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What Is The Best Way To Clean Carpets? 9 Industry Experts Reveal Their Preferred Method Of Carpet Cleaning

We Asked 9 Experts “What Is The Most Effective Way To Clean Carpets, And How Do You Choose The Best Local Company?”

How do you get your carpets truly clean?

Maybe you’ve already hired a carpet cleaning machine from your local store and cleaned them yourself but were disappointed with the results?

Perhaps you’ve previously paid a local company to clean your carpets but felt the results didn’t merit the cost?

Or, have you simply put it off, worried you’ll have to live with damp, smelly carpets and sodden socks for a couple of days?

Maybe you’re concerned about whether good quality carpets should be “wet cleaned” or “dry cleaned?”

These are just some of the common and logical objections we often try to address on this blog.

We’ve stated our preferred method of carpet cleaning numerous times on this website. But we’re the first to acknowledge that many other companies also use the same method (albeit with naturally differing processes) of carpet cleaning.

So, let’s assume you’ve decided that hiring a cheap machine from your local shop is a bad idea, and you’re faced with choosing between several local companies using similar cleaning methods and, on the surface, similar machines.

How do you differentiate and decide who should carry out the work?

For once, we remain tight lipped and let others do the talking.

To provide an unbiased perspective, we contacted 9 of the UK’s most experienced carpet cleaning companies and asked them 3 key questions:

1. ) When tackling a typical residential carpet, what is your preferred method of cleaning?

2.) Why do you prefer this method?

3.) If a customer has several different local companies using this particular method of carpet cleaning, how do they choose the right company to carry out the work?

Here’s what they said.

Lindsay Russell: Hydro Kleen Services, Scotland

 

1. ) When tackling a typical residential carpet, what is your preferred method of cleaning?

When tackling a typical residential carpet, we favour the hot water extraction method.
2.) Why do you prefer this method?
We prefer this method as it flushes out all the dirt and impurities from the carpet rather than mixing  it around. We know that this cleans deep to the bottom of the pile and also rinses out any stain removers or specialist additives we have had to use during the cleaning process. As a biology graduate, I take a deep interest in the ecosystem of the carpet i.e.bacteria and creepy crawlies. Our machines operate at around 92 degrees centigrade and most bacteria that are harmful to humans are killed at between 63 to 66 degrees.
This method also clean out dust mites, pollen, insect body parts, rat and mouse fur that has been walked in from outside and any vomit, urine, faeces and other impurities that may be present from pets, children or unwell family members.
3.) If a customer has several different local companies using this particular method of carpet cleaning, how do they choose the right company to carry out the work?
When we speak to a customer who is looking for a quote, we try to quote face to face. The questions a company asks a potential customer is vital.
Our first question is always “what is your main reason for needing your carpets cleaned, for example pet stains, asthma, spillages, a wild party or just a general clean”.
We have many packages for our customers to choose from such as the Pet Package, the Premiere Package, the Asthmatic Package, the Newborn Baby Package and the Extreme Package.
We are different from our competition for many reasons and we do our best to make that shine through. 
I think a good powerful twin vacuum machine is the minimum standard for the operation. Some companies use truckmounts but we favour powerful portables as we have so many awkward access jobs in and around Edinburgh. I also believe the company should always vacuum at the start of the job with their own high spec vacuum cleaner. We favour the Sebo BS36. It is absolutely vital that the customer should not be able to rent anything that the professional uses. If a company is able to single-handedly carry their extraction machine into a property, I believe the customer has made a poor choice as this will be under powered with poor suction, low pressure and possibly no heater capacity. 
Qualifications are vital and it is good practice for companies to have copies of certificates to hand. The company insurance document should also be available just in case the customer needs some assurances. 
We also offer a 7 day guarantee on all of our work. We have had it in place since day one and it is a great way to give the customer extra confidence in our services. 
Our levels of guarantee are that we guarantee not to leave the property until we have exhausted all means at our disposal to get the items worked on as clean as possible and as stain free as possible – even if it makes us late for our next job. 
The 7 day guarantee covers the customer for any stains or marks which may reappear, any general dissatisfaction with the work and if they spill anything on it within 7 days of us leaving. 
We have probably had around 2 call backs per year since we set up. I think that’s a great result. 

Andi Paul Hill: Plymouth Rug Cleaning


1. ) When tackling a typical residential carpet, what is your preferred method of cleaning?

