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Professional Carpet Cleaners Guide

A Professional Carpet Cleaners' Guide
Help and Advice From A 21 Year Carpet Cleaning Veteran

© Perry Matcham 2010

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Introduction

Hello. My name is Perry Matcham. I've been cleaning carpets for 21 years at the time of writing this book. I am internationally qualified, and known for publishing and producing books and videos in printed form, dvd, and over the internet. I, and my staff have cleaned over 12.5 million square feet of carpets, and thousands of sofas, settees and chairs. I have personally used every method of carpet cleaning available, and worked on virtually every type of carpet there is. The material presented in this book is the result of those years involved in carpet cleaning, and reflect my own personal views and experiences. This book is both impartial and unbiased, and is given with the best of intentions. Of course, because I cannot possibly know each readers individual circumstances, I cannot be responsible for the results you may get from following any information or advice given in this book. Especially when attempting stain removal, you should always pretest an inconspicuous area before proceeding to ensure no adverse reaction occurs. Both textiles, and dying methods vary greatly, and even simple household products can cause permanent damage to carpet fibres and dyes. As you would expect, my preference would be that you contact an experienced professional who knows what he, or she, is doing. That said, if you follow the help and advice presented here, you will maintain and prolong the life and beauty of your carpets by many,many years.

Perry Matcham
© Perry Matcham 2010

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Contents

Chapter 1. Chapter 2. Chapter 3. Chapter 4. Chapter 5. Chapter 6. Chapter 7. Chapter 8.

A Brief History of Carpets The Different Types of Carpet Carpet Cleaning – Why and How Often? Carpet Cleaning Methods Carpet Stain Protection Common Carpet Cleaning Scams How to Keep Your Carpet Looking Beautiful Stain Removal Guide

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Chapter 1 A Brief History Of Carpet
The earliest evidence of sheep and goats being sheared for wool or hair, and then spun or woven into fabrics dates back to around 6000 BC. An ancient Egyptian handloom dating back to 1480 BC was discovered in 1953, and a Pazyryk woven rug, discovered in Mongolia in 1960 has all the characteristics of a modern Persian rug, even though it is around 2500 years old. In modern times, Pierre Dupont set up carpet weaving operations in Paris around 1596, Huguenot weavers flee France in 1585 and some settle in England, and start weaving in Wilton. In 1720 The Earl of Pembroke persuades weavers from Savonnerie to work in Wilton and teach locals to make Brussels carpet. (There is still both Wilton and Brussels Wilton carpet today. In 1749, Dufossy developed method to cut loops of Brussels weave to make a nap. This became known as Wilton carpet. Original hand knotted looms were still in operation in Wilton until 1957. Brintons, previously cloth makers, started making carpets in 1770. The dynasty still exists and is the largest privately owned carpet company in the UK. (1997). In 1801, Jacquard invents a method of presenting different coloured yarns to the weaving face. This revolutionizes patterned fabric making and the system is still in use today. Tufted carpets were developed in the USA from candlewick weaving techniques in the 1940's, and are the most common carpet type today. Between 1970 and 1995, Woven Carpet production declined by 70% but tufted production increased by 300% in the UK. In 1947 Nylon yarns were introduced, providing durable, luxurious quality fibers similar to wool, but much less expensive. Today we have the greatest diversity of carpet types, fibres, colours and styles in all of history. 500 years ago, only the wealthiest people could have afforded carpets in their homes, today carpet is affordable for everyone.
© Perry Matcham 2010

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Chapter 2 The Different Types of Carpet
Many different aspects are brought together to produce modern carpets, among which are, the type of fibre used and face yarns, how these fibres are produced, spinning methods, heat setting, construction, and dying. Fibres fall into two main categories. Natural, such as wool, and synthetic, such as nylon. Each fibre has its own characteristics, advantages and drawbacks. Often different fibres are blended to complement each other and produce a more pleasing or functional carpet. Fibres are produced in two basic ways. Bulk Continuous Filament (BCF) and Staple fibres. BCF fibres are made by forcing molten synthetic polymers through a spinneret in a process called extrusion. It's like forcing liquid plastics through a shower head to form long fine strands of polymer. Staple fibres are produced by intertwining many short fibres to produce longer ones, such as in spinning wool. Sometimes long BCF fibres are cut and then crimped to make staple fibres. Various methods of heat application are used to 'set' the twists in fibres, that provide strength and resilience, or 'bounce'. The main carpet construction methods are Woven, Tufted, Fusion Bonded, and Needle punch. Woven carpets are made by intertwining the face yarns with warp and weft yarns. Wilton carpet is an example of a woven carpet, as is Axminster. Tufted carpet is made by sewing yarns into a backing material to form a carpet. A secondary backing is then attached to this to provide strength and stability. The majority of carpet today is tufted. Fusion bonded carpet is made by fusing or gluing the face yarns into a primary backing material, usually pvc or or cushion. These are often cut into carpet tiles or long strips to be glued onto flooring.

