Monthly Archives: April 2014

How to Avoid Carpet Cleaning Rip-Offs

carpetscamBait and Switch

It’s very common for a consumer to be quoted a price on the phone for carpet cleaning, not realizing the company may have a “dual-process” cleaning method. This means they may charge one price for a one-step cleaning process, and a higher price for the better “dual process”. When the cleaning technician comes to the home to start the job, they may try to upsell you on the higher priced cleaning which is often 2 to 3 times more expensive than the one step cleaning process they quoted you on the phone.

Unbelievably Low Price

Many carpet cleaning companies (particularly some of the larger franchises) bait you with an unbelievably low price like 2 rooms for $69, or the whole house cleaning for $149, only to “forget” to mention about all the extra “hidden charges” that may be tacked on, such as “travel fees”, extra charges for dirty carpets, and charges for moving furniture. It’s like buying a home and then finding out that the builder charges extra for windows, walls and a roof!

Unsupported Claims

Many companies claim to be the “best” and have high ratings and reviews. But do your homework and research the carpet cleaning company you’re considering hiring. Don’t just go by reviews on a company website, as they may not always be legitimate. Look at all ratings and reviews on the Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, and other reputable websites.

Outdated Beliefs

Many companies rely on old-fashioned, outdated cleaning methods and products. This is sometimes because the company or franchise they purchased used those methods, and that may be all they know. Other times it’s because the outdated methods are often easier and cheaper, but they are also much less effective.

Outdated Carpet Cleaning Methods

There used to be only three main types of Carpet Cleaning methods: Hot Water (Steam Cleaning, also called “Hot Water Extraction”), Dry Cleaning, and Shampooing. These methods are still used today, and are very common. Most of these systems may clean sufficiently, but most have drawbacks, and in some cases can actually damage the fabric being cleaned.

Steam Cleaning utilizes soap or shampoo added to hot water. This mixture is injected heavily onto the carpet, then immediately extracted out with a suction unit. There are various complaints with this method. The carpets tend to feel stiff or crunchy after it’s dried. This is because the hot temperatures used can remove the natural oils from the carpet. Also, dirt and spots may reappear more rapidly after the carpet has been cleaned. This is because not all of the soap, shampoo, and detergents can be removed, and the chemical residue left behind attracts dirt.

outdatedcarpetShampooing generally uses many different types of cleaning equipment, but the same result is the same. Shampoo cannot be completely removed from the carpet, causing the same problem with residue that attracts dirt more quickly.

Dry Cleaning is the least popular and is not used as often these days. However, the many different types of archaic cleaning equipment all use a type of dry cleaning solvents in the cleaning process, similar to those used to dry clean clothes. This system is not very thorough and may leave residue behind that attracts dirt.

The best carpet cleaning system is one that is both safe (for you, your family and pets, and of course, your carpet!) and effective. The safest cleaning solutions are organic, pH balanced, biodegradable, and environmentally and eco-friendly (“green”). The most effective cleaning solutions do not use any type of soap, shampoo, detergents, or surfactants, as these types of cleaning compounds are difficult to remove from the carpet and actually attract dirt more quickly. Also using a low moisture cleaning system will ensure that the carpets dry within a few hours. This is much better than archaic methods where copious amounts of water are flooded into the carpet, which can take days to dry and can cause mold, odors, and water damage to your floors.

Delaware Valley Carpet Cleaning at http://www.delawarevalleycarpetcleaning.com utilizes up-to-date, safe, organic, pH balanced, environmentally friendly carpet and upholstery cleaning methods.

Choosing a Carpet Cleaner

Delaware Valley Carpet CleaningThe best way to find a carpet cleaner online is from Angie’s List, Better Business Bureau, or just searching on Google. Angie’s List is the best because it uses true, independent testimonials and reviews from customers. Look for a company that has an A rating and read the testimonials and reviews. Make sure to also check that you’re located within the company’s service area.

It’s always good to choose a company with a long, consistent track record of good customer service.

Many companies are franchises, but local, independent family owned companies are in most cases better for personalized customer service. If you can find a company where the owner does or at least supervisees all the work, that is a great added bonus.

It’s best to choose a company that guarantees their workmanship with a 100% money back guarantee; this will ensure that you have limited risk.

When possible, choose a carpet cleaning company that uses “green”, organic cleaning solutions. It’s better for the carpet and fabric, safe for your kids and pets, and friendly to the household environment, the community, and the environment.

Make sure the company is using cleaning solutions that are pH balanced and biodegradable. Soap, shampoos, detergents, or surfactants are very difficult to remove from the carpet once cleaned, and can attract dirt more quickly.

Also choose a company that uses a low moisture cleaning system where the carpets dry within a few hours. Archaic methods use large amounts of water which flood the carpet and could take days to dry, possibly creating water damage to the floors underneath, as well as mold.

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