My preferred method of cleaning is hot water extraction. And full submersion for rug cleaning.
2.) Why do you prefer this method?
I prefer this method because I feel it’s a deeper clean. Cleaning deep down into the pile rather then just the surface. Included in our hot water extraction cleaning is the following process, a process my family business has used for 30 years:
We pre vacuum all the carpet to be cleaned. This includes moving furniture. We then pre treat all stains with approprate stain removing solutions. We then prespray the area to be cleaned with a pre spray.
This is followed by agitation with a machine to work the cleaning solution into the dirt to help release it from the carpet. After the recommended dwell time we extract with our extraction machine.
Once the carpet is cleaned we put all furniture back on protective blocks and we groom and place air movers on the carpet to help speed up drying.
3.) If a customer has several different local companies using this particular method of carpet cleaning, how do they choose the right company to carry out the work?
There are several companies in my area who use the same method when it comes to cleaning carpets. But there are a lot more who don’t cover all the steps.
There are even companies in my area who do not pre vac or even move furniture. And a lot don’t place air-movers on the top resulting in carpets being wet for days.
We get chosen over our competition because we follow these steps on all our jobs and the fact that we are one of the most trained carpet cleaning companies in our area gets us a lot of work. We are trained by the Master Rug Cleaner Program, NCCA, IICRC and the Woolsafe Organisation. In our area we are also approved by The Trading Standards, Buy With Confidence Scheme.

Tony Stewart: Adchem Carpet Cleaning, Birmingham

1. ) When tackling a typical residential carpet, what is your preferred method of cleaning?
We use Hot Water Extraction…simply put we use a hot cleaning solution which we agitate into the carpet to loosen the soiling.
We then use an engine that sits on our van, which drives a heat exchanger, a powerful pump and a huge vacuum system. This injects super-heated water into the carpet fibres and the dirt is rinsed away leaving the carpet touch dry and squeaky clean.
This is our preferred method of cleaning carpets. Of course, we can turn down the heat for more delicate items but our machine takes the guesswork out of cleaning.
2.) Why do you prefer this method?
We prefer this because it cleans the carpet more effectively and because the dirt and grease is fully removed.  The pile lifts when it dries so that the carpet feels better underfoot as it now has more “spring”.
3.) If a customer has several different local companies using this particular method of carpet cleaning, how do they choose the right company to carry out the work?
It’s important for a company to explain exactly what they do and how they clean. We listen to what a potential customer needs and work with them. The price is often an important factor too for homeowners… but although another cleaner can always beat our price, they will never beat us on our quality of work.
“Too cheap and you pay twice” is an adage worth remembering.

We are a father and son family business and our philosophy is we like to say yes. We love cleaning carpets and furnishings and seeing the difference we can make to your home after we have cleaned.

We don’t use any type of high-pressure sales, fancy gimmicks, or hidden extras and we don’t try to sell you anything that you don’t need. You get a genuine high quality service with honest carpet cleaning prices. We are a business which is built on repeat work and recommendations.

John Kelly: Restormate, Cramlington

 

 1. ) When tackling a typical residential carpet, what is your preferred method of cleaning?
My preferred method of cleaning was hot water extraction. Although low moisture and dry granule cleaning was offered should the customer request that and the carpet was in a suitable condition for an effective result.
2.) Why do you prefer this method?

Thought of as the most thorough cleaning method. It satisfies you that most of the dirt and contaminates such as spills etc have actually been removed from the carpet. Pre-vacuuming will remove around 80% of the particulate soiling so it makes sense to pre-vac first.

3.) If a customer has several different local companies using this particular method of carpet cleaning, how do they choose the right company to carry out the work?
Unfortunately the general public know very little about the carpet cleaning industry and as such are unable to ascertain what requirements they should look for when hiring a carpet cleaning company.
There are discerning customers out there who will seek out what they deem to be a professional outfit. However anyone can set up a professional looking website or post a nice leaflet. It is the professionalism and equipment used by the company that makes the difference.

Alastair Imray: Avoca Floorcare, Lanarkshire

 
 1. ) When tackling a typical residential carpet, what is your preferred method of cleaning?
Our preferred method of residential carpet is definitely hot water extraction (hwe) method.
2.) Why do you prefer this method?
Hot water extraction if done correctly will completely get rid of stains and odours and is the best way to deep clean a carpet.
3.) If a customer has several different local companies using this particular method of carpet cleaning, how do they choose the right company to carry out the work?
Unfortunately there are no rules that stop anyone being able to attempt to clean a carpet. There are a few things that you should look for in choosing a carpet cleaner. More and more these days you can find people buying cheap inadequate machines and stick an add on Facebook and compete with fully trained professional carpet cleaning companies. 
Here are a few pointers to look for that will portray a professional company:
Quite simply ,if you speak to a carpet cleaner on the phone did they answer the phone in a polite and professional manner?
Are the carpet cleaners neat and uniformed?
Always look for referrals that look genuine on their website or social media. 
Check to see if the carpet cleaner is a member of a carpet cleaning association like the NCCA or TACCA

The type of machinery is important as well, a top of the range portable delivering around 500psi in pressure or a truck mounted carpet cleaning machine would be advisable. A good way of checking is if the carpet cleaner has a picture of the machinery. A powerful portable machine should be roughly the size of a washing machine. A truck mounted carpet cleaning machine remains in the van and is the most powerful and most effective type of machine. 

