How to Choose a Carpet Cleaner

Frequently asked Questions

Choosing how to clean your carpets and furnishings is a big decision and to help, here are the questions you should ask and the answers you should receive…

Q. Should I ring round for a quote?

         A. Stuart always likes to visit a property to look at what you want to be cleaned. This is a free advice service and he brings photographs of his “Before and After” carpet and upholstery jobs and includes testimonials in his portfolio for you to see.

Q. Are these photographs available on line?

         A. Yes – go to Google and put in: Flickr: theprofessionalcarpetcleaner’s Photostream and you can see up to 40 “Before and After” photographs

Q. How often should I have my carpets cleaned?

A. Most manufacturers recommend that carpets are professionally cleaned by a qualified technician every 12-18 months. Carpets should be cleaned to prevent them becoming heavily soiled as this will significantly reduce the life of a carpet.  Soil builds up from below and you cannot see it initially

Q. I think I can clean my soft furnishings myself, is this recommended?

A. It is highly recommended that a professional cleaner is used. There are many items available to the public that are advertised for carpet and upholstery cleaning. However, along with these come many risks and the potential of causing irreversible damage. NCCA members have the correct training and knowledge, along with access to professional products, to ensure that a correct and safe job is carried out and the best possible results are achieved. Remember, you can’t undo it, if it goes wrong.

Q. I have a spillage on my carpet, is there anything I can try before calling in a professional?

A. Yes, please visit our emergency tips page for guidance on removing many general spots and stains shortly after they occur.  Many stain removers are for sale on the internet and also in our shops but Stuart’s advice would be to steer clear of these stain removers because many have agents that permanently remove the colour (as well as the stain) from your carpet

Q. What are the differences between the methods of cleaning and which method is best?

A. All cleaning methods are designed to produce good results and each has its place within the industry. Some methods use more water and others more mechanical action. More important however, is whether the employed technician has the required training to carry out the cleaning properly and safely.

NCCA members (And Stuart) have a recognised qualification in carpet and upholstery cleaning and have been trained on the use of all cleaning methods.  Stuart will be able to advise on the most appropriate method, or combination of methods, for your situation.

Q. Will my carpets re-soil quicker following cleaning?

A. Professional cleaners will only use detergents designed for the removal of soil from carpets and upholstery and, when used correctly, these will not lead to any rapid re-soiling. Detergents that are not designed for use on carpets and upholstery may cause re-soiling problems.

When Stuart cleans your carpets and upholstery he leaves them at a neutral base so that they cannot attract dirt.  As a technical consultant Stuart often gets calls from people who have had their carpets cleaned by unqualified people.  The carpets are getting dirty quickly – attracting dirt.  This is a common problem where an alkaline cleaner has not been rinsed out correctly from a carpet thus leaving it able to attract the “Opposite” dirt – which is acidic.  When Stuart cleans a carpet the fibres are always left at a neutral base, so dirt cannot be attracted and they therefore stay clean for a very long time.

Q. Are chemicals used to clean?

A. In all forms, the best cleaning results are achieved by the use of chemicals.  The key is leaving the carpet or upholstery at a neutral base when you finish the cleaning process. Manufacturers in the cleaning industry work to the highest specifications for quality and safety, designing products specifically for the cleaning of carpets and soft furnishings; and for safe use within the domestic environment.

The products Stuart uses, some which have patents on their process, are designed to avoid causing any discomfort.

Q. I have children/pets, will they be affected by cleaning processes/chemicals?

A. Health and safety is of paramount importance in the cleaning industry. Professional cleaning solutions are tested for their effects on the environment and occupants of areas in which they will be used.  It is highly recommended that children and pets (everyone) stay off of a damp carpet until it is completely dry, this will help prevent slip and fall hazards as well as tracking in fresh soil.

Q. How long will my carpet or furniture take to dry and how soon will it be back in use?

A. In commercial situation carpets can be dry within one hour when the patented low moisture Texatherm process is used. Where hot water extraction is used in most domestic situations the carpets should be dry in under 3 hours, depending on how soiled the carpet was, how much water was used, weather conditions, and indoor atmosphere.

 If drying time is a concern mention it to Stuart, as he will be able to advise on drying times and, use specialist techniques to speed up the process if needed.

With regard to upholstery it is recommended that the items of furniture are not sat on until the next day to allow the fabric is fully dry.  Natural fibres absorb up to 30% of their own weight making it important to not over wet when cleaning – another reason for using an expert to look after your precious upholstery

Q. Is there a risk of shrinkage?

A. If a carpet is properly installed, it is very rare that the cleaning process will cause it to shrink.  Stuart carries out a full inspection prior to any cleaning and tests for potential problems such as shrinkage.

Q. Will all the stains come out?

A. Stuart is very successful at removing most stains because of his experience, knowledge and skill.  He also uses modern equipment and products that give him the best chance of success.

However – no guarantee can be made that any particular stain will be removed. Some stains permanently damage the carpet fibres and no amount of specialist cleaning will reverse this. Stuart has received advanced training for spot and stain removal and can sort most problems. If you have a stain you are concerned about, discuss it with him beforehand and he will be happy to give you the benefit of his professional knowledge and advice.

Q. Will professional cleaning affect the protector on my carpet and will it need to be re-applied afterwards?

A. Protector will wear off of any carpet that is in use, through walking, vacuuming, and general wear.  Carpet protectors shield the fibres.  Carpet protector products are generally designed to allow spillages, dropped items to be cleaned off the surface but are only effective if this happens immediately.  They do wear away over time.

It is well worth discussing with Stuart whether paying for carpet protector is worthwhile.  Stuart will only recommend using a protector in limited circumstances.  It is an expensive process which is not always cost effective for the customer.

Q. Do I have to move furniture?

A. Stuart is happy to move furniture – there are some things you can do that help the process.  It is quicker to clean an empty room and cheaper than one full of furniture to clean because it takes more time if furniture has to be moved.  Stuart is happy to advise.  It is important that any valuable items or furniture containing valuables are moved by the customer, or clearly highlighted.

Q. Stuart is a highly trained member of the National Carpet Cleaners Association.  Do all carpet-cleaning companies have to be registered with the NCCA?

A. No, it is not mandatory for carpet cleaning companies to become members of the NCCA.  However, if a company is registered it shows that they have taken the time and expense to ensure they are in a position to offer the best possible service to our customers and are experts at what they do.

(With acknowledgement to the NCCA)