Dirty Little SecretsRoss Trittipo

7 Dirty Little Secrets The Carpet Cleaning Industry Doesn’t Want You To Know About

Do you enjoy serving as somebody else’s personal ATM?  That’s how most carpet cleaners view you, and they have all kinds of tricks up their sleeves to get their grubby little mitts on as much of your cash as they can.  Allow us to reveal 7 underhanded techniques the industry would rather keep to itself!

1.  There Is No Such Thing As Deep Cleaning

Deep cleaning requires nothing more than using a machine with a powered, rotating cleaning head that actually makes the job easier and faster.  You’ll be told it’s a rare, high tech piece of equipment, but in reality they are in common use and there’s nothing special about them.

Technicians will tell you they have to charge extra to deep clean, but were you ever hoping they’d do anything BUT deep clean when you hired them?  Seriously, shouldn’t every carpet be deep cleaned?  If you don’t pay extra for deep cleaning, is the tech going to do a shallow cleaning or something?  The whole thing is a ridiculous cash grab.

We don’t think anybody wants half cleaned carpet.  At Middle Key we clean every carpet the exact same way:  deeply yet gently.  You hire us to clean your carpet so that’s what we do, whether it’s super soiled or not.  Yes, we have rotary machines, and no, we don’t charge extra to use them.


“Hi, honey.  I hope you’re ready for Sizzler, because this customer just paid for a DEEP clean!”

2.  Despite What They’ll Tell You, Most Spots And Stains Are Removable

Most spots and stains can be removed.  Unfortunately, over-booked technicians either don’t have the time to work on tough stains, or they are too lazy to go outside to their truck to get the necessary tools and chemicals.  It’s easier for them to tell homeowners that certain stains are permanent.  If, on some rare occasion, you get a good technician who agrees to work on tough stains, he’ll probably charge you extra.

Middle Key works on every single stain whether we think it will come out or not.  We never just assume a stain is permanent.  And the best part?  We never charge extra for stains!


If only there was some magical product that removed red stains.

3.  It’s Really Easy To Rip People Off Selling Deodorizer And Protector

For general deodorization all a carpet cleaner needs to do is add a few ounces of fragrance to his cleaning solution.  It only costs him a few cents per gallon, but customers get charged $10, $15 or more per room.  Sometimes they don’t even use professional products.  They’ll buy a $10 gallon of Odoban from Home Depot and make $500 from it!

It’s even easier to rip customers off with protectors like Scotchgard.  Pros charge top dollar for it, but it can be thinned out with water, applied too lightly, or worse.  A technician could easily say he applied protector when in fact he just sprayed down water or did nothing at all.

Middle Key deodorizes every job for free, and we even include encapsulant protector for free.  If you’d like to pay a little extra for Scotchgard we have that too, but the encapsulant protector works great on its own.  If severe odors need to be fixed, we do charge extra for that, but we’ll always clear it with you first.


“You really should consider paying a little extra for our carpet deodorizer.   The fragrance is…subtle.”

4.  Customers Can Use A Blue Shop Towel To Gauge How Well The Carpet Was Extracted

Blue shop towels (they look like thicker, stronger paper towels) can be used to test the moisture in carpet.  Put one towel flat on freshly cleaned carpet.  On hands and knees, push your knuckles into the towel and rest your body weight there for five seconds.  If the entire area (or even most of the area) where you had your fist on the towel is wet, the carpet wasn’t extracted good enough and it will take a long time to dry.  If just a few patches are wet and you can’t make out the shape of your entire fist, the carpet was extracted properly and it will dry just fine.

Dry time is very important to us here at Middle Key, and we consider it to be part of the cleaning process.  When you hire us to clean your carpet, we’re going to dry it too.  That’s why we do dry strokes (extra vacuum passes over areas we already cleaned) and set up 40 mph air movers on every job.  We have yet to fail the blue shop towel test!

shop towel

Pretty much a lab-grade scientific device.

5.  The Vast Majority Of Professional Carpet Cleaners Do Not Clean Their Equipment Between Jobs

Ok, gross out time.  Most technicians never clean and sanitize their tools between jobs–even after cleaning up blood, vomit, or urine (which is pretty normal stuff to encounter).  As a result it’s very common for contaminated tools and equipment to be used in customers’ homes.  You wouldn’t eat at a restaurant with dirty tableware.  Don’t use a carpet cleaner who won’t do you the dignity of cleaning his tools off between jobs!

As you probably guessed, we sanitize our tools and equipment after every job.  A shot of commercial Lysol and 200 degree water works wonders on all the yucky stuff we deal with.  We promise to keep your house safe and contamination free!

cat horder

The house your tech just came from.

6.  Professional Cleaning Solutions Can Go Bad Overnight

The enzymes and oxidizers found in many carpet cleaning pretreatments only work at peak level a few hours after mixing.  If a batch is left over at the end of the day, most pros will still use it the next morning to avoid waste.  Sadly, that customer will unknowingly get a half-strength cleaning.

Here at Middle Key we mix small batches throughout the day, usually at the beginning of each job.  On larger jobs we may mix several batches.  This way, our customers get the most effective pretreatment and, in turn, the best possible result.  We would never shortchange customers just to save ourselves a buck.


“Uh…Dear? Please tell me you didn’t pour out my chemicals. I have a job in the morning.”

 7.  Professional Carpet Cleaning Machines Are Full Of Filters That Are Meant To Be Cleaned DAILY

The vacuum filters found in carpet machines should be cleaned after (sometimes even during) every job.  Dirty, clogged filters keep the machine from extracting dirt and water like it’s supposed to.  Long dry times, terrible odors, and a nasty little problem called cellulosic browning are the result.

A staggering number of carpet cleaners go days or weeks without cleaning their filters.  Why?  It’s a dirty, smelly job that’s just easier to ignore.  This is a betrayal of trust because customers have no clue it’s even an issue.  All they can do is hope the professional cleaner they hired is giving his best effort, but he could actually be ripping them off by failing to care for his equipment.

In case you’re wondering, Middle Key cleans all vacuum filters multiple times throughout the day.  It keeps our vacuum at full power, giving you the best possible result and fast dry times.  Filters are a dirty job, but they don’t clean themselves!


“Cleaning filters is just so…worky.”

Don’t risk lousy service and poor results!  Call now!

Call or Text: 317-370-9075


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