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A Day In The Life Of A Carpet Cleaner

Paul Pearce recounts a day in the life of a carpet cleaner
I RECENTLY attended a client’s house to carry out a carpet clean. It was to be a simple job (a large through-lounge and a flight of stairs). I had visited the owners two weeks previously and had talked them through the cleaning process and the charges etc.
They were an elderly couple, very house proud, and had always cleaned their own carpets, but the gentleman said he was now ready to allow someone else to clean them for him. We agreed the price and he asked me what he should move prior to the cleaning being done. I explained that very little needed to be moved as there weren’t a lot of ornaments around and I could move the furniture as I went.
I explained further that I would put pads under the feet of the wooden items to save them marking the floor; we then agreed a date for the work to be carried out.
I arrived in the morning of the day in question and was invited in to check over the environment prior to bringing my equipment in. This is something I always do; it is only right that you re-establish your report with the client and ensure that everyone is comfortable.
I did notice that the room was a little lighter in items than I had remembered, but said nothing. I returned to my van to bring my equipment into the house and then did ‘the usual’; I placed a dust mat down for the machine, set the vacuum up and then filled up with water.

Whilst standing at the kitchen sink I chatted to the client and asked if he had had a good weekend. He took a few seconds to think about it and then said ‘not really’. I, of course, said ‘Oh! Why is that sir?’ He replied ‘because of you coming’.
He said he had been working all weekend moving furniture to make sure there was no dust underneath any of it. He had also wiped all the skirting boards, tidied up cables, emptied a bookcase, cleaned all the lampshades, swept the path, beat the door mats and cleared debris from the drain. I said (as you do) ‘its good job it wasn’t the queen coming or you might have ended up doing some decorating as well’. He then showed me that he had painted the handrail up the stairs because he thought it needed it!
Honestly, this house didn’t need all this extra attention because it was fine as it was. Yes, the carpet was a little soiled but it was a pleasure to clean it. It just shows the lengths some folk will go to get themselves ready for us.
My afternoon job, however, was a much different scenario. I arrived and did my ‘usual’ to get reacquainted with the job. The owner of the house was an established client’s mother and I had originally visited the property around three weeks previously. The house was rather small, the lady lived alone and it seemed she had plenty of hobbies!
When I visited to carry out the quotation I did ask that all personal items be lifted from the floor and that ornaments were put in a safe area prior to the clean. Sadly this hadn’t happened and the lady was very apologetic because she had done so little to get ready for me.
Apparently her daughter was going to pop in to help out but she had been too busy to get around to it. Now, in this instance, you could walk away or you could charge extra or, of course, you could just get stuck in and do the job. I chose to do the latter. It took me probably an hour to get the room sorted for cleaning but it was worth it in the end.
My client was very happy and so was her daughter when she phoned the next day to say ‘thank you’. Sometimes we all have challenges in our work, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I can honestly say I really do love my job.

Paul Pearce is a cleaning consultant and an instructor for carpet cleaning technician, as well as commercial carpet maintenance technician and upholstery & fabric cleaning technician for the National Carpet Cleaners’ Association (NCCA) and International Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Council of Association (IICRCA). He is also technical director of the NCCA and company secretary. Paul is a director and past chair of the British Cleaning Council. n T: 0116 271 9550
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This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at