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Needlepunch carpet is made by taking pre-formed layers of fibres, or batts, and punching theses into a synthetic backing using barbed needles so that the fibres become entangled. The face pile of these carpets usually resembles felt. The back may be coated with latex or cushion. Each type of construction has different characteristics which affect cost, wear, soil and stain resistance, and many other factors. Carpet cleaners need to be aware of these characteristics with regard to cleaning these carpets, as well as removing stains and odours from these carpets, and applying stain protection treatments to them. Carpet is dyed in two ways. Pre-dying and Post-dying. In pre-dying, the carpet is given its colour before it is constructed into carpet. In Post-dying, colour is added after the carpet has been manufactured. With Pre-dying, colour can be added to the polymer when the filament is extruded, colour can be added to the filaments of fibres before they are spun into yarns, or the colour can be printed onto the yarns before they are tufted. With Post-dying, colour can be added by immersing the carpet in hot dye in a large vat, or beck. This is known as Beck dying. Colour can also be sprayed onto the flat carpet on a process line. Colour can also be printed onto the carpet surface in the form of a pattern. This is known as Print Dying. Again, carpet cleaners need to be aware of dying methods, as colours can be affected by treatments, especially stain removing solutions. Finally comes installation. Carpet is installed in two main ways. Glue down, and Stretch in. Both methods are adequately described by their name. Glue down is where the carpet is stuck to the floor by means of an adhesive. This method helps prevent delamination, where the 'layers' of the carpet separate. It also prevents rippling or buckling, and aids in preventing matting.

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Stretch in is where the carpet is stretched onto grippers fixed to the edges of the rooms flooring. This helps correct pattern alignment, and prevents delamination at the edges. Carpet cleaners need to be aware of how the carpet is fitted, as some methods of cleaning can result in stretching, shrinking, delaminating and other problems when used by ill-informed cleaning technicians. The cost of buying new carpet is affected by the type of fibres use, the construction method, the dying method, as well as other factors. Prices can range from around £10 per square metre for thin cord type carpets often bought off a narrow roll, to many hundreds of pounds for custom made designs. A decent quality household carpet would typically fall into the £25 - £40 per square metre range, meaning a typical 24 square metre sitting room carpet would set you back between £600 and £1,000, a modest 120 sq metre home between £3,000 and £5,000 to carpet. That being the case, it is well worth taking good care to maintain it! This book will tell you everything you need to know to do just that.

© Perry Matcham 2010

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Chapter 3 Carpet Cleaning – Why and How Often?
Carpet cleaning is essential, just as washing clothes, or even washing our bodies is essential if we want to remain healthy and perform well. If carpet is to look beautiful, perform its purpose, last well, and remain hygienic, it HAS to be cleaned from time to time. You’ve probably now come to realise that beautiful new carpets won’t remain that way indefinitely without regular maintenance. Of course cleaning and caring for carpets involves some investment, however, a properly maintained carpet can look ‘like new’ for many years, and the cost of maintenance is always far lower than the expense of unnecessary replacement. Economically, regular cleaning can double the life of carpets, effectively making the cleaning ‘free’. Often people leave cleaning their carpet until it looks dirty. That’s understandable. The trouble is that modern carpet is superbly designed to hide dirt. By the time carpets looks dirty, they're actually very heavily soiled! Think for a minute, if you had a wooden or vinyl floor would you clean it every two, three, or more years? Of course not. That’s because you could see the floor getting dirty, and it would feel sticky. With carpet it’s different. Carpet gets dirty gradually without you noticing. The dirt settles down into the pile and builds up from the bottom up. This embedded soil and grit has a three-fold effect on your carpet. These effects are called Fading, abrading, and wear.

