Dirt Blasters Carpet Cleaning original Article Roll:
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How To Screen a Carpet Cleaner 10/19/2013 After 20 years in the business and as a top Atlanta Carpet Cleaner this is what I tell my family and friends how to shop and pick a carpet cleaner. And I’m still going strong. I also have settled for Steam Cleaning as the very top Carpet cleaning system of all and superior to “Dry” methods of which I also provide for those who are sold on the idea of “Dry.” Ask these questions when being given a phone estimate. Don’t waste your time having them come out only to “Bait Switch” you on the price and process. This will filter out the losers & crooks. Just keep this following list when speaking on the phone with your next potential carpet and Upholstery service.
Are you owner operated or use technicians and subs? While some techs and subs can be excellent, there is nothing like the owner himself doing the work. 2. Can I have 3 referrals? 3. Do you use a truck mount carpet cleaning machine or a portable? (You want a Truck Mount) If you live in a high rise, you have no choice but to have a portable so in such a case ask if it’s heated. 4. Are you insured? You want to hear “Yes” of course. 5. Do you come to my home after giving a super low estimate on the phone and say “It doesn’t include deep cleaning, so the price is more if you want that “? If you hear “Yes” run away it’s a Bait and Switch crook. 6. Do you charge anything extra for anything? The answer should be yes. There is always extra business’s offer, so it is okay to be asked (not pressured) for services such as deodorizer, scotch-guarding, pet urine treatment, Red Dye removal, Mal Odor removal and a few more. These services should cost approx. 10 to 50% of basic cleaning cost (added to bill) depending on situation. For example, scotch guarding could be 30 to 50% of total cleaning charge as deodorizer can be 25% or so of the total cleaning charge. On my avg. price of 4 rooms for $140 I charge $49 for Stain Guard. But if you don’t need it (no kids or pets), I would not suggest it. Many stain protector products are also not "Green."
NOTE: An average child’s bedroom (moving only small items) should not exceed $30 to $40 for basic cleaning. Master bedrooms can average $30 to $70 depending on size. These are the most important of all you can arm yourself with when shopping for a decent, fair and dependable steam cleaning carpet cleaner. Feel free to try me for your next cleaning as I would appreciate your business and work with your schedule and budget. By DirtBlasters.com
DirtBlasters Carpet Cleaning Tips 10/19/2013
The fact remains simple dirt brought in your home from shoes can scratch and score your carpet fiber and prematurely wear them out in addition to soiling them. So remove your shoes when entering your home or change in to clean home sandals or slippers. Simply slow down your rate of vacuuming when doing this chore and take extra and slower vacuum passes on high traffic areas. Try to vacuum weekly as this can extend the life of your carpet as well. I recommend adding a tablespoon of baking soda to your vacuum's dirt cup or bag after each time you replace or empty.
On stains that are oil based try rubbing alcohol, on red stains pour a bit of clear ammonia on the red spot and take a hot clothing iron and place it on a soaking wet white towel laying on the stain. Try it a few times and hold your breath. Also, keep the towel from overheating by keeping it wet. When the bubbles stop simmering around the iron that is placed on the towel remove iron.
On unknown or common stains spray or pour some carbonated water on the offender, blot and rub out. Don't go too hard on the rubbing or damage can occur to the fibers. On Pet urine, I suggest you purchase a gallon of pet urine enzymes from Pet Smart, and you will need to apply it, let it soak, and wet vac it out. You can buy a tiny 1-gallon wet/dry vac cheap from Home Depot or Lowe's and others. By Dirtblasters.com
Beware of Bait & Switchers from Some Carpet Cleaners: Just Say No 10/19/2013
Almost always the age-old "Bait and Switch" rip off scam comes to your door in the form of a coupon. This is not to say all coupons are guilty of this but those who advertise "Whole House Specials" for $49.00 or other baiting tactics such as "$4.00 per room" are very much so guilty of "Bait and Switching" the public. In fact, these companies end up on average collecting over $70 per room when finished with their victims. Most veteran consumers have caught on to this scam and are immune to these sharks however the endless tide of first-time homeowners sadly will lay victim to these sharks' year after year keeping them around for a long time to come.
