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This creates a situation where anyone can purchase a carpet cleaning machine and service the public.  This industry has many well trained cleaners that provide a great service.  It is also flooded with poorly trained, ill-equipped, and often times, unscrupulous cleaners.  This is one industry where 'you get what you pay for' really applies.  There are many cleaners that offer a too good to be true price, only to follow up with a bait and switch tactic or sacrificing quality of services for cost.  Many news stations have done reports on this very situation.  I have seen deals advertised at rates low enough that I couldn't pay for the fuel to get to and from the job, let alone purchase chemicals required to properly clean your carpets.   

The Institute for the  or the IICRC is the primary organization for training and certifying carpet cleaners.  They teach the fundamental of carpet cleaning to be Chemicals, Heat, Agitation, and Time or CHAT.  I want to explain this briefly and why it is important to you.

Chemical

These are the products used for cleaning your carpets.  They include presprays, spotters, extraction detergents, and acid rinses.  Properly applied, they can even make badly abused carpets look new again.  Improperly applied they can void carpet warranties, strip carpets of stain protection, and create situations where carpet resoil quicker than before they were cleaned.



Heat

This refers to the temperature at which the cleaning chemicals are applied and extracted.  The IICRC teaches that over 180 degree; for each additional 19 degrees achieved, the cleaning capacity of the chemistry used doubles.  Also the temperature at which germs are killed is 100 C or xxx F.  There are many cleaners out there using systems with no heat,  or system based on the heat created by your hot water heater.  There are even large truckmounts that cannot maintain 170 degrees.  Our system is capable of exceeding 230 degrees, and I have the burns to prove it.  I've tried cleaning while wearing shorts, and was unable, because my solution line constantly would burn my legs.

Agitation

This is the either manual or mechanical scrubbing of the carpets after the prespray has been applied.  This is commonly done with a carpet rake and the cleaner would work the prespray into the carpet to further loosen the embedded soils.  We use a Rotary extraction tool, to provide the maximum amount of agitation.  The wand also creates a degree of agitation, although most cleaners do a minimum amount agitation in order to save time and effort.

Time

This refers to the amount of time the prespray is left on the carpet in order for it to break down the soils and organic matter.  Most presprays require a minimum of 10 minutes to work to their potential.  The cleaner usually presprays several rooms at once,  and often times, the first room sprayed may not be allowed enough dwell time.  I am typically in homes 2 or sometimes 3 times as long as many cleaners.  This among several other reasons contributes to this.

As a carpet cleaner, you are taught, that the fundamentals may be adjusted based on need and capability.  For example if you are using equipment with low heat, this may be offset by increasing your agitation, dwell time, or strength of your chemicals.  We are trying to provide the maximum cleaning ability by using high heat, proper dwell times, the unmatched agitation of a rotary tool, and high quality chemicals that are safe for your carpets.  As a cleaner If you are lacking in any of these key areas, the primary component to alter is the chemicals.  In order to maintain most carpet warranties, the PH level of the cleaning solutions must be kept under 10.