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Each of these effects causes damage to carpets. The good news is that you can minimise this. Fading. Fading results from two factors: 1. light, whether incandescent, fluorescent or especially, sunlight. Light affects the dyes in a carpet, especially after prolonged exposure. 2. acid soils, which tend to yellow thermoplastic fibres after a period of time. Periodic cleaning will remove acid soils. This will keep carpets looking great for the maximum possible time. Abrading. This is a change in the light reflection from carpets, resulting from the action of abrasive soil rubbing against the fibres, creating scratches and pits that dull the carpets appearance. It’s much the same as if you took a piece of clear plastic and rubbed it with sandpaper. No matter how clean you got the plastic, the surface would always look dull and drab. You can reduce the effect of abrasion by carefully vacuuming carpets at least weekly, and having the carpet periodically deep cleaned using powerful equipment, that loosens and removes the abrasive soils. Wear. This is simply a reduction in fibre density in the main traffic areas, as compared to areas under furniture or against walls. Wear is greatly increased when soils and grit are left in the carpet and repeatedly walked over. Periodic removal of this gritty soil will drastically reduce wear. Of course if a carpet has not been cleaned for at least one year, it will definitely be suffering from fading, abrading, and wear. Any damage already done is permanent. As with all things, prevention is better than cure. Properly maintained carpets will look beautiful and last longer than un-maintained or neglected carpets.

Typical Carpet Soils
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Carpet soiling comprises two main types. Real soiling, and Apparent soiling. Apparent soiling is Fading, Abrading and Wear, as already discussed. This is not real soiling, but can appear to be soiling. Carpet cleaners need to be aware of the difference, because apparent soiling cannot be removed, and only sometimes reduced or corrected. Real soiling is best defined as 'stuff in carpets that shouldn't be there, and that can be removed'. It may be dirt, dust, surface litter, gritty or sandy particles, oils, or wet materials. How did they get there? Soils are tracked in from elsewhere on shoes, may come from food or drink spillages, from clothing, especially if the person works in a dirty or dusty environment. They may come from skin cells, skin or hair oils, pet hair and oils, crumbling or damages building materials such as plaster, paintwork etc. or they may come from cooking vapours, or cleaning products such as aerosol sprays. Basically anything that floats in the air or gets carried in by people or animals can end up settling in the carpet. It is the largest flat surface in a building. Pretty much everything can end up there eventually. Most carpet soiling is composed of around 80% particulate soiling, such as sandy soils, grit etc. around 10% - 15% of carpet soils are oily soils, about 10% are water soluble soils, and the remainder are GKW (goodness know what!) As we have already discussed the damage that can be caused by particulate soiling is carpets, I'll concentrate next on oily soils, and water soluble soils Oily soils often come from skin and hair oils that are naturally secreted, or from spillages of products that contain oils, such as foods (ie fish and chips), creams and lotions, and so on.

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Oily soils stick to carpet quite nicely. They also attract other soils because of their oily nature. Often an unnoticed oily spot will gradually change into a dirty black spot as it attracts other soils. Some oily spots, such as medical creams, can contain bleaching agents that remove colours from carpets over time. The the onlooker the spot will begin to get darker and darker as the oils attract and hold other soils, while underneath, the bleaching agent goes to work, removing colour from the carpet. Carpet cleaners have been blamed (and charged) for bleaching carpets, when all they really did was remove a darkened oily spot that hid a bleached out spot, in effect doing their job properly! Being aware of such situations is a protection for all involved. Oily soils can also yellow some carpet fibres over time, so regular removal of oily soils is essential if carpets are to be kept looking 'like new' for as long as possible. Water soluble soils are usually in the form of liquid spills such as tea, coffee, wine etc. Such soils leave an ugly stain that may or may not be removable, depending on how bad the spill, what, if any action was taken immediately, how long it has been left. What carpet fibre is installed. And how knowledgeable the cleaning technician. Water soluble spills, like all other soils, won't get better on their own. If a carpet is to remain looking beautiful for many years, these soils need to be removed. The longer they are left, the more likely they'll become permanent.