The truth is If you are being given a quote for carpet cleaning for under $20 or $25 per room somethings wrong. Why? Simply because the logic of how a carpet cleaner is in business to make money. Unless they are in business to do favors, meet people, break even or lose money and cannot possibly turn a profit for any less than this industry average and standard rate of $25.00 to $49.00 per avg. sized room. Consider the expense and the basic overhead it costs of getting to your door. To name a few, you have commercial insurance, gas, wear and tear, vehicle insurance, maintenance, equipment repair and upkeep, chemicals, Advertising, Marketing, and the list goes on and on. Anyone who incurs these expenses could not clean rooms for $4 or $10. One local Atlanta carpet cleaner is predominately advertising everywhere for an amazing $4.00 per room, and this instantly trips my red flag. The gimmick here is you will need to obligate a contract which requires a set # of yearly cleanings. This is a Bait/Switch tactic.
Here is how it may unfold after the Bait and Switcher arrives at the victims home. After a walk through the tech may say that the coupon rate is only for a "Surface clean" and will not help in their situation. Then they explain without the expensive "Extra services" the job might not even be worth doing. The victim asks "But the coupon said $4.00 per room?" The shark replies "Oh the $4.00 per room rate only applies to our "Basic cleaning" and not a "Deep cleaning" and this job requires the deep cleaning" They may use terms such as "Gold or "Silver" plans or "Basic" or "Deep" process, and you could end up paying $50 per room or more. Some may say the cheap plan only includes cold water or low-pressure cleaning as opposed to heat and high-pressure water if challenged. My advice is run away fast as soon as you hear this. Better yet simply ignore these age-old scammers all together and just say no. The bottom line is if that carpet cleaning company cannot even openly advertise or ask the absolute minimum of $20.00 to $25.00 per room then they are either using inferior equipment and jumped in to business yesterday which is a sketchy situation in general or could simply be one of the many dishonest "Bait and switchers".
Be prepared to pay an average of $30 to $45 per room in order to get a great job with no surprises and feel good that the individual cleaning your carpets and upholstery can be proud of knowing he is charging a fair rate for his work and operating an honest service business. By Dirtblasters.com
How to Prepare for a Visit from Your Local Carpet Cleaning Service 10/19/2013
Before your carpet cleaning service arrives at your home, there are a few things a customer could do that makes for a faster and smoother visit. 1. Open up a car spot for the carpet cleaning van in your driveway that would be closest to the door he chooses to use to carry in his equipment. 2. Pre-vacuum all traffic areas including steps and move any small items such as toys, garbage baskets, laundry hampers, small chairs and so on. 3. Any furniture which is heavy can be moved by the carpet cleaner and put back on carpet immediately using coasters. So don't break your back. 4. If there are any stubborn stains, you may want to call your carpet service the night before and ask if there is a household solution you may have already, like vinegar you could use to pre-treat it the night before for an extended dwell period. In some cases, this can make a big difference. Finally to avoid a slip and fall remember to leave towels or mats on hard surfaces such as Hardwood floors where they meet or transition to the carpet and especially at the bottom of the stairs after the job is complete. By DirtBlasters.com
Dispelling the Old Steam Cleaning Myth 10/19/2013
Nearly 25 years ago most carpets were manufactured using "Jute Backings"(long, soft, shiny, strong threads) which were 100% organic and biodegradable vegetable fiber. This was the standard carpet backing however was prone to moisture and would simply disintegrate after overexposure to moisture, wear & time leaving the carpets loose and riddled with wrinkles or 'Puckers".
Just as today back in those days there were enough amateur carpet cleaning companies around using underpowered portable "steam cleaning" or "Hot water extraction" machines to leave behind some pretty soggy carpet and plenty of unhappy customers. Dispelling the old Steam Cleaning Myth 10/19/2013 Nearly 25 years ago most carpets were manufactured using "Jute Backings"(long, soft, shiny, strong threads) which were 100% organic and biodegradable vegetable fiber. This was the standard carpet backing however was prone to moisture and would simply disintegrate after overexposure to moisture, wear & time leaving the carpets loose and riddled with wrinkles or 'Puckers". Just as today back in those days there were enough amateur carpet cleaning companies around using underpowered portable "steam cleaning" or "Hot water extraction" machines to leave behind some pretty soggy carpet and plenty of unhappy customers.
