Professionally Cleaning Berber Carpet
Berber carpet is often touted as being stain resistant, but as a professional carpet cleaner, it can be one of the toughest to get looking clean. "Looking" is an important word to key in on; Some Berber carpets are infamous for having a dirty appearance, even when they are completely free of soil and microbials (see olefin and polyester). Nevertheless, Berber carpets tend to do a good job of maintaining their reputation as a stain resistant carpet. But when a stain does occur, they are more difficult to remove. Also, oil stains are a big problem for some breeds of Berber carpet. A Berber carpet near asphalt, an oily garage, or in a kitchen, may be nearly impossible to get completely clean. Each of these problems causes professional carpet cleaners (especially those new to the game) headaches and result in unsatisfied customers. Abiding to some of the Berber specific tips below will lead in happier customers and less headaches for you as a carpet cleaner.
Identify the Fiber
With any carpet, your first step should be to identify the type of carpet fiber. Knowing the fiber will allow you to confidently take the correct approach to cleaning the carpet. If you need to brush up on your different carpet types, we have articles on wool, nylon, polyester, and olefin Berber carpets. Check those out. If you've already got your carpet fibers down, you know the drill.
Just to brush up, we will cover a few of the fiber-specific carpet issues. Olefin and polyester carpets can have a crushing problem. All of the synthetic fibers have an affinity for oil. Wool has a great ability to hold water, so you’ll want to take a low-moisture approach. If any of this was a surprise to you, you’ll probably want to brush up by reading our guides for the different fiber types.
Educate the Customer
Homeowners often have no idea how difficult to clean their Berber carpet can be. To make matters worse, salesman occasionally lead consumers to believe it is easy to clean (stemming from its stain resistance). You'll want to shed these fallacies before you begin the cleaning. If you wait for the customer complain, they will likely think you're just trying to cover your ass. Let them know that the carpet has an affinity for oil (unless it's wool of course). Educate them on the different fiber types and the characteristics of their Berber's fiber. If you see the carpet flattened anywhere, explain to them the concept of crushing. Educate your customer on wicking, and let them know the policy (if any) when/if it occurs. By educating your customers before you clean the carpet, they will have much more reasonable expectations. They will be impressed by our professional knowledge and be happier with the final outcome.
Turn Down the Pressure
Every carpet cleaner knows a powerful, hot steam clean is one of the best ways to get rid of all the hidden contaminants that carpets harbor. With this said, cleaning Berber carpet might be a time when full power is not a carpet cleaner’s best choice. Berber carpets are notorious for their ability to wick stains back up. Without going into great detail, it is important to know that longer drying time equals a greater chance of wicking. Combat this phenomenon by turning down the pressure on your machine. This will allow you to steam clean the Berber carpet without soaking it.
Extra Vacuum Strokes
On a similar note, take extra vacuum strokes. If this seems like too much extra work, trust us it's worth it. It greatly reduces the chances of wicking. You'll be thankful you spent the extra time when you have happy customers.
Berber carpets have become very prominent in today's homes. Their unique patterns, flexible colors, and durability entice customers to invest in Berber to floor their home. Unfortunately, Berber carpet is also one of the most challenging to professionally clean. As with anything, experience helps. Also, have customers check out our website. We have email buttons at the top of articles, or you can just tell them to go to www.berbercarpetbible.com. By reading this site, customers will be able to educate themselves on how to take care of their Berber carpet, and you will benefit because the customer will be able to see from an unbiased source that Berber is a very complicated carpet, despite what the person who sold it to them may have said.