How Often Should Carpets Be Cleaned?
That depends. Everyone's' circumstances are different. All carpets are different, even if only in how much use they get. The frequency of cleaning is largely dependent on the amount of use, as well as other factors, such as health. As a general rule I have found yearly cleaning to be perfectly adequate for most people. It is not too often to be prohibitively expensive, yet often enough to keep carpets looking good. Of course, some homes may only have one or two occupants, who are careful to prevent soiling. In such circumstances it may be possible to extend the cleaning to every two years. On the other hand, very busy homes or workplaces may need
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cleaning every 3, 6, or nine months to keep the carpets looking beautiful and lasting as long as possible. Another consideration would be health reasons, such as asthma, excema, or other conditions. Considerable research has confirmed that carpet is very beneficial to asthma and excema sufferers – as long as they are thoroughly cleaned, using an Hypoallergenic Cleaning Method, on a regular basis. Carpets trap dust in the fibres, preventing this dust from being in the air, where it is easily breathed in – making allergies worse. Hard floors will vibrate with movement and cause dust particles to rise into the air, where they can remain for many hours to be inhaled by allergy sufferers. This does not happen with properly maintained carpets. It is only when carpets are not thoroughly cleaned regularly, or are cleaned using solutions or methods that can irritate allergy sufferers that problems can arise. Carpets not cleaned will eventually become so full of irritating soils that they begin to 'pump' these out into the air, making the condition far, far worse. I have personally seen chronic allergy sufferers relieved of their symptoms for the first time in many years, by a program of allergy-relieving carpet cleaning planned for six-monthly intervals. For the majority of people a program of once-per-year cleaning will keep their carpets looking their best, and lasting as long as possible. The next chapter will discuss the various carpet cleaning methods.

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Chapter 4 Carpet Cleaning Methods
There are many different methods, systems and equipment types that can be used to clean carpets. There are far too many to discuss in a brief book such as this. I have therefore condensed carpet cleaning down to the three most basic cleaning methods, Dry Cleaning, Saturation Cleaning, and Low Moisture Cleaning All the above methods have advantages and drawbacks, and anyone who claims that one method is best is either lying, ignorant, or a fool! At one time or another I have personally used ALL the above methods and tried many different systems within each category. They all have plus points, and they all have drawbacks. It depends largely on the condition of the carpet to be cleaned, the circumstances under which cleaning is to be done, the personal health of people using the carpet, the types of soiling involved, the construction method of the carpet, the dying method of the carpet, and many other consideration besides! To say that one system is best for all the above is just plain ridiculous. A brief overview of the three cleaning methods will reveal why.

Method 1. Dry Cleaning.
This method involves spreading a damp compound onto the carpet. This compound is impregnated with cleaning agents. The compound is then evenly worked into the carpet fibres using a specially designed machine. The compound is left to work to clean the carpet fibres, and when dry (in about 15 – 30 minutes) is vacuumed out along with the soiling. Advantages: Dry immediately, carpet usable immediately. No possibility of carpets shrinking or stretching. The only option for carpets that cannot be cleaned using water for any reason. Drawbacks: Often compound is left in carpets causing rapid abrasive wear. Not as thorough as other cleaning methods. Results not as pleasing generally.

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Method 2. Saturation Cleaning.
This method is also known as 'Steam Cleaning', Hot Water Extraction Cleaning, and various combinations of the above, as well as others. Basically it involves spraying a solution of either hot or cold water and chemicals at high pressure, into the carpet, saturating the fibres, and then removing the dirty water by means of powerful vacuum motors.

Advantages: Very deep, surface to backing clean. Flushes out very heavy soil
contamination. Necessary for odour treatments and some stain treatments. Only option for restoring the very worst of carpets.

Drawbacks: The most likely method to damage carpets by shrinking or
stretching them. Can result in colours bleeding. May cause growth of mould or mildew in the carpet backing. (I've heard of fungus in the carpet itself!) This is a health hazard. Longest drying times of all methods. Usually 6 – 8 hours, but 1 -2 days is common with many cleaning technicians. Incorrect technique can often result in carpets rapidly soiling again after cleaning, (a major complaint about carpet cleaning). Can cause weakening of latex in backings and hasten delamination.

