I hear all the time: “I can’t believe how good it smells in here now.” I hear this when I call my clients to make sure they were totally happy with the carpet cleaning job we did for them. Do I have a secret to achieving this? Yes, I do! Every time we fill our rinse tank with water, we add Multiphase Deodorizer to the mix. There are three major benefits to doing this.
- This deodorizer contains an enzyme that feeds on bacteria. We do not put enough in our rinse to treat problem mildew, mold, or urine areas. However there is enough to ensure that even if the carpet takes longer than usual to dry there no worries of mold or mildew forming.
- It helps reinforce the full strength application of deodorizer that we do use to kill the bacteria, mold, mildew, and urine.
- Leaves your carpet smelling fresh and pleasant.
We have found that despite the extra cost of introducing this enzyme deodorizer to our carpet cleaning rinse, going the extra mile goes a long way in customer satisfaction. Not only making these Minnesota nice clients happy, but actually turning them into full-fledged fans.
I own a carpet cleaning company in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota called the Commercial Steam Team. I have been cleaning carpet for 13 years and one of the most effective products I use is Hydramaster’s Multiphase Deodorizer. As in its name, Multiphase is a triple action deodorizer that covers a broad spectrum of odor causing bacteria. I like to use this deodorizer because it is both powerful on bacteria while being gentle on carpet cleaners. In my 13 years of carpet cleaning in Minnesota, I haven’t found anything that works nearly as well.
How many times have you driven by your neighbor’s house and seen a white van parked in the driveway covered in rust with hoses running into the front door of the house? After seeing that beat up old van, your first inclination was probably not, “I should get their phone number so I can have them clean my carpet”.
This is because your subconscious makes certain assumptions when you see a poorly maintained van;
- If the van looks that old, the equipment is probably out of date as well.
- If they haven’t taken good care of their van, do they take good care of the equipment?
- If they can’t afford a new van, can they afford capable employees?
- If they don’t take pride in their appearance, do they care about generating positive word of mouth?
- They don’t look like they care at all!
- Are they too cheap to do a great job?
The truth is that one or more of these assumptions is probably correct. If you want people to take you seriously as a capable and educated professional, you cannot let your first impression be a rusted out van. A sharp, crisp, clean van lets people know that you take pride in being the best professional carpet cleaning company you can be. After all, your van is a moving billboard.
I can’t tell you how many times I have driven by someone’s house or business and saw work being done by someone wearing a sleeved or sleeveless white t-shirt. Unless you’re a painter, that’s not a uniform in my opinion. The questions that instantly pop into my mind are;
- If they can’t afford uniforms, can they afford good equipment?
- Can they afford to pay for good employees?
- Can they afford the cleaning agents that are necessary to get the stains out?
- Are they out of money, lazy, or cheap?
- What kind of message are they sending their customers?
- What kind of message are they sending their employees?
Sharp, clean uniforms tell your customers that you are a team. It shows that you are dedicated enough to provide this for your employees. More importantly is what not wearing a uniform says, Which is, “I’m not good at my job”.
Reputable carpet cleaning companies agree to return to their jobs any time a customer is unsure of the results of the work done. The most reputable companies call every job a week after cleaning to make sure they are happy and offer what we call a “redo” to make sure the client stays a satisfied and loyal client.
As important as redo’s are, they also cost money to complete. This is time and expense being used without extra compensation from the client. For this reason and more, it is important to do the job right the first time.
Carpet cleaning, like many things in life is largely about balance. In this case it’s about the balance of PH. levels. The process starts with pre-spray and spot cleaning agents and finishes with a rinse to balance the Ph. out. All professional carpet cleaners, no matter who they are, start off with an alkaline or acid pre-spray. The next step is to rinse it out with a rinse that is opposite the pre-spray on the Ph. scale. Spot cleaning agents vary in specifics, however, unless it is a leave in treatment, they all have one thing in common. Cleaning agents need to be rinsed out as much as possible. Cleaning agents that are not rinsed thoroughly can attract dirt back to the spot or spill. This makes the spot or spill look like it has resurfaced and come back after the cleaning is done.
The best way to thoroughly rinse the carpet is to make sure you have the most powerful direct drive carpet cleaning truck mount available. Second, make sure you are using a rinse that is opposite the Ph. of your pre-spray. Third, simply do extra rinse strokes any time you clean over an area you spot treated. The whole room doesn’t have to be done this way, just the spot where you used a spot treatment. Fourth, you do extra vacuum strokes where you did extra rinse strokes. Extra rinse means slightly higher moisture levels and requires “balance” when it comes do drying the carpet as well.
