I read somewhere that it’s good for people to be able to see who they’re dealing with and to see your equipment. So, here I am with my truckmount. I could stand to lose a few pounds around the mid section but otherwise I’m OK with how this picture turned out. You can be sure when you call us that you’ll get clean, fluffy, fresh-smelling carpet and that you’ll get courteous service every time.
I have just registered my carpet cleaning gilbert blog with technorati. This is the short code they requested – MBJWXDNTSJ9H. If you’re not familiar with technorati it is a “blog directory”. It’s a great place to find all kinds of information. When you claim your blog they ask for this short code in a post so you can prove the you own the blog.
Those who follow this Carpet Cleaning Gilbert blog know that I am insistent that any carpet cleaner worth his salt will pre-vacuum your carpet. Well, I decided that if a picture is worth a thousand words then a video must be even better. So, I took the following video at a recent carpet cleaning job. It shows just how important it is to pre-vacuum if you want truly clean carpet whether you’re in Gilbert or anywhere else. This is part 1. Part 2 is already posted on YouTube and I will link to it here soon.
I set up a google+ business page today. I have many clients who love my service and ask what they can do to help promote my company. They know that we provide the best carpet cleaning in Gilbert. One of the very best things you can do to help grow this business is to submit a review through google+. To do that you need to set up your own google+ account. Just go to http://plus.google.com to set up an account. Then, look for Clearly Clean Carpets and give us a review. We really appreciate your feedback.
I was recently asked “what assumptions do people make about your business that you have to correct”. There are many, but 3 in particular came to mind. Let’s take a look at these carpet cleaning assumptions.
Assumption #1 – I can get my carpet cleaned for $6 per room.
Really? I often ask myself “does anyone really believe those ads for carpet cleaning for $6.95/room”? Don’t they read the fine print that says “additional soiling may require pre-treatment at $0.25/s.f.,” I ask myself. Fortunately, I don’t run into people who think this very often. I have purposely tried to build my business with people who appreciate an honest approach and an excellent job. Most people here in Gilbert and Chandler, Arizona seem to fit that bill. Still, those companies continue to advertise these silly prices and continue to tack on crazy extras that bring the total bill much, much higher. In the process they create enormous ill-will and damage the reputation of professional carpet cleaners. The only silver lining is that they create opportunity for me to distinguish myself.
Assumption #2 – Over the counter spot cleaners do the job.
I encounter this one frequently. Let me give you the cold hard truth. In many cases the major brands do a good job. However, if you try to remove a stain from your carpet with a store bought cleaner and the stain doesn’t come out you have probably permanently set the stain. Or, put another way, when you try to clean and fail, you’ve made it worse. In a nutshell the problem is this. Stains are not created equal. Some require acidic cleaners, other require alkaline. Still others need solvents or oxidizer/reducers. The carpet cleaning product you buy in the store is a one-size-fits-all solution and because of that it often fails. And sets the stain in the process. When it comes to stains it’s best to blot it up, rinse with water, then call a professional carpet cleaner.
Assumption #3 – Replacing carpet with tile or wood floors will improve the allergy situation in my home.
I used to think so. I mean it makes sense doesn’t it? Having all of those carpet fibers holding all of that dust, pet hair, pollen, and who knows what else can’t be good right? Getting rid of the carpet will get rid of the problem. Not do fast. Does the carpet cause the dust or bring in the pet hair? No. In fact, it filters those things. It traps the allergens and acts as part of the home’s filtration system. A recent study out of Germany backs this up. In essence, dirty carpet is like a dirty air filter. It needs to be cleaned, not taken away. I plan to talk more about this in a future post.
As a carpet cleaning professional I routinely come across a number of misconceptions. Here are 5 that I hear most frequently.
1. The main purpose for carpet cleaning is spot removal.
Many people think the main purpose for carpet cleaning is to get spots out. I see this when I walk into a home and the homeowner quickly begins to point out spots on her carpet. This is obviously her number one concern. That’s understandable because we want to have a home that looks clean and that is one of the important things about hiring a carpet cleaner. However, carpet cleaning is much more than spot removal. It is a critical part of maintaining the health of your carpet as well as extending its life. Regular cleaning is recommended by almost every carpet manufacturer. Without regular cleaning carpets wear out much faster. In fact, in many cases the life of the carpet can be cut in half or more without regular cleaning.