Today in the USA Jute is no more than a bad memory from the past and carpet manufactures are using 100% synthetic carpet backings which are impervious to water. Hence this myth is busted. Carpets can not become "separated" and loose from steam cleaning.
Worth noting this over wetting scenario was mainly caused by non "truck mounted" steam cleaning machines known as 'Portables." Portables by nature do not offer the powerful water recovery abilities of the truck mounts hence truck mounted steam cleaning played little to no role creating this "Myth of Steam Cleaning" but undeservedly ended up sharing the blame. This myth simply stated steam cleaning ruins carpets and causes "separation" mold and mildew. This misnomer echoed from coast to coast for so long causing alternative dry cleaning systems to emerge and reproduce like rabbits from the 1980s through today. Through this time the "Dry Cleaning" companies kept banging the drums of the "Evils of steam cleaning" explaining how steam cleaning can separate the carpet backing, cause odor, mold and on and on. However, these stories were based on the poor work of inferior portable extractor companies 20 plus years ago soaking carpets with old Jute backing. The truth is this. If steam cleaning is performed by a trained individual using a truck-mounted system your carpets will be cleaned with very little remaining moisture and little to zero residue. Leaving them more sanitary and dirt free than any alternative system in existence. I have tried the top wet and dry systems and speak from my personal experience.
I always say if there were a better way to clean ourselves then soap and water (Dirtblasters uses citrus) we would. If we had a more sanitary way to wash our cars, boats, sidewalks, clothes or anything we also would be using it. Do we see folks running around looking for Dry cleaning methods for these things? Of course not. The concussion here is that there is no equal alternative. Hot water extraction is also the only system recommended by Stainmaster carpets who will void the warranty if any other system is used. They also require their customers to steam clean once per every 24 months to keep the warranty from being voided. Worth mentioning is this. There are several effective dry cleaning methods that are effective and do not harm your carpet in any way. I am familiar with them and do offer some of these systems to my customers who are simply "sold" on them but I always recommend truck mounted Steam cleaning as the primary cleaning system of choice.
Local Carpet Cleaning Services
Carpet cleaning comes in many forms, and one can find just about any system offered in the industry in their hometown. The most common systems are the Host system, the encapsulation system, the bonnet system, the foam system and of course "Steam Cleaning."
Carpet cleaning as an industry has become an open door invitation for anyone to dive in and call themselves a "Carpet cleaning service" with no prior experience or training. We have no state regulations or requirements for training or certifications, so this door is wide open which is a good reason to do your homework in choosing a service. As an owner operator for 20 years as a local carpet cleaning service, I can only give my opinion based on hand on experience on which methods are superior and how to shop for carpet & upholstery cleaning service.
As far as choosing a carpet cleaning service and method I recommend using the criteria of obtaining referrals, age of business and if they offer truck mounted steam cleaning. Also if you are on a budget stay clear of the large chains who are franchise operations with heavy, expensive advertising presence. You are best off with the small family owned "Independent owner-operator" carpet cleaning service who meets the criteria above. By DirtBlasters.com
Mattress Cleaning (Do it Yourself) Dust mites can pose huge problems for allergy sufferers and anyone concerned with cleanliness. Dirt, stains and overall staleness of a mattress can be a simple and cheap project for the "Do it Yourself-er" if you choose to go it alone. So if you do decide to go this route follow these steps.
Start off by simply removing and replacing all sheets and covers. Visit Amazon and order some Diatomatious Earth. It is an amazingly safe product for us humans yet a potent agent to dust mites. Spread the powder on every inch of the mattress and then vacuum off your mattress of the powder after a 6 to 8 hour dwell period. Or another method is a handheld steam vapor tool. With one of these, you will need to make a steam pass over every square inch of material. For Organic bedding material, vapor steamers, mattress covers and most "Green" household allergy control tools, and products I recommend you visit here. If you need to only remove mattress odor on the cheap, I recommend covering the mattress in baking soda and allowing it to dwell for 6 to 8 hours and at which point vacuum thoroughly and your done. By DirtBlasters.com 10/25/13 If you do need it done by a pro, please contact us.
