Consumer Guide - SmartKleen

Consumer Guide - SmartKleen

Read this guide and you'll discover:
How to avoid four carpet clearing rip-offs!
6 costly misconceptions about carpet cleaning.
SmartKleen ' critters and crud' Guide.
Which method cleans best?
7 Mistakes to avoid when choosing a carpet cleaner.
The importance of value and price.
Do you want to clean healthy carpet?
100% no-risk guarantees.

To some degree, all of us are attracted by low price because we want to work within a budget. But some carpet cleaners use price as the bait for their false and misleading advertising. They offer a cheap price - usually between £4.95 and £9.95 per room - and then, once they're in your home, they pressure you into buying "add-ons". It's as if you were buying a car and found that the dealer was charging you extra for the tyres and steering wheel. Carpet cleaning is not as cheap as some unethical carpet cleaners would like you to believe.
Dual process carpet cleaning describes the process of shampooing or heavy preconditioning, followed with hot water extraction cleaning. Unfortunately, unethical carpet cleaners often use dual process as a bait-and-switch technique. Here's how it's done: First, they "bait" you with a basic cleaning (single process) at an unbelievably low price. Then, when you call, they try to "switch" you to more expensive dual-process cleaning. If you don't fall for their switch and choose their basic service, you'll likely receive poor workmanship using little or no chemical and they will not guarantee their work.
You'll read this in almost every ad. You'll hear this from virtually every carpet cleaner. Remember this: The method that's best for you is the method that achieves your goal. If you want a method that dries quickly, then a method that takes a long time to dry isn't best for you. So, before you choose a carpet cleaner, identify your objectives. Then select the method that best reaches these objectives.
CARPET." Years ago, many people believed this was true because their carpets were damaged by "technicians" who didn't know how to properly clean using hot water. But today, we know it's false. By washing and then rinsing your carpet with hot water, your carpet is thoroughly cleaned - in the same way that the person who showers and then rinses off the dirt and soap will be much cleaner than the person who takes only a sponge bath. Obviously, each carpet cleaner will be biased toward his own method. And each method does have advantages. So I suggest you look to what carpet manufacturer's say. Shaw Industries, the largest carpet manufacturer in the world, recommends only hot water extraction cleaning with an industrial unit.


You should wait as long as possible before cleaning your carpet. No. Dirt is an abrasive - like sandpaper. Every time you step on your carpet, you grind dirt into the carpet fibres. This cuts your carpet, just as if you had used a knife. This cutting causes your carpet to wear out faster. A dirty carpet will not last as long as a clean carpet. And while vacuuming helps - by itself, it's simply not enough. The longer you wait to have your carpet cleaned, the more damage you do to your carpet and the faster it wears out.

The only reason to clean carpets is to remove dirt. No. As you probably know, outdoor air contains pollens, fungus, bacteria, air pollution, cigarette smoke, car exhaust - and hundreds of other chemicals. When you come into your home, you carry those pollens, bacteria and chemicals in your hair and on your skin, clothing and shoes. Not surprisingly, all those chemicals and toxins end up in your carpet.
If you have allergies, asthma, emphysema or other breathing problems one major source of your problem could be the pollens, fungus, smoke and chemicals in your carpet.

One method of carpet cleaning is as good as another. No. The dry cleaning methods - which are dry foam, dry chemicals and dry compound - do not rinse your carpet in any way. Instead, they leave a dirty residue. You might say they clean your carpet only halfway. The most effective cleaning method is hot water extraction.
Hot water extraction means a hot water cleaning solution, under high pressure, is forced into your carpet and then sucked out of your carpet. Shaw Industries, the world's largest carpet manufacturer, recommends hot water extraction as the primary method of carpet cleaning, along with an NCCA approved firm.
The industrial extraction machine cleans much better because it heats the water to a higher temperature - which breaks up the dirt, bacteria, chemicals and pollens in the carpet. Then the machine uses high suction to draw the dirt and chemicals out of your carpet. This is the method that my company uses.

Having the right equipment is all a company needs to clean your carpets properly.
Not true. Many companies own hot-water cleaners but very few companies teach their employees how to use them properly. This is why it's important that you choose your carpet cleaner carefully. The best companies are those that have been certified by the National Carpet Cleaners Association, known as the NCCA. Before you choose a carpet cleaner, ask to see written proof of the company's NCCA certification. If they don't have it don't use them!

