At Steven Wildman High Quality Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning we offer free carpet care and spot removal advice to carpet owners. Over time we receive calls from consumers who have employed the services of ‘cut price cleaners’ and have been left, at best, with results they were disappointed with and at worst, with badly damaged carpets.
Invariably the customer has been enticed by low cleaning rates. We’ve all seen the leaflets; £15.00 per room £60.00 the whole house! It turns out that the ‘cheap cleaners’ are a false economy, the old saying ‘you buy cheap, you pay twice’ comes to mind or as my father used to say “if you pay peanuts you get monkeys”.
To be able to quote so low means that certain cleaning processes are invariably cut short or not carried out at all. The first important step in carpet cleaning is vacuuming. Over 80% of the soil in carpet is grit, dust and sand that has worked its way to the bottom of the pile. It is this coarse material, tracked in on the soles of shoes, that abrades the fibres and if not removed can cause premature wear and pile flattening. In synthetic fibre carpets it ‘scratches’ the fibre causing it to lose its lustre and develop permanent grey/brown traffic lanes.
After dry soil removal, many different methods of cleaning can be employed; however the majority have two distinct steps. The first step is to apply a cleaning product to the carpet, agitate and leave to dwell for a few minutes. Step two is to rinse this product away when using hot water extraction or vacuum away if using low moisture and ‘dry compound’ cleaning. With cut price cleaning, step one is often cut short or omitted and then the cleaner tries to combine it with step two.
Another way to cut costs is to use cheaper cleaning products that are not so effective or to dilute the product to a higher ratio. This has an obvious effect on the end results.
Cut price cleaning companies rarely have the resources to invest in professional training for their technicians, leading to potential problems being overlooked, and technicians working without the knowledge of cleaning chemistry necessary for safe and effective cleaning of all the different fibres in the market today.
The last stage in the cleaning of domestic or commercial carpet is drying. Drying times can vary depending on the cleaning process. Dry compound cleaning leaves the carpet dry in as little as half an hour, other low moisture methods can be dry in a couple of hours. With hot water extraction, carpets are dry between six to twelve hours maximum. Cut price cleaners rarely invest in the good quality cleaning equipment that can achieve this. A common complaint we hear from unhappy carpet owners is that their carpet is still wet a day or 2 later! This is very dangerous as mould can start to develop after as little as 12 hours. If the still damp carpets are walked on or have the furniture replaced on them, excessive soiling and permanent staining can be the result.
So how do you find a good cleaner?
Make sure they are members of a reputable industry body such as The WoolSafe Organisation, then you can rest assured that they have full insurance and follow a code of practice. If you have natural fibre carpet then using a WoolSafe Approved Service Provider is the best option. It not only ensures that your comfortable floor covering is being looked after by a natural fibre care specialists but also that only products that have been tested and certified as safe and effective for your carpet are being used on them.