Why So Many Carpet Cleaning Methods? The main two reasons for any other system other than the Truck Mounted steam cleaning which is the most sanitary and deepest are Cost and feasible.
Cost: If a person decided to enter the carpet and upholstery cleaning industry and desired to purchase a truck-mounted cleaning system they are looking at an average cost of $15,000 for a basic machine plus the additional costs of accessories, chemicals, and the van. And even the van has to be the heavy duty versions to handle the added weight which is more expensive than the base models are. Also important to keep in mind a Truck mounted steam cleaning machine will require constant maintenance and care as well as operators who can operate them correctly.
Enter "Dry Cleaning." These are in my opinion based on experience and studies I have read, are inferior systems of which require equipment that can cost only a fraction of a Truck mount including the "Host" method, "Bonnet cleaning," encapsulation and others. The equipment is also far less complicated, expensive and a whole lot easier to maintain. These factors combined with the consumers lack of knowledge on these less effective systems makes it possible to start a Carpet Cleaning business for far less investment.
Feasibility: Truck mounted steam cleaning is limited by the distance from the van to the job site. Usually 250' would max out the hose length, water pressure and vacuum power of the standard truck mount lending the need for more portability. Steam cleaning or hot water extraction can go portable with many machines available however produces far less heat, vacuum and pressure than a Truck mount and is time-consuming, loud and less effective in cleaning vast areas of the carpet. Hence "Dry cleaning" makes the scene by being able to gracefully and quietly surface clean mass areas in a fraction of the time and not being restrained by length can go anywhere. So my theory is if cost and feasibility were nonissues there would be only one system out there, and it's of course Truck mounted steam cleaning. By DirtBlasters.com 2/9/14
Getting Tools Updated
Dirt Blasters Carpet Cleaning Chooses TCS to Upgrade entire System There is a season as the expression goes, and tis the season for us is to retire our aging heat exchange truck-mount unit with a brand new propane system. The decision to go propane was easy since they can produce more heat and sustain it much longer than heat exchanged units. Also, the carpet cleaner can venture further away from the van and maintain this heat at these greater distances.
Will at truckmounts.com a.k.a Truck Mounts & Cleaning Solutions has exhaustively worked with DirtBlasters.com in order to determine our exact needs regarding options, budget, choices and every scenario imaginable.
It's as low pressure as it gets with support that is unmatched. Will determined since we do not regularly need 2 technicians simultaneously or 600 ft of hose on a job we would be best served with their best seller dubbed "the Warrior" pictured above. Our schedule is on ice until January 19th, 2015 so to allow for installation. We do recommend TCS in Atlanta if you are in the market for ongoing classes, for purchasing new or used machines or equipment and of course an endless selection of natural or synthetic carpet and hard surface cleaners. Dirt Blasters Carpet Cleaning Inc.1/9/2015
Dirt Blasters Van Gets a New Engine! We are excited about our brand new engine going in our Chevy Express van. It is a remanufactured long block 5.7 Installation is completed. Yay! 2/10/15
Note From DirtBlasters.com:
Green carpet cleaners in Atlanta seem to be coming out of the woodwork lately. Being in business here in Atlanta metro since 1993 I have seen plenty come and go and can say at least 2/3 I have met who claimed they were a "Green" carpet cleaner were definitely not green at all.
There is only one way to clean green and actually obtain the same results as the synthetic line of chemicals can perform and that is to is to experiment, research and learn chemistry to some degree. Scores of carpet cleaners locally simply lack the experience and seasoning to meet these objectives and most if not all of the well-established large franchises will use synthetic chemicals and leave residue at the same time. Despite this, some large chains do perform excellent work however can also come with a heavy price tag. The large franchise owners have added costs such as technicians, franchise fees and office space to shoulder and unlike an owner operated independent business are not enjoying the low overhead and freedom to try safer and much safer means to clean green. This is why an experienced owner-operated truck mounted carpet cleaner is the way to go.
As long as physics and nature do not change "Steam Cleaning" will always remain the most sanitary and effective method of carpet cleaning known to man.
