With two kids, two cats and a husband who’s constantly engaging in various indoor and outdoor projects (all of which seem to generate dirt and dust), I’m the last person who should have white carpets in her house. That’s right: white, or at least they once were.
No doubt the folks who built the house years ago were older and childless, as were the people from whom we bought the place. Their tidy lifestyles were evident in the immaculate condition of the carpet on closing day. Not one spot, spill or puddle of cat puke marred the flooring: a condition, which I’m sorry to say, is most certainly not the case anymore.
As with all new home purchases, the sellers were nevertheless required to pay for a whole house cleaning after they moved out. We knew nothing about the companies in town and let our Realtor pick one. Big mistake. Big, big, BIG mistake. He hired a company that uses dry chemicals to clean the rugs — something I’d have objected to in a heartbeat had I known about it ahead of time. Silly me, I let VH handle that detail. Another big mistake. Big, big, BIG mistake.
See, those chemical-based companies like to claim their system traps grease and dirt. So they sprinkle on their chemicals and rake them in: literally rake them in. As we quickly discovered, one overzealous employee armed with chemicals and a rake can make a mess of even blemish-free flooring. Two years later, I still find rake grooves embedded deep in our rugs whenever I move furniture. (VH considers this not so bad: he hates moving furniture.) Every time I see that, it just sets me off on another rant. Like this one.
Besides the rake marks and the thought of nasty chemicals still peppered along the edges of my floor — an area, I admit, I don’t vacuum nearly as often as I should — I’ve always wondered how much junk those dry chemical places leave behind. I mean, imagine if you used one of those “dry shampoos” on your hair every day: would it really be clean, or would it just look like it was?
So now that summer’s in full-swing, the A/C is going full-time and the house is closed up to help out my allergies. That means we’re trapped indoors with whatever’s in here, and that means it’s time to think seriously about a good cleaning. The real kind: with a major vacuum beforehand, spot treatment for the cat puke and good power-scrubbing followed by hot steam to get all the gunk out of the rugs. (Ours as well as whatever those nasty chemical cleaners left behind.)
I’m a much more savvy shopper now when it comes to this task. Not only do I know to look for a carpet cleaning company that does a pre-vaccum for me, but I want one that guarantees their work. That’s something the chemical guys didn’t do: when I called to complain about the rake marks they simply advised me to vacuum them out. Would’ve been nice had that actually worked!
Living in a small Kansas town makes it even more difficult to find a good, reputable company. Try looking for carpet cleaning in Los Angeles and you’ll find a company that offers exactly what I’m looking for — including upholstery and drape cleaning along with pet spot removal — backed by a 30-day guarantee. They even do tile and grout.
Not here in Kansas, though. The best I can get is a nationwide chain that schedules its service in our area well in advance so they can minimize the number of trips they make out here. Next opportunity? Two months from now. Oh, and they don’t do tile. For that I have to go hire the wino in the corner who claims to own a home steam cleaner. Well, heck, so do I. But if those worked well my floors would already be clean now, wouldn’t they?