Tag Archives: professional cleaning

What to Expect from a Great Professional Cleaner

It all starts with a phone call. You’ve decided that the carpets need refreshing, and after reading that article on how soft fabrics can be breeding grounds for bacteria, the upholstery definitely needs cleaning too. However you find the company, whether it be on the internet, a recommendation, or if you’re still using the good ole phone book, something grabs your interest to initiate the call.

Upholstery (2)Expect a great greeting! All successful businesses know that nailing first impressions is key. You should feel comfortable with asking any questions you have about their process and company. The customer service staff should be friendly and knowledgeable. For instance: most solutions should be tested on fabrics before cleaning if they have never been used before. In this case, the staff should offer to schedule a test prior to the cleaning for the protection of your furniture.

The cleaning. The test passed fine and it’s cleaning day. A company with efficient scheduling probably would have called you at least the day before to confirm. What should you expect now? Punctuality. Their arrival should be at the scheduled time or you should at least receive a phone call if they are running late or early. It certainly helps if you leave them with all telephone numbers that you may be reached on that day.

Upon arrival, the technician should start with a pre-inspection. This is where you can review what you would like to have done, address any areas of concern, and where they may be able to evaluate any other service suggestions. They may notice that you have a dog and offer you a free back light evaluation to see if there’s any hidden pet stains. They may ask if any residents have allergies or respiratory issues and offer an anti-allergen treatment. Sharing the knowledge of their options to offer you the most effective cleaning for your situation is the difference between quality service and just getting it done.

Once the details are all worked out, carpet cleaning may start with a pre-vacuum and pre-treatment of spots and heavily soiled areas. Attention to detail says a lot. If there is only one technician, small furniture pieces that can safely be moved by one may be arranged away from the cleaning area. A thorough deep cleaning should commence with special care to the surrounding items and areas. If furniture is going to be reset on cleaned carpeting, they should take precautions to protect the furniture from direct contact with wet areas. Upholstery should be cleaned, handled with care, and arranged in the best way to promote drying.

After the cleaning is completed you should expect to be able to do a post-cleaning walk through to insure your satisfaction and give you an opportunity to address any concerns or interest other services. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and hold them to reasonable expectations. They may not be able to work magic with the cleaning, but they should always do their best. The order of operations may differ between companies, but they should all be friendly, knowledgeable, and attentive to your specific needs.

Professional carpet cleaning vs. household carpet cleaning machines

There’s a great variety of machines available to consumers specifically for carpet and upholstery cleaning. Many house hold machines can be purchased anywhere you can find a regular vacuum. Along with the many machine options come detergent and cleaner options to use in them. If you own one of these handy cleaners, why would you have your carpets professionally cleaned?

Although machines vary in function and design, they are all mostly designed to dispense and extract liquid from the carpeting. Features range from the types of brushes they have and the speed at which they move, to the flow gauge of water and upholstery attachment options. So what’s the big difference? Efficiency and time. The household machine may spray and extract, but a truck mounted system allows for a stronger and more efficient extraction. It is always important to thoroughly remove the most amount of moisture from the carpet after getting it wet to avoid microbial growth. If a carpet is saturated, there’s concern that the water will seep into the pad below and maybe even get through to the sub-flooring. Carpets that are saturated and/or not properly extracted can be the perfect breeding ground for mold spores.

The lines that are run off a truck mounted system are specifically designed to withstand not only the suction strength, but the temperature of the water. Not all household carpet cleaning machines have a water heater to provide the hot water extraction results. Cold water cleaning may leave you to rely on the strength of the detergent or shampoo you are using.  These solutions, especially if not completely rinsed and extracted, can actually attract soil and dirt. This would cause your carpets or upholstery to be noticeably dirty even quicker. Many evolved professional systems don’t even use soaps or detergents, but rely on carbonation for best results. With that in mind, be sure to ask your professional cleaners what type of solutions they use.

Aside from the mechanical advantages of a professional carpet or upholstery cleaning, there is also the advantage of experience. Having your home serviced doesn’t just come with the cleaning, but also proper inspection and evaluation. Professionally trained technicians are educated and experienced to care for many different scenarios of textile type and soil type. They will be able to give you more insight on potential areas of concern and the best proper maintenance for what you have. They may even suggest other options for your needs such as allergen relievers or the application of a protector. (Read more about textile protection in my previous blog post)

If you do wish to purchase a household carpet cleaning machine, you should really research which options are most important to you and which you could do without. Be wary of using store bought cleaners on spills as they may sometimes set a stain rather than remove it. Be careful when using the machine itself not to saturate the carpeting and allow for extra extraction time. You might even want to run the heat, air conditioning, or dehumidifier to assist in properly drying. These machines are great to immediately extract heavy soiling or a sudden spill, but no matter how many bells and whistles it comes with, it will not provide the same results as a truck mounted professional system. You should still have an experienced professional properly examine, treat, and care for your carpets and upholstery.