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Consumer Education Guide

Consumer Education Guide to Carpet Cleaning  

My name is Tim Berg, and I would like to thank you for taking the time to visit my website to learn about superior carpet care methods.

I'm the owner of ProDry Carpet Care. I have been in the carpet cleaning business for over 25 years, and in that time I've learned that carpet cleaning is the subject of much confusion. In fact, people have so many misconceptions about carpet cleaning that I decided to offer this consumer education guide to help you can make an informed intelligent decision when selecting a carpet cleaning company.

In just a moment, I'll share with you five costly misconceptions about carpet cleaning, I'll offer four recommendations when choosing a carpet cleaning company, and I'll give you six questions you should ask a carpet cleaner before you invite them into your home.

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 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, 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, tobacco smoke contains over 4000 different chemical compounds, 43 of which cause cancer. Even if you don't smoke, those chemicals get on your shoes, which you then track in to your home, and become lodged 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.

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 "Steam Cleaning" is the best way to clean carpet. Consider, however, what happens if your carpet gets too wet. Sometimes, because of the type of soil or due to technician error, the carpet gets too wet. This can cause the following problems:

  1. Excessive drying times - which can lead to microbial growth including mold and mildew.
  2. Weakened backing and seams that activates long dormant odors such as old pet accidents.
  3. While cleaning solution is sprayed into the carpet it is usually immediately sucked out along with the soil. However, cleaning solution emulsifies in just 1/2 a second, and if this is not properly rinsed out the chemical residue left behind can in fact attract soil and cause your carpet to get dirty faster than before.

Actually to be done correctly this system should be used in conjunction with shampooing. After vacuuming the carpet it should then be shampooed. Then the extractor("steam cleaning machine") should be used with clean fresh hot water to rinse the carpet of the residue from the shampoo. Most "Steam Cleaning" companies don't do all of these steps because they are labor intensive and not cost effective.

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 form or another. Here are the three methods of dry cleaning carpet.

The dry foam method is an effective low moisture, rapid drying carpet cleaning method that has been used in carpet cleaning for decades. The dry foam method is similar to the rotary shampoo method in that brushes are used to agitate the carpet pile. In the dry foam method, an aerator is used to whip the solution in a foam. The foam is dispensed into the horizontally rotating brushes. As with all carpet cleaning methods, the more chemical that is applied, the longer the drying time. Some machines have their own extraction capability. These machines have the capability to remove shampoo and attached soil particles. Other machines do not have extraction capability. A wet/dry vacuum must be used to remove the shampoo and soil.

The dry compound method spreads an absorbent 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 and DRY 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. 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. The small amount of the compound that does not get vacuumed out on the initial sweeping will be removed on subsequent vacuuming. Some people get a little concerned about this small amount of compound but there is no need, it can actually helps keep the carpet from being re-soiled for a time by absorbing any new soil. All of which is sucked out by your sweeper when you clean your home the next time.

The Padding method uses cotton terry cloth pads to absorb the dirt in the carpet into the pad. A special dirt emulsifying cleaner is sprayed on the carpet. After a couple of minutes a machine called an oscillator, using one of these pads, is moved over the carpet. The dirt is absorbed into the pad. When the pad gets dirty it is replaced with a clean one. This process is repeated until the carpet is clean. After the carpet is clean it is vacuumed with a powerful commercial sweeper to remove the particles dislodged by the oscillator. Sometimes this process is used in conjunction with the dry compound method.This is a superior way to get your carpets clean without too much moisture, and this is the system my company uses.

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 best Dry cleaning company in the business. They have been training dry carpet cleaners since 1936.

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 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 process that will not only clean these things out of your carpet, but at the same time can sanitize 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.

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 myself, 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. To help promote my efforts at consumer education, I am constantly educating myself and keeping abreast of new carpet cleaning methods, carpet types, and what cleaning procedures manufacturers recommend.

If you're thinking about having your carpets cleaned, I offer these 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, and the longer you will 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 safely removed, which will require a dry-extraction process like I use? Do you want to work with an honest, reputable, 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?

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.

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 us call ProDry Carpet Care at 1-765-661-3728.

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 fair?

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.

Thank you 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.

Call our office at 765-661-3728 if we are out working please leave a message and we will return your call promptly.

On behalf of ProDry Carpet Care--I thank you for your kind attention.

Tim Berg
ProDry Carpet Care