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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What to Expect from your Carpet Cleaning Experience

Carpet CleaningWhen I do carpet or upholstery cleaning work for a new customer, this is a general description of what you should expect from me (and in fact from all cleaning companies).

First, I come out and give you a FREE quote and carpet evaluation. The goal of this visit is to see exactly what you want me to clean and what furniture you need moved in order to clean behind it, what types of stains your carpet or upholstery may have, and to discuss if those stains will or will not be removed depending upon if they have damaged the carpet or not. I also charge per square foot, so while I am there I can measure the area to give you an exact price to have your carpets cleaned. This visit avoids any miscommunication that just a phone consultation would create.

If you choose to make an appointment, I will work around your schedule for your convenience, and I make provisions for clients who cannot meet me during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 9:00-5:00). I schedule cleaning starting at 6:00am with blocked times throughout the day and some selected Saturdays in the spring and fall.

After you have made an appointment for me to clean your carpet or upholstery, I will mail you a letter confirming your appointment and explaining in some detail what I will be doing and what I need you to do to prepare for the cleaning.

Then I call you two days before to confirm the appointment.

On the day of your appointment I will call you with an exact time of arrival. So if I am scheduled to arrive between 12:00 and 3:00, then before 12:00 I will call you with the exact time of arrival so you do not have to wait around unnecessarily.

When I am finished cleaning your carpet or upholstery, I will ask you to inspect the job, and I will leave you with instructions if necessary, as well as a free bottle of our internationally known Caret Cleaning Spot Cleaner.

All work is completely guaranteed, so if you have any questions please call. If any spots come back (which would most likely be due to soap or chemicals in your carpet from previous cleanings), I will re-clean any spots free of charge.

After the job is done, I will send you a thank you letter and follow up a few weeks later by phone to ensure your complete satisfaction with the cleaning job.

I take my job and the rapport I have with my customers very seriously. I have clients allow me to come into their home, move their furniture and clean (sometimes) very expensive area rugs, upholstery, and wall to wall carpet. There is a high level of trust involved. Providing outstanding customer service sets Delaware Valley Carpet Cleaning apart from many other carpet cleaning companies and ensures that I will maintain that rapport, trust, and integrity.

Filtration Lines

blacklinesMany clients have black lines on the carpet around their baseboards, doorways and air vents. These lines are called pollution filtration or air filtration lines. Many professionals believe these lines come from the heater system in your home, but actually they do not. Forced air HVAC systems just blow the pollutants around until they settle on the floor and are filtered out of the air by the carpet.

The reason why this occurs is that there are tiny pollutants from your HVAC system smaller than a micron in size. Because they are that tiny they usually go through any type of filtration system that you may have on your HVAC system.

There is much debate why some parts of the US have this problem worse than other parts. The generally prevailing theory is that these pollutants are usually produced in densely populated areas and in areas of the country where there are older power plants spewing these pollutants into the air. The weather pattern also may have to do with it. Since many power plants are in the Midwest, that weather pattern brings the pollutants west to east to the mid-Atlantic states.

The lines generally can only be seen on lighter carpets, especially white carpets. Many carpet cleaning companies over the years have come up with products that say they can remove these lines, but generally they cannot be 100% successfully removed safely from any carpets

And on a side note, burning candles in your home can also add to these lines.

Dry Compound and Encapsulation Carpet Cleaning Methods

drycompoundMany companies have developed different types of an absorbent dry cleaning compounds that get evenly spread onto the carpet, brushed and then scrubbed in, then vacuumed off. These dry chemicals are usually some type of surfactant or solvent. The theory is that these dry cleaning compounds, once worked into the carpet, attract the dirt which is then sucked, vacuumed or absorbed off. The main benefit when cleaning with dry compounds is that the carpet is not wet. The main drawback is that for moderately to heavily soiled carpets, this method does not clean thoroughly, and if you are not using an organic product you are sometimes left with chemicals in your carpet that later attract dirt.

Encapsulation was developed as an option for cleaning with no moisture, but a deeper more thorough cleaning job than the dry compound methods mentioned above. Encapsulation carpet cleaning uses polymers that literally encapsulate (crystallizing) dirt and soil particles into a dry residue that can be extracted or vacuumed off the carpet. The encapsulating solution is sprayed onto the carpet, brushed in, then vacuumed out immediately along with the dirty particles. Some cleaning machines do all this at one time while others have different machines to do each individual step. This method is very dry and you also avoid all the pitfalls of other wet cleaning methods. More and more companies are using this type of carpet cleaning technology as it is becoming more perfected.

