Read this guide and you'll discover:
Choosing a carpet cleaner isn't easy. Why? Because you're bombarded with misleading advertising, confusing claims and simply bad information. From super-low prices and high-pressure sales to unqualified technicians and near-worthless methods how do you ever find a qualified, competent, professional carpet cleaner? You start by reading this Consumer's Guide. In this fact-filled guide, you'll discover how to avoid four carpet cleaning rip-offs, eight mistakes to avoid when choosing a carpet cleaner, and four steps to a fresh, clean, healthy carpet. I wrote this guide to help you better understand carpet cleaning. Now, with this information, you can make an informed, decision. And if you have any questions about carpet, tile and grout or upholstery cleaning, Mattress Cleaning,or Flood Damage you're invited to call us at (405) 631-1209.
We've dedicated our business to educating consumers. We'll be happy to help you in every way.
I have been in the Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Industry for 30 years. My company is Mill Certified by The Bane Clene Institute. You can reach them at 1-800-428-9512 to verify our certification. I have dedicated this business to helping homeowners get the highest return from their carpet and furniture investment. I welcome your inquiries and will gladly answer your questions over the telephone.
Jeff Citro Sr.
The King of Clean
Citro's Carpet Cops
Taking a bite out of Grime
RIP-OFF #1: UNBELIEVABLY LOW PRICE.
To some degree, all of us are attracted by low price because we want to work within a budget. But some carpet cleaners use price as the bait for their false and misleading advertising. They offer a cheap price and then, once they're in your home, they pressure you into buying add-ons that should have been included. It's as if you were buying a car and found that the dealer was charging you extra for the tires and steering wheel. Carpet cleaning is not as cheap as some unethical carpet cleaners would like you to believe.
RIP-OFF #2: BAIT AND SWITCH.
Dual process carpet cleaning describes the process of shampooing or heavy preconditioning, followed with hot water extraction cleaning. Unfortunately, unethical carpet cleaners often use dual process as a bait-and-switch technique. Here's how it's done: first, they bait' you with a basic cleaning (single process) at an unbelievably low price. Then, once they are in your house, they try to switch you to more expensive dual-process cleaning. If you don't fall for their switch and choose their basic service, you'll likely receive poor workmanship using little or no chemical and they will not guarantee their work.
RIP-OFF #3: UNSUPPORTED CLAIMS. THIS CLEANING METHOD IS THE BEST. You'll read this in almost every ad. You'll hear this from virtually every carpet cleaner. Remember this: the method that's best for you is the method that achieves your goal. If you want a method that dries quickly, then a method that takes a long time to dry isn't the best for you. So before you choose a carpet cleaner, identify your objectives. Then select the method that best reaches those objectives.
RIP-OFF #4: OUTDATED BELIEFS. HOT WATER DAMAGES YOUR CARPET. Years ago, many people believed this was true because their carpets were damaged by technicians' who didn't know how to properly clean using hot water. But today, we know it's false. By cleaning your carpet with hot water, your carpet is thoroughly cleaned 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. Obviously, each carpet cleaner will be biased towards his own method. And each method does have advantages. So I suggest you look to what carpet manufacturers say. Shaw Industries, the largest carpet manufacturer in the world, recommends only hot water extraction cleaning with a truck-mounted unit used by firms that are certified.
You should wait as long as possible before cleaning your carpet.
Dirt is an abrasive like sandpaper. Every time you step on your carpet, you grind dirt into the carpet fibers. This cuts your carpet, just as if you had used a knife. A dirty carpet will not last as long as a clean carpet. And while vacuuming helps by itself, it's 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 to remove the dirt.
As you probably know, outdoor air contains pollens, fungus, bacteria, air pollution, cigarette smoke, car exhaust and hundreds of other chemicals. When you come into your home, you carry those pollens, bacteria and chemicals in your hair and on your skin, clothing and shoes. Not surprisingly, all those chemicals and toxins wind up in your carpet.
