Get listed in the Spick and Span Directory

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

How do they get away with it

Posted by woodman (woodman), 16 October 2003
I have been to one of the national cinema chains to day,you know the type of thing multi-screen on the egde of town, to inspect some carpets as called in by the manager.

The carpets are cleaned once every three months by a company that 'cleans' (ruins)  them on a national basis.

They are in such bad condition, ie Shrunk to the point of splitting, with infills put in which are loose and a danger to the public.Severely stained in all areas and all cinemas,smelly,flat and generaly soiled all over.

This has all been caused by poor cleaning methods ,extraction with cold water,over wetting using truck mounts etc etc

The manager wants them removed yet the head office will not hear of it despite the fact that they will have to replace all the carpets with new only for these cowboys to start all over again.

Beggars belief. Angry  Just how do they get away with it when there are quality cleaners out there.It's no wonder the company is loosing money hand over fist when they have facility managers like these too lazy to chase up and check the contractors they employ until it's too late.
Posted by Scots_cleaner (Scots_cleaner), 16 October 2003
I know how you feel i priced the UCG in glasgow they  got in touch with us through The main cleaning contractors sub-contracted window cleaner who gets his supplies from the same company as us who put him on to us we are based 100 miles apart.

Anyhow i met the manager did a test patch.

This was a big job 17screens on 5 levels put in a price only to get knocked back by his boss they had to stick with the national rubish.. Sad Cry Sad Cry
Posted by lenpg (lenpg), 16 October 2003
You did not say whether the general cleaning company were the so-called carpet cleaners.

In my estimation the reason they get away because they are cheap and can do it on national bases and cover it with sub contractors.  The FM or Buyer (as called by some companies) sits in there office looking good because he or she has saved ££££££ they are not interested at the front end and being criticised by the area manager for the lack of cleanliness of their premises.  I once over heard a MD of a very large high street company say I hate security and cleaners the person with him said why? THEY COST ME MONEY!

Sorry to be cynical, you say they are cleaned every three months, I’ve yet to come across any retail outlet including the leisure industry in my location to cleaning carpets every three months, the latest one (last weekend) was a pub it had been down for 6 years the manager had been there for 18 months and expected us to repair the broken seams which had gaff tape holding them together. (I always take pictures before & after)


Posted by Scots_cleaner (Scots_cleaner), 16 October 2003
Ive just finnished work at 8pm cleaning an office carpet that has been down for 10 years never cleaned we had to clean one area one night then rinse it the next just to get it like new.

It was cleaned two weeks in a row by another company but was still dirty and they did not get paid Cheesy Cheesy

This was the main contrator also on this one.
Posted by Nigel_W (Nigel_W), 16 October 2003
Hi Len,

Just to give you hope - I have got a couple of contracts - one hotel and a casino that have their carpets cleaned every 2 weeks Grin Grin Grin Grin

Posted by lenpg (lenpg), 17 October 2003
Hi Nigel

Good for you


Posted by woodman (woodman), 17 October 2003
Hi all,

Len the contract is every 3 months unless the manager is mistaken buts thats about right given the traffic. Wink

Derek your story reminds of many moons ago when I first started I was asked to price by a contractor to clean Wembley Conference Centre with a view to cleaning the complex, I thought yes I've arrived, went round measured done the business and put my price in, 75p a sq yd.The guy nearly wet himself laughing and I learned later that he was charging 35p a yd himself and wanted me to do it for 10p a yard Angry (bloody cheek) he also cleaned the Little Chefs up and down the country at that time.

Needless to say he went bust about a year later.

Ho Hum Wink
Posted by Mr._One_Step (Steve Carpenter), 22 October 2003
The condition of the carpet is not always as a result of improper cleaning techniques, although I do appreciate that there is a cowboy element with the standard of work from some national carpet care contractors.

Having cleaned in this environment we would encounter daily cleaning contractors damp mopping carpets with high alkaline floor cleaning products. They thought they were improving the carpets appearance but were in fact contributing to shrinkage, rapid re-soiling, setting stains, damaging the fibres and causing colour loss and bleeding. Also some would use their floor scrubber dryers on carpets, sometimes at the request of the managers of the venues.

Most carpets in the leisure industry are installed now with the emphasis on speed and sections of carpet are joined together by heat seaming over the traditional and better hand stitching method. This type of join simply isn’t up to the abuse that some carpets encounter. For example where nightclubs have been refurbished and we were called in to clean them after a few months use, the seams would have already split due to the nighttime activities in the clubs, spilt beer, spirits, sweat, food etc. A lot of clubs were into foam parties and we would arrive on site the next day to find the carpet sodden.

Pricing in this national sector is often dictated by the customer, who expects you to clean his carpets or furniture to a high standard but at the lowest price or at the same price as the previous company who are often cowboy operators.

It is quite common within the leisure industry to have maintenance carpet cleaning contracts in place with monthly, 2 or 3 monthly cleans.



Posted by woodman (woodman), 23 October 2003
Hi Steve

I hear what your saying but,

In this case it is definitely a case of poor cleaning technique, there are clear signs of over wetting,browning,seam splitting , shrinkage off the gripper ,24 hr drying times etc

The carpet fitting is fine and would not have contributed (in this case) to the amount of shrinkage over the entire installation.

I agree ,some contract managers are there own worst enemy's and shouldn't be in the job in the first place personally I would never carry out this type of work with out clear understanding of expectations and a proper pricing  structure in place.

Let the cowboys do it for 10p a mt.
Posted by Mr._One_Step (Steve Carpenter), 23 October 2003
Hi Woodman,

I was doing a survey for a chain of themed pub clubs a few years ago and walked in on the current contractor who was using a truckmount. The operator’s finger seemed to be glued in place, so that solution was applied in both the forward and backward strokes resulting in a truly sodden carpet that squelched when you walked on it. I asked the manger if he was happy with this standard of work and his reply was ‘they give us a good price’.

So I agree with you about the cowboy operators but there are good truckmount operations out there too. They unfortunately suffer as a result of customers wanting reduced pricing and cowboys who are willing to play ball.



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.