With so many carpet cleaning companies to choose from, and more popping up day after day it seems, it’s a minefield out there as to who to use and have confidence in. It seems that every other day, another carpet cleaning company pops up on Facebook offering “Professional carpet cleaning” at rock bottom prices using “professional machinery” and “the best products in the industry” with prices that seem too good to be true. “Wow, this company can clean my entire 4 bedroom house for £100!”.
Much like everything in life, you get what you pay for in the cleaning industry, and especially with carpet cleaning. You can look at pretty much every industry in the world and make an example i.e. the car industry, you can spend less than £5,000 and pick up a cheap run around car from some of your budget car companies, or you can spend £30,000+ on a BMW or Mercedes, then you can go even further and spend £1,000,000+ on a Bugatti. The cheaper budget car won’t be as fast, won’t be as luxurious, won’t have the after care service that you might want, and might have some reliability issues. Or you can buy a new BMW M3 and know you’ll have a state of the art sound system, leather seats, air conditioning and when you take it in for a service they’ll supply you with food and drink in a cosy waiting room with a 50” 4k television to keep you occupied, I can only imagine what a Bugatti waiting area is like! Maybe one day. Another good example is the hairdressing industry, you can pay £10 for the trainee to cut your hair in a University, or you can visit a central London salon and pay thousands for the head stylist to come in and make you look a million dollars, the colour will probably last longer, the cut will be better, and you’ll float out of the salon looking incredible. The carpet cleaning industry is no different.
Unfortunately our industry has come under attack from people looking to make a quick buck, buying machinery on eBay or cheap machines from the local hardware store, some even renting machine for a couple of days and then venturing out thinking that they are professionals and cleaning YOUR carpets for peanuts. Even when it comes to training, there are companies out there claiming they’re “fully trained” when in actual fact the bloke they bought the machine from on eBay gave them a quick ‘how to’ before loading it in the back of their car. We’ve been on courses around the UK and know for a fact that even some companies that offer carpet cleaning training, aren’t worth the miniscule amounts they charge. A 1 day crash course, finished by 4pm, doesn’t make you a professional and definitely doesn’t give you enough knowledge to go out and clean carpets properly, I know, because I’ve been on them and left with more questions than answers.
There are so many things that could go wrong when you clean a carpet, shrinkage, colour bleed, mould issues from saturation, unusable sopping wet carpets for days (I visited a client in Colchester recently who’s carpets were still wet after 4 days!), carpets left in a state which will attract dirt very quickly meaning that you will need to get them back, probably within 3-6 months. I’ve seen stains pushed deeper into the pile, burst pile, colour loss through poor solution use or excessive use of bleaching agents. One of the first jobs I ever carried out was in a small village called Aldham in Essex. My lovely client had paid a chap £100 to clean a 3 seater sofa and 25m2 of thick wool carpet. She ended up kicking the chap out and when I visited her a couple of days later to give her a quote for my service, I got a wet bum from sitting on her “clean” (it wasn’t) sofa and her carpet was squelching under foot. She booked me in for the clean and whilst carrying out the pre clean vacuum, I could see a visible difference in the carpet where the guy hadn’t even vacuumed! I was gobsmacked! Little did I know it would set the tone for my life in the floor restoration business.
There is a market for cheap cleaners, without question. I completely understand that sometimes, people just can’t afford to have a real professional carpet cleaner come and clean their carpets, but think about this. You pay a chap £50 to clean your lounge and two bedrooms, he makes a mess and ruins your carpets, or he carries out the clean but unbeknown to you, it hasn’t been cleaned properly because he has to carry out 5 or 6 cleans at £50 a time to make money, so cuts corners to get in and out quickly, chances are you’ll be calling him back every 6 months to do it again. Or, you could call a proper carpet cleaning company who might charge you £100, but you probably won’t need to see them again for 12-18 months (unless you spill a cup of tea or the dog has an accident). You’ll be no worse off and your carpets will have been cleaned properly!
As you can probably tell, I’m incredibly passionate about this subject, purely because it’s tainting our industry and affecting fully fledged real professional carpet cleaners, who work hard on their business and go through all the necessary requirements to offer a proper carpet cleaning service. To have a potential client say to you “Wow, you’re expensive, Joe Bloggs Carpet Cleaning said they’ll do all of my house for £80”, is quite frustrating and gets very long in the teeth, quickly! I always feel a little begrudged when I’m compared to the cheap ‘splash & dash’ cleaner from down the pub who has just bought the new DIY machine from the high street. I’ve been on numerous training courses and like to go on one every couple of years as a refresher, I’ve sat an NCCA entry exam (and passed), have years of experience, spent thousands on machinery, made sure I have specialist insurance in all aspects of my floor restoration business and like to think I know what I’m doing.
When you decide to get your carpets cleaned, which is something you should have done every 12-18 months, consider all your options and look for a reputable company sporting the NCCA logo, their authenticity can be confirmed by checking on the NCCA Trusted Local Cleaners website where all NCCA Registered carpet cleaners are listed. I know of companies who are very good at cleaning carpets and aren’t NCCA registered, to them I would recommend taking the entry exam and becoming registered so we can battle the people who bring our industry down.
So, which carpet cleaning company is the best? Well, obviously, I’m going to say my company Powerdean Floor Maintenance, but in truth, as long as the company you use is qualified and registered with the NCCA, then you shouldn’t have any concerns. I’ve even recommended companies local to me, when customers are in a rush and I’m booked up. Just remember, “Pay cheap, pay twice”.
Thanks for reading.
Chris – Head Technician at Powerdean Floor Maintenance.