What should you look for in a carpet cleaning Service? Orange County , CA


May Katz had a trusted carpet cleaning company that she had always used, but the Indianapolis resident thought she’d try another company that had advertised a discounted cleaning.

As soon as the two representatives were in the door, though, they immediately tried to upsell Katz an additional $120 for “deep cleaning” service. When she declined, the cleaners were in and out of her three-level home in less than an hour and she didn’t notice a difference in the carpets’ appearance, other than that they were still wet after the technicians left. Katz noted than on previous, more positive carpet cleaning experiences, it took three technicians an hour and a half to clean her carpets.

“I thought it would take at least two hours,” Katz said. “It took them less than 45 minutes, so that made me kind of skeptical. I wasn’t certain if it was cleaned or not cleaned.”

Chris Stone, of Gallery Carpet Care in Zionsville, said he hears stories like Katz’s all the time from clients who call him in to redo a carpet cleaning job.

“When they show up and start trying to upsell you certain things, if (you decline), they’re not at all motivated to do the carpet in the best possible job,” Stone said. “We hear that a lot. They get there and the customer says, ‘I just want to get (the sale price),’ and they’ll say, ‘Yeah, we can do that, but if you actually want your carpets deep cleaned and want us to use a pre-spray and hot water…’ and they’ll start adding up all these charges. That should be a big red flag. A reputable company should have a one-price system, whether they charge per room or per square foot.”

Look for a carpet cleaning company that follows industry guidelines set forth by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC.)

“You want a company that’s in it for the long run,” Stone said. “When they show up to your door, look for the little things. Look at their appearance. If they’re poorly dressed or have a sloppy appearance, generally that translates into how their work is going to (look).”

It’s important, before hiring a carpet cleaner, to understand the type of carpet cleaning being done. Stone’s company, for example, offers only hot water extraction. That’s also known as steam cleaning, which is the method recommended by most carpet manufacturers. Other methods include low-moisture – or bonnet cleaning – and “dry” or carbonated techniques. Many manufacturers will not honor the carpet’s warranty if their recommended cleaning method is not used.

“(Most carpet manufacturers) demand using hot water extraction because it removes the most soil,” Stone said. “It’s able to sanitize the carpet with the heat and it’s the most thorough cleaning out there. We do hot water extraction with a truck mount, which we believe is the best way to clean your carpets. If you see somebody show up with a little portable (cleaner) or they ask to connect to your water source, you might want to look for someone else.”

Professional cleaning costs typically start at around $79 for a small area and goes up from there, depending on the size of your home and the type of cleaning you choose. Stone said he charges by the square foot, rather than the room.

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