In this section we’ll give you the information you need to make an informed decision about carpet and upholstery cleaning, by exposing some of the common misconceptions we hear.
You should wait as long as possible before getting your carpets and upholstery cleaned.
This is certainly not true.
Dirt and grit is abrasive – just like sandpaper. Every time you step on your carpet, you grind abrasive dirt into your carpet fibres. This cuts your carpet, just as if you were using a knife, causing it to wear out faster. A dirty carpet will not last nearly as long as a clean carpet. While vacuuming does remove some of this dirt its not enough on it’s own. The longer you wait to have your carpets cleaned, the more damage you can do, the faster it will wear out and the sooner you will have to go to the expense of replacing it. A similar thing applies to upholstery. Dirt is abrasive to fabrics, particularly the modern flat weave and cotton prints.
Also, any fabric protector applied when new will wear with use. Cleaning allows for the protection treatment to be ‘topped up’, in fact Du-Pont, one of the worlds largest carpet fibre manufacturers, recommends reprotecting carpet every twelve months.
Carpets and soft furnishings only need cleaning when they look dirty.
This is another very common myth.
As you probably know, outdoor air contains air pollution, cigarette smoke, car exhaust, pollens, fungi, bacteria – 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 furnishings. Most people do not understand that your carpet and upholstery act as a filter. They are the biggest air filter in your home. As the air moves about your house the particles in the air are “grabbed” by the carpet and fabrics as the air moves over it. These particles are then ground in with everyday use.
If you have allergies, asthma, emphysema, or other breathing problems – one major source of your problem could be the pollens, fungi, and chemicals in your carpet.
So, in addition to getting rid of dirt, another important reason to clean your carpets and furnishings is to get rid of pollens, fungi, bacteria, chemicals and the other nasty ‘critters’ hiding in there.
One method of carpet cleaning is as good as another.
If this were the case we would not need to have invested in using an exclusive patented cleaning method. If a patented method was no better than other methods there would be no need to patent it. Having looked at, and tried many of, the other systems available we believe we offer you the best method available.
To give you a fuller understanding: you can choose from three primary methods: “Natural®” Carbonated Cleaning, Dry Chemical Cleaning, or Hot Water Extraction commonly known as “Steam Cleaning”.
Dry Chemical and Hot Water Extraction methods have a tendency to leave dirt attracting sticky residue in your carpet or fabrics, and either fail to thoroughly remove the soil from the fibres and can take several days to dry if the technician doing the cleaning doesn’t know what they are doing! Know whether or not you are getting a truck mounted cleaner or a portable system. Portable steam cleaners tend not to provide the type extraction power needed to extract the volume of water they use, if they’re going to do a thorough deep clean. Portable unit steam cleaners tend to do a quick surface clean, to ensure they don’t over wet the carpet and can’t extract it back out.
The Chem-Dry method is a hot carbonating extraction method that utilises a patented cleaning product called the “Natural®”. The “Natural®” is a mineral based solution that contains no soaps, detergents, bleaches or brighteners. This process is only offered by Chem-Dry franchises and most carpets dry in 1-2 hours. Because the system only uses around a quarter of the volume of water a steam cleaner would use, and the fizzing bubbles clean deep into the carpet then lift to the surface, Chem-Dry only require a portable unit to clean most domestic jobs. Most Chem-Dry’s will only use their truck mounted equipment on severely soiled domestic carpets, or commercial carpeting.
Having the right equipment is all a company needs to clean your carpets properly.
Anyone can buy carpet and upholstery cleaning equipment, even the ‘best’, most powerful equipment can be bought by people with NO TRAINING OR QUALIFICATIONS, that is the sad truth about about our industry. The guy cleaning in your home may have no recognised training, and if he’s a ‘one man band’ may never even bother with updating his skills or knowledge.
As a minimum, all personnel from the company owner to the technicians should be thoroughly trained in the theory and practice of carpet and upholstery cleaning and maintenance. Proper carpet and upholstery cleaning is part chemistry, part investigative research and lots of hard work. Since the furnishings in your home are likely the most expensive single items in your home, are you going to trust their maintenance and care to the first guy that comes along who says he has just bought all of the equipment, and now he is a Carpet cleaner! Not likely. That would be like letting your neighbour work on your brand new car after he went down to Halfords and bought a few tools at the pre-Christmas sale. It’s just not that easy.
Then how do you know who is qualified to clean your valuable carpet and upholstery investment?
Chem-Dry technicians follow strict industry standards each and every time they clean your carpets or upholstery. All work is done to the PAS86:2008 British Standard. They receive training updates a minimum of twice a year keeping them abreast of the latest techniques in carpet and fabric care. Ask any other cleaner if they work to these standards, you’ll be amazed at how many don’t even know about them!