Carpet Dry Cleaning

drycleanMany Carpet Cleaning Systems that utilize dry cleaning solutions usually rely on specialized machines. The advantage is that they all tend to be low moisture systems relying on dry compounds and/or chemical solvents to clean without over-wetting the carpet. The amount of carpet cleaners that use these methods have increased over the years due to the amount of dissatisfaction with traditional wet methods.

Dry Cleaning systems generally tend to be quicker to use in cleaning the carpet and less labor intensive than hot water (steam cleaning) systems. This allows the areas to be used very quickly after the cleaning, sometimes within 1-2 hours.

A drawback with dry cleaning, however, is that heavily soiled areas may need to be pre-spotted or pre-treated with pre-conditioners or traffic lane cleaners. These cleaning products tend to be surfactants that break down the heavily soiled areas, emulsify the dirt, and separate it from the fibers in a very short time.

There are different kinds of extraction methods associated with dry cleaning. Some methods suck or vacuum out the cleaning agents, some use synthetic extraction bonnet pads to absorb the dirt out of the carpet, and some use the “encapsulation” method. Many other cleaning methods use a combination or hybrid of extraction methods.

Encapsulation is a newer type of hybrid dry cleaning system that, once the carpets are cleaned, vacuumed, and completely dried, they need to be vacuumed again very thoroughly to get the rest of the dirt that is encapsulated on the tips of the yarn out of the carpet. Mechanical agitation is a key component to correctly and thoroughly cleaning the carpets with most dry cleaning systems.

One main drawback with most dry cleaning systems is that, like the shampooing method we mentioned in our last blog, most chemicals and solvents used with these methods are not biodegradable and are virtually impossible to get completely out of the carpet. They tend to leave residue behind that attracts dirt quickly, resulting in the carpet tending to re-soil rapidly and needing to be cleaned more frequently.

Carpet Shampooing

shampooOne of the oldest and most common methods of carpet cleaning is shampooing. Usually brushes work the shampoo into the carpet, and after a few minutes the excess moisture and dirt are absorbed or suctioned away. After the carpet has dried it may need to be vacuumed again. Drying may take several hours to 1-2 days.

Although there are different variations of the type of extraction method involved, they all use the same type of cleaning agents in the shampoo called surfactants. Surfactants work well because they attract dirt and are inexpensive to mass produce.

Carpet shampooing, however, has many disadvantages compared to other types of carpet cleaning. It is very easy to over wet the carpet and padding and it takes longer to dry. When the carpet stays wet for too long, it can create mold and also damage the flooring underneath. Also, it is very difficult to remove the shampoo out of the carpet completely. This means that the carpet may attract dirt and stains faster (which will adhere to the leftover shampoo), requiring the carpets to be cleaned more frequently.

Carpet cleaning companies using the shampooing method usually have a very high re-clean rate (over 20-30%) and often have a higher dissatisfaction rate with clients because the shampoo left in the carpet attracts more dirt quickly after the fabric is cleaned. Many companies that use the shampoo method are low end companies competing on price and volume, and are not concerned with utilizing newer technologies such as green and organic cleaning methods primarily because these better methods are more expensive.

Non Organic Carpet Cleaners vs. Organic Carpet Cleaners

We use only green, organic, eco-friendly carpet cleaning products

We use only organic
eco-friendly carpet cleaning products

Most of the common carpet cleaners that are now sold in the supermarket for consumers are made with chemical solvents similar to the ones used by dry cleaners. Many of these cleaners give off very strong chemical fumes which can irritate the eyes and respiratory system of the person who is using the cleaner.

Many carpet cleaning products currently on the market may contain lye, insecticides, acids, formaldehyde, alcohol, and sodium hydroxide. These products usually don’t biodegrade easily and they end up in our streams, lakes, oceans and water supply, as well as polluting the air inside your home. These toxic cleaners have a large impact on our environment whether they’re dumped, rinsed, washed, sprayed or poured. It is important to your family and our community that you stop or at least reduce the usage of these chemicals.

Although there are many carpet cleaning companies that are now using green and organic products, many are still using the old-fashioned chemicals, primarily because of the cheap cost of mass production. These chemicals generally leave a vapor hanging in the air which may contribute to indoor air pollution. Indoor air pollution may cause headaches, nausea, sneezing, watery eyes, coughing, fatigue, congestion, and other allergy symptoms.

