Carpet Cleaning D.I.Y
Many years ago, before I entered the world of carpet cleaning, I was providing an End of Tenancy Cleaning and Oven Cleaning Service. And, as I was already working with Landlords, Tenants and Estate Agents, I figured that offering carpet cleaning as an added service would complement my existing work.
Looking into this new venture proved a little bit more complicated than first thought. First of all there was the decision as to which carpet cleaning machine to buy. Although most machines were capable of providing the same basic function, each differed in some way. Regardless of how many people I talked with, each had their own version as to why a particular machine was the best on the market. I soon discovered that choosing a machine was to be no easy task and that I should proceed with caution. First I should conduct some basic research, narrow down my choice of machines and then proceed with making an informed buying decision.
As luck had it, the cleaning show was being presented in the NEC. This is the UK’s largest cleaning show with manufacturers and suppliers all competing under the one roof. The latest equipment along with cleaning solutions, demonstrations and specialist advice would be available over three days for any would-be carpet cleaner to attend. Needless to say, I attended the show, participated in some of the many demonstrations and talked with both suppliers and seasoned carpet cleaners, all willing to provide useful information and helpful techniques on all aspects of carpet cleaning.
I returned from the show with a mindful of information, catalogues and price lists only to realise that purchasing a machine was only part of what was required in order to clean carpets professionally. There were other considerations as well, such as whether or not to purchase a CRB (counter rotating brush) machine. Could the cost of this machine be justified in terms of the overall result that it would bring to a client’s carpet? Also, I was going to need a good quality professional vacuum cleaner. Which will be the best option and how does purchasing a professional vacuum cleaner differ from purchasing a domestic model? Then there was the question of qualification. In order to set myself up as a professional carpet cleaner I figured I needed some form of training in order to have the best possible chance of achieving excellent results.
The move into carpet cleaning was to take longer than I anticipated. The more I become involved, researched and asked questions, the more I realised how much I did not know. Then one Friday, out of the blue, an estate agent phoned and inquired if I clean carpets. I explained that it was something I was looking into, but I hadn’t started yet. Is there anything you can do, replied the estate agent, we have tenants moving in on Monday and we need the carpets cleaned. OK I said, I’ll come up with something, just give me half an hour and I’ll get back to you. Twenty minutes later I called back and explained that we hadn’t cleaned carpets before, and as I didn’t have any professional equipment I could only suggest that we hire a machine for the purpose of this cleaning. I also explained that, even though a hired machine was limited in its capability, I would do my best and I expected to achieve an adequate result. The estate agent was happy with the solution, and so I got my first carpet cleaning.
On the day of cleaning I allowed extra time to do the work and planned everything out in a systematic approach. My first duty was to collect the hired machine. At the store the assistant appeared to have no knowledge of carpet cleaning, other than to repeat from what appeared to be a generalised script. ‘You will need some of this … and this … ‘is the carpet dirty? … you’ll probably need this for the lanes … are there any stains? … in that case you’re better off taking some of this as well … oh and don’t forget to clean the machine before you bring it back. With that the assistant proceeded to wheel out my machine. A quick glance at it told me it wasn’t up to much. It looked battered and old and in a less than clean condition. Asking for a replacement, the assistant replied that they are all checked on return, but that one must have slipped through. With that I received a much brighter, cleaner machine.
Arriving back at the property, I was about to put my training and information to good use. I was able to identify the pile type, the carpet backing and construction. I knew about the dangers of over-wetting, the advantage of agitation, the benefit of dwell time and as I had completed a spot and stain removal course I was in a good position to take care any marks of this nature that were present. As well prepared as I was, I realised that on completion of the cleaning, I was disappointed with the result. The carpets looked adequately clean, they were much better than they were, but I knew that it wasn’t a deep thorough clean. I knew that there had to be a better way, and so hired machines and myself soon parted company to make way for some new professional equipment.
Hiring equipment or inviting a professional cleaner to complete the work, there is a market for all. Many people hired machines and appear content with the D.I.Y. approach. Others prefer a company complete the work happy with professional efficiency and safe in the knowledge that they are covered by a guarantee. However, before rushing out to hire a machine, there are some worthwhile considerations, as I have discovered. No matter how well I was prepared, I could never out-perform the capabilities of the machine. At best I could get through without any major issues, and end up with less than perfect result. Without preparation, it is possible that I could have damaged the carpet beyond repair, through dye bleed or problems associated with over wetting. Hired machines are not professional machines, they are not designed to do a professional job.
Should you be undecided about the uncertain challenges of the D.I.Y. approach or are considering having a professional carpet and upholstery cleaning company complete the work for you, you may wish to talk to us first, as we have experience in both areas.
For professional help or friendly advice on carpet, rug or upholstery cleaning feel free to contact Brendan on 0121 472 3349.