How do I choose a carpet cleaner? Pick carpet cleaners by asking and measuring how long they have been in business for starters. Dirt Blasters has been carpet cleaning Atlanta since 1993, and we plan to stay. Also, ask if there are any additional charges outside of their phone quote to evaluate if they engage in "bait and switch" such If they charge extra for so-called "Deep Cleaning" they are crooks. Ask if they are truck mounted steam cleaning. If not (i.e. portable equipment), dry cleaning or other methods move on.
How do I know if my carpet cleaning service is really a "Green" carpet cleaner? Ask them if they belong to any "Green" associations and which ones. We belong to several and all can be verified. We also use our own custom natural blend of cleaning solutions that are not only safe for our planet but also act as a powerful dust mite, dirt and urine stain/odor eliminator as well. You may also ask to see and smell their cleaning products to verify if they are using safe products or potentially harmful synthetic cocktails.
Ask if they are fully insured and for proof of insurance and if they charge extra for pet stains and other special areas of problem stained carpet. We only charge extra if these stains require significant time to treat. In most cases, they are part of our services and not extra.
Ask if your carpet cleaner if they have a 100% money back policy. We do and always stand behind our work, or you don't pay.
Ask the carpet cleaner if they use a technician or a subcontractor. The owner of Dirt Blasters is the only technician you will have. No middle man, techs or subs.
Do you (the customer) or even the potential carpet cleaner understand the dangers of Carbon Monoxide gas produced from the van's truck-mounted engine entering the home? The gas-powered engine inside of the van produces just like any 2 cycle engine will Emmit carbon Monoxide gas which is deadly. So make sure they NEVER run it in the garage or too close to an open door or window of home and point it away from the structure. It helps to ask the technician to carry a handheld Carbon Monoxide detector on him as well. Also, don't forget every home should have a quality Carbon Monoxide detector since water heaters and furnaces can also produce this silent killer at any time.
Written by Dirt Blasters Carpet Cleaning.
Why "Steam Cleaning" Beats Them All 10/19/2013
Hot Water Extraction (212 degrees/boiling point of water) AKA "Steam Cleaning" is by far the overall most effective carpet cleaning process of them all. Why? While there are countless "Dry" and "Low moisture systems" the simple truth is heat destroys bacteria, grease, and other contaminants by means of the heat breaking down the proteins (by burning through them) which bond them to carpet fiber then pulling them out with the powerful vacuum strength of a truck mounted carpet extractor machine. When this high heat is present, it also can boost the carpet cleaners chemicals ability threefold or more. The higher the heat, the faster the carpet dries (less water) and the less cleaning product used or left behind for those carpet cleaners still using chemicals known to leave residue. Enzymes are a great 'Green" cleaning companion and addition to your carpet cleaners arsenal and can take it a step further digesting oil, urine and other matter. If your carpet cleaners are still not "Green" and don't use "Non Residual cleaners" ask the carpet and upholstery technician to give the entire area an extra "rinse pass "to remove any residue.
Stainmaster Carpets actually will void your warranty if you use any other system other than Hot Water Extraction or "Steam Cleaning" and require you steam clean them at least every 2 years and recommends at least one steam cleaning per year. (Source:) If that isn't enough even the world's largest producer of carpet "Shaw Industries" also recommends only Steam Cleaning as the top choice for carpet cleaning methods. (source:)
All other methods including inferior hot water "Portable extractors" and any "Dry cleaning" process simply can not touch Steam Cleaning at the proper temperature when it comes to lift power, vacuum power & sanitizing power and overall deep nonresidue cleaning. Major marketing efforts have taken hold in the minds of many folks regarding Dry Cleaning carpets hence we still offer Dry cleaning to this segment if they are truly sold on the idea however we do explain the pros and cons of both, so they better understand each system. By Dirtblasters.com
See all of our original articles here No Techs (owner operated) No Pressure Avg Price $45/Room & Set of Stairs Teflon Pet Odor Removal Orientals Flood Damage Dirt Blasters Carpet Cleaning 6637 Ridge Moore Drive Atlanta GA 30360 404-403-0045 No Bait and Switch Pricing
Call Dirt Blasters Carpet Cleaning 404-403-0045
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