Should I Use a Carpet Protector?

How Much Does Carpet Cleaning Cost?

Should I Use a Carpet Protector?

Unfortunately, there is a great deal of confusion about capret protectors in our industry. Untrianed and sometimes downright unscrupulous carpet cleaners give out false information, and in the worst cases, intentionally misrepresent the product.

WARNING: The protector that was in your carpet may be gone, leaving you exposed!

A nylon stain-resistant carpet is made with two protective properties: the first is an acid dye blocker that is basically a clear dye that fills the extra dye sites in a fiber, This helps to keep “foreign” dyes (such as red dye in a beverage) from penetrating the carpet fiber. The second property is called a fluorochemical. Two commonly used fluorochemicals are 3M Scotchgard™ or DuPont™ Teflon®. This treatment helps keep spillage from actually getting to the acid dye blocker, but its biggest job is to resist dry soil.

By resisting dry soil, less soil bonds to the carpet, therefore more dry soil is picked up by your vacuum or cleaning. Making sure that you have a sufficient amount of protector on your carpet will help keep the soil from bonding to the carpet. Once it bonds to the carpet, it acts like sandpaper on your traffic area. Once the traffic area yarns are broken down, there is no way to bring them back to their original state.

Two Primary Ways that Factory Protector is Removed from a Carpet

1. Regular Foot Traffic

Over a period of six months to two years, depending on the traffic, a significant amount of carpet protector can be removed from your traffic areas and needs to be reapplied.

2. High-alkaline Cleaner

Many cleaners use harsh chemicals on the carpet; those chemicals will strip your carpet’s factory protection. If you have had your carpet cleaned in the past, there is a good chance the cleaner removed a significant amount of protector. It needs to be reapplied.

How Much Does Carpet Cleaning Cost?

How Much Does Carpet Cleaning Cost?

Professional, certified carpet cleaning provided by a reputable, experienced, and well-trained cleaning firm is not cheap. But it is an investment that pays great dividends. Two common ways of pricing in the carpet cleaning industry are by the square foot or by the room. In either case, there are questions you want to ask…


Carpet Cleaning Cost Questions

  1. What method do you use? (Hot water extraction is the most thorough system)
  2. Do you pre-vacuum the carpet? (Removing dry soil just before cleaning is vitally important)
  3. Do you pre-spot urine and other spots? (This is a very important procedure for many spots)
  4. Do you pre-condition the carpet? (This loosens the soil so they don’t have to blast it out)
  5. Do you pre-groom the carpet? (This further loosens the soil before extraction)
  6. Do you neutralize the carpet? (This balances the pH, leaving the carpet softer and avoiding leaving a sticky residue)
  7. Do you post-groom the carpet? (This promotes faster drying reveals any faint spots that may not have been thoroughly removed, and allows the carpet pile to dry in the right position)
  8. Do you use air movers to speed dry the carpet? (The faster the carpet dries, the sooner you can use it, and the fewer issues you have after the cleaning)
  9. Is all spot cleaning in the price? (This is a biggie!)
  10. Is pet odor treatment included in the price? (Be very cleaning on this)
  11. Do you give a free bottle of spot remover? (Our company provides a lifetime refill)
  12. Do you give a free pair of booties? (This helps occupants avoid re-soiling the carpet after cleaning)

What’s Your Carpet Cleaning Guarantee?

What's Your Carpet Cleaning Guarantee?

Always ask a company, “What’s Your Carpet Cleaning Guarantee?”

The goal of every great service company is to do the right thing every time. But the real strength of a service company is how to handle things when you feel that you didn’t get what you paid for.

A quality carpet cleaning company should guarantee their work. If you ask the average carpet cleaning technician what their guarantee is they will usually look confused. They might even ask you “what do you mean?” This actually happened in a mystery shopping experience during a “mystery shop” a very reputable consulting firm in the cleaning industry did.

Once the cleaning job was supposedly finished the technician presented the invoice that had a FULL PAGE contract on the back. The consultant asked, “Do you want me to read this whole thing?” “That’s up to you, sir” the technician replied. (By the way, the technician wanted the mystery shopper to sign off on the steps the technician didn’t even do. He made excuses why each step wasn’t needed.)

The mystery shopper continued, “Can you tell me what your guarantee is?” “What do you mean?” “For example, what happens if my spots come back?” “Then we come back.” “And if they come back again?” “We come back again.” “Do I ever get my money back if you can’t completely remove them?” Now prepare yourself for his response! True story: “Naw sir, those are your spots!”

