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Yesterday I was faced with carpeting that was as ugly as any I could ever remember seeing. White (maybe it was off-white) medium-pile carpet in a large basement area (party rooms) as well as a flight of stairs, and the family room. It had been down for approximately 25 years, and had never been cleaned.
The couple who owned the house had recently become empty nesters - their 2 teenage sons were now off at college, and their dog had recently died. These people had been referred to me by a friend of theirs, who is a customer of mine.
I decided to begin in a section of one of the basement rooms that had a really foul traffic line running right through it.
I sprayed (Vacaway Quantum Green Double-Strength at DOUBLE STRENGTH) more heavily than usual, then started in using one of Challenger's Double Pads. Hmmm. Not much happening.
So I decided to haul out the REALLY heavy artillery - a coarse, gray, Fibre-Max pad, normally used for encap cleaning of low-pile, commercial glue-down carpet. If you've purchased my Package, you received with it a beige, medium-coarse Fibre-PLus scrubbing pad, but the Max is much more aggressive, and considered by most who are familiar with them not suitable for use on residential carpet.
Bit it seemed to do the trick. I decided to clean just a strip about 5' x 15', then I asked my customers to come and take a look. I didn't want to do the whole job, then have them come up disappointed. If they weren't satisfied, then I would just stop at that point, cut my losses to the minimum, and wish them better luck with whomever they called next. Instead, they were super-impressed with the results, and I was able to continue this job without further pressure to "perform". I buy both the Fibre-Plus and the Fiber-Max pads from Rick Gelinas' Excellent Supply.
Holy cow Mark! I have seen some trashed carpet in my day, but never considered a Max Pad. That carpet must have looked hopeless. Didn't the Max pad fuzz the carpet?
I assume that you used an absorbent pad after the Max.
By the way, I love Quantum Green. Been using it for a while now. Hard to believe an all natural product could clean so well, but it never disappoints.
No fuzzing problem. Finished up with absorbent pads. I don't do this unless I know the customer is ready and willing to replace the carpet if I can't bring it back enough.
yes, if you know the homeowner is going to replace, and you are the "last option", then going that aggressive might be necessary.
one thing to consider doing is, before you jump into something which could damage the carpet, just let the client know as much, and feel them out. that way they can let you know if they would like to keep it for 25 more years and can live with how it looks...or not
Follow-up to this story:
Yesterday I received a phone call from these people.
I thought: "Oh no, the carpet all fell apart right after I left their house". No, not at all. The wife told me that they thought I deserved more money for the job than I had charged then (It was just about $300, took about 4 hours, and they had given me a $25 tip)) and she said that she had sent me an additional $100. She also wanted to know if I cleaned upholstery as well. When I told her I did, she scheduled a second appointment to have three sofas cleaned. (I don't think I'll use the Fibre-Max pads on these, but, hey, you never know!)
clients paying me 1/3 more than i billed them for.
happens to me all the time.