If you have allergies, asthma, emphysema, or other breathing problems one major source of your problem could be the pollens, fungus, smoke and chemicals in your carpet.
MISCONCEPTION #3: One method of carpet cleaning is as good as another.
No. The dry cleaning methods which are dry foam, dry chemicals and dry compounds do not rinse your carpet in any way. Instead, they leave a dirty residue. You might say they clean your carpet only halfway. The most effective cleaning method is hot water extraction.
Hot water extraction means a hot water cleaning solution, under pressure, is sprayed onto your carpet and then sucked out of your carpet. Shaw Industries, the world's largest carpet manufacturer, recommends hot water extraction as the primary method of cleaning carpets, along with a certified firm.
If they use a large unit that operates from a van or truck outside your facility, it's called truck-mounted extraction. If they use a small unit that can be brought inside, it's called portable extraction. First choice is the truck-mounted unit and it recommends the small, portable unit only in areas where the truck-mounted unit won't reach.
The truck-mounted extraction cleans much better because it heats the water to a higher temperature which breaks up the dirt, bacteria, chemicals and pollens in the carpet. Then the machine uses high suction to draw the dirt and chemicals out of your carpet. This is the method 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 Extraction machines but not everyone teaches their employees how to use them properly. This is why it's important that you choose your carpet cleaner carefully. The best cleaning companies are those that have been Mill Certified or by the IICRC. Before you choose a carpet cleaner, ask to see written proof of the company's Mill Certification or IICRC certification If they don't have them, don't use them!
MISCONCEPTION #5: The Company that offers the lowest price is the company you should hire.
No. I've seen so many problems arise from lowest-bid companies that I suggest you NEVER hire the company that quotes the cheapest price. The two most common problems are:
(1) The price may not be for the services you want performed. The company may be equipped to remove only the dirt from your carpet. But you may want bacteria, fungus, pollens, dust mites and tobacco residues removed as well.
(2) The price you see advertised might not be the price you pay. Many homeowners have learned that the low price they saw advertised only lasted until the carpet cleaner got into their home. Then they were pressured into paying a lot more for a variety of add-ons. (Some carpet cleaners even break the law by using illegal bait-and-switch tactics.
MISCONCEPTION #6: Any honest carpet cleaning company should be able to give you an exact price quote over the telephone.
I wish this were true, but it isn't.
Honest, reputable carpet cleaning companies almost never price carpet cleaning by the room. Instead, carpet cleaning is usually priced 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 of your rooms.
To give you an idea of how we estimate the cost of cleaning, here are the three things we consider:
First, the type of carpet, certain types of carpet are harder to clean than other types.
Secondly, the amount of soiling, carpet that hasn't been cleaned for ten years will take longer to clean than carpet that we cleaned within the last six months.
Third, the amount of furniture we have to move. If you move your furniture, you'll save money.
Asphalt, Bacteria, exhaust, Chemicals, Dirt, Dust, Dust mites, Earth, Food particles, Fungus, Germs, Gravel, Grease, Grime, Grit, Hair, Industrial waste, Mud, Pet stains, Pollens, Pollutants, Rocks, Sand, Scum, Smoke, Soil, Soot, Tar, Tobacco smoke, Urine.
don't forget living creatures, such as dust mites, fleas and critters that live, hide and breed in your carpet.
Dry foam: The carpet cleaner applies shampoo to your carpet, allows it to dry, and then, without rinsing, and sucks the dried shampoo into a vacuum. Can you imagine applying shampoo to your hair, allowing it to dry and then removing the shampoo from your head with a vacuum? This method leaves dirty residue in your carpet, which is one reason dry foam is not too effective.
Absorbent pad (bonnet cleaning): This method is similar to dry foam, except that the company sets a large cotton bonnet on your carpet and with a floor polishing buffer machine on top buffs' the carpet. The rotating motion causes the bonnet to absorb dirt from your carpet. This method is also called bonnet cleaning. Bonnet cleaning is like trying to use a large cotton towel or mop to rub the dirt out of your carpet. It's not very effective.