The company that offers the lowest price is the company you should hire. No. I've seen so many problems arise from lowest-bid companies that I suggest you NEVER hire the company that quotes the cheapest price. The two most common problems are:

(1) The price may not be for the services you want performed. The company may be equipped to remove only the dirt from your carpet. But you may want bacteria, fungus, pollens, dust mites and tobacco residues removed as well.
(2) The price you see advertised may not be the price you pay. Many homeowners have learned that the low price they saw advertised lasted only until the carpet cleaner got into their home. Then they were pressured into paying a lot more for a variety of add-ons. (Some carpet cleaners even break the law by using illegal bait and switch tactics.)

Any honest carpet cleaning company should be able to give you an exact price quote over the telephone. I wish this were true, but it isn't. Honest, reputable carpet cleaning companies almost never price carpet cleaning by the room. Instead, carpet cleaning is usually priced by the square foot. So if you'd like me to tell you the exact cost of cleaning your carpet, I need to know the exact number of square feet that you want cleaned. To get an accurate measurement, I use an electronic measuring device to calculate the exact size of the carpet area. To give you an idea of how we estimate the cost of cleaning, here are the three things we consider:
First, the type of carpet. Certain types of carpet are harder to clean than other types.
Second, the amount of soiling. Carpet that hasn't been cleaned for ten years will take longer to clean than carpet that we have cleaned within the last six months.
Third, the amount of furniture that we have to move. If you move your furniture, you'll save money.



Asphalt. Bacteria. Car exhaust. Chemicals. Dirt. Dust. Dust mites. Earth. Food particles. Fungus. Germs. Gravel. Grease. Grime. Grit. Hair. Industrial waste. Lint. Mud. Pet stains. Pollens. Pollutants. Rock. Sand. Scum. Smoke. Soil. Soot. Tar. Tobacco smoke. Urine. Vomit. Plus, don't forget living creatures, such as dust mites, fleas and critters that live, hide and breed in your carpet.

Will you help us? We're trying to find at least one thing that's in your carpet for every letter of the alphabet. And we don't have anything at all for these letters: J,K,N,O,Q,W,X,Y,Z. If you can think of something that could be in your carpet that begins with these letters - or any other letters - please call or write to us and we'll consider including them in our next consumer's guide.


Dry foam:

The carpet cleaner applies shampoo to your carpet, allows it to dry, and then, without rinsing, sucks the dried shampoo into a vacuum. Can you imagine applying shampoo to your hair, allowing it to dry and then removing the shampoo from your head with a vacuum? This method leaves dirty residue in your carpet, which is one reason why dry foam is not too effective.

Absorbent pad (bonnet cleaning):

This method is similar to dry foam, except that the company sets a large cotton bonnet on your carpet and with a floor polishing buffer machine on top buffs the carpet. The rotating motion causes the bonnet to absorb dirt from your carpet. This method is also called bonnet cleaning. Bonnet cleaning is like trying to use a large cotton towel or mop to rub the dirt out of your carpet. It's not very effective.

Dry, absorbent powder:

The dry-compound method spreads a moist, absorbent powder through the carpet. The powder is allowed to dry and then sucked into a vacuum. This method leaves dry sponge particles at the base of the carpet yarn. And because the carpet is not rinsed, this method is not very effective.

Hot water extraction:

This is a fancy way of saying that a hot water cleaning solution under high pressure is forced into your carpet and then sucked out of your carpet.

Air induction head atomises high velocity solution. Hyper charged droplets penetrate and scrub each individual fibre. Solution never has the chance to soak into backing. Fluid is kept under constant vacuum control as it's pulled out through the fabric and instantly recovered.

In a recent Technical Bulletin, Shaw Industries, the world's largest carpet manufacturer, recommends the hot water extraction system, which research indicates provides the best capability for cleaning.

Some people believe that hot water damages your carpet, but this isn't true.
By washing and then rinsing your carpet with hot water, we clean your carpet completely - in the same way that the person who showers and then rinses off the dirt and soap will be much cleaner than the person who only takes a sponge bath.



Choosing a carpet cleaner based on equipment alone. No question, your carpet cleaner needs first-rate equipment. But he also needs something else. He needs employees who are skilled at operating that equipment. Many companies own hot-water extractors, but very few companies teach their employees how to use them properly. The best way to know that the carpet cleaner's employees have been properly trained is to make sure the cleaner has been certified by the National Carpet Cleaners Association ( NCCA). Before you choose a carpet cleaner, ask to see written proof of the company's NCCA certification.

Choosing a carpet cleaner based on low price. Low price could be a problem in three ways:

(1) Low price can be the bait that attracts your 'phone call. But once the cleaner gets into your home, he pressures you into a much more expensive job.

(2) Low price can be for single-process cleaning. Rarely does the consumer know what this means and, when told, asks for dual-process cleaning instead, which costs much more.

(3) Low price means the carpet cleaner has cheap equipment, which will not effectively clean your carpet.