Training is very important as well. Make sure the the carpet cleaner shows signs of being professionally trained. There are so many potential stains that need different techniques to successfully remove, which requires a lot of knowledge.

Roy McReynolds: Elite Cleaning Services, County Antrim

 

1. ) When tackling a typical residential carpet, what is your preferred method of cleaning?
At Elite when choosing a cleaning method for carpet cleaning it would always be hot water extraction using our powerful truck mounted system. 
Although sometimes this is not the cleaning option because of a problematic carpet (this means when a carpet can not be over wet or it would create problems), in which case we would use a low moisture clean.
2.) Why do you prefer this method?
For me hot water extraction using a high powered truckmount and the appropriate chemicals gives a far deeper clean.
3.) If a customer has several different local companies using this particular method of carpet cleaning, how do they choose the right company to carry out the work?
Carpet cleaners are popping up everywhere and so it is very important to make sure you choose the right company.  I would recommend that all customers would check all reviews on the cleaners they are thinking of hiring.  
Also check their training and experience (how long they have been in the industry and if they have training with a registered instructor or are they associated with a registered body such as the NCCA/TACCA etc).  
Check what kind of machinery they will be using and make sure they have the appropriate liability insurance so they can stand over their work in the event that something goes wrong.

Paul King: Revita Cleaning Systems, Newcastle upon Tyne

 

1. ) When tackling a typical residential carpet, what is your preferred method of cleaning?

Hot water extraction. 99% of residential carpets are cleaned with this method using our truck mounted system.

2.) Why do you prefer this method?

There is no other method that gives such a deep a clean.

3.) If a customer has several different local companies using this particular method of carpet cleaning, how do they choose the right company to carry out the work?

After 45 years in this business we know that a customer wants a clean that leaves the carpet fresh and they want it on time with the minimum of fuss – and the carpet needs to be able to be walked on as quickly as possible. A truckmount machine and eco friendly cleaning solutions are what achieve the best results in comparison to the dry cleaners using various chemicals and solvents that remain in your carpet fibres (and also compared to the guys working out the back of estate cars!) 

James Hoyles: Hoyles Cleaning Specialists, Yorkshire

 

1. ) When tackling a typical residential carpet, what is your preferred method of cleaning?

A typical residential job would be like last Saturdays job! I had a call from a lady just about to move in after getting the keys and she wanted two rooms cleaned. After a few questions from myself we went with a low moisture clean.

2.) Why do you prefer this method?

This was the best solution for the customer on this occasion because the carpets were not excessively dirty and so I was able to clean a large living room and 1 bedroom within 2 hours and it meant the lounge was nearly dry before I left after using dri pods to speed the drying process up.

3.) If a customer has several different local companies using this particular method of carpet cleaning, how do they choose the right company to carry out the work?

I have 27 years of expertise in carpet cleaning, and find that a lot of my old and new customers are not looking for a low price but instead value high quality workmanship. We are a WoolSafe Approved Service Provider and have many years of membership in the National Carpet Cleaners Association and The Approved Carpet Cleaners Alliance.
 
These trade memberships help show that a company will believe in a duty of care to their customers and are fully insured. (whether that be carpet priced at £20 a sq metre or £300 a sq metre). 

Derek West: Arcadia Cleaners, Cheshire

 

1. ) When tackling a typical residential carpet, what is your preferred method of cleaning?

My preferred choice of cleaning medium to deep pile carpets will always be pre spray of a suitable product followed by Hot Water Extraction.

2.) Why do you prefer this method?
It’s the only true way to clean, all other methods are secondary and only used when hot water extraction may cause a problem.
Once you have ascertained hot water extraction wont cause any type of problem, then it’s the only method for proper cleaning.
For instance, if you are cleaning a carpet where the room is full of electrical computers and sockets on the floor, open servers, etc… then moisture may be a concern so you could clean using either encapsulation or sponges. If the carpet was really bad and encapsulation or sponges just wouldn’t quite get the results that hot water extraction would, then you would have to advise of the risk that may be necessary for total removal of the problem by using hot water extraction. The alternative is to use one of the low moisture methods but advise the customer that results would likely be limited.
3.) If a customer has several different local companies using this particular method of carpet cleaning, how do they choose the right company to carry out the work?
Look for positive recent reviews and testimonials and check if you have a TACCA approved carpet cleaning company in your area.

Summary: Key Points To Consider When Choosing A Local Carpet Cleaner

Reading back through these answers there are some common threads.

When choosing a local carpet cleaning company it is essential to check that the operative is fully trained and that the company can produce proof of training certificates, trade memberships and insurance documents.

It also makes sense to check that the machine they are operating cannot be rented yourself from a local supermarket or hardware store.

Finally, a professional approach is essential…

If you’ve booked a carpet cleaner and they arrive in an estate car with casual clothing and a machine they can easily carry into your home, don’t be afraid to postpone the work and do some more research.

No matter how cheap the price.

 

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