So it's been almost a year since you had your carpets cleaned and you've got company coming in town for a Fourth of July bash. Money's tight so you search Craigslist for an affordable company to come do some serious carpet cleaning. That's where you find it. That giant captain that says: "CARPET CLEANING FOR ENTIRE HOUSE, JUST $69." You think, "why not?" "What's the worst that can happen?"
There are many reasons why you need to be careful here. First of all, the obvious reasons: Is this company insured? Is this company bonded? Do they have a business license? What type of training do they have? Are they certified? Do they have tattoos over every surface of their bodies? What types of chemicals are they using? What type of equipment are they using?....The list goes on. One thing you can be sure of, (and this is true in every aspect of business) if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Chances are at these prices, you don't have any idea what type of service you are going to get or who (or what) is going to come in to your home. Still, there is an even bigger danger here to consider.
Let's think of this in terms of laundry. What happens if you stain a nice shirt with coffee or wine? For the purpose of this example, let's say this stain sat on that shirt for some time in the laundry basket. Then, your spouse put this shirt through the wash without noticing the stain. What just happened? You guessed it, the stain is "set." An otherwise treatable stain is now permanent. The exact same thing can happen with your carpet.
You see, carpet cleaning is not rocket science but there is a process. There is most definitely a right way and a wrong way to carpet cleaning. If a carpet cleaner does not use the proper chemicals or equipment on an otherwise treatable stain, that stain can now become permanent. In other words, your carpet is ruined because of bad carpet cleaning. For example, I recently had a customer with a typical light color synthetic carpet. There was a lot of traffic area soiling (dirt stains) in between her couch and coffee table. I thought to myself, "this customer is going to be so impressed with her carpet when I finish this." Truth be told, I see these types of high traffic soiling areas all the time. These types of stains almost always come completely out of the carpet making the carpet look new and me look like a hero. Such was not the case with this particular situation. In the end, I used some spotting techniques to make her carpet look much better but there was still a slight shadow of where the original traffic area was. The customer was VERY pleased with the end result but I was not. After interviewing the customer I realized what the problem was. In the past, this customer has always cleaned her carpet herself by renting a Rug Doctor at the local grocery store. The problem is that you are not always using the right chemicals (or equipment) for the right types of carpet and stains. Without using the right product for this traffic area, the customer "set" the stain in the carpet before I even arrived. It's like throwing your nice shirt in the laundry without properly treating the stain first. The end result is that you might think you are saving some hard earned cash by "going cheap" but you could end up spending a lot more money in the long run by sacrificing your entire carpet by "setting" the stains. I can say with a great deal of confidence that if the customer had called me initially to clean her carpets instead of using the Rug Doctor, her carpets would still look like new. The same goes for other "low budget" carpet cleaners. I can testify that there are a lot of companies out there offering very cheap service and they just don't have proper carpet cleaning training, chemicals or equipment.