Traditional Carpet Steam Cleaning. What it is, what it will do, and what it won’t do.
On many coupons for carpet cleaning companies, there is often a coupon for steam cleaning. It is commonly $5.95,$6.95, or $7.95 per room. Now just follow me here for a second. If you have ever been to Stanely Steemer’s website you’ll see they charge $40 per room for carpet cleaning, also the fact they have a $75 order minimum I believe. A lot of folks equate these two cleanings to be the same cleaning. Now some of you are thinking well of course they are the same things and others are going huh I didn’t think of it like that. Now when something is pretty much one-eight the price of the other I think there is cause to question whether or not there is a difference in the quality of the two cleanings. Now I can safely say there is because I have worked for companies once upon a time that advertised the immensely cheap steam cleanings. It was a way to get into your home to write up a four to five hundred dollar estimate.If you don’t believe me, ask these questions: Is your steam cleaning the best cleaning you offer? Is it the only cleaning you offer? Are there any other services I’ll need along with this team cleaning? On a horrible note, I remember one time being in the office at one company with the manager and owner taking calls and booking jobs. At one point a little old called in on their special and said she only had $11 to spend. The manager taking the call swiftly hung up without a goodbye and the owner laughed about it. So you can see why I have something of an issue with companies like that…
If you ask these questions don’t surprised to get a canned answer like “well the technician will discuss this with you when he is there to look at your carpet.” The person on the phone will rarely lock themselves into an answer if they are smart. Realize that most carpet cleaning technicians are paid on commission. So your five rooms of carpet getting steam cleaned at more or less $6 a room may be a lot toyou but to the person driving their own vehicle and using their own gas(because I’ve yet to learn of a company that pays for the technician’s gas, instead they allow the technician to charge a “fuel surcharge” and they may or may not know the technician might deceive the customer into paying it as a “sales tax,” oh yesthis can happen, whether does or not I leave open to each individual situation), it’s not a big deal. They’ll be lucky to be making $10.50 off the job. So are they really going to spend a lot of time working to achieve their best clean with just hot water and only hot water(oh wait some advertise a deorodirzer, yes I’ve seen some technicians use “Odorban” which you can find at your local Home Depot, now I’m not saying all companies do this becaues I don’t want to get sued but I would have to wonder what chemical a company would use to still achieve a profitable return[because who goes into business to lose money] when the profit margin is quite low already, and oh yes the technician is having to provide his own chemicals at his own expense, how much thinner can they really afford to cut that $10.50 for themselves)? If you think so then I hazard to think you are mistaken.
I had one boss tell me to have any job no matter the size done in 30 minutes if it was just a Steam Cleaning. Granted when I was working or said boss, whom I worked for less than two weeks, having walked off the job without returning any phone calls, I was still young and naive and felt the customers deserved better. Of course, after working 14 hours, and after putting gas in my truck, I had $20 to my name for the days trouble, my sore body, and my burned out patience. A couple days later I walked off the job and knocked on apartment doors and cleaned three-room apartments for $40 a pop with just detergent cleanings. For sanitizers, I charged $20 more. I made more money doing this than providing “Steam Cleaning” to the folks calling my ex-boss.
So safe to say I don’t believe you can keep good carpet cleaning technicians by just sending them to steam cleaning jobs. But it’s out there and it’s all some people want. It doesn’t matter that their house smells terrible, that their carpet is covered in animal piss and shit stains, it doesn’t matter their carpet is terribly soiled, they will only want a Steam Cleaning, and a Steam Cleaning alone. It won’t matter that you explain to them the hazards, it won’t matter that you’ll make them sign a five-page waiver, initialing several items releasing us from all liability for foul odor, appearance condition deterioration, and health dangers.They’ll still only want a steam cleaning. And to boot, they’ll call you a fraud and think they are getting one over on you. Of course they’ll call screaming the next day that their house smells terrible, the piss and shit stains on their carpet have gotten worst even though they were given written and verbal warnings(because adding hot water to bacteria-ridden carpet will sanitize right?No, no it won’t, it’ll make it far worst), etc. etc. etc..
So two factors, expense and employee morale. Now we will perform steam cleanings, and we call the traditional Steam Cleaning because traditionally all a steam cleaning was the spraying of hot water at a high PSI(typically at least 100 PSI) and sucking it along with the soil and other material the hot water had loosened. It doesn’tchemically sanitize, it doesn’t chemically treat the proteins, glycerides, break down stains on the molecular level. That’s what emulsifiers, detergents, shampoos, and enzymes are for, and they are more expensive.
So why would you want a Traditional Steam Cleaning? Well, you just want to clean up the light soiling that has collected in your carpet, not the dog piss and coffee stains you may or may not have in your carpet. It’ll help remove most of the allergens in your carpet, like pollen and pet dander(although sanitizers and enzymes will typically eliminate them completely). Safe to say folks who don’t wear shoes in their house, don’t allow their children to have anything other than water outside the kitchen or dining room, wear socks on their feet when on the carpet, don’t have pets, are the best candidates for a Traditional Steam Cleaning.
So I’ll reiterate, if you get a coupon for $5.95, $6.95, or $7.95 a room, make sure you ask whatever services you might possibly have to pay for and don’t surprised how those services will possibly quickly add up to .$90 per square foot just for the cleaning and then another $.30 per square foot to protect the carpet. Now there are honest carpet cleaners out there I’m sure. Of course my customers have yet to tell me of any other honest carpet cleaners out there besides us.
So you’ve been warned. We’ve been honest, and hopefully, you’ll see just how much cheaper we actually are. On our Traditional Steam Cleaning, there are no warranties.