You’ve got to be kidding me! And this cleaning company had a well-known name in the cleaning industry! The problem with this particular company is their residential carpet cleaning department had become something they no longer put any effort into. They obviously sent the most uncaring crew they could fine to do the residential cleaning job.

This is what we are facing out there. So, always ask what the guarantee is and what it includes.

J&S Steamway offers a 100% money back guarantee on our carpet cleaning jobs. Our guarantee is simply this: if you aren’t absolutely thrilled with the service experience you recienve from us, we will rush back to your location at no charge and no obligation. If you are still “unimpressed” we will refund you 100% of your investment.

March Newsletter

You think it will never happen to you, but there are over 300,000 house fires in the United States every year. It makes sense to be prepared. The most important thing you can do is to have working smoke detectors on every level of your home. An early warning is your best defense against a house fire.

Taking the right steps in the event of a house fire could save your home and even your life. Make sure that all adults and older children understand how to RACE and PASS if there is a fire. This doesn’t mean RACE around the house in a panic and PASS your spouse on your way out the door! RACE and PASS are simply memory aids for what you should do in case of a fire.

You think it will never happen to you, but there are over 300,000 house fires in the United States every year. It makes sense to be prepared.

Should you go with dry cleaning vs. steam cleaning?

Should you go with dry cleaning vs. steam cleaning?

Is one method better than the other? Are these even the right terms? Well, as usual, these terms only hint at part of the issue at hand. Both “dry” and “steam” are incomplete and inaccurate terms. Neither are technical terms that properly describe carpet cleaning methods.

There are actually four methods of carpet cleaning approved by the lICRC, the world’s most recognized body of certification for carpet and upholstery cleaners.


Method 1

Hot Water Extraction

Otherwise known as “steam cleaning,” hot water extraction is the pro-probably familiar with. Hot water extraction is the process most people are familiar with. Hot water extraction is the correct technical term, not steam cleaning. Actual steam is not used at all. A hot water solution is produced and immediately recovered, creating a “flushing” action on the carpet.

The smallest portable machine rented at the grocery store could be called a “steam cleaner,” but a powerful truck-mounted machine is obviously more capable of doing a thorough cleaning job.

However, the biggest and most important difference is in the person cleaning the carpet. A trained technician will know what pressure to use, what cleaning products to use, and how to get maximum soil removal and maximum spot removal without over-wetting the carpet or leaving sticky residue behind. The horror stories of carpet being wet for days are due to operator error, not because “steam” or hot water extraction caused it.

Hot water extraction applied properly will remove more soil than any other method. Further, anything that has seeped into the backing such as coffee, other beverages or urine can be “flushed out” with hot water extraction. This method can also be used in lightly soiled and maintenance situations as it is very versatile.

Method 2

Absorbent Pad

Also known as bonnet cleaning, this method employs a round pad that spins across the surface of the carpet, absorbing the soil. A solution is applied to the carpet or the pad to aid in releasing soils. This is a method that some may classify “dry cleaning” although water-based products are used in almost all “dry cleaning” systems; therefore, the term dry cleaning is not technical and would not be desired. Absorbent pad cleaning is not a deep-cleaning method. It should only be used to clean lightly soiled carpet and upholstery.

Method 3

Dry Compound

This method uses a powder that has been treated with detergents, water, and solvents. The powder compound is sprinkled on the carpet and a brush with cylindrical brushes is used to work the powder into the carpet pile. The solution in the powder releases the soil. The soil is then absorbed into the absorbent powder. This method should only be used to clean lightly soiled carpet and upholstery, and for maintenance cleaning.

Method 4

Shampoo or Dry Foam

In this method, a shampoo or foam is generated and worked into the carpet with a rotary brush or cylindrical brush machine. The shampoo or foam releases the soil. The soil is then vacuumed with the machine or allowed to dry and removed with a conventional vacuum cleaner. When using shampoo, great care should be taken to avoid leaving a sticky residue on the carpet. This method should only be used to clean lightly soiled carpet and upholstery and for maintenance cleaning.

12 Step Carpet Cleaning Program

At J&S Steamway, we offer a 12 Step Carpet Cleaning Program

12 Step Cleaning Program

Step 1

Pre-Cleaning Inspection

The carpet or upholstery should be inspected and tested so is can inform you of the expected results and any potential challenges. This inspection should include identifying the fiber type as well as any potentially permanent stains.


