choosing a professional carpet cleaner

Eight Mistakes to avoid when choosing a carpet cleaner

MISTAKE #1: 

Choosing a Professional Carpet Cleaning Company based on equipment alone. No question, your carpet cleaner needs first-rate equipment. However, the Professional Carpet Cleaning Technicians should be thoroughly trained on the equipment they are using. Many companies own hot-water extractors, but not all Professional Carpet Cleaning companies teach their employees how to use them properly. The best way to know a Professional Carpet Cleaning Company has adequately trained its employees is to make sure they have been some certification.

MISTAKE #2: 

Choosing a carpet cleaner based on a low price. Low price could be a problem in three ways: (1) low price can be the bait that attracts your phone call. However, 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.

Ok, so the first two you may have thought of

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 Professional Carpet Cleaner who doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee. In my view, every carpet cleaning company should be fully accountable for its work. If they do a bad job, you should not have to pay for it. Not all carpet cleaners offer a guarantee. Alternatively, 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 Professional Carpet Cleaner without getting comments from his other clients. Any carpet cleaner can say anything about his past jobs. Also, 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 Professional Carpet Cleaner who isn’t Mill Certified or certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC).

Some food for thought

If your Professional Carpet Cleaner isn’t a close friend, you may not know whether he has the knowledge or experience to clean your carpet thoroughly. 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. However, there are several good reasons. Portable hot water systems will get the job done, 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. Portables are filled with water from a bucket that can be spilled on your carpet — causing a big headache. With Truck-mounted Units, some of them need to use your outside faucet. We, however, bring all the water we need, 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.

Bonus:

The worst mistake you can make is Not Asking the Right Questions: Every phone call I get asks me the same question, How much is it? And almost no one asks me anything else. That is a HUGE mistake! What you are being charged is important but what they are going to do for the money is even more important. 

Ten questions to ask when hiring a Professional Carpet Cleaning Company and the answers you should get

Since you are reading this, you are at a point where you have decided to hire a Professional Carpet Cleaner. But like almost everyone else the only thing you can think to ask is “How Much is it?” and if all you are looking for is the cheapest carpet cleaning you can get that is all you need to know. Here is our Carpet Cleaning OKC Specials

But you are here reading this so I think what you’re looking for is a real Professional Carpet Cleaner

If that’s the case, you need to know more than what the cost is if you want to get the job done right. Carpet Cleaning is one of those professions that anyone can do. They can wake up one morning and decide they are a Professional Carpet Cleaner and BAM! They are a Professional Carpet Cleaner: No training, No testing, No licenses, or anything else. The big problem is while it isn’t rocket science you do need training if you’re going to do it right. People that start cleaning carpet under that kind of circumstances, generally speaking, are just doing it while they are in between jobs. That doesn’t mean they intend to do a lousy job of it. But they don’t know what they are doing. So, they can’t provide the quality carpet cleaning job YOU want.

Don’t get discouraged though there is more to the story

Fortunately, a lot of carpet cleaners that go into business for themselves have either had a job cleaning carpet or have received some training by the company from whom they bought their equipment. However, even in those situations, they don’t always get the proper training. So if you want a good job done, you need to know what to ask.

So here is a list of questions to ask, the answers you should get, and the “Why” behind the question:

1. Do you vacuum the carpet first?

Yes. A Professional Carpet Cleaner will always use a high-quality vacuum cleaner and vacuum first.

Vacuuming removes the non-soluble dirt. Things like pieces of paper, Barbie doll shoes, paper clips, pieces of broken toys, etc. and helps stand the fibers up, preparing them for pretreating. Some Professional Carpet Cleaners will say their extraction machine has a vacuum. While that is true, it is not like using a vacuum cleaner. You may have noticed your vacuum cleaner has a beater bar that makes your carpet vibrate. That vibration causes the non-soluble particulate matter to bounce into the air where the vacuum can suck it up into its bag. Professional Carpet Cleaning machines are not designed to pick up the non-soluble particulates and when they do, it diminishes the amount of power they have to extract the water and dirt they are supposed to remove. Therefore, when cleaning a carpet it is essential to vacuum the carpet first with a quality vacuum cleaner.

2. Do you charge extra for stain removal?

No, and YES. Stain removal is a normal part of the cleaning process, and you should not pay extra for it under most circumstances. What I mean by that is when the Technician arrives and walks thought the house. Then starts saying each little stain is going to be $2 or $5 more, and they are just typical kinds of stains, then he is trying to pad the bill because he wasn’t charging enough in the first place.

However, there are some types of stains that require additional labor to remove and it is normal to charge extra to remove these stains. Some examples are Kool-aid, any dye type stain, mustard, furniture stains. It used to be typical to charge extra for Pet Stain removal but the Pet Stain remover we have now works so well that only the most serve cases would need to be charged more for. 

A Little More About Pet Stains

Recent advances in chemistry make it possible for Professional Carpet Cleaners to remove almost all pet stains with a spot cleaner that is readily available.

However, sometimes pet stains can still be very difficult to get out because when an animal urinates on the carpet the urine is very high in alkaline, that’s why it smells like ammonia. Over time there is a chemical change and it turns acidic. That chemical change can distort or destroy the pigment in the dye of the carpet. So while it is possible to get out the urine stain, it may still look like there is a stain there because the carpet has changed color. The good news is spot dyeing the carpet back to the original color will fix that too. Of course, it is normal to charge for the spot dye service. So it just depends on how bad you want the "stain" out.