Method 3. Low Moisture Cleaning.
This method involves using only as much moisture and cleaning solution as is needed to give a safe and pleasing result. It involves selecting the appropriate cleaning solution and soil removal equipment for the specific carpet and soil conditions. Modern cleaning solutions developed for this method (known as micro-separators) are the safest of any carpet cleaning methods, being safe for carpets, pets, and people. There are no known hazards involved. They are even safe if accidentally consumed (I wouldn't advise it – it tastes awful!) Soil removal and drying takes place as part of the same process, and carpets are left dry and ready to use in 30 – 60 minutes on most occaisions.

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This method is suitable for around 95% of carpet cleaning situations.

Advantages: Excellent cleaning results. Comparable to or better than saturation.
Removes particulate, oily, and water soluble soils effectively. Fast drying times. Usually 30 minutes to one hour. No possibility of shrinking or stretching carpets. No possibility of mould or mildew growing in carpet backing. No rapid resoiling of carpets. Only method to retard soiling.

Drawbacks:

Not suitable for the 5% of filthiest carpets needing restoration Not dry immediately, requires short wait.

To decide which cleaning method is most suitable for each situation, ask the following questions, and select the cleaning method that overall has the most advantages, and the least number of drawbacks. 1. Is the carpet a dry clean fibre, such as sisal or seagrass, or is colour bleed likely, so that dry cleaning is the only option? 2. Is the carpet so heavily soiled that restoration cleaning (saturation) is the only option? 3. Are any of the methods not available? (Some firms will only provide one service.) 4. Does the carpet need to be back in use immediately, is a short wait of a few minutes acceptable for better results, or is long drying time not a problem? 5. Does all soiling types (particulate, oily, and water soluble) need to be removed? 6. Is carpet shrinkage or stretching a concern? 7. Are there any health issues or is mould and mildew a worry? 8. Is rapid carpet resoiling a concern? The answers to the above questions will help the reader decide which cleaning method is most suitable for each individual cleaning situation.

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Chapter 5. Carpet Stain Protection What Is It? Do I Need It?
Carpet stain protection is a treatment which, when applied to carpet fibres and allowed to cure, improves the three things that carpets need most, which are:• • •

Resistance to stains Resistance to soils Resistance to wear

Carpet protectors come in two types, silicone protectors, and fluoro product protectors. Silicone protectors, which were first used on carpets in the late 1960's, are superb at repelling water-bourne spills, but give little or no protection against oily soils. Independent research has also shown that silicone's have a tendency to increase soiling because of sticky residues which can attract soils. Flouro products are the most widely used carpet protectors. The most well known brands are Scotchgard, produced by 3M, and Teflon, made by DuPont. They work by producing an invisible barrier, making fibres difficult to wet. This stops spills spreading as much, and prevents dry soils and oils sticking to carpets so strongly. Although flouro product protectors are more effective all round than silicone's, there is no product that can guarantee to make a carpet completely stainproof. Application Methods Carpet Protectors are applied in two ways:1. Mill Treatment 2. Post Treatment Mill treatment takes place during the manufacturing process. This ensures that the carpets are new, clean and treated uniformly. In addition, the treatment is cured at temperatures of 120 C, which is the common cure temperature for latex backing of carpets. This uniform application and high temperature of curing give a better stain protection, which also lasts longer.
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The majority of carpets sold today have some form of stain protection applied as Mill Treatment. Many Brands of carpet protection are so effective that the manufacturers will warranty the carpet against permanent staining for up to five years. Post Treatment takes place either at the carpet store, or in the home after installation. Carpet stain protection treatments can, and should, be renewed every 12 – 18 months as Post Treatment, to ensure carpets are as fully stain and wear protected as possible. Protectors should be applied evenly, by a fan pattern spray, under pressure. The treatment should be brushed in to ensure full and even coating of the carpet fibres. Because no high heat curing can take place, curing can take 24 – 48 hours to complete, and full protection will not be achieved until this time. A reputable carpet cleaner, who uses a quality protector, such as Scotchgard, will in some form, guarantee the protected carpet against permanent stains. How Cleaning Affects Stain Protection All carpet stain protectors degrade over time. Cleaning can also remove a degree of protection. Ill-informed or unscrupulous carpet cleaners may even remove all protection and void any manufacturers warranties by using incorrect cleaning methods. To prevent this happening, protected carpets should be cleaned with a cleaning solution of less than ph10, and at a temperature lower than 60 C. A knowledgeable carpet cleaning technician will be able to conduct a simple test to determine the level of protection on any carpet. “Do I Need It?” Once again, the answer is 'it depends'. In more than 20 years involved in carpet cleaning, I have seen stain protection make the difference between a stain coming out, and one not coming out. If you get a nasty spill, and you have stain protection, you'll be very glad you have. On the other hand, some people never eat or drink in carpeted rooms, or are very careful. In such cases, the risk of spills and resulting stains may be small. I can only say that my carpets would always be protected, and I have consistently seen better wear, and cleaning results, from protected carpets, as well as better stain removal.
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Chapter 6. Common Carpet Cleaning Scams.
The commonest carpet cleaning scams are 'Bait and Switch', 'Bumping', and 'Water Only'. Unscrupulous companies or individuals have been known to combine all three into a 'superscam'. Here's how it works... Consumers will receive advertising in some form, usually a leaflet, offering an extremely attractive room price. I've seen room prices between £15 and £20 advertised. This seems very attractive. It is meant to. It is the 'Bait'. Of course, they have no intention of cleaning your carpet for £15. Let's face it, it can't be done. Even a cheap firm using untrained, low paid staff, and cheap harmful chemicals and equipment couldn't clean a room for £15. Simply getting an employee to your door with his equipment would cost more than that! But they don't worry. They're not going to clean your carpet for £15. And by the way, the whole thing is set up so that you can't possibly win. Let's say you agree to get three rooms cleaned, and you are quoted £45 for their basic service. On arrival, the carpet cleaner will explain that your carpets need more than the basic service to get them clean. Luckily, they have a heavy duty treatment that will do the job. If you agree, the price you'll pay has just doubled. If you don't agree, they'll go ahead and simply soak your carpet with water. Just water. Nothing else. Lot's of water. They'll be done in no time. It won't look any better, and may look much worse. Your carpets may take days to dry, and will probably be full of mould underneath. You can't complain, because they told you it needed more treatments and you refused. If you go for the extra cleaning they offered, the next step will be to ask you if you prefer one deodoriser over another. It will be worded something like this.. “I have a lovely apple fragrance for your carpet, or I have lemon (or some other), which would you prefer?”.