If you are concerned about this issue and would like to use products that are healthier, consider switching to a carpet cleaner that uses organic and green cleaning products. Most organic carpet cleaners are generally less harmful to the environment than traditional carpet cleaners. The best organic carpet cleaners use non-toxic and biodegradable cleaning solutions that have a neutral and balanced pH.

Customer Service

DVCC (Delaware Valley Carpet Cleaning) began in 1987 as a family owned business in the heart of South Jersey. After expanding the company with many employees and multiple trucks on the road, I realized it was difficult to stay with original mission of:

  • Personalized customer service
  • Hassle-free cleaning services
  • Competitive prices
  • Organic and green cleaning products
  • “Cleaning your carpets more effectively, utilizing safer greener technology with personal service”

In the early 1990’s I decided to downsize the company so every client could have the benefit of personalized service with the owner of the company. So since 1994, I, Joe Stark (the owner) have done all the cleaning myself, and have not outsourced any cleaning to subcontractors or employees since then.

My goal is to utilize my 20+ years of cleaning and practical knowledge with newer updated state-of-the-art technology to bring to the customer the most informed carpet cleaning company and to ensure clear and precise communication with the client.

With all clients I perform a free no-charge carpet evaluation and an estimate. This is done to ensure that there is clear communication between the customer and me to provide the optimum personalized attention to detail and complete satisfaction for the customer.

All the work I perform is completely 100% guaranteed for the client’s satisfaction.

Once a client uses my company I consider them a client for life, making myself available to all my clients for free advice on cleaning and fabric care for the future.

You can always contact me by phone or text at 609-458-1973, through our website at http://www.delawarevalleycarpetcleaning.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/DelawareValleyCarpetCleaning (please be sure to like our page), or by email.

Corn Carpet

Corn CarpetCorn Carpet is made from corn. It has stain resistant properties already built into each individual fiber. Compared to most other carpets, the durability of corn carpet is also superior.

Corn Carpet comes from inedible corn which is converted into corn starch. Then by adding special ingredients the corn is polymerized into a bio-plastic. The material is then pushed into an extruder and spun into yarn. Although most carpet is plastic, what makes corn carpet special is that the plastic is bio based (although the backing and sticking is plastic, and there is glue used to assemble the carpet).

Corn Carpet is very resistant to most common stains such as food, oil, dirt, grease, etc. Some types of stains (such as urine, paint thinner, etc.) can damage the backing but not the surface fibers. These stains would normally not do damage to the carpet, but in a larger quantity or if allowed to sit for an extended period of time it could break down the latex in the backing.

When comparing different carpet fibers we have found that Perlon ™ Corn Polymers allow for wear resistance that is superior to a similarly constructed nylon. We have found that it has a performance level of a wool fiber without the problems associated with wool.

It takes a tremendous amount of corn to create this textile, and there is some controversy in the marketplace about using our food sources for carpet. This is similar to oil companies using corn for new types of fuel, which in the long run may add to the higher costs of fuel, textiles and corn based foods.

Marketing 101 – Part 3

Putting Together the Right Message

The “key to the vault” in marketing is a message that differentiates you from all of your competitors.

List everything you offer and compare that list to what all of your competitors offer (no matter how small or obvious).

Out of these two lists you need to focus on what you have to offer that is unique to you and your company.

Next is to create a “USP” or “Unique Selling Proposition”. Your USP can be used to explain the theme of your business, product or service.

Examples: “Fresh, Hot Pizza delivered in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed” (Domino’s Pizza)

Describes 2 product benefits, a 30-minute delivery time and a guarantee

To hone your marketing mind, you need to become USP-sensitive and ask these 4 questions about every business, product or service you encounter in your daily life:

1. Does this business have a USP?
2. If not, can you think of one?
3. If so, can I improve it?
4. Are there any ideas I can use for my own company?

I did this for many weeks before I came up with my USP:

Delaware Valley Carpet Cleaning: “Cleaner – Greener – Guaranteed”

It’s simple: I infer that I do a better job cleaning the carpets than my competition, I use Organic and Green Cleaning products, and all the work the completely guaranteed.

When you set out to attract a new, prospective customer to your business for the first time, there is one paramount question you must answer:

“Why should this person choose my business/product/service versus my competition?”

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