What makes a good cleaner?
What makes anyone good or the best in their field?
The answer is the motivation and will to do it right. To explore all the options and know which is the best. Most important is practice education and the motivation to be the best and Pride of a job well done.
As professional cleaners we are constantly looking for ways to do a better job we have a competitive nature that forces us to exceed. We collaborate with our colleges and show off our new and innovative strategies to be more clean and more green. We empathize with our clients and hope we meet and exceed their expectations.
So How do you know you have a company that is on your side and not your opposite?
The first thing a “customer first company” will do is seek out education. You can tell if the company you are working with has trained by checking what certifications they have attained. The most common ones are the IICRC/Clean Trust. There are many other as well as some college level classes that have poped up. Text books have been written by industry leaders like the one from Aaron Groseclose @ http://masterrugcleaner.net. I got to sit in on Aarons classes when ever he came to our school because in the industry he is one of the oldest and well known formulators and educators and was in the green movement as far back as the late 70’s he even has his own line of plant based cleaners long before it was trendy. He reminds me how much there is we can all still learn. The only guy I know that reads Phd dissertations on clean carpet. Someone has to.
Its great to have a cleaner get the education but we cant take a class and think we know it all! That is why comparing notes with our colleges and talk dirty to each other. This Keeps us on our toes. In truth anyone can join an association but most likely they are not going to wast time and money to meet with their competitors. To me their not competitors but colleges yes we compete to be the best but the real winners are our customers. My choice for association is the CFI a bay area local chapter for carpet cleaners that is a part owner and founder of the IICRC/Clean Trust. I have a special fondness with it because my father spent years helping build it up and served as the president for several years.
References is the first thing most people do these days is check yelp/google/yahoo/Facebook looking for references. This is a great way to double check your feeling about a company but be aware that many online references can be easily manipulated either by friends or offering discounts for reviews or paying the right company. Some companies will call to get reviews on the customers behave but only post positive reviews.
Are you paying too much or too little? Cleaning is super competitive and many companies will try misleading tactics to make sales. The most common tactic is the switch and bait. In our industry Companies will advertise a low price for a cleaning and then raise the price when things get started. “That is our clean carpet price your carpets are dirty” No one calls to clean “Clean” carpet.! The average price is constantly updated through major research and is written in yearly publications and in software like Exactamate which is mostly used for insurance purposes. We also have actuaries who dig through our books and come up with our cost of doing business. After all cleaning is the second largest industry only behind food.
I once worked with a cheap online house cleaning company. They charged $25 an hour. Paid for 2 hours. This poor lady worked for 6 hours the company who hired her was paid $50 even tho it took 6 hours. Worst of all she didn’t do a very good job she obviously had no training and was buying cleaning supplies her self using consumer level products. This lady was a sub contractor being taken advantage of by this company who did none of the work. I didn’t ask what she was being paid but we can assume she didn’t get the whole $50 for the 2 hours the company sub contracting her for was paid and she likely paid taxes and she spent 3 times as long trying to do a good job. Which we had to re clean anyway.
I once worked with a cheap carpet cleaning company. Another predator company sub contracted people looking for jobs. They sent out cheap coupons and got jobs fast.. Cheap jobs… They sold the employees there equipment and took it out of there pre tax pay. These people were sent out to jobs to clean for hours for little pay confronting the customers with ” That is our Clean Carpet price” while the company sent them off making money not only off their customers but the guys doing the work. Bad work with cheap products. These guys were new and had no idea they were sent out with cheap equipment. Many of there employees would try to do there best But with out the proper equipment and training they had little hope of professional results. There customers had no idea that the coupon that they called wasn’t sent by the cleaner in his home.
Not all services are the same. And there are a number of ways to clean carpet and upholstery. The best service in my experience it hot water extraction aka. steam cleaning this process starts with a pre vacuum 90% of dirt in carpet is dry and if you don’t pre vacuum you will not get all the dirt out and likely leaving a muddy by product. Second is pre spotting. We pre spot so we can remove the spotters with the extraction. Third is pre treatment this process must be brushed in and sit for 10 minuets minimum. fourth is the hot water extraction which contains emulsifier to loosen and remove and adds the agitation aspect of the cleaning and removes dirt and grime. Lastly is the rinse this removes the residue in the previous steps this process insures that the carpets or upholstery stay clean. IF detergents are left on your furniture and floors they will attract dirt like a magnet. Some companies do completely different services like bonnet cleaning or dry foam cleaning. Dry foam is a bad idea it may look clean for a few days but will attract dirt like crazy and it leaves dry foam which is generally covered in solvents in you carpet. I never use this method. Bonnet cleaning has some use especially in commercial or in maintenance. It’s cheaper and faster but doesn’t do the deep down cleaning and basically blends the dirt to make it less obvious but can be the best choice in high traffic areas that cant be wet for very long.
There are a lot of steps and most cleaners don’t do all of them and this is one way they can get there prices down. A different method of lowering prices usually shuts the company down after a IRS audit.
Many Companies offer gimmicks. many of them I still work with. I am not going to name them out but things like magic water or Carbonated water are just gimmicks they do have some science behind them but don’t make a bit of difference and these companies use the same products to clean most companies do. I installed their equipment and sold them the chemicals! There is no one way to clean everything. Cleaning is a craft!
If you cant book us We apologize and are working hard to serve more clients. The best place to find a substitute is with the “Carpet and Fabric Institute” a non profit specifically for education and improving the craft. http://www.cficonnects.org/#!find-a-cfi-member/cakz .