Cleaning & Restoration Association News

Preparation is a Key Piece to the Success Puzzle

December 10, 2004
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Success hinges on all the pieces fitting together.

Preparation is a necessary, but often ignored, step when applying pre-conditioner to carpets and upholstery, one that could cost you immediate dollars as well as repeat business if not given the proper respect.

Before pre-spraying living rooms and dens, always pin upholstery skirts in the up position. Keep a small supply of safety pins on your van for this purpose. Many pre-conditioning agents will leave a water, or "swell," mark on these fabrics after drying, resulting in a callback and an unplanned, free upholstery cleaning. This also holds true for curtains and draperies. Either tie them back or lift them up and over the rods. You don't want to over-spray fine drapes or curtains, and you certainly do not want to suck them into your wand when cleaning (talk about embarrassing).

Technicians must also use caution when spraying around furniture legs. The chemicals we use can cause irreversible damage to fine wood, such as mahogany, when not immediately wiped off. In addition, always instruct the homeowner to pick up any pet food and water dishes that may be in adjacent areas such as kitchens or foyers. You don't want any over-spray finding a home in Fido's water dish.

When pre-treating bedrooms, always make certain that bedspreads and sheets are off the carpeting first. We tuck them between the mattress and box spring until finished. Caution must also be exercised when pre-treating upholstery.

Move adjacent end and coffee tables away from the piece being cleaned. Cover wood floors and hard surfaces with a sheet or towels. I keep a supply of old bed sheets on the van for this purpose.

The same guidelines should also be followed when applying post-cleaning treatments. In addition to the above, always wipe down any tile or wood surfaces that adjoin the rooms being treated to avoid potential slip-and-fall hazards.

You can perform a stellar, first-rate cleaning for the homeowner, only to have it all negated by a complaint due to improperly prepping the carpet or a piece of furniture. It only takes a few extra minutes, after all, to help protect your company and your work.

Educate your technicians on all steps of the cleaning process. It can save you big dollars and loads of embarrassment down the road.

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