Dirt Sucks – Part 2
© Copyright 2009
Around about the same time when we covered up all our floors with carpeting, vacuuming the carpet, the furniture and even vacuuming the mattress wasn’t enough.
It just wasn’t enough to vacuum. Eventually we had to wash the dirt out of the carpet. Remember the over wetting, long drying, smelly, messy process where it seemed like they got dirtier faster after you had them cleaned than before you had them cleaned? They did. Here’s the ‘Dirty Little Secret.’ This was caused by operator error and just bad chemistry; not understanding pH balancing.
pH scale 0-14. Kind of like the Richter scale in measuring the strength of earthquakes. 0-6 = acid; 8-14= alkaline and 7, pure water is neutral. Every time you go up or down a number you increase or decrease the strength of the solution in multiples of 10. 2 is 10 times stronger than a 1; 3 would be 100 times more powerful than a 1; 4 -1,000 stronger, 5 -10,000 and 6 would be 100,000 times more powerful than a 1. The same thing applies on the alkaline side.
So if your rug sucker thinks a cup of chemical mixed with water works pretty good, why not a gallon? If there is going to be a chemical reaction, it happens when the water evaporates. Maybe the rug sucker is already out of state when you notice your once white carpet, now has a big brown burn in your living room. So if the ‘sucker’ used a gallon, maybe you notice a hole in the middle of your living room carpet and you can wave at your washing machine and the dryer in the basement below. 🙂
pH balancing is to return your carpet to as close to 7 or neutral, as possible.
Did you know that the person cutting your hair must have 100’s of hours of training by LAW, before they are allowed to touch a human head professionally?
Guess how many hours the average ‘rug sucker’ in the 60’s and maybe even right now, by law must have? 0, zip, nadah, none! This mad scientist approach to cleaning is dangerous. At least if your stylist or barber makes a big Ooops, it will grow back. ‘Rug suckers’ (those non-professionals), can destroy your stuff and even kill you!!! Ask if they are certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification.
Ask if they use Hot Water Extraction; what chemicals they use; do they test the pH, and how long before the carpet will dry. Ask to see their credentials. Check with the IICRC. Check the Better Business Bureau. Ask for guarantees.
But there is money to be made off of our obsession with dirt, a lot of money! This will give you an idea of the money to be made. In case you are wondering what I could possible know about this, well here is how. Yep, I was a professional and certified master carpet and upholstery cleaner. I wrote articles under the byline and was known as, ‘the Fiber Doctor.’ I even had a white Lab coat and a stethoscope to listen to the carpet.
While I was on my knees, on the carpet, and listening to the carpet with the stethoscope, I was often asked, “What are you doing?” My answer was, “I’m listening to your carpet.”
“Well what is it saying?”
“CLEAN ME!” 🙂
Anyway, a former partner of mine was from Georgia. He was the son of a prominent Physician and grew up in the Marietta area. His younger brother was sixteen and became interested in golf. No one else in the family played, but his dad went to a private course to become a member, just so his son could play golf. To become a member, his dad had to lay out 1 ½ million dollars in cash. Right Next door to this family was the home of Newt Gingrich. Right next door to Newt lived a carpet cleaner. Yep, there is a lot of money to be made from dirt.
Now just in case you think a professional cleaner as I was is no big deal, consider this, I could be called into a court of law as an expert witness. You do want an expert in your home do you not? You might just be giving yourself a pay-raise, live healthier and maybe even longer, Oh ye wise person you.
WOW, this stuff is really getting dirty! We are not done. There is much more to come and more ‘Dirty Little Secrets‘ to share next time.