By maintaining balance in the carpet of both Ph. levels and moisture, the chances of a spot or spill appearing to return on you are nearly eliminated and so are your redo’s. Out of the last 1814 jobs, my crews only had to return to 23 of them. All 23 are still very happy clients. This is one of the methods they practice at every job to make sure they keep their routes redo free and full of loyal, paying, repeat customers here in the Twin Cities.
Hot Water Extraction has been the primary carpet cleaning method since 1947. Many people call it “Steam Cleaning”. It is simply a pressure washer that is followed by a vacuum to dry it. The strength of equipment varies from little rental portables like Rug Doctors, to powerful machines that run directly off of the V8 (8 cylinder) engine.
Though it seems silly to lump those together into one category, that is exactly what companies do that try to compete with Hot Water Extraction. These companies use statistics gathered from janitors and homeowners who rent small machines without training and try to do the job of highly trained professionals themselves. Many of these people leave the carpet wet (it should never be left more than damp to the touch). Wet carpet can take days to dry and if damp for more than 36 hours in ideal circumstances carpet can mildew (I recommend adding an enzyme deodorizer to the rinse that feeds on mold and mildew. this prevents its growth if something were to go wrong) .
Real professionals know to leave the carpet as dry as possible. If they don’t then they find out very shortly after starting their business when the phone calls come pouring in wondering why the carpet sloshes beneath their feet.
The other mistake made by non-professionals is the use of oil based products. Professionals by and large stopped using oil based products many years ago because it was discovered to attract dirt to the areas most heavily worked on. This just made the carpet look worse within months of the cleaning. It is also important to rinse the carpet with a rinse that will balance the ph. Level. Left unbalanced, the carpet will also rapidly re-soil. Some professionals still make that last mistake.
Hot Water Extraction, when done by professionals still remains the safest method of carpet cleaning to this day. Like any industry like this, be sure to find a company you feel you can trust. It’s a safe adage that if the price seems too good to be true than it probably is. There is not a lot of room for profits in the carpet cleaning industry, so if you cut your prices too far they need to be made up for somewhere else.
The final mistake that most do-it-yourselfers make is the rotary brush, or pad systems. Most dry cleaning methods are this way. They push down the dirt to the backing where it still causes problems and they don’t fully rinse out their cleaning agents. They also add wear and tear to the areas that already have it. The dirtier the area the harder they need to scrub the carpet and the more residue they leave behind. This can unravel the carpet fibers as well.
Always make sure to work witha knowledgeable professional to ensure the best life for your carpets and the healthiest experience for those that live, play, and work on them!
The Commercial Steam Team introduces our encapsulating spot remover. We have been using an encapsulation spot remover both at our jobs and as gifts and products for our clients for about 4 years. We kept it under wraps without announcing our use of it online in our blogs because we always make sure to test everything we use long term to make sure that it works properly. First we research it. Then we use it in our own homes. After that we use it ourselves on jobs. Finally we give it as gifts to our clients. Now that our clients have been raving about it for years we decided to mention it here in our blog and offer anyone who mentions this a free bottle of our encapsulating spot remover when we clean the carpets at their business or home here in the Twin Cities area.
As the foremost experts in commercial carpet cleaning, we take pride in making sure that everything we use is non-toxic, bio-degradable and hypoallergenic.
Lots of people have problems with dogs peeing or marking their furniture. My rascally dog “Buddy” is no exception. To make it worse his urine is bright yellow. I can’t bring the van home to Rosemount from Burnsville every weekend, so I was so glad to discover that this encapsulation spotter took care of all of his mistakes for me. One of my employees, Steve, cleaned up the powdered toner that his brother-in-law spilled under their desk chair and forgot to tell him about. He was amazed too.
The way it works is the easiest thing I have ever come across. Simply blot first (always blot first before any cleaning method to remove excess spill liquid). Then just spray the encapsulating spot remover directly on the spot. Use something to work in the spotter into the fibers. You can use the bottom of the bottle or even your fingertips. You can use a towel but if you rub too hard you will cause damage to the fibers. Also, always use a white towel, or dye transfer is always a possibility with any method.
After this you just wait until the carpet dries completely. With some spills, it will already appear to be gone and others will not. The next step after the carpet is dry is to vacuum the carpet with your vacuum cleaner. I just wait until I’m vacuuming anyway. It is amazing how often this works. I have had and heard of great results on coffee, sticky residues, pop spills, animal urine. This is also the safest method to start with and it can be repeated if it doesn’t completely work the first time.