This what your carpet cleaning technician should be doing as per industry standard processes, endorsed by British Standards PAS 86 and the National Association of Carpet Cleaners.

If he is not, there is also a fair chance that he is untrained, not suitably qualified, may not be covered by his insurance policy because of his lack of training and knowledge, and if something does go wrong, you will be left with no option but to pursue him through the courts involving costly legal and laboratory testing fees that you will have to pay up front, with no guarantee that you will recoup your outlay.

It is our intention at Sparkling Cobwebs Domestic and Carpet Cleaning Services to promote good practice within our industry and we will be looking to produce a list of local service providers that we can work with and share experience and knowledge to bring back a good name to our chosen profession. So, lets get on to the steps that you should be looking out for your hired carpet cleaning technician to be performing.

1. Inspection - Soiling levels, fixings and carpet backing type.
2. Dye test - Solutions being considered for use must be tested on a discreet part of the carpet to ensure dyes can withstand the chemicals being considered.
3. Fibre test - Identify the fibre or fibres in the carpet, rug or upholstery to ensure correct choice of chemicals and pre-judgment if some stains are removable.
4. Rake pile - separate matted fibres for effective vacuuming and removal of dust.
5. Power Vacuum - this extracts surface particular matter and helps prevent it turning into a muddy solution when pre-spray treatments are put down.
6. Stain treatment - Stains are things that should not be in the carpet, such as make-up, food, pet stains and so on. These require specialist solutions treatment that will not be broken down by the pre-spray treatment which is for soiling removal that all carpets attract.
7. Pre-spray treatment - Use of chosen traffic and soiling cleaner based on steps 1, 2 and 3.
8. Cleaning - Use of chosen system and method decided on based on depth of soiling in step 1 (Inspection stage)
9. Edges, stairs and enclosed areas - Use of hand tool with the predetermined system and method in step 8.
10. Realign pile - this helps prevent shading in carpets which can cause appearance in colour differences. Sometimes pile fibres can be reversed causing inconsistencies in color, but this is not considered a defect and does not affect the durability of the carpet. It is permanent and unavoidable once the carpet has begun to be walked on. Some carpets, such as wool, fair better than synthetic fibres, but as yet there has been no legal challenge to prove any defect or fault of a carpet technician. there are simply to many variants to apportion blame on this phenomenon.

The above steps have been developed by one of the leading manufacturers of carpet cleaning machinery and developers of the highest standard of chemical cleaning agents and approved training programs in the world, namely Prochem who are based in Chessington, Surrey. They work closely with the National Association of Carpet Cleaners and The Woolsafe Organisation. I personally attend their training courses as much as I possibly can to keep my knowledge as up to date as possible as they are where cutting edge things happen.

I offer a free advice service where I will come out and survey carpets and other work free of charge, even if it is another technicians work, and will run some simple tests to see if you have had a good service, or indeed a bad service. The most common corner cut, in my experience is a carpet technician not bothering to vacuum properly. Most skip the steps 1 to 5 and just dilute the soiling so it migrates to the bottom of the fibre and on to the primary backing so when the next technician comes along who does a proper job, all the soiling comes up and he spends hours trying to recover it with his machine. Yes, this has happened to me on a £150 job in a 4 bedroom house. I went back and rectified the shoddy work from the previous cleaners.

I am now the whole families carpet cleaner and they are a big family !