICAL PROCESS: 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 pad (called a bonnet) on your carpet. Using a rotary 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.

DRY COMPOUND CLEANING: The dry-compound method spreads an absorbent mixture that looks like wet sawdust all over your carpeting. Then the machine brushes the mixture into the carpet, which in theory causes dirt to absorb into the mixture. When the mixture has dried, a vacuum cleaner sucks the material out of the carpeting. Because the carpet is not rinsed in any way, this method is not very effective. Products such as Capture, Host, Kobosan and Spotless are Dry Compound Cleaners.

ENCAPSULATION METHOD: Similar to the dry foam method the cleaning solution mechanically lifts the dirt to the surface of a light foam. Then when the carpet’s dry, an acrylic polymer additive in cleaning the solution crystallizes. Then it cracks off the fiber when the vacuum runs over the carpet. This method is NEW and seems to work well especially on commercial carpets. Not a restorative remedy.

Hot Water Extraction Carpet Cleaning

This is a fancy way of saying that a hot water cleaning solution under high pressure is forced into the carpet fibers and then extracted out of the carpet with a powerful vacuum system.  This method is also referred to as “steam cleaning” even though actual steam is not used.

RESEARCH SAYS RINSING IS BEST: The main benefit to hot water extraction cleaning is the FLUSHING action of the water moving through the fibers.  SHAW Industries (the world’s biggest carpet manufacturer) recently did testing on professional cleaning systems and determined that the amount of soil removed from a carpet is directly proportional to the AMOUNT or volume of water used to RINSE the carpet after cleaning products were applied.

Of course a powerful vacuum system must be used to remove soiled water!

Professional Cleaning Companies compete based on the systems they use to clean carpets. Here are two types of hot water extraction systems.

Portable extraction, which is done with a 5-12 gallon machine. Generally these units are under-powered to deliver adequate water flow. Portable systems can deliver exceptional results IF the technician is experienced and knowledgeable.

Truck mount extraction: a large cleaning machine is mounted in a truck or van.  These systems work well because they take advantage of three mechanical advantages to make cleaning fast and efficient. 1) The truck generates 190-240 degree heat (which aids tremendously in soil removal). 2) Cleaning products are automatically fed into the machine at a precise rate. 3) The truck contains water tanks for fresh and wastewater.

Not surprisingly, hot water extraction cleans much better than the other processes because it shoots the cleaning solution into the carpet at a higher pressure — which breaks up the dirt, bacteria and pollens.

Then the machine uses high-velocity suction to draw the dirt out of the carpet.

No question, the most effective way to clean carpeting is with a high volume extraction unit.  A Clean Solution, LLC  uses the most powerful truck mounted cleaning machine on the market and the only machine that thoroughly cleans your carpet of dirt, harmful bacteria, fungus, chemicals, pollens and tobacco residue.

There are several misconceptions about Hot Water Extraction Cleaning: 1) it causes mold and mildew, our system is so efficient at removing water that the carpet dries in minutes; 2) it shortens the life of a carpet, if carpet manufacturers require this method to maintain 15 year warranties, enough said.  By washing and then rinsing your carpet with hot water, we clean your carpet completely — in the same way that a person who showers and then rinses off the dirt and soap will be much cleaner than a person who takes only a sponge bath, in fact, not only does hot water clean better, faster and with less cleaning agents.  It also dries much quicker and even SANITIZES your carpet.  This makes your home or office free of DUST MITES and other harmful microorganisms for a safer, healthier environment.  (Wool carpet must always be cleaned with lower temperature and milder cleaning solutions.)

Misconception #4Having the right equipment is all a company needs to clean your carpets properly.

Not true. Many companies own hot-water cleaners — 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.

The best carpet cleaning companies are those that have been certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, known as the IICRC.  A carpet cleaning company cannot buy this certification. The carpet cleaner must earn the certification through study, experience and the successful completion of formal, written examinations.  Cleaners who are certified by the IICRC have, in effect, earned a degree in carpet cleaning.

Misconception #5: The company that offers the lowest price is the company you should hire.

No.  The lowest price is rarely the best value!  Here are two important points to consider.

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 shampooers 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 hot water cleaner mounted in a truck.  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.

BAIT & SWITCH: 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 written this report for you. ” Scot Neal

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 think.  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.

What Factors Affect Pricing?

First, the type of carpet. Certain types of carpet require specific cleaning strategies.  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 package you choose. We offer several awesome packages and you get to choose the one that best meets your needs..

To recap, I consider the type of carpet, the amount of soiling, and the benefits you want (packages).  So, as you can now imagine, every quotation is different.

My Four Recommendations:

Recommendation #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 pollens, fungus, chemicals and dust mites that live in your carpet.

Recommendation #2: 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 removed, which will require a high volume extraction machine, 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.

Recommendation #3: 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?

6. Are you a member of any trade associations and, if so, which ones?

7. Are you certified by the IICRC and will you show me your certificate?

Recommendation #4: Once you’re satisfied that you’re working with an honest, competent professional, invite them into your home and ask for a specific quotation in writing. A written quotation gives you the assurance that you know exactly what your investment will be — 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.  To reach me, call 919-878-1915.

In Conclusion:

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.

If you aren’t happy with our work, we’ll reclean the area for free. And if you still aren’t pleased, you pay nothing for the area.  Not one cent.

What could be more fair?

As a matter of fact, add this question to the list. Question #8 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 report.

I hope you found this consumer message helpful. If you have questions or comments — or if you’d like to schedule a free, in-home quotation, please click here to request an appointment  or call me at 919-878-1915.

On behalf of A Clean Solution, LLC — I thank you for your kind attention.

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