Cleaning Tips

Which cleaning method is best for your carpet, steam cleaning or dry cleaning?

There has always been a huge debate over which cleaning method is best for your carpet, steam cleaning or dry cleaning? In my 13 years in the carpet cleaning industry, I have been exposed to both sides of the fence, having worked for dry and steam cleaning companies.

“Shaw Industries” is the largest carpet manufacturer in the world, if you go to there site, they will suggest having your carpet steam cleaned. As far as I’m concerned, this settles the debate. Since they have to honor warrantees, they want the consumer to abide by there guidelines to keep losses down to a minimum.

Do you think they would recommend steam cleaning if they thought that dry cleaning would reduce the amount of claims? Steam cleaning has received bad press, which really started back in the 70’s when steam cleaning was just evolving into a popular cleaning method.

Carpet machines back then weren’t very efficient, leaving the carpet wet for 24 hours or more. Dry cleaning companies used this a selling point for their services.

Times have changed drastically, steam cleaning machines that are mounted in vans produce very hot water and are extremely efficient in water recovery, leaving the carpet dry in 4 hours or so.

If carpet cleaners use an extra dry stroke while cleaning, dry times can easily be less than two hours and with new extraction devices, the dry time can get even lower. So how do dry cleaning companies sell their services now? The same way they did back in the 70’s, through customer fear of having soggy carpet the next day.

This is simply not true! The fact of the matter is, sometimes steam cleaning can be dry before dry cleaning! Dry cleaning is inferior to steam cleaning in every aspect. It does a poor job of removing soil and it leaves chemicals in the carpet which can cause yellowing from the high ph.

I think more consumers should be aware of the facts and not let hype control their decision making when it comes to carpet cleaning. If more dry cleaning customers had their carpet steam cleaned, chances are, they would never go back.

About the Author

Bobby Walker 13 year carpet cleaning veteran Owner/Carpet Cleaning of Dallas

How To Safely Find A Domestic Cleaner

10 Things You Should Know Before Taking On A Cleaner

If you are considering taking on a domestic cleaner then there are things you should learn about them before you engage someone to come into your house to clean.

1. Have they cleaned for anyone else? Experience in some previous cleaning should mean there is less of a learning curve to meet your particular cleaning needs. It should also mean they are comfortable in doing this sort of work.

2. Do they have references? If they have done some cleaning previously then it should be possible to obtain a reference from a former or current satisfied customer. If they have worked previously and there are no references then this should put you on enquiry and perhaps move on to the next applicant. However, there will be people applying for work who have not worked recently, perhaps due to having a work break whilst raising children. They may proove suitable depending on the impression they give you of their eagerness to work.

3. Are they legally entitled to work? With so many overseas visitors and people here for many different reasons from countries from around the world you should not assume that someone applying for work, is legally entitled to work. You may need to see a passport, and if it is not issued by an E. U. member country, you should note any work permit or lack thereof, or ask to see a national insurance number. If you are not sure if someone is legally entitled to work, bare in mind that a fine of up to £5000 can be imposed for employing a person who does not have the right to work.

4. Will there be a language problem? How will you make known your needs if you cannot understand each other? Perhaps just as importantly you need to be able to say what should not be done and what cleaning products are not to be used, for example on surfaces you know to be delicate.

5. Can they work during the school holidays? If your cleaner has children they may only want to work during school term time. However, you may want your home cleaned every week!

6. Where do they live and how long have they lived there? If you are going to give someone the run of your house it is advisable to know your cleaner has a stable home life at a permanent address. Do you want someone who is constantly changing their address and who may disappear at any time?

7. Will they work when you want? Many people find that they have to tidy up or in some way prepare before the cleaner comes, or you may need to stay in, to let the cleaner in. You may not find it convenient to have the cleaner change “their” day at the last moment.  

8. Will they do the work you want? You need to be sure that your domestic cleaner will do the cleaning duties you decide on. Some cleaners have fixed ideas about both how things will be done and what they are prepared to do. This might not coincide with your requirements, so discuss these at the outset.

9. Can you meet them for an interview? Some cleaners will assume they can turn up and start. Ideally you will arrange to see a cleaner for a chat before they come round and expect to work.. This will then enable you to cover the points above in an informal way.

10. Will they do a trial clean? Whilst you may have satisfied yourself as to the credentials and apparent willingness to work, the final proof will be in the quality of their work. What is acceptable to one person, may be shoddy to another. Arrange for the cleaner to do a clean so that you can both see if your expectations coincide.

If all this seems too much to be bothered with, then there are domestic cleaning companies who specialise in providing cleaners. They should have carried out all the checks and will also be able to provide an alternate or replacement cleaner when you require one.

(c)2006 James Das J&J Cleaning Ltd