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Professional Upholstery Cleaning – A Step-by-Step Process

upholsterycleaningBelow is a step-by-step process and what you should expect from a good, professional carpet cleaning company when they clean your furniture upholstery:

 

 

  1. Fabric Testing
    Your fabric should be tested for dye stability (colorfastness) and for fiber type.
  2. Area prep
    The upholstery to be cleaned should be prepared to protect the surrounding areas.

  3. Pre-Vacuum
    Dry soil should be removed before cleaning.

  4. Pre-Treat
    Depending upon the type of fabric, a pretreatment should be applied to suspend bonded and hard to remove soil.

  5. Pre-Spot
    Some potentially difficult spots may be pre-treated with special solutions to increase the chance of removal.

  6. Pre-Grooming
    The fabric should be gently groomed by hand to loosen soil.

  7. Soil Extraction
    The soil should be gently extracted with a quality organic cleaning solution and a pH conditioner to ensure pH balance, resulting in a soft fresh feel.

  8. Post-Spot
    Any remaining spots should be treated with a special stain removal process.

  9. Cleanup
    The area should be cleaned up and left like it was before cleaning.

  10. Post Cleaning Inspection
    The cleaning results should be inspected to ensure that your expectations have been met or exceeded.

As you can see, upholstery cleaning is a long, detailed process. If the carpet and upholstery cleaning company you hire skips any of these steps, then you’re not getting your money’s worth, the job was not completely finished, and you may not be happy with the work.

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.

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?”

Carpet Spot Cleaning Tips

Carpet Spot CleaningCarpet Spot CleaningMost carpets today have been treated with some type of fabric protectant or sealant, but that does not mean your carpet is completely dirt or spill proof. You will have better results removing the stain if you attempt to remove it when it happens, rather than waiting. The longer you wait, the higher the possibility that the stain will become permanent.

  1. Always pre-test the fabric you are cleaning to ensure that it is colorfast. Pre-testing can be done simply by applying the cleaning agent to a part of the carpet where you can’t see it, and blot for 30 seconds. Make sure there is no damage to the yarn, loss of color, or color transfer.
  2. You should always use a dry white terry cloth towel or plain white paper towel to remove stains (never use a colored towel or printed paper towels as the color from the towel can seep into the carpet).
  3. Start by blotting up the wet stain carefully until almost dry. If it is a dry spill or if the liquid spill has some solids to it, gently scrape off the carpet and vacuum any amount you can with a Shop-Vac or a dry/wet vac.
  4. Don’t be aggressive and never scrub the carpet, as you risk distorting the yarn permanently which will create a wear mark where you are cleaning.
  5. Put some of the cleaning agent on the white towel and work it in onto the stain.
  6. Repeat continuously but gently until the stain has been removed. You need to be patient, as it could take several minutes or longer to remove the stain.
  7. Once the stain has been removed, lightly rinse the spot with cold water to remove as much as the cleaning agent as possible.
  8. Please note that although many cleaning chemicals may be safe for carpets, if they are not completely removed they will attract dirt very quickly to the spot.

Removing Candle Wax from Carpet

Candle Wax on CarpetRemoving candle wax from carpet can be tricky, but not impossible. You should only attempt to remove regular candle wax from synthetic carpet. Never try this procedure on upholstery or any type of natural fibers such as cotton, wool, or silk.

You will need water, an iron, and thick white cotton towel.

1. Dampen the towel until it is almost soaking wet.
2. Place the towel on the wax.
3. Plug in the iron and adjust the temperature to the LOWEST setting.
4. Place the iron on top of the wet towel on the carpet.
5. After 10 seconds remove the towel and iron, and check to see if the wax has melted.
6. If the wax has not melted, raise the temperature of the iron a VERY small amount and repeat steps 4. and 5.
7. Repeat steps 5. and 6. until the temperature of the iron reaches the melting point of the wax.
8. Once the wax melts, it should easily transfer onto the wet towel that has been placed on top of it.

Keep in mind that any dye from the candle wax may never come out completely, but at least you will have removed the actual wax embedded in the carpet.

Removing Pet Hair from Carpet

pet hairPet hair can be difficult to remove from fabric, especially carpeted steps, upholstery and clothing. People use many things to remove per hair such as tape, lint rollers, sponges, and brushes. Not only are some of these items quite expensive, but some lint rollers and tape may leave sticky residue behind that actually attract hair and dust even more.

The secret to removing pet hair from carpet is: rubber or latex gloves!

Put on a pair of rubber or latex gloves and brush or rub our hands in a circular motion on the carpet. You will be surprised to see how easily you can remove the hair from carpets and furniture, draperies, and clothing!

Fabric Sprays for Carpet and Upholstery

Most popular fabric sprays for carpet and fabric are advertised to remove odors without cleaning the fabric. Does this really make sense, spraying something that smells bad with a truly magical product that removes the odor? This is a true testament to the power of intense, convincing, targeted marketing.

The reality is that most of these products “seem” to get rid of the odor, but they actually make the problem worse. Most of these sprays have two parts: fragrance and plastic.

The plastic parts are very tiny molecules that surrounds and “encapsulates” the odor molecules, preventing you from smelling the odor. The fragrance of course adds the benefit of having a clean smell take its place.

But the hidden secret is that is works temporarily; once theses sprays start to break down on the fabric, they attract dirt at a very quick rate, which creates more odor and the need to spray more of this product on the fabric. I find that the homes that use these products smell much worse than the homes that do not use them.

The solution for odor problems in your carpet, upholstery, or other fabric is simply this: It needs to cleaned, washed or replaced.

If you have any questions, please contact your local carpet cleaning professional to get more tips and information on getting rid of odors in your carpet and fabric.

Treating Pet Urine Stains on Carpet and Fabric

Pet StainsUrine contains hydrochloric acid, urea acid, and ammonia, and it can be very difficult to safely remove the stain and odor from fabrics. Untreated, pet urine can take five years to break down and the smell to go away completely, which is why many homeowners have difficulty in removing it themselves.

Most store bought products that are made for pet stains either mask the odor and stain temporarily, and can actually make the problem worse in the long run. When the customer doesn’t get the results they want, they buy different products and combine several products on the pet stain. This usually leads to a chemical experiment on the carpet, permanent discoloration in the fabric, and odors that never completely go away.

You should never combine different cleaning products on the same spot, never use a spot cleaner unless you know it is a green (environmentally friendly) and/or organic product, and that it is completely biodegradable.

Never apply deodorizing powders or sprays on carpet or fabric. They can make the stain look worse by attracting dirt, permanently damaging the color of the carpet, and changing the pH balance of the fabric. Once these products are used it is hard to reverse the negative effects.

I recommend contacting your local carpet cleaning technician on advice on how to successfully clean and treat pet urine stains without additional damage to the fabric.

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