3. Are Professional Carpet Cleaners required to have a licensed?

The answer to this can tell you a lot about how a company operates. In some states, in order to be in business, you have to have a license that you get by registering with a state agency. Oklahoma does not require a license to be a Professional Carpet Cleaner so there is no license to get. Yet, some carpet cleaners will say they are licensed in order to lend themselves a little more credibility.

4. Are you bonded?

Most people know that this is a question they should ask but they don’t know what “bonding ” actually is. Having a Bond means the owner of the business paid for insurance. That insurance covers the owner of the business against his employees going into someone’s house and stealing something. It does not cover the owner of the business if he were to steal something. So, if the company you use has an employee of the company do the cleaning, then they should be bonded. 

5. Do Professional Carpet Shampooers Pre-treat all the carpet that you are going to clean?

Yes. I have been in this industry for over 30 years and I have never heard of a carpet cleaning method that does not require pretreating of the carpet. If the carpet is not pretreated it will not get as clean as it should. Pretreating is applying a chemical and allowing it to dwell on the carpet for 5 to 10 minutes or so. More dirt will be removed during cleaning, using less water. So your carpet will be cleaner and dry faster. However, this is one of those things that an unscrupulous person will use as a means to scam the consumer. See our Scams page for what to look out for.

6. Where can I find reviews on your business?

Knowing what other people have to say about a Professional Carpet Shampooer one of the best ways to know if they are a good company or one to avoid. But not everyone uses the same review sites. Also, keep in mind some companies have fake good reviews and others have disgruntled employees or those that wish them ill who put bad reviews up. Google is one of the best to ask about. Our Google rating is top notch (one of the highest in the Metro Area) and we are proud of it. 

7. How Long will it take my carpets to dry?

Any good professional carpet cleaner will be able to give you an approximate time frame for the carpets to dry. There are several things that affect dry time like the weather, carpet type, fiber type, and what method of cleaning is used. We tell our clients typically the carpets will be dry in 6 to 8 hours but if we have to use the Rotovac it will take a day to dry.

8. What method of carpet cleaning do you use?

There are a bunch of different ways to clean the carpet. By a large margin, Hot Water Extraction is recommended by more carpet manufacturers than any other method. Our Carpet Cleaning method

9. How Long Should it Take?

This is of course where you just have to use your judgment to tell if they are being accurate. The length of time they spend on the job is indicative of the quality of work. The longer they are willing to spend on the job the more likely it is you’ll get a good job.

10. Do you guarantee stain removal?

The answer should be no. There is no way to guarantee stain removal, there are just too many different ways a carpet can be stained. Sure almost all stains come out. Mustard is the only type of stain that I have never gotten out. There is a way to get that out but it is expensive and does not always work. As far as all other stains at one point or another I have gotten them out just not ALL the time. So you really can’t guarantee it.

tough questions to ask your carpet professional 

  • What type of equipment do you use?

  • Do you pretreat all the carpet you are going to clean? If not, why?

  • What can you do if I need my carpets to dry fast?

  • How often should I get my carpet cleaned?

  • What method of cleaning do you use?

  • Do you charge extra for spot cleaning?

  • What training have you had?

  • What type of equipment do you use?

Which Carpet Cleaning Method Cleans Best?

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 the world’s largest carpet manufacturer, Shaw Industries, recommended the Hot Water Extraction System. Research indicates that Hot Water Extraction provides the best cleaning. You can choose from two different types: Truck-mount extraction, executed with a large machine mounted on a truck or van— alternatively, portable extraction, accomplished with a small, hand-held unit. This is the best cleaning method.


Dry Foam:

Shampoo is applied to your carpet, allowed to dry then, without rinsing, sucks the dried shampoo into a vacuum. Can you imagine using shampoo on 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 useful.

Absorbent pad (bonnet cleaning): 

This method is similar to dry foam except the carpet cleaning company puts a large cotton bonnet on your carpet then with a floor polishing machine called a buffer, they buff 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 on residential carpet.

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. Also, because the carpet does not get rinsed, this method is not very effective.

On Which Type of Carpet Cleaning 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. You see, the truck-mounted unit cleans much better because it heats the water to a higher temperature and shoots the cleaning solution onto the carpet. Which then breaks up the dirt, bacteria, chemicals, and pollens in the carpet. Then the machine produces a massive volume of vacuum to draw the dirt and chemicals out of your carpet.

No question, the most effective way to clean carpeting is with Hot Water Extraction. It’s the only system that cleans your carpet of dirt, harmful bacteria, fungus, chemicals, pollens, tobacco residue, and dust mites.

Some people believe that hot water damages your carpet. NOT TRUE. By cleaning your carpet with hot water, we clean your carpet thoroughly. In the same way, 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.

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 136F, 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.

We use a Truck Mounter Hot Water Extraction. Follow this link to find out exactly what our carpet cleaning process is

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 keyword 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, which means having your carpets cleaned by a Professional Carpet Cleaner at least every six months to one year, depending on the amount of soiling and foot traffic it receives.

If you want a quick, cheap carpet-cleaning job, many companies can help you. Or you can rent a shampooer from the grocery store and do the job yourself. However, if you want your carpeting to be thoroughly 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.

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’ll be pleased to help you in every way. We look forward to your call.