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Common Misconceptions

Choosing a carpet cleaner can be daunting, regardless of where you live in the greater Seattle area

Complete Carpet Care has been making carpets beautiful in Seattle and on the Eastside for over 24 years. In that time, we’ve learned that carpet cleaning is the subject of much confusion. In fact, people have so many misconceptions about carpet cleaning that we decided to offer this consumer education message. Now when you select a carpet cleaning company, you can make an informed decision.

In this free report, we’ll share with you the five  most costly misconceptions about carpet cleaning, and we’ll offer 3 recommendations.


False. Dirt is an abrasive—like sand paper. Every time you step on the carpet, you grind dirt into your carpet fibers. This cuts your carpet, just as if you had used a knife, causing it to wear out faster. A dirty carpet will not last nearly as long as a clean one. And while vacuuming helps, by itself it’s simply not enough. The longer you wait to have your carpet cleaned, the more permanent the traffic lanes become, the more damage you do to your carpet, and the faster it wears out.

Carpet that gets dirty fast usually has residue from the previous cleaning in it. Many companies, in an effort cut costs in their process, use inferior equipment, poorly trained personnel, or cheap detergents. Homeowners who do their own carpet cleaning can also contribute to residue left in a carpet. This residue turns carpet into a dirt magnet. The only way to solve this is to have the residue removed by a trained carpet cleaning professional, a relatively simple process.

If carpet is properly cleaned and protected with Teflon it will stay cleaner and stain-free longer than with cleaning alone.

False. As you probably know, outdoor air contains pollen, fungus, bacteria, air pollution, cigarette smoke, car exhaust, and hundreds of other chemicals. When you and your family members come into your home, you carry those pollens, bacteria, and chemicals on your skin, hair, clothing, and shoes. Not surprisingly, all those chemicals pollens and bacteria end up—you guessed it—in your carpet.

If you have allergies, asthma, emphysema, or other breathing problems, one major source of your problem could be the pollens, fungus, dust mites, and chemicals in your carpet.

Sorry, this one’s false too. That’s like saying anyone with a set of wrenches can fix your car.

Many companies own hot-water cleaners, but a large number of their employees don’t know how to use the machines. These companies use similar equipment and produce very different results in the quality of their cleaning. The company may own good equipment, but the technician may have only two weeks’ experience. Employee turnover with large franchise-type operations is very high. Many of our clients have told us how they used to use a large franchise cleaning company in the past and their service was always dependent on who was sent out to the job. Sometimes it was okay and other times a nightmare—they never knew what to expect.

This is why it’s important to choose your carpet cleaner carefully.

Maybe… but not always. A couple of points to consider:

The price you see offered may not be for the services you want performed

Before you select a company, decide what you want to accomplish. If you want the carpet cleaner to remove only some of the dirt, you can choose from hundreds of companies that use small shampooers and other cleaning methods. You can even rent a machine at the grocery store and do the job yourself.

On the other hand, if you want your carpet thoroughly cleaned—if you want to remove the harmful dirt, bacteria, pollens, chemicals and tobacco residues—then you need to hire a company that uses powerful commercial equipment.

So remember that the price you see offered may not be for the services you want performed.

The price you see advertised may not be the price you pay

Many homeowners have discovered after the fact that the low price they saw advertised was not the price they were charged.

If you’ve ever hired a carpet cleaner, you too may have been the victim of false or misleading advertising. You probably learned the hard way that some carpet cleaners advertise a cheap price and then pressure you into paying a lot more once they get inside your home. Some may even break the law by using illegal bait and switch tactics.

This is the sales gimmick most carpet cleaners don’t want you to know about. They know that a low price quoted over the phone will get them in the door more often than not. Then once their technician/hustler arrives, they tell you that the low price quoted was for a single-process cleaning. If you want a dual-process, well, that’s extra. And if you have any spots, pre-treating each one will be an additional cost per spot. If you want them to clean with detergent rather than just warm water, that’s going to cost more too. Next thing you know, their $79 special is $279!

The technicians with these companies are often paid a low hourly rate and told they can have a large percentage of anything else they can sell the customer once they get in the home. You may end up with burly technicians standing in the living room giving the hard sell to the housewife home alone. It’s not good.

As in all businesses and professions, the carpet cleaning industry has its share of bad apples—some unethical and a few dishonest. By their misleading advertising and false promises, they cast a dark shadow on our entire industry. The good news is that there are also honest carpet cleaners—professionals like us who work hard to earn your trust and respect.

As a way of improving our profession, we’ve dedicated Complete Carpet Care to educating the public. The only way you can make an informed decision is to have all the facts you need. With that in mind, the best way to determine if you’re dealing with an unethical company or one you can count on is to follow these 4 tips:

  1. If the company is offering an unbelievably low price, you can bet it’s a bait-and-switch operation.
  2. Don’t choose a carpet cleaner based on one phone call. A reputable company will gladly come out to your home to give you an exact quote in writing.
  3. Make sure the company provides a solid money-back guarantee in writing.
  4. Ask for some references and read some testimonials.

The best way to tell if you’re getting a good deal or getting ripped off is If the company actually gives you a written quote beforehand and then actually cleans for that amount without trying to charge more for pre-spotting, dual-process, or deep cleaning. Everything needed to clean your carpet thoroughly should be included in the written quote.

Also keep in mind that like most services you tend to get what you pay for. You just can’t get Nordstrom quality and service for a Wal-Mart price.

I wish this were true but it isn’t. Consumers often think that if they want to clean 4 rooms and the price is $25 per room, then the price will be $100. But this isn’t always true.

Reputable carpet cleaning companies usually price carpet cleaning by the square foot. So if you’d like us to tell you the exact cost to clean your carpet, we need to know the exact number of square feet you want cleaned.

You’ll be glad to know that the carpet area to be cleaned is not nearly as great as people think. For example, if you want your entire home cleaned and your home is 2500 square feet, the amount of carpeting to be cleaned might be only 1500 square feet. The actual area is typically 60% of the home’s total.

* The price range for a typical home of 2500 square feet (1500 sq ft to be cleaned) can vary widely from $200-500 depending on the type and quality of cleaning the particular company provides.

So even though we can’t give you an exact quote over the phone, here are things Complete Carpet Care will consider when quoting a price.

The type of carpet. Certain types of carpet are harder to clean than others. So before we can give you a quote, we need to know the type of carpet to be cleaned.

The amount of soiling. Carpet that hasn’t been cleaned for 10 years will require more time than a carpet that was cleaned within the last 6 months.

The amount of furniture to be moved. If we have to move your furniture, our quote will include that labor. If you want to save some money, you can choose to move the furniture yourself.

Our Recommendations

Make a commitment to yourself to get your carpets cleaned. The longer they remain dirty, the sooner they’ll wear out and the longer you’ll have to breathe all the pollens, fungus, chemicals, and dust mites that live in your carpet.

List your objectives. Do you only want surface dirt removed, something you could do with a rented machine? Or do you want a powerful deep cleaning and sanitized carpet which will require a powerful commercial cleaner, like the one Complete Carpet Care uses? Do you want to work with an honest, reputable company? Or are you willing to risk working with the company that offers the lowest price, or sends out a guy they just hired last week?

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 recommendations, you’ll gain all the information you’ll need to make an informed, intelligent decision.

At Complete Carpet Care, we’re happy to answer your questions or come to your home and give you a free written quotation, without any obligation. If you’d like to schedule a free in-home quotation call us at 425.802.3103.

We hope this consumer information has been helpful. If you have questions or comments, feel free to call us or leave a comment.

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