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You choose which one you like, but when you get the bill, there's another £30 £40 added for deodorising. You were offered the choice. You said you wanted it. Surely you didn't think it was free? By now, your £45 job is now up to about £130. But they haven't finished yet! Many of these nasty people will then offer you something they call 'retexing'. They tell you it will make your carpet last longer and look better. There's no such thing. They're not talking about carpet stain protection, which does work, they are trying to sell you something that doesn't exist. If you agree to this, they'll likely do nothing at all. If you are watching, they'll mix some silicone in some water to make a cloudy liquid, and soak your carpets with that. By now your original £45 quote is around £180. For that money you could have got a top class professional to do an amazing job for you. Not going to pay? You'll end up in court, and pay costs too. They've done this many times before, and know exactly how to make you cough up. It's a very nasty experience to go through. If you're really lucky, they simply won't turn up. Yes, I know you may have taken a day off work to be there. You probably had to empty the room of furniture (they're pretty insistent on that). But you were still lucky because you escaped getting completely ripped off. Here's what happened. You may have been booked to have one room , two, or even three rooms cleaned. Then someone else phoned them and wanted three, four or even five rooms done. So they simply drop you and do the bigger job instead. After all, there's much more chance they'll be able to con this customer out of even more money! They won't call you to let you know. They just won't turn up. If you call them, you may get another appointment another day (why let you off the hook?) and maybe they'll turn up if they've nothing better on. Or they may simply not answer the phone, and never return your messages. How To Avoid Being Ripped Off

If you have used a carpet cleaning service before, and you are happy with

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them, don't be tempted to change just for a cheaper deal. You'll get what you pay for. Good always costs a little more than so-so. Excellent costs even more. Don't fall for unbelievably low prices. If you stop and think about it, you'll realise that it simply can't be done. Everyone loves a bargain, but being conned is no bargain! Get the price for the job, BEFORE any work takes place. Okay, if you've used a reputable firm many times before, you'll know what their charges are like. If not, make sure you know exactly what will be done, what will not be done, and what the final price will be. If you are asked about any additional treatments, ask “How much extra will that cost me?” Whilst deodorisers and stain protectors are excellent treatments and provide enormous benefits to carpets, be aware that there are no 'magic potions' that can be applied to carpets to make them last forever like new! Don't agree to anything that seems suspicious. Finally, if you feel intimidated, make an excuse to go to another room. Call a friend, or call the police. If you receive an inflated bill, pay the original agreed price, but dispute the rest. Get an independent reputable carpet cleaner to asses the work, and determine if the additional work was done, and done adequately.

