We just got a call from a customer, Laurie, whose carpets we cleaned a couple of days ago.

Laurie was actually very happy with the cleaning and loved our technician, but she had an area by the sliding door that had a stain that appeared worse after the cleaning. This is the picture they sent:


An experienced cleaner can see way more dirt than the average person, so it is not a huge surprise when we get a callback or two with a new guy in the field. Our senior technicians recognize dirt over a shadow – they see dirt where us plain folk cannot. When presented with this photo, my Master Textile Cleaner said simply, “He didn’t clean it enough.”

This carpeting had a pretty standard level of soiling. Most people don’t clean the carpets as frequently as they should and you get a lot of buildup in the high traffic areas.This is at an exit door to the home, and probably a lower spot in the floor.

You can see from these photos that most of the carpeting came out gorgeously.

What sets our veteran technicians apart from the new guys, is that when they clean, they see right away how much the dirt is lifting and they know exactly how much water to use on the first pass to get maximum results. Some of our newer guys don’t have this touch yet so when they meet an exceptionally a dirtier carpet, the go to solution is multiple passes. Most of the time this is OK, but for two specific circumstances.

  1. When you are cleaning carpeting in a home that is not well ventilated, in a humid climate or it is a particularly rainy week.
  2. When you have spots in the floor that are lower, and you’re using more water than normal, that spot will dry slower than the rest. Water will pool there, and the result is referred to as wicking.

When a fiber starts to dry, It dries from the top, which is the most exposed part of the carpet fiber. As it dries from the top, it pulls moisture up from below. This moisture will always carry some impurities in it and our equipment can only penetrate so deeply. But, the dirt left behind from wicking is visible if you don’t clean well enough, or you don’t suck up enough water. The trick to a perfect outcome is in the efficiency of the cleaner. Give a good, solid first wet pass, and two dry passes to extract what you put in. (A good cleaner will pull out about 85-95% of the water he puts in – for normal soiling conditions of course.)

So, in the case of this spot on Laurie, the technician simply did not clean it well enough.

This happens from time to time and thankfully is an easy fix. Mother Nature’s Cleaning guarantees and stands behind our work, so when we mess up, we immediately send a technician back for a re-clean. I hesitate to talk about our mistakes, but I also want people to know that we are human and sometimes we have a bad day, but we admit it and correct our mistakes every time.

Happy Cleaning!