Carpet Cleaning – Pet Stains

Our pets are a super important part of our lives. Of course they're also pretty rough on our carpet and really increase the need for regular carpet cleaning. And when it comes to pet stains I think we all tend to think of the same thing. But for this post I'm going to talk about another kind of pet stain.

As a professional carpet cleaner I can tell you that one of the harder stains to remove is the oil from a dog or cats hair. When they lie in the same place day after day the oil from their skin and hair rubs off onto the carpet. Because virtually all carpet fibers are oil based (they are essentially plastic, which is made from oil), the oil from the hair is attracted to the carpet fiber and forms a very tight "bond" with it. Over time, this bond becomes incredibly difficult to break. The fact that it mixes with dirt too doesn't help.

So now you know about the other "pet stain". Make sure you hire a true professional when it comes time to have your carpet cleaned. He or she should know what to do with these and other carpet cleaning issues.

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Google+

I've been working on setting up and fully developing my Google+ profile. Part of that is setting up the sites I contribute to, including this one. Here is a relevent link - http://plus.google.com/u/0/104167872779251951432?rel=author

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New Carpet Cleaning Van!

We recently got a new van and thought we would show it off. It's a 2012 Nissan NV with a brand new Sapphire Scientific 370ss in it. Here are some pictures….

New carpet cleaning van at our gilbert az location

new carpet cleaning truckmount

Back doors of new van

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me with trailer

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.

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Technorati

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.

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Pre-vacuum video

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.

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Google+

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.

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Carpet Cleaning Assumptions

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.

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5 Common Misconceptions about Carpet Cleaning

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.

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Carpet Protector – Is It Worthwhile?

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.

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