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Healthy Living >>> Indoor Air Quality Articles & News

6 Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing A Carpet Cleaner

By: Kevin Thompson
The Nations Black Mold Solutions Expert

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 tobacco smoke residues.

On the other hand, if you bought high quality carpeting--if you want it 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 every 6-12 months, depending on the amount of soiling and foot traffic it receives. And you need to have it cleaned thoroughly and disinfected, as only a professional can do.

By avoiding these 6 mistakes, your carpeting will last for years to come.

MISTAKE #1: Choosing a carpet cleaner based on equipment alone. No question, your carpet cleaner needs first-rate equipment. But they also need something else. They need technicians who are skilled at operating the 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 Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). Before you choose a carpet cleaner, ask to see written proof of their IICRC certification.

MISTAKE #2: 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, they pressure 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.

MISTAKE #3: Choosing a carpet cleaner based on a single telephone call. Instead, invite them to your home and ask for a specific price quotation. Then you’ll know exactly what the carpet cleaner recommends--and you won’t be the victim of high-pressure sales tactics when the technician steps into your living room.

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MISTAKE #4: Choosing a carpet cleaner who doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee. In my view, every carpet cleaning company should be fully accountable for their work. And if you aren’t pleased with the job, you shouldn’t have to pay for it. Period! Not all carpet cleaners offer a guarantee. Or, if they do, the guarantee may be “limited.” Ask the carpet cleaner if they offer a complete money-back guarantee.

MISTAKE #5: 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 they say 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 their work. Any carpet cleaner that does quality work should be able to provide you with comments from their clients.

MISTAKE #6: Choosing a carpet cleaner who isn’t certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). If your carpet cleaner isn’t a close friend, you may not know whether they have the knowledge or experience to clean your carpet well. If you want to be sure you’re hiring a competent professional, make sure they are IICRC certified. The carpet cleaner must earn that certification through study, experience, and the successful completion of formal, written examinations. In effect, cleaners who are certified by the IICRC have earned a college degree in carpet cleaning.

Before you hire ANY carpet cleaner, be sure to ask questions. The way you learn about a company is to ask specific questions and listen carefully to the answers. Here are seven to ask a carpet cleaner before you hire them:

1. What method of cleaning do you recommend?

2. What type of equipment do you use to clean carpet?

3. What will your equipment remove from my carpet?

4. How often should I get my carpets cleaned?

5. What training have you had in cleaning carpets?

6. Are you certified by the IICRC and can I see your certificate?

7. Do you have a 100% no-risk guarantee?

Once you’re satisfied that you’re working with an honest, competent professional, invite them into your home and ask for a specific quotation in writing. A written quotation gives you the assurance that you know exactly what your job will cost--no surprises.

By following these four steps, you’ll gain all the information you’ll need to make an informed intelligent decision. If you want a quick, cheap carpet cleaning job, many companies in the phone book can help you. Or you can rent a shampooer from the grocery store and do the job yourself.

But if you want your carpet to be completely and healthfully cleaned--removing the bacteria, fungus, chemicals, pollens, and tobacco products--you'll need to hire a professional.

To find a quality carpet cleaning company in your area of the country, go to


Kevin Thompson is the Nations Mold Solutions Expert. After running his own cleaning and restoration business since 1996, he now helps homeowners nationwide by showing them how to win the war against black mold and reclaim their health. If you'd like instant access to his free in-depth report "What 99% Of Homeowners Don't Know, And Will Never Find Out About Black Mold" just go to

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