• •

Sadly I regularly hear of customers being conned. One such person told me that her quoted job of £45 ended up at £179.50. The work was dreadful. It took days to dry. It look no better than before. It got dirty again very quickly. When my firm did the job, it cost less than the conmen charged. It was dry in under an hour. It looked beautiful. It remained beautiful for ages. We were on time. We were smartly dressed. We were polite and helpful. We moved the furniture for her, and replaced it after cleaning. Which of the two experiences was really the bargain?

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Chapter 7. How To Keep Your Carpet Looking Beautiful.
Here is my simple 5 step plan to keeping your carpets looking beautiful all the time.

1. Keep dirt outside. The less soiling that comes in, the less there will be to spoil your beautiful carpets. Use entry mats at doorways. Make sure they are big enough that people can't just step over them. Take outdoor shoes off at the entrance. 2. Vacuum properly. Vacuuming needs to be done in slow movements to get the most soiling out of carpets. Vacuum from different direction. Vacuum at least weekly, preferably more. 3. Deal with spills immediately. Never leave a spill till later. Blot spills up, never scrub. Use a spotter that professionals use. If off-the-shelf products were that good, all professionals would be using them! A reputable carpet cleaner would provide you with a professional spotter for a reasonable fee. If you are a regular client he should provide it for free! 4. Plan your carpet cleaning. Plan it now, and put it in your diary. Every one to two years should be about right. Busy homes every year, less busy every two years. 5. Protect your investment. Always renew your carpet stain protection every one to two years. New carpet is very expensive, stain protection is quite inexpensive.

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Chapter 8. Stain Removal Guide.
Whenever attempting spot removal, always follow the procedure below.
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Always pre test any carpet for problems. If unsure call a professional Scoop up solids and blot up liquids first - avoid rubbing the carpet surface. For individual stains, follow the stain removal guide For spots of unknown origin, apply solvents ( for greasy/oily stains) first, followed by water-based spot removal agents. In all cases, apply agent to clean towel, not directly to the stain. Use small quantities at a time - always work from the edge of stain inwards towards the centre. If at all possible, as a final treatment, rinse spot with clean water - do not over wet. Blot as dry as possible with clean tissue or towelling.

Treatments 1. Blot with white kitchen roll or paper tissues 2. Vacuum clean 3. Cold water 4. Warm water 5. Carpet shampoo solution (diluted) 6. Professional Stain Remover for water based stains 7. Solvent spot remover sold for spot removal for garments 8. Absorbent paper or paper tissue and hot iron 9. Chewing gum remover (solvent or Ice in plastic bag) 10. Nail varnish remover or acetone 11. White spirit or turpentine substitute 12. Surgical spirit (ethyl alcohol or ethanol) 13. Rub with coin 14. Rub gently with coarse sand paper (wool carpets only) 15. Never attempt. Call a professional.

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Spot or Stain

Try 1st Try 2nd 6

Try 3rd 15

Artificially coloured 3 drinks Bleach Central heating radiator fluid Coffee Felt-tip pen Furniture Polish Glue/adhesive (plastic based) Ink (fountain) Ink Ballpoint pen) Lipstick Milk Nail varnish Paint (oil) Rust Soot Tar (asphalt) Urine (old) Vomit 3 5

15 6

15 15

6

15

15 5 15 15

7 or 11 12 7 10 5 11

3 12 7 4 10 11 15 6 7 6 5

6 15 15 5 15 15 15 5 15 15 6

5 15 15 15 15 15 15 2 15 15 15

© Perry Matcham 2010

- 25 Red wine 1 6 15

All information presented in this book is based on the authors personal experience and training. All views expressed are the authors personal views, and should not be interpreted as the only views possible or that the advice given would apply to every single person in every single possible situation. All the information and views herein are accurate and true to the fullest extent of the authors knowledge. This book is copyright protected. Copying, reselling or reusing any part of this book in any way or form without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited.

© Perry Matcham 2010