Chem-Dry is the leading domestic carpet and upholstery cleaning network in the UK. We have won the respect of home owners, business owners and the country’s largest insurers. The Chem-Dry carpet and upholstery cleaning process is world renowned, in fact, every 4 seconds someone, somewhere invites Chem-Dry to clean their home, cleaning over a billion square feet of carpeting a year. In addition we conform to ISO 9001 Quality Standards. We are independently audited annually to those standards.
The company that offers the lowest price is the company you should use
Maybe … but not always. Here are two important points to consider:
The price you are 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 cleaner to remove only some of the dirt, you can choose from dozens of companies that use shampoos or other cleaning methods or you can go to a DIY shop and rent a portable machine. Chances are, this will not produce the results you were hoping for, your carpets will resoil very quickly, and in the end you will not have saved as much money as you thought you might have.
On the other hand, if you want your carpet thoroughly cleaned – if you want to remove the harmful dirt, bacteria, pollens, chemicals and other residues – then you need to use a company that uses a deep cleaning restorative cleaning process. This is the only way to ensure that your carpets remain healthy and free from dirt, disease causing bacteria and harmful chemicals.
So remember that the price you see offered may not be for the services you want performed or for the way you want them performed!
The price you see advertised or are offered over the phone may not be the price you pay when the cleaner gets in your home. This is called “Bait and Switch” and is illegal. BBC Watchdog ran an article exposing these tactics. They quote a tempting low price, sometimes as low as £20 a room, then it turns out if you wanted ‘a proper clean’ the price is usually more than other reputable cleaners would have charged. Not only that they use high pressure tactics to have it done as they are already there. By educating yourself on their tactics and methods you can protect yourself from falling prey to their initial low advertised or advised price.
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.
However, you will find many carpet cleaners out there who are professionals, who offer excellent customer service, guarantee their work and who offer fair value packed pricing … in a word, “professionals” who work hard to earn your trust and respect each and every day they come to work.
Any good 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 at the price of £25.00 per room, then the price will be £100.00. But this isn’t always true. Why? Because many “By-the-Room” carpets cleaners have charges for special fabrics, travel charges and compulsory deodorization applications, or they won’t guarantee their work. Know what you are getting for your money before inviting them into your home.
Professional and reputable carpet cleaning companies usually price carpet cleaning based on the size of the room and some other factors. Professional cleaners will want to visit your home and provide a quick, free of charge and no obligation fixed price quote. This in home inspection and quotation is not a gimmick. It gives the cleaner a chance to measure the areas to be cleaned, to see the carpeting or fabric and do a few small checks, for example the fibre type and colour fastness. They can also answer any concerns and other questions you may have. For the customer, it is a no risk means by which you can get a firm written quote, it gives you the opportunity to ask questions and also gives you a chance to see if this is the type of company you want to do business with.
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 approximately 150 square metres in size, the amount of carpeting to be cleaned might only be 100-120 square metres. This is because when the areas taken up by walls, room dividers, fitted furniture and the like. are deducted, the result is that the actual area to be cleaned is usually only about 75% of the square metreage of the home.
In addition, you may only want to have the “high traffic” areas of your home cleaned. This makes sense if the furniture in a given room has always been in one place and will likely always be there. Why pay to clean areas of your home that are covered up and are not dirty. High Traffic cleaning can save you money.
The type of carpet. Certain types of carpet and fabric are harder to clean, or more delicate than others. So before a professional carpet cleaner can give you a quote, they need to know the type of carpet you want cleaned.
The amount of soiling. Carpet or upholstery that hasn’t been cleaned for ten years will take longer to clean than carpet that was cleaned within the last six months. In addition, furnishings that are regularly maintained and have a stain guard applied are easier to clean than those that are not maintained and have let the stain guard protection inherent in modern carpets get walked off.
The amount of furniture that has to be moved. Obviously if there is lots of furniture to move this will mean the job takes longer and this will be reflected in the quotation given. On the other hand if your rooms are clearer with little furniture to move then this will also be reflected in the price. Without visiting, a professional firm cannot tell what furniture needs to be moved and how this will affect the price.
Finally, access to your property. If you live in a house with 10 steps to your front door then unfortunately that is going to be reflected in the price. If you’ve just had a cheap price over the phone you can guarantee that the cleaner will not be happy when he arrives and sees those steps. You wouldn’t want a frustrated cleaner rushing the job because they’ve under priced it would you?
To recap, professional cleaners will consider the type of carpet or upholstery to be cleaned, the amount of soiling on the carpets or upholstery, and the amount of furniture that has to be moved. So, as you can now imagine, every quotation is different and in many cases is very difficult to provide over the phone.
Wow, that’s a lot of information, but hopefully you’ve found it useful. If you want any help or advice just call us.Call Mary or Allan now 01302 638 698
or email allanjnr@ChemDryExperts.co.uk