2. The carpet machines the you rent at the store are a viable alternative to professional cleaning.
The carpet machines that you rent do contribute to clean carpet. However, there is no way to get enough power into a small portable unit like that to do a thorough job of cleaning your carpet. If that were possible, every carpet cleaner on the planet would use one. Take it from me, if I could avoid dragging hoses in and out of every house and having to purchase $20-$40,000 worth of equipment, I would in a heartbeat. The truth is there simply is no way to get enough water pressure, heat, and vacuum power from a small portable unit. This is why almost every major carpet manufacturer recommends not just “steam cleaning”, but “truck-mounted steam cleaning”. In a nutshell, that means the manufacturers understand the need for the power a truck-mounted unit provides.
3. If the carpet looks clean it doesn’t need to be vacuumed.
Vacuuming has many purposes, not just for appearance of the carpet. Every day our homes are assaulted with any number of fine or even microscopic particles that contribute to the wear of our carpet. Things like dust, dander, hair, and just dirt in general settle on our carpet. These act like sandpaper on the carpet fibers which, over time, wears them out. Many of these things are so small that they are not readily seen. But just because they can’t be seen doesn’t mean they are not doing damage to your carpet. So, one of the most important things you can do to prolong the life of your carpet is to vacuum regularly.
4. Carpet cleaners offer “carpet protector” as a way to make a quick buck.
Modern carpeting, known as fifth-generation carpeting in the business, is vastly improved from prior generations. Today’s carpet contains some amazing stain fighting characteristics including Teflon-based protectors and something called acid dye blockers. While these advances have made carpet stay cleaner, longer, they do wear out over time. Because of this it is beneficial to re-apply carpet protector periodically.
5. Carpets will soil more quickly after they have been professionally cleaned.
Years ago, when carpet cleaning companies primarily used the method known as shampooing, this effect was possible if the carpet cleaner did not follow proper procedures. However, with today’s carpet cleaning methods, specifically truck mounted steam extraction, this is no longer the case. Unless the carpet cleaner in question is using cheap chemicals in improper way, today’s steam cleaning methods and cleaning agents to not leave sticky residue behind. This means carpets will not re-soil more quickly because of the cleaning process.
With this knowledge in hand you are now better prepared to determine your carpet cleaning needs and to hire a quality company when the time comes.
The subject of carpet protector seems to be a confusing one. What does it have to do with carpet cleaning? Is it something that should be applied after cleaning? If so, how often? Finally, what is a fair price?
When a carpet cleaning professional completes a job for a client he will often ask if the client would like to apply protector. Of course, it comes at an additional cost. That can leave the customer feeling like they are being sold something they might or might not need. So, the question is, what is carpet protector and how important is it?
To answer that, we need to look at how today’s carpet is made. Carpet has gone through a number of generations throughout its history. Back in the 70’s manufacturers came out with what is known as fourth-generation carpet. The major improvement was the addition of fluorochemical treatment which aided in soil resistance. Then, years later, manufacturers introduced fifth-generation carpet which added one more protective quality called acid dye blocker.
The important thing to understand about construction of carpet is that these advances were significant. Today’s carpet Is far superior to previous generations in terms of soil resistance.
The problem lies in the durability of those protective properties. Both fluorochemical treatments and acid dye blockers are damaged and eventually removed by heavy traffic. So, in order to maintain the look and quality of your carpet these treatments must be reapplied over time.
The nature of these protective components is also important to consider. Most people understand that they help the carpet resist stains from liquid spills and such. What many people do not understand is that these same treatments also help the carpet to resist solids, even common things like dust and fine dirt. So, when the protective properties of the carpet have been broken down, the carpet looks dirty much faster.
This is one of the reasons many people think their carpet gets dirtier, faster, after it has been cleaned. The reality is that their carpet is just older, more worn, and its protective properties have been worn and damaged. So, after a carpet cleaning it does get dirty quicker than when it was new. But that’s not because of the cleaning, but because of the loss of its protective properties.
The solution is reapplication of carpet protector. This is, in fact, an extra charge in most cases as it requires additional labor and significant additional cost in materials. A fair charge for this service is usually a little bit less than the cost to clean the carpet. This is usually anywhere from 60 to 80% of the cost of cleaning.
While it does not need to be applied after every cleaning, it should be done at least every two years.
I’m not sure how many of you have noticed that Gilbert was recently named the 36 best small town in the country by CNN Money. Well I tend to agree. My family and I have lived here in Gilbert for about six and half years now and we really enjoy it. In fact as were heading into the fall I look forward to everything that we can do in our town.
One thing Gilbert does each fall is called Gilbert days. Gilbert days is essentially a weeklong event that begins with a parade on the first weekend and continues throughout the week and then culminates with a rodeo and carnival. This year Gilbert days are being held the week before Thanksgiving beginning on November 13 and continuing through the 20th.
