When deciding to have your carpets cleaned, I 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 they will wear out.
  • Step #2:  List your objectives. Do you want only dirt removed, something you could do with a rented shampooer? Or do you want not only the dirt, but the bacteria, fungus, pet dander, cooking oils, cigarette smoke, odors, etc., removed from the carpet pile thus giving you a clean and healthy carpet? This form of cleaning requires a Truck Mounted Hot Water Extraction unit and a highly trained and certified technician.
  • Step #3:  NEVER hire anyone who gives “guesstimates” over the phone. Honest, reputable carpet cleaning firms should insist on performing an in-home evaluation of the carpet and then offering a firm price quote. Why, you ask? Because in order to get a quality cleaning job at a reasonable price the cleaner needs to inspect the carpet in order to know what the carpet fibers are made of. Different fibers require different cleaning agents. The amount of soiling, blemishes, spots, stains and the presence of animal urine needs to be identified. Knowledge of these soiling problems will help determine correct cleaning procedures.
  • Step#4:  Ask Questions!!! The way to learn about a potential carpet cleaner is to ask specific questions and listen carefully to the answers. Also, being able to meet the cleaner will give you some idea of what type of person he is. Does he look and act professional, and will you feel comfortable having him in your home? Be sure and ask for references! Here are some tough questions to ask a carpet cleaner before hiring him to clean your valuable carpet:
  • What method of carpet cleaning do you recommend?
  • What type of equipment do you use to clean carpet?
  • What will your equipment remove from my carpet?
  • Do you pre-vacuum prior to steam cleaning? (Note: This is extremely critical to the success of your cleaning)!
  • Are you certified by the IICRC and will you show me your certifications?
  • Are you a CRI Seal of Approval Service Provider?
  • Are you a member of the Better Business Bureau?

By following these four step, you’ll gain all the information you need to make an informed, intelligent decision. If you have any other questions I would be more than happy to answer any and all of your questions. You can reach me anytime at 509-521-4194. Just ask for Howard.

Which method of carpet cleaning works best? I use Hot Water Extraction (HWE) or as most folks call it – Steam cleaning. There are other methods besides HWE, these include Dry Foam with extraction; Dry extraction; Rotary Shampoo, and Bonnet/Absorbent pad (“Spin Bonnet”).

Yes! I am partial to HWE over all others because it is simply the very best method of carpet cleaning. Some of the other methods have limited applications in some areas, but for the best overall cleaning – HWE is strongly recommended.

Some may say I am partial, and I am, but listen to the people who created your carpet before you listen to anyone else – especially vacuum cleaner salesmen and carpet installers who will tell you that you should never steam clean your carpet. These folks are simply uninformed about what the carpet manufacturers advise when it comes to cleaning their products.

Virtually all major manufacturers exclusively recommend Hot Water Extraction. Following is a list of the major Manufacturers in the industry who recommend HWE over all other cleaning methods : BASF; Beaulieu; DuPont; Lee’s; Monsanto; Mohawk; Shaw (The world’s largest producer of carpet); The International Wool Council and US Axminster.

In a 2006 News Release – Shaw Revises Warranties to Reflect Requirements for CRI Seal of Approval Products and IICRC Certification – Shaw has revised its residential carpet warranties to require CRI Seal of Approval products for carpet cleaning supplies and equipment for carpet manufactured after January 1, 2007. Effective January 1, 2008 the company will also require the use of IICRC Certified Firms for professional cleaning services. Many of the other companies listed above are/or will be following the same recommendations as Shaw Industries.

These statements are very important to you the consumer. If you purchase any carpet from the above listed manufacturers you will be required to properly clean and maintain your carpet per their instructions, and hire carpet cleaning firms that are both CRI and IICRC certified service providers for your carpet warranty to remain in effect.

Why the  manufacturers recommend Hot Water Extraction:

A truck mounted unit cleans far better than portable units and all the other cleaning methods for the following three reasons:

  1. The truck mount unit heats the water to greater temperatures. For every 18 degree increase in temperature above 118 degrees F. it doubles the waters cleaning ability. So if the water is 136 degrees F.  it will clean twice as much as that at 118 degrees F. At 154 degrees F. it is four times stronger and so on as the temperature rises. Most truck mount units heat the water to 230 degrees F. which is 64 times greater in cleaning ability than the temperature of typical hot water in your house.
  2. The truck mount unit shoots the cleaning solutions into your carpet at higher pressures which breaks-up and releases the soil from your carpet fibers. 300 to 400 pounds of pressures is the optimum pressure for the best cleaning.
  3. The truck mount unit uses stronger suction to draw the soil and water out of your carpet. This aids in faster drying times as very little water and residue is left behind. A good truck mount vacuum should be able to draw 270 cubic feet of air per minute. This is the equivalent of sucking 30 cubics yards of air.

Closely follow the particular carpet cleaning and maintenance material provided with your carpet, and carefully read the warranty to know what you should do to keep your carpets looking clean and new. YOU SHOULD HAVE RECEIVED THIS PRINTED MATERIAL FROM YOUR CARPET RETAILER. Sadly, it has been my experience that the vast majority of consumers never get this information from the carpet retailers. If you don’t have the information, you can get it directly from the manufacturers on their websites.