Get listed in the Spick and Span Directory

Carpet Cleaning Issues - Carpet construction, upholstery cleaning, stain removal, equipment, events, etc.

What does testing involve?

Posted by stevegunn (Steve Gunn), 23 October 2003
A lot has been mentioned about testing carpets & upholstery before cleaning commences are there any testing kits available or what sort of tests are carried out?
Posted by Ken_Wainwright (Ken Wainwright), 23 October 2003

Testing is something that is an essential part of our working lives and not something that you necessarily need a kit for, just the products you carry in your van. You need to inspect/test the quality of the fitting, seams etc. The type of fibre(s) in pile and backing and the type of carpet/fabric construction. We usually test unidentified fibres by burning a sample, a float test for polyprop. We test for dye bleed and pile distortion with our acidic and alkaline cleaning solutions, at the temperature and concentration to be used. We will also do dry and wet Crock tests. The inspection doesn't finish for me until I've finished the Dry Extraction process (vaccing). But even then, even whilst cleaning, you need to keep your good glass eye peeled for the unexpected. DIY gripper rod fitted the wrong way round. Flattened teeth on a doorway metal bar. An old spillage that's re-acting adversely to the cleaning process and so on.

Can I suggest to all less experienced technicians that a quality training course, such as those offered by the NCCA or IICRC are an essential investment of your time and money.
Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 23 October 2003
And some of us just walk in, recognise the carpet or fabric and start cleaning Shocked

I'll be honest and say I've never carried out a crock test, and usually only test what I'm unsure of.

When I test a suite fabric I'll set up all the machinary and fully clean an area using the exact same method that I'll use on the full suite. just spraying a corner of the cushion with a bit of cleaning solution is useless. I like to see the fabric fully cleaned then compared to an uncleaned area  then you'll know for certain its safe to proceed.

hope this makes sense


Posted by Derek (Derek Bolton), 24 October 2003
Sorry Mike

I have to disagree with you totally.

A cleaning technician should 'ALWAYS' undertake the tests as so elequently set out by Ken.

It shows your customer that you are a true professional.

The tests you carry out will highlight any problem areas BEFORE they become a problem

By not carrying out the recognised tests then when you do have a problem you will find that you may not be insured. Many insurers are now insisting on seeing the pre-clean survey sheets (with tests carried out) before settling claims

Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 24 October 2003
Derek, I knew you where going to say that Wink Your right a proffessional should always carry out these tests.

It just goes to show most carpet cleaners arn't proffesionals because  I know a lot of carpet cleaners who just walk in and start cleaning, I personally only test 60% of the suites i clean and I have'nt tested a carpet in years.

I know I should be flogged to an inch of my life.

one more thing what are you doing at home in the middle of the morning, things a bit slow at the moment Grin.....I've just popped home for lunch


Posted by Derek (Derek Bolton), 24 October 2003
Hey Mike

You don't begrudge an old timer like me a day off occasionally do you?

I have learnt over the years that time with the family is real 'quality' time to be valued

I have worked all hours seven days a other words been a busy fool.... times have changed... I grew up! Grin

Mike... I am glad to hear that you were teasing me about not testing at all.

The fabric manufacturers are putting out so much rubbish these days that even testing may not reveal some of the faults until much later.

Posted by bodman52 (bodman52), 25 October 2003
Hey guys 24 years doing this work. it is the exception not the rule for me to test. I am certified in cc and see no cause for testing ie burn or float method. I use HWE and Bonnett methods .  Time and place for both .  Upholstery cleaning always proceed with caution but that said I have only tested for color transfer less than 10 times over the years. 3 surprises over the course. One time I had black marker ink pull up thru a white velvet sofa cushion.Put there by the upholster and i was cleaning with dry cleaning solvent. 2 one was a chair from the 1950s made from rayon . the seat cushion shrank one inch all   around. customer was still happy because I took what i believed to be a brown chair back to bright gold.  3 had a white sofa that when it dried had  yellow  streaks  3 inches wide and repeated themselves every 4 inches.. I do not know the cause but fixed the problem with an citric acid rinse.
Posted by pre-vac_Nick (pre-vac_Nick), 25 October 2003
you wouldn't have had that problem if you'd bothered to do a test !!!  Wink Wink
Posted by pre-vac_Nick (pre-vac_Nick), 25 October 2003
just a note about testing

i have found on many occasions when uplifting corners of carpets or conducting burn tests and explaining what and why your doing it, most customers say"the other man diddnt do that?" as soon as they say that you've almost certainley got the job !!

Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 25 October 2003
I'll tell you the real reason to do tests in the home, When I sold double glazing the trainers always said "the longer you spend in the home the better the chance you have of coming out with the contract"

You should do every test in the world to help you stay in the house. the more time the customer invests in you, the more chance you have of getting the work.

the same goes when talking to customers on the phone. if you can keep them talking they will feel obliged to use you because the have taken up so much of your time.

Posted by Derek (Derek Bolton), 26 October 2003 little tinker Roll Eyes

You said you NEVER carried out any tests... so you DO carry them out but for the wrong reasons or are you still winding me up?

Posted by Ian_G. (Ian_G.), 28 October 2003
Yes Mike, your right I was told never to leave a house untill gone midnight Take my slippers

I do test but regard it more showmanship than science.

Posted by Derek (Derek Bolton), 29 October 2003
Hi Ian

I have to agree with you that there is an element of showmanship in carrying out the testing procedures ...but if it guarantees the job at a premium price...its worth it.

You will also have the side benefit of knowing that you have minimised any potential risk.... what a benefit!


This page is a thread posted to the cleanitup forum at and archived here for reference. To jump to the archive index please follow this link.