• MISCONCEPTION 1 – You should wait as long as possible to get your carpets cleaned.

Dirt is an abrasive – like sandpaper. Every time you step on the carpet, you grind dirt into the carpet fiber. 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, its 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.

  • MISCONCEPTION 2 – The only reason to clean carpets is pollens get out the dirt

No, As you probably know outdoor air contains the pollens, fungus, bacteria, air pollution, cigarette smoke, car exhaust — and hundreads 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 suprisingly, all those chemicals, pollens and bacteria wind up — you guessed it — in your carpet and furniture!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 contatins 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 into your home and you leave them in your carpet.

If you’re sensitive to cigarette smoke, you might find that you’ll breathe 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, 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, Ill explain dry 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. There are the three methods of dry cleaning carpet. 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 in 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.

The dry-compounded method spreads an absorbing mixture that looks like wet sawdust all over your carpet. 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 our of the carpet. Because the carpet is not rinsed in anyway, this method is not very effective.

The second carpet cleaning method is called hot water extraction. This is a fancy way of saying that hot water solutions under high-pressure are 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.

Shaw Industries, though the world’s largest carpet manufacturer, recommends hot water extraction and you can choose from two different types: portable extraction, which is done with a small machine or truck mount extraction that means the large cleaning machine is mounted in a truck or minivan.

Not surprisingly, a truck mount extraction cleans much better because it heats the water to a higher temperature — and shoots the cleaning solution into the carpet at higher pressure — which breaks up the dirt, bacteria and pollens. Then the machine uses high suction to draw the dirt out of the carpet. This is the method my company uses.

No question, the most effective way to clean the carpet is with a hot water unit mounted in a truck. It is the most powerful cleaning machine on the market and the only machine that thoroughly cleans your carpet of dirt, harmful bacteria, fungus, chemicals, pollens and tobacco residue.

Methods that use cold and even warm water remove dirt — but are not as effective as the hot-water truck mount method.

Some people believe that hot water damages your carpet, but this is not true. By washing and then rinsing your carpet with 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.

  • MISCONCEPTION 4 – Having the right equipment is all a company needs to clean your carpet properly.

Not true. Many companies own hot-water cleaners but a large number of employees don’t know how to use them properly. 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 Certifications, known as 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.

The IICRC provides written credentials to the companies it certifies. So before you choose a carpet cleaner, ask to see written proof of the companies IICRC certification.

  • 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 No. 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 shampoo machines 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 clean. 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. So, remember that the price you see offered may not be for the services you want performed assuring that your carpet remains 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.

Point No. 2: The price you see advertised may not be the price you pay.

Many home-owners have learned that the low-price they saw advertised was not the amount they were charged. 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 apple’s. 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 have dedicated my business to educate the public. The only way you can make an intelligent decision is to have all the facts you need.

  • MISCONCEPTION 6 – Any honest carpet cleaning company should be able to give you an exact price quote over the telephone.

I wish this was 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 device that 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 only be 1200 square feet. This is because most home measurements are outdoor measurements. Plus, I deduct the area taken up by the walls, room dividers and the like. The result is that the actual area to be cleaned is usually only about 60 percent of the square footage of the home.

So even though I can’t give you an exact quote of the telephone, here are the things I consider when quoting a price.

First, the type of carpet. Certain types of carpet are harder to clean that others. 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 clean for ten years will take longer to clean than carpet that was cleaned within the last six months.

Third, the amount of furniture that has to be moved. If we have to move your furniture, the bid must include that labor. But if you move your furniture, you’ll save money.

To recap, I consider the type of carpet, the amount of soiling, and the amount of furniture that has to be moved. So, as you can now imagine, every quotation is different.