Choosing a carpet cleaner based on a single telephone call. Instead, invite the person to your home and ask for a written quotation. Then you'll know exactly what the carpet cleaner recommends - and you won't be the victim of high pressure tactics when the technician steps into your living room.

Choosing a carpet cleaner who doesn't offer a money-back guarantee. In my view, every carpet cleaning company should be fully accountable for its work. And if you aren't pleased with the job in every way, you shouldn't have to pay for it. Full stop. Not all carpet cleaners offer a guarantee. Or, if they do, the guarantee may be "limited". Ask the carpet cleaner if he offers a money-back guarantee and then make sure the carpet cleaner includes his guarantee on his written quotation.

Choosing a carpet cleaner without getting comments from his other clients. Any carpet cleaner can say anything about his past jobs. And, sadly, some of what he says may not be true. Make sure you ask for references or read comments from current customers so you can depend on the carpet cleaner and his work.

Choosing a carpet cleaner who isn't certified by the National Carpet Cleaners Association. If your carpet cleaner isn't a close friend, you may not know whether he has the knowledge or experience to clean your carpet well. If you want to be sure you're hiring a competent professional, make sure he is NCCA certified. The carpet cleaner must earn that certification through study, experience and successful completion of formal, written examination. In effect, cleaners who are certified by the NCCA have earned a college degree in carpet cleaning.

Choosing a carpet cleaner who isn't a member of the NCCA. NCCA is a trade association of carpet cleaners who are dedicated to:

(1) Honest, ethical business practices.

(2) Staying current on the latest methods for carpet and upholstery care, cleaning and restoration.

(3) The highest possible level of customer service.

You're making a wise decision when you have your carpets cleaned by a member of the NCCA.


Price is what you pay

Value is what you get. When you select a carpet cleaner, you'll choose from a wide variety of cleaning methods and prices.

The machine uses stronger suction to draw the dirt, chemicals, bacteria, pollens and tobacco smoke residue out of your carpet. Not surprisingly, having your carpet thoroughly cleaned with industrial hot water extraction costs more than renting a shampooer at the corner grocery store.
If you bought the cheapest carpeting you could find, then renting a small shampooer might be all you need. No question, it will get out some of the dirt - but the key word here is "some". It will not get out many of the pollens, chemicals, bacteria and dust mite residues. On the other hand - if you want your carpet to look good and give you years of dependable service - then you need to take extra good care of it. This
means you need to have it cleaned by a qualified technician at least every six months to one year, depending on the amount of soiling and foot traffic it receives. And you need to have it cleaned thoroughly and disinfected, as only an industrial hot water extractor can do.


Which is more important to you: a clean carpet - or a clean and healthy carpet?

Yes, I assure you, there is a big difference. Each carpet cleaning method had advantages and disadvantages. Some methods will get out only the dirt. Other methods will get out dirt and grease. Still others will get out virtually everything. And, to be sure, some are more expensive than others. If all you want is want is cheap, rinse-the-dirt-off-the-top cleaning - which you might find for around £5.95 per room - then I respectfully ask that you call another company. But if you want to protect your health - if you want to protect your investment in carpeting - if you want to protect your family from the countless bacteria, fungus, pollens and dust mites that reside in your carpet, then you're invited to call me.

The industrial hot water unit we use is the most effective cleaning system available today. Likewise, it's one of the most expensive units on the market. But we bought this unit for a good reason: more and more families want the good-health benefits that come from having a fresh, clean carpet.

Have you ever seen how dirty a little boy do trousers get when he plays outdoors? If you have, then you know you can brush off the dirt and make him think they're clean. Or, if you want the job done right, you can machine wash them in hot water and detergent and you'll KNOW they're clean. The same is true for your carpet. You can hire someone for £25 to £50 who will "brush off" your carpeting and make you think it's clean. Or, if you want the job done right, I'll wash your carpets with hot water and detergent using my state-of-the-art cleaning machine and you'll KNOW they're clean.

So, if you want a thoroughly clean carpet - if you're willing to invest in your family's good health - you're invited to call us. You'll receive a written estimate, at no cost or obligation. And if you give us the go-ahead, you're further protected with our.


We want you to be super-pleased - in fact, absolutely delighted - with every carpet and upholstery job we do.

So every job comes with our iron-clad, risk-free guarantee. What does this mean? Simply this: if you aren't happy with our work, we'll re-clean the area for free.

And if you still aren't pleased, you pay nothing. Not one penny.

Many companies don't guarantee their work but we feel nothing is more important than your complete and total satisfaction.

We stand behind every job 100%.

If you ever have any questions or concerns about our work, please call us right away:

Call 0121 416 0400
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