Dry, absorbent powder: The dry-compound method spreads a moist, absorbent powder through the carpet. The powder is allowed to dry and then sucked into a vacuum. This method leaves dry sponge particles at the base of the carpet yarn. And because the carpet is not rinsed, this method is not very effective.
Hot water extraction: This is a fancy way of saying that a hot water cleaning solution under pressure is forced into your carpet and then sucked out of your carpet. In a recent Technical Bulletin, Shaw Industries, the world's largest carpet manufacturer, recommends the hot water extraction system, which research indicates provides the best capability for cleaning.' You can choose from two different types: Truck-mount extraction, which is done with a large machine mounted on a truck or van. Or portable extraction, which is done with a small, hand-held unit.
On which type to choose, Shaw's Technical Bulletin states:'[cleaning] can be done from a truck-mounted unit outside the facility with only the hose and wand brought inside, or where a truck-mounted unit cannot reach, by a portable, self-contained system brought into the facility.'
As you can see, Shaw recommends the truck-mounted unit first. And this isn't surprising. You see, the truck-mounted unit cleans much better because it heats the water to a high temperature and shoots the cleaning solution into the carpet. This breaks up the dirt, bacteria, chemicals and pollens in the carpet. Then the machine produces huge vacuum volume to draw the dirt and chemicals out of your carpet. This is the method our company uses.
No question, the most effective way to clean carpeting is with a hot-water unit. It's the most powerful cleaning machine on the market and the only machine that cleans your carpet of dirt, harmful bacteria, fungus, chemicals, pollens, tobacco residue, and dust mites.
Some people believe that hot waster damages your carpet. By cleaning your carpet with hot water, we clean your carpet completely in the same way the person who showers and then rinses off the dirt and soap will be much cleaner that the person who takes only a sponge bath.
MISTAKE #1: Choosing a carpet cleaner based on equipment alone. No question, your carpet cleaner needs first-rate equipment. But he also needs something else. He needs employees who are skilled at operating that equipment. Many company's own hot-water extractors, but very few companies teach their employees how to use them properly. The best way to know that the carpet cleaner's employees have been properly trained is to make sure the cleaner has been Mill Certified or Trained by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). Before you choose a carpet cleaner, ask to see written proof of the company's and the technician's Certification.
MISTAKE #2: Choosing a carpet cleaner based on low price. Low price could be a problem in three ways: (1) low price can be the bait that attracts your phone call. But once the cleaner gets into your home, he pressures you into a much more expensive job. (2) Low price can be for single-process cleaning. Rarely does the consumer know what this means and, when told, asks for dual-process cleaning instead, which costs much more. (3) Low price means the carpet cleaner has cheap equipment, which will not effectively clean your carpet.
MISTAKE #3: Choosing a carpet cleaner based on a single telephone call. Instead, invite the person to your home and ask for a specific written quotation. Then you'll know exactly what the carpet cleaner recommends and you won't be the victim of high-pressure tactics when the technician steps into your living room.
MISTAKE #4: Choosing a carpet cleaner who doesn't offer a money-back guarantee. In my view, every carpet cleaning company should be fully accountable for its work. And if you aren't pleased with the job in every way, you shouldn't have to pay for it. Period. Not all carpet cleaners offer a guarantee. Or, if they do, the guarantee may be limited. Ask the carpet cleaner if he offers a money-back guarantee and then make sure the carpet cleaner includes his guarantee on his written quotation.
MISTAKE #5: Choosing a carpet cleaner without getting comments from his other clients. Any carpet cleaner can say anything about his past jobs. And, sadly, some of what he says may not be true. Make sure you ask for references or read comments from current customers so you can depend on the carpet cleaner and his work.
MISTAKE #6: Choosing a carpet cleaner who isn't Mill Certified or certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC).