Even though it’s been quite warm here in the Phoenix area lately, we all know that the cooler weather is just around the corner. That also means that Christmas can’t be far away. I’m always amazed at how many people within the town of Gilbert like to put up Christmas lights. My family and I enjoy taking drives around during the weeks leading up to Christmas to look at all the different light displays.
The town of Gilbert also has a number of wonderful parks to enjoy and probably the largest of these is Freestone Park. Freestone has a number of festivals and even music concerts throughout the year. Another favorite for my family is the riparian reserve located off of Greenfield. This is a great place to go and just relax and sit by the side of the lake, gather your thoughts, play with the dogs and the kids.
Gilbert is also home to one of the best dog parks in the country located off of Ray Road and Greenfield. Of course, no discussion of things to do in Gilbert would be complete without Santan Village Mall. During the cooler months the mall also offers a concert series and is an enjoyable place to spend evenings.
So, in a nutshell, I just wanted to take a few moments out of my normal discussions about carpet cleaning to talk a little bit about our town of Gilbert. It felt like the right thing to do on a Saturday morning. I hope you take advantage of all the things that Gilbert has to offer, especially as the weather cools off. And I also hope you’ll consider Clearly Clean Carpets for all your carpet cleaning needs. We’d love to serve you, which is why we have chosen to focus our business right here in our hometown of Gilbert, Arizona.
How To Perform Spot Removal – Pet Stains
If you have pets in your home, then chances are you need to know something about removing pet stains. Maybe you even treat them like one of your children? Even though you have pee pads down for them in the kitchen, it seems like their favorite spot is in the living room, especially if it’s a new puppy that you are trying to train. Some of them do well letting you know they need to go out when you are home. But when you are out for a while that is a different story. Knowing how to perform spot removal on pet stains will help you a lot. This is a very important part of carpet cleaning.
When you have pet stains or any type of stain, you will want to clean it up as soon as possible. Use a paper towel or some type of cloth that will absorb the spot. Never rub the spot. Blot it with the cloth. If you rub the spot you will only spread the stain and damage the fibers of your carpet.
You can use vinegar and water to remove the stain and the odor from the carpet. Mix two parts water to one part vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the entire stain. Let it sit for a minute then blot it with a paper towel. Do not rub. Keep blotting until all the liquid is absorbed. Hopefully you carpet will then be odor and stain free.
Another method of removing pet stains is with baking soda. We all know that we can use baking soda for many things. Carefully clean the doggy doo or urine from the carpet then cover the stained area with the baking soda. Let the baking soda sit for around ten minutes. Vacuum the baking soda and surrounding area. The baking soda will absorb much of the stain.
Unfortunately, pet stains in your carpet are often some of the most difficult to remove. In many cases you will need a professional carpet cleaner. Make sure your carpet cleaner is certified by the “IICRC”. That way you will know they have been trained to properly deal with pet stains.
Spot cleaning will keep your carpet stain free, prolong the life of your carpet, and keep the entire carpet clean and free of pet dander and other allergens.
Once you’ve decided to get your carpet cleaned you might find yourself confronted with a number of cleaning methods. Most carpet cleaning companies have a method they prefer and only a few offer multiple methods. Of course, there are always new methods being touted as the best.
Let’s look at the major carpet cleaning methods available.
1. Shampoo/Foam -Shampoos or foams are injected into the carpet and agitated. The excess (often dry) is then vacuumed away.
2. Bonnet Cleaning – Similar to shampoo but a “bonnet” (an absorbent cloth) is added which soaks up the dirty solution and removes it.
3. Steam Extraction – Carpets are usually pre-treated with a non-soap cleaning solution that loosens dirt and grime. The carpet is then thoroughly rinsed using very hot water and steam and this is immediately vacuumed away using a very powerful vacuum.
4. Encapsulation – a dry compound is sprinkled on the carpet and is then agitated causing it to surround or “encapsulate” the dirt. The residue and encapsulated dirt are then vacuumed away.
Of course, the question quickly becomes which method is the best. While there are those who will argue about the “best” method, I think we should look to objective, professional organizations and the carpet manufacturers themselves for the answer. According to the Carpet and Rug Institute (which is widely recognized as authoritative), fully 17 out of 20 major carpet manufacturers recommend “truck-mounted steam extraction”.
How is “truck-mounted steam extraction” different from simple “steam extraction”? They are basically the same method, except that a truck-mounted system is much more powerful. These carpet cleaning systems are able to producing hotter water and provide more vacuum. Both of these mean cleaner carpets.
So, when choosing a carpet cleaning professional, you should always look for one who uses truck-mounted steam extraction.