Step 2

Dry Soil Removal

Up to 85% of soil in a textile is dry particulate soil that has bonded to the surface of the fabric. Household vacuum cleaners don’t always remove all of the dry soil. If not completely removed, it may “wick” back upon drying.

Step 3

Furniture Moving

Find out what furniture is recommended to be moved, what is included under the regular pricing structure, and what stays in place.

Step 4

Pro-Conditioning Traffic Areas

In this step, a solution is applied that loosens the soil and spots for more effective removal.

Step 5

Post Pre-Treat Spots

Some spots require special solutions and special care for complete removal and to avoid the stain “setting.”


Step 6

Pre-Cleaning Grooming

The carpet or upholstery pile is gently massaged to further loosen the soils so that aggressive, harmful cleaning is not needed.

Step 7


Now that the soil has been properly “suspended,” it can be extracted without over-wetting or leaving a sticky residue behind.

Step 8


A common problem is that some carpet cleaners don’t neutralize the carpet. Not balancing the pH can cause the carpet to be stiff and attract dirt like a magnet.

Step 9

Specialty Spotting

Stubborn stains sometimes require specialty stain removal processes. Because many cleaners do not train themselves, they do not know about these processes. Those who do sometimes gouge customers for the process by offering a low price to hook you, intending to up the price by charging for “extras.”

Step 10

Post-Cleaning Grooming

The pile of the carpet or upholstery should then be “finished” so it dries and cures in the proper direction.

Step 11

Speed Dry

Proper drying should be insured with high velocity air movers.

Step 12

Post-Cleaning Inspection

A thorough walk-through should be done to insure that you are completely satisfied with your cleaning job.

February Newsletter | Mold, What’s the Big Deal?

Is mold in your home making you sick?

Mold… What’s the Big Deal?

“Black Mold Forces Family to Move”… “The Hidden Dangers of Toxic Mold”…“Is Your House Making You Sick?” Headlines like these are used to shine a spotlight on the health risks associated with mold. Naturally, the more extreme stories get the most interest. But is mold really as bad as they say? Where does it come from? How can you prevent it?

Is mold in your home making you sick? Where does it come from, and how can you prevent mold?

Read More…

How to Choose a Good Carpet Cleaner Pt. 4 – Carpet Cleaning Systems

Carpet Cleaning Systems

7 Questions to Help You Choose a Good Carpet Cleaner

Question 4: What kind of Carpet Cleaning Systems do they use?

There is much debate about whether you should go with “dry cleaning” or “steam cleaning” your carpet. As usual, this is only a part of the picture. In this chapter, you will learn about cleaning methods and, more importantly, what steps are required for maximum soil and spot removal without over-wetting the carpet or leaving a sticky residue behind.

Also, you want to know what kind of customer service systems the company has in place. Our world-class customer service means we will show up on time in a clean, lettered vehicle. Our technicians are clean-cut, in uniform, and ready to serve. They will treat you, your family, and your home or office with the utmost courtesy and respect.

We will communicate with you throughout the cleaning process and do our best to answer any questions you have after the job. In fact, we will call you few days after the job to make sure you are 100% satisfied.

The 12 Step Cleaning Program

Have you ever had a carpet cleaner race through your cleaning job? You wonder how he could have possibly cleaned the carpet in such a short amount of time!

It “looks” clean, but what will resurface in the near future?

We have identified 12 vital steps in the carpet cleaning process that result in maximum soil and spot removal without over-wetting the carpet or leaving a sticky residue behind. These 12 steps also ensure that you are satisfied. Most carpet cleaners don’t apply even a fraction of these steps.

When a cleaner rushes through the job, insisting that his “super-duper cleaning machine” does all the work, soil that could have been removed is left behind. In the worst cases, a sticky residue that attracts dirt like a magnet is left on your carpet. And to top it off, it takes three days to dry! That means it is now susceptible to mold and mildew.

Most of the 12 steps are required by IICRC, yet many cleaners ignore the fact, leaving you holding the bag.


J&S Steamway has one of the best systems for carpet cleaning Anchorage has to offer. Call 907 349-0911 for your free cleaning estimate!

How to Choose a Good Carpet Cleaner Pt. 3 – Carpet Cleaning Training

7 Questions to Help You Choose a Good Carpet Cleaner

Question 3: What kind of carpet cleaning training do they have?

