Preparing For Professional Carpet Cleaners

Getting ready for the carpet cleaners

Many folks want to know what they can do, to get ready for thier carpet cleaning appointment. That depends on the level of cleaning and the company doing the cleaning. The biggest challenge of the carpet cleaning job is the furniture, what to do with it? It’s not feasible to remove all the furniture from the house to do the cleaning, unless you are moving. We at Pristine can offer some recommendations.
Nickknacks and breakables should be removed and placed in another room, dinning room chairs, floor lamps, house plants and other similar pieces can often be placed in the kitchen or bathrooms. Some non breakable items can be placed up on beds and sofas. While we are cleaning we can move chairs, sofas, smaller beds and things like that. When we place them back we use plastic squares under the legs of the furniture so the dye doesn’t come out and stain the carpet. Metal objects also need plastic tabs to prevent rust. Most carpet cleaners, including my company, can not move certain items at all. These items usually include computers and electronics, large beds, china cabinets, large hutches as well as any large pieces with flat bottoms. If the furniture doesn’t have legs to put plastic squares under, it can’t be left on damp carpet.

Securing pets during cleaning

Then there is the pet issue… I love dogs & cats, so the last thing I would want to see is an animal get hurt or lost. When we come to clean your floors or carpets we use truck mounted equipment. The hoses run from the truck into the house, usually through a door. In my opinion this is the best, most powerful way to clean carpet, however leaves the safety issue of having the door cracked open for an hour or so. For this reason, pets need to be secured in a safe location. Another important reason is that when we clean, we spray a pre-spray cleaning agent on the floors or carpets before we rinse and extract. This creates two potential issues. If a dog were to walk through the pre-spray they would pick it up on there paws, then most likely go lick it off. Our cleaning agents do say they are safe for pets and humans, but I’m not so sure that ingesting it would make anyone feel good. The other issue is that they can walk through the pre-spray, then walk on other floors like hardwood or tile, leaving paw prints that can require some effort to remove.

During and after the cleaning…What you need to know

Safety is our main concern

Many carpet cleaning companies including Pristine Tile & Grout Restoration use steam extraction to clean the carpets. This method of cleaning carpet is recognized as the preferred method by the leading manufactures of carpet including Shaw Industries. While the carpet cleaners are hard at work you will notice several hoses and tools in the home, it is very important not to get in the way of these obstacles as they pose trip hazards. Since carpets and tile are cleaned with hot water they can remain damp for a couple of hours, this creates a potential slip hazard. If you walk down a flight of damp stairs that has tile or harwood at the bottom you must be very very careful not to slip. The best way to avoid problems is to stay off the carpet until it has completely dried.

After we’re gone

One of the most often asked questions is “how long it will take for my carpets to dry? The answer varies greatly depending on conditions…. Is the heating or cooling on? Is the outside humidity high or low? Ceiling fans on? Pristine always uses extra “vacuum only” or “dry strokes” while cleaning to ensure we remove as much excess moisture as possible, most of our jobs are dry in just a couple of hours, in some cases the first rooms we clean, are dry before we leave.

You may notice we put plastic squares under the legs of furniture to protect the carpet from furniture stain or rusting from metal furniture legs. It is best to leave these squares in place until the next day. If you removed furniture from the room before the cleaners arrived, it is important not to put it back until the carpet has fully dried, again, furniture on damp carpet is a big no no!



Carpet Cleaning Tips & FAQ’s

What’s that ugly black line in my carpet around the base molding?

Quite often a black line will form in the carpet around the perimeter of a room., this is most noticeable in white carpet. The condition called filtration takes several years to become noticeable. The term filtration comes from your carpets acting as a filter. When air flows through the carpet it slowly deposits very fine, electrostatically charged particles in the carpet fibers. Once this black ring has set in, it is super difficult to remove. Filtration forms along the wall for two reasons, the padding ends at the tack strip which allows the air to flow through the carpet,  The second reason is that the vacuum just can’t get that close to the wall.

How can I prevent filtration from happening?

Frequently vacuuming your carpet is key… remove it before it sets in. You will however, need to use the slim crevice too that came with your vacuum to get close to the base molding. It is also important to vacuum the rooms that “no one ever goes in” that is where I see the worst of it. Leading carpet manufactures recommend professional deep cleaning of the carpet every 12-18 months. This varies with every home, as homes with high traffic, pets and children seem to take a bit more abuse.

If  I have a stain resistant carpet do I need to re-apply the protectant?


 Many higher end carpets come with stain protection, however this does not last forever, normal wear and vacuuming can compromise the protector over time. We always advise applying new protector every couple of years. We at Pristine, here in Fredericksburg, Va., use either Scotchguard or Dupont’s advanced stain protectant. The best time to apply this is right after the carpets have been professionally deep cleaned.

Are all carpet cleaning compaines the same?


Like any other industry, carpet cleaning companies vary tremendously. First, there are different types of carpet cleaning. Two of the most common are hot water extraction or steam cleaning and the other is dry chemical cleaning. Both have their advantages, however, the leading carpet manufactures say that steam extraction is the best for cleaner, longer lasting carpets. Then, there is the quality of the equipment being used. There are many reputable carpet cleaners out there, but there are also a lot of guys that buy cheap portable extractors and call themselves professional carpet cleaners. You would be better off renting a rug doctor than hiring one of these guys. Some of the higher end portables that have good power and heat can do a decent job.

The best carpet cleaning machine in the world is only as good as the operator. Carpet cleaning is a skill that comes with training and experience. When you hire a big company, it can be hit or miss, has the tech been cleaning for 5 years or did they start yesterday? Inexperienced can do more harm than good, if too much residue or water is left behind it can cause problems such as re soiling, and very slow dry times which in extreme cases can trigger mold and mildew to breed.

Tired of bait and switch?

The Stafford Virginia area has some great carpet cleaning companies, but as with any industry there are a few bad apples. Be very careful of companies that offer lowball pricing! Many companies will offer deals that sound too good to be true, because usally they are. Some compainies will give a low quote over the phone just to get in your house, once there they will tell you that it is going to be more for one reason or another. To run a reputable carpet cleaning company there are many cost factors to consider… equipment cost, repairs and maintenance, licensing, insurance, continuing education, advertising, cleaning chemicals, and gas is now approaching $4.00 per gallon! So, any company offering carpet cleaning for a ridiculously low price is either cutting corners, increasing the price upon arrival (bait & switch), not using the proper cleaning agents or procedures, or they will be out of business in a hurry. Pristine has been cleaning carpets as well as tile & grout in Stafford, Fredericksburg, and Spotsylvania Virginia for many years. We take great pride in cleaning the right way, for a fair price, and never increasing the price after we show up. But don’t take my word for it, visit our Home Advisor Ratings and you will see we have held a 5 star rating for the last 4 years!