Carpet Cleaning

Carpet Cleaning

There are lots of rug cleaning outfits to choose from, so how do you know what’s best for you? Should you rent a carpet cleaning machine and do it yourself, or would calling in one of the local cleaning services be a better choice? I’m going to help you wade through the decisions, and help you get the most for your money.

Does Renting a Rug Doctor Save You Money?

First, let’s look at cost. Will you really save money when you clean your carpets yourself?

Saturday morning arrives, and I take the ten minute drive down to the local grocery store and I see there are a couple of choices to make. I see the Rug Doctor egging me on with it’s bold black and white announcement “$29.95 a day”. I sign the rental agreement, purchase the recommended pre-treatment, pet treatment, deodorizer, and carpet detergent and the clerk rings me up for about $90.00 plus a deposit. The whole process takes about 15 minutes.

carpet-cleaningAnother 10 minute drive home, another 20 minutes to unload, and set up and I’m all ready to start cleaning.

I pre-vacuum, and then pre-treat the stains and traffic zones, and then following instructions I clean and extract the soiled water.

Three bedrooms, a hallway, living room, dining room, and den. Only takes me 3 or 4 hours.

I clean the machine to return it, and including check in and the round trip to the market, I spend another 30 minutes.

The Bottom Line

In order to calculate what your real cost of renting a Rug Doctor or carpet shampooer you’ll need a starting wage. What is your time worth to you? Minimum wage here in California is $10.00 an hour.

4.5 hours at  $10.00 an hour is $45.00, add in the $90.00 rental and cleaning solutions, and your actual cost is 130.95. You’ll save about half the cost of a professional doing it for you.

Using Professional Carpet Cleaning Services

How can you find a great carpet cleaner?

What to Look For In a Great Carpet Cleaning Company

Experience and training are perhaps the most important, as where they got their experience, and find out if they are sending new untrained technicians or a certified and/or trained professional.

Look for a rock solid guarantee. My company offers a 100% money back guarantee. If I clean your carpets, and at any time during the job you decide that the carpets are not looking cleaner, I’ll pack up and you won’t owe me a dime. If after they are cleaned, any spots reappear,  I’ll re-clean them, or even the entire job, free of charge, and if you are still unhappy, I’ll refund every cent. I’d rather have a good name than a few dollars more.

Look for someone that charges a reasonable rate. If their prices are unbelievably low, then their work may be unbelievably poor as well. If you are suspicious about their low price then it may be your gut feelings warning you to call someone else.

Watch out for unreasonably high rates as well. Too many folks have been taken advantage of by companies that use a bait and switch, or give a quote based upon a perception that a client has lots of money to afford a higher price. Ask to see quotes from other recent jobs if you think the price is too high.

What’s a Good Type of Carpet Cleaning?

In my business, I use a steam cleaner to get the clients rug cleaning done. Steam cleaning is also called Hot Water Extraction, and uses either a portable extractor or a truck mounted carpet cleaning machine. When used properly, both are highly effective carpet steam cleaning methods. A nationally known company that uses steam cleaning is Sears Carpet Cleaning.

So Here are several types of cleaning that are recognized by the carpet manufacturers.

Steam Cleaning. Also called Hot Water Extraction, or HWE. Steam cleaning carpets can be done with either a truck mounted machine with hoses that run from a van, truck, or trailer into the clients home or business, or with a portable cleaner that looks similar to a ShopVac with water and vacuum hoses attached. Steam Cleaning is in my opinion the best method, and both truck mounted and portable machines can achieve the same results when used properly and with the correct tools. The primary difference is speed. A truck mounted unit will nearly always be quicker.

ChemDry – Chem Dry uses a patented proprietary cleaning system of carbonated cleaning solution to clean your carpets and provide quick dry times. Again, it’s a superior method of cleaning, and the results are virtually identical to steam cleaning. As with steam cleaning, results are largely based on operator training and skill.

Carpet Shampooer – Most often a rotary or bonnet cleaner. Be cautious when shampooing home carpets. Rotary cleaners can void a carpet warranty because high speed rotary action can untwist fibers and permanently damage rugs. Shampooers are used most often for commercial carpeting as a maintenance procedure, with regular deep cleanings quarterly.

Encapsulation Carpet Cleaning – Encapsulation is used mostly in commercial situations, but increasingly homeowners are finding companies that will use it in a bi-yearly cleaning as part of an “Always Clean” program. Encapsulation uses a special cleaning solution that bonds to dirt but not to carpet fibers. As it dries, the dirt and and encapsulation cleaner fall away from the carpet fibers, and are vacuumed up with regular vacuuming.

Low Moisture Carpet Cleaning –  Low Moisture Cleaning, also known as the Orbital Pad System (OPS) uses a cotton pad to absorb dirt along with the cleaning solution. Orbital Cleaning Systems, although similar in appearance to a rotary cleaner or shampooer, have a different motion, one that moves in smaller and much slower circles. Think of the motion of an orbital sander or a car polisher, and you’ll have a better idea of how this cleans. The benefits of this cleaning system are fast dry times, cleaning even in the tallest of buildings, and environmentally friendly using fewer natural resources and energy.

Carpet manufacturers have determined these methods are safe, effective, and recommended to maintain your carpets beauty for years, including steam cleaners, carpet shampooers, Orbital Pad Systems, and Chem Dry and their carbonated cleaning system.


How Much Should Carpet Cleaning Cost?

The cost varies from company to company, but in most cases, for a residential carpet cleaning, you can expect to pay around $0.30 a square foot and up, according to Angies List, where the website states

“Of course, maintaining a carpet all year does cost time and money. Carpet cleaning costs vary, but there are two common pricing types. The first is per room. Angie’s List members who had similar jobs done in 2013 reported paying an average of $46 per room with a general range of $43 to $48, not counting discounts many service providers offer to Angie’s List members.

The other way to measure cost is per square foot. Average rates run between $0.30 to $0.50 per square foot, and should include all labor, products and a guarantee about the standard of clean – for example, in compliance with the IIRC guidelines. Remember that it’s still possible to have some add-on costs for items like targeted spot cleaning, so ask the carpet cleaning company upfront if there will be extra charges.”



Maintaining Your Carpet Cleaning

How do you keep your carpets looking good after they’ve been cleaned? Your after carpet cleaning care could include using a home steam cleaner, a steam mop, carpet shampooer, or even renting a rug doctor several times a year for a quick cleaning of just the traffic zones.

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