15 Dishonest Carpet Cleaning Practices You Need to Avoid

  1. Bait and switch: this is by far the most common practice in the industry. Over the phone they will promise you something you can't refuse, such as “whole house carpet cleaning for $199”. You think "wow I can't beat that price" and then when they come to the door there are a million reasons why they can't give you that deal. The deal expired yesterday, the traffic areas require additional $$$, the deal only applies to one story homes, your front door opens to the east and it only applies to the homes with doors opening west, south, and north. What ever it is, they will figure out a way to exclude you. Most likely with out warning and after they have cleaned your carpet. Be aware that this happens a lot. Read the fine print or look the company up and see what other people have said about them. If the company name is generic like Carpet Cleaners… yes thats there tactic. 
  2. Up Sales: Of course, even I  have additional products and services that you can buy other than just carpet cleaning. But that's not necessarily what I'm talking about. Up sales tactics can be just as bad as bait and switch. They get you over the phone on the bare minimum service. Basically they will show up and spray water on your carpet for the price they give you. They'll arrive and ask if  you want them to use shampoo. Of course you do! You're getting your carpets CLEANED, there should be some sort of cleaning solution used, right? It will cost you extra. That crazy low price they promised you over the phone only included extraction with water. It's common to have to pay extra for additional services such as stain guard and stain and odor treatment. You should never have to pay extra to have your carpets cleaned with a cleaning solution! Always make sure before they start the job that the price they tell you is the price you will pay in the end. 
  3. Low quality solutions full of chemicals: It's no secret that the stuff from the $.99 stores are not the best products and thats exactly where the cheap carpet cleaners are getting their chemically rich products. You never know what's going into your carpet from job to job with these guys. It is perfectly acceptable to ask your technician which solutions they are using. And feel free to ask them to see the bottle! If they refuse to show you the solution bottle, that's a red flag. 
  4. Optical brighteners: When they were first introduced they were the talk of the industry. Today we know better-- those optical brighteners destroy the fibers of the carpet much like bleach does to your socks. It's a chemical used to make your carpet appear brighter and cleaner than it actually is. Your carpet may look amazing at first, but the fibers will quickly break down and your carpet will look weathered and dingy. Ask your technician not to use optical brighteners on your carpet before they start the job.
  5. Poor quality equipment: A truck mount that isn't properly maintained can have multiple problems. Low heat, uneven pressure, and Poor suction are problems that you can't see but will make all the difference in the world to your carpet. If your carpet is left super wet, it could mean that the equipment used was not strong enough or not maintained well enough to suck up the water. 
  6. Over soaking: There are many reasons that a tecnition may be over soaking a carpet. Sometimes they may not even know they are doing it. It could be the equipment isn't producing enough heat or suction, the pressure is turned up too high for the suctions ability, and/or the technician is not taking the time to go over the carpet with multiple passes to suck up as much of that water as possible. Over wetting leads to mildew and eventually mold it. It can also damage fibers and delaminate the carpet. 
  7. To much heat: Some carpet cleaners are so proud of there obnoxiously over powered equipment they don't even realize they're melting your carpet. An appropriate amount of heat is necessary to thoroughly clean and sanitize. But too much heat leads to melting the carpet which will leave you needing to replace your carpet much sooner than expected.  
  8. No training what so ever: Why would you start a business without ever learning how it works? Carpet cleaning appears to be a very simple process from the outside, and that's why many people jump into doing it without much thought or training. These people run their business through trial and error. They offer ridiculously low prices and then treat you and your carpet as guinea pigs. There are many training and certification opportunities available in this industry. Don't be shy, ask your technician if they're certified. 
  9. Uninsured: Uninsured carpet cleaners tend to offer lower prices. This may sound like a great plan until the technician scrapes up your base boards, nocks over a lamp with their hose, or rips your couch with the corner of his upholstery tool . Even if your technician is extremely courteous and careful, accidents still happen. Make sure you are dealing with an insured company so that you are protected.
  10. Charging a waste fee: I've heard any where from $25-65  for dumping the dirty water that comes out of your carpet. This is just an odd charge. There are plenty of ways for a carpet cleaner to properly dump the dirty water and it's not necessary to charge you an extra fee.
  11. Illegal dumping: Unfortunately, that dirty water might just go on your lawn or down your driveway and street if you're not selective about the carpet cleaner you hire. Dumping like that is illegal but many carpet cleaners like to justify it by saying "I only use 100% organic products, it won't hurt your grass at all and it's safe to go in the storm drains". That's nice that they use organic solutions BUT it is still illegal. 
  12. Dirt shaming: Some tecnition come into your home and make you feel uncomfortable or ashamed that your carpets are as dirty as they are. They try to guilt you into paying him more money. DON'T BE DIRT SHAMED! You have dirty carpets, that's why you called a carpet cleaner. You shouldn't be made to feel bad. It's the technicians job to clean, not lecture you about how dirty your carpet is.
  13. Mixed solutions: Truck mounted carpet cleaning machines are made with an option to mix solutions as they pass through the wand. The intent is to combine all of the needed solutions so that the technician only has to do one pass. It's purely for their convenience. Some cleaners offer a carpet rinse, they'll tell you it's another step to further clean your carpet and it leaves that carpet feeling soft and not stiff. Carpet rinses can be a good option. However, some technicians mix the rinse with the cleaning solution to save themselves time and effort. This way makes it impossible to remove all of the soap from the carpet. When you have leftover soap and rinse in the carpet, the fibers quickly attract dirt and your carpet ends up getting dirtier faster. 
  14. Lack of protection: Let's talk about corner guards, banister guards, hose hooks, and moving blankets just to name a few. These are courteous steps that most technicians ignore. Why? Because it's time consuming. It takes extra time and effort to place and adjust all of the guards and blankets. Most techs just want to run in their hoses and wand, do the job, and load up. When a technician does use these items, you know you're working with someone who really cares about doing a good job and is respectful of your home. Proper caution should always be taken to avoid any damage. 
  15. Equipment that voids the manufacturers warranty: There are several deep cleaning machines out there that void the warranty of your carpet. These machines are advertised as a way of getting deep stains and traffic lanes out but will actually leave the carpet permanently swirled in the wrong direction. If you use a carpet cleaner that uses these machines, your carpet will no longer be covered by the manufacturers warranty. Extreme caution should be taken to make sure your carpet cleaners equipment complies with SHAW’s guidelines.