The number one reason for poor carpet cleaning is technician error. Would you be surprised to learn that most carpet companies have no formal training? That they are not required to be licensed? That there is no requirement to have any certification whatsoever? ls training and certification important? After all, isn’t carpet cleaning a “menial” task that anyone can perform? Actually, a carpet cleaning professional is working with one of your most valuable assets. Should it be

Actually, a carpet cleaning professional is working with one of your most valuable assets. Should it be trusted with just anyone? unfortunately, our industry is full of “rogues” who only care about how much money they can get from you, and who care nothing about the life of your carpeting. They do not care about the industry in which they work.

Have you ever noticed that in many states, air-conditioning companies, plumbers, and pest-control companies are required to be licensed? Not so for carpet cleaners. Fortunately for you, and for me, there are many fine people in the carpet cleaning industry who realize the standard must be raised. Those of us in that process help to police our own industry. In order to do this, associations and certification organizations were created. One such organization is the Institute of Inspection,

One such organization is the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). This organization provides certification courses and exams for the carpet cleaning industry. By attending these courses, carpet cleaners are taught about fiber identification, carpet construction, cleaning chemistry, cleaning methods, and professionalism.

In this training, technicians learn the technical aspects of cleaning assist them in using the proper methods for cleaning specific types of soil from specific types of carpet. A certified firm knows the right way to apply cleaning procedures and chemistry. A certifies firm is working together with other certified firms to raise the standard of carpet cleaning in general, therefore providing you with a higher-quality product.

Special Note: Never use a carpet cleaner that is not certified by the IICRC.

The IICRC is just one entity that provides training. There are many opportunities for advanced training and learning. Be sure to ask questions about the specific training the company has. Our company is certified by the IICRC and is heavily engaged in training in our industry. We are thoroughly trained in each area of services. Be sure to ask us about our designations and certifications.

Cleaning has historically been viewed as a commodity – a menial task that anyone can do. Long before sophisticated textiles and complexly-built indoor environments were created, cleaning may have been a simple task, but that is no longer the case.

Complex flooring systems, sensitive fabrics, and new-age soiling conditions have created a need for advanced education in the cleaning industry. Unfortunately, many cleaners (and consumers) have not understood this concept. We still see ads for $6.95 per room for carpet cleaning and sofa cleaning for $45.00. The cleaner puts the ads out, never intending to clean for those prices, and the consuming public gets the idea that cleaning should be cheap.

These so-called “cleaning” companies also happen to be the ones that don’t educate themselves or their employees.The result is that carpets and fabrics are being ruined every day by uneducated, uninformed and sometimes downright unscrupulous carpet cleaners.

They are facing soiling conditions they have never seen or heard of due to a lack of education. Or worse, they create a situation on a carpet or fabric that they have no idea how to fix. One example: they leave sticky residues in the carpet that cause the carpet or fabric to re-soil rapidly or to discolor.

Top-notch education is readily available in our industry. There is no excuse for cleaners to not educate themselves (and provide fallen education to their clients). Part of the problem is since they have fallen into the trap of viewing cleaning as a commodity themselves, they can’t afford to educate themselves. Education is expensive, but the result of not getting the necessary knowledge is much more costly. Our company invests a great deal in education. Not only do we spend thousands of dollars per year on education, we are heavily involved in our industry, making us well connected with our industry leaders This way, if a unique situation arises in the field, we have experts that we can call on, thereby bringing the cutting edge of cleaning

Our company invests a great deal in education. Not only do we spend thousands of dollars per year on education, we are heavily involved in our industry, making us well connected with our industry leaders. This way, if a unique situation arises in the field, we have experts that we can call on, thereby bringing the cutting edge of cleaning

This way, if a unique situation arises in the field, we have experts that we can call on, thereby bringing the cutting edge of cleaning technology to you.

Our industry provides courses in carpet cleaning, repair, fabric cleaning, marble and tile cleaning, area rug cleaning, marketing, management, and other related subjects.

Many of the organizations offer certification programs that involve testing and ethics requirements. There are trade publications, websites, bulletin boards, and a variety of other opportunities to stay plugged in.

We attend every course we can in order to bring you the very best. Many of these courses require travel across the U.S. and can, therefore, be quite costly. However, we believe, as fiber technology changes and as floor coverings become more complex, proper education, becomes even more important.

The bottom line is that you have a tremendous investment in your textiles and flooring systems and it is our duty to know how to best care for them. Understanding cleaning technology at the highest level helps to reduce cleaning residues and creates a healthier indoor environment by eliminating invisible germs and bacteria. It also empowers the cleaner to remove more soil, thereby creating a longer-lasting fabric or floor.