If your carpet cleaner isn't a close friend, you may not know whether he has the knowledge or experience to clean your carpet well. If you want to be sure you're hiring a competent professional, make sure he is certified. The carpet cleaner must earn that certification through study, experience and successful completion of formal, written examinations. In effect, cleaners who are Mill Certified or are certified by the IICRC have earned a college degree in carpet cleaning.
MISTAKE #7: Not Checking the reviews other people have left about their experience
MISTAKE #8: Choosing a carpet cleaner who doesn't use a truck-mounted hot water extraction system.
You might expect this from me, since my employees and I use this type of system. But there are several good reasons. Portable hot water systems are good, but they aren't as good as truck-mounted systems. Truck-mount systems are the Rolls Royce of carpet cleaners. Compared with portable hot water systems, truck-mount systems have much stronger suction. Then there is the water. Portable units have to be filled with a bucket of water that can be spilt on your carpet causing a big headache. With Truck mounted Units some of then need to use your outside faucet. We however bring all our own water, either way there is no chance of making a mess. So all the way around, you get a much better job. No two ways about it.
Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.
When you select a carpet cleaner, you'll choose from a wide variety of cleaning methods and prices.
Shaw Industries, the world's largest carpet manufacturer, recommends hot water extraction from a truck-mounted unit, and using a portable unit only in areas where the truck-mounted unit won't reach.
Here's why: A truck-mounted unit cleans much better than a portable unit for three reasons:
(1) It heats the water to a higher temperature. For every 18-degree increase in temperature above 118 degrees F, you double the water's cleaning ability. So if the water temperature is 136 degrees F, it will clean twice as well as water that is 118 degrees F. 154-degree water will clean four times as well as 118-degree water. And so on, until you reach a water temperature of 250 degrees F.
(2) It sprays the cleaning solution onto your carpet at higher pressures, which breaks up the dirt, bacteria, chemicals and pollens, 160 to 200 pounds per square inch is the optimum pressure for truck-mounted hot water extraction. Some cleaners will use extremely high pressure to clean with but that tends to saturate the carpet with water that gets into the pad and can cause mold and mildew to form.
(3) The machine uses stronger suction to draw the dirt, chemicals, bacteria, pollens and tobacco smoke residue out of your carpet.
Not surprisingly, having your carpet thoroughly cleaned with truck-mount hot water extraction costs more than renting a shampooer at the corner grocery store.
If you bought the cheapest carpeting you could find, then renting a small shampooer might be all you need. No question, it will get out some of the dirt but the key word here is some. It will not get out many of the pollens, chemicals, bacteria and dust mite residues.
On the other hand if you want your carpet to look good and give you years of dependable service then you need to take extra good care of it. This means you need to have it cleaned by a skilled, qualified technician at least every six months to one year, depending on the amount of soiling and foot traffic it receives. And you need to have it cleaned thoroughly and disinfected, as only a truck-mount hot water extractor can do.
Which is more important to you: a clean carpet or a clean and healthy carpet?Yes, I assure you, there is a big difference.
Each carpet cleaning method has advantages and disadvantages. Some methods will get out only the dirt. Other methods will get out dirt and grease. Still others will get out virtually everything. And, to be sure, some are more expensive than others.
If all you want is a cheap, rinse-the-dirt-off-the-top cleaning which you might find for around $3.95 per room then I respectfully ask that you call another company.
But if you want to protect your health if you want to protect your investment in carpeting if you want to protect your family from the countless bacteria, fungus, pollens and dust mites that reside in your carpet, then you're invited to call me.
The truck-mounted hot water unit is the most effective cleaning system available today. Likewise, it's one of the most expensive units on the market. But we bought this unit for a good reason: more and more families want the good-health benefits that come from having a fresh, clean carpet.
Have you ever seen how dirty a little boy's pants get when he plays outdoors?If you have, then you know you can brush off his pants and make him think they're clean. Or, if you want the job done right, you can machine wash them in hot water and detergent and you'll KNOW they're clean.
The same is true for your carpet. You can hire someone for $25 to $50 who will brush off' your carpeting and make you think it's clean. Or, if you want the job done right, I'll clean your carpets with hot water and detergent using my state-of-the-art cleaning machine and you'll KNOW they're clean.
So if you want a thoroughly clean carpet, if you're willing to invest in your family's good health, you're invited to call us. You'll receive a written quote, at no cost or obligation. And if you give us the go-ahead, you're further protected with our;
We want you to be super-pleased in fact, absolutely delighted with every carpet and upholstery job we do. So every job comes with our ironclad, risk-free guarantee. What does this mean? Simply this: If you aren't happy with our work, we'll re-clean the area for free. And if you still aren't pleased, we will refund your money and make a $50 donation to the charity of your choice. Many companies don't guarantee their work but we feel nothing is more important than your complete and total satisfaction. We stand behind every job 200%. If you ever have any questions or concerns about our work, please call us right away.
If you're thinking about having your carpets cleaned, we encourage you to follow these four steps:
STEP #1: Make a commitment to yourself to get your carpets cleaned. The longer they remain dirty, the sooner (Boomer!) they'll wear out. Plus, the longer you have to breathe all the pollen, fungus and chemicals that hid in your carpet.
STEP #2: List your objectives. Do you want only the dirt removed, something you could do with a rented shampooer?Or do you want all the bacteria, fungus, chemicals and dust mites removed, which will require a hot water truck-mount cleaner, as we use? Do you want to work with an honest, reputable company or are you willing to risk working with the company that offers you the lowest price knowing that the company might not be in business tomorrow?
STEP #3: Ask questions. The way you learn about a company is to ask specific questions and listen carefully to the answers. Here are eight tough questions to ask a carpet cleaner before he begins to clean your carpet:
8 Tough Questions To Ask Your Carpet Cleaner Before He Cleans Your Carpet:
•Do you charge extra for spot cleaning?
•Do you pretreat all the carpet you are going to clean?
•If not, why?
•How often should I get my carpet cleaned?
•What can you do if i need my carpets to dry really fast?
•What method of cleaning do you use?
•What Training have you had?
•What type of equipment do you use?
STEP #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 steps, 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 from the grocery store and do the job yourself.
But if you want your carpeting to be completely and healthfully cleaned removing the bacteria, fungus, chemicals, pollens, and tobacco products then we invite you to call us.
We'll be happy to answer your questions provide you with a ballpark cost estimate over the telephone or come into your home and give you a free written quotation without cost or obligation of any kind. To reach us, call (405) 631-1209.
Thanks Again! For reviewing our new CONSUMER'S GUIDE TO CARPET CLEANING. I hope you found this information helpful. If you have any questions or comments or if you'd like us to give you an exact written quotation to clean your carpet,upholstery, mattresses, or tile please call us at (405) 631-1209. We've dedicated our business to consumer education and service. We'll be pleased to help you in every way. We look forward to your call. Thanks!
"I had someone else come out and do my carpets, only because I thought it was you (his name was Jeff too) He didn't do a good job the first time so I had him come do it again and my carpets still didn't look good. From now on I'll make sure that it's Citro's Carpet Cops that does my carpets." Debbie Stucker, OKC
"We have had our carpets cleaned many times over the years, but you are by far the best." -Gilbert Hill, OKC
"Carpet Cops has been cleaning my carpet for years and has always done a great job!" -Karen Mas
"Having Jeff come out is like having a good friend over. If I have to leave, I leave a key for him and let him lock up when he's done, and I know he'll do a great job! He is meticulous and respectful of my property. Jeff has been doing my carpet sine 1996, I have gotten many calls but I never let anyone else clean my carpet".-Debbie Rolland-Moore, OK
"I am glad you took your time, that's why I only use you, my carpets and upholstery look great!" -Cindy Hastings, Moore
"I use only you because you do such a professional Job. While at work I was telling a friend about you and everyone stopped what they were doing to listen. My carpet looks like new when you done and I really like that you use those plastic things and the blocks."-Debbie Ocker, OKC