How to Choose the Right Upholstery Cleaning Professional

how to choose the right upholstery cleaning professional

With so many options out there, it can be difficult to know how to choose the right upholstery cleaning professional for your home or business.

Good upholstery cleaners aren’t always easy to come by. And unlike hair stylists, car mechanics, or tax professionals, it can be difficult to maintain a relationship with the person or business you call to clean your upholstery. This is because most upholstery cleanings occur on an as-needed basis—just when stains appear or your furniture begins to take on a dingy appearance from long-term use. Most people don’t schedule monthly or even yearly upholstery cleanings in advance, and it’s probably safe to say you don’t have your upholstery cleaner’s number memorized!

How do you know which services actually deliver on their claims? Will the provider use equipment or cleaning agents that are harmful for your upholstery fabric, or toxic for your family and pets?

Luckily, you can limit the possibility of upholstery cleaning failure. It’s just a matter of doing a small amount of homework before making your final decision. Here’s a quick list of considerations to check off for each company you research

  1. How long has the company been in business? A shorter length of time shouldn’t necessarily disqualify a candidate (everyone has to start somewhere!), but obviously, the more experience, the better. A well-established company is much less likely to clean your sofa today and go out of business tomorrow, leaving you unable to contact anyone in case of error or questions. If the company you’re considering has been around for less than two years, find out what (if any) experience the owner had before launching the business. Look online for reviews and testimonials.
  2. What type of equipment and cleaning solutions do they use? There are a variety of different types of upholstery cleaning systems and equipment. You can often figure out what kind your prospective service provider uses by looking on their website. If they don’t have a website, that may be a red flag. If the information you’re looking for isn’t on the website, call the company. The owner or representative should be able to answer your question clearly and without hesitation.
  3. How much does it cost? Some purchases in life can be skimped on without much impact in terms of quality. But upholstery cleaning is not one of them. A very low price usually means very low competence. On the other hand, if the price seems unreasonably expensive, keep shopping elsewhere. Do the math. Does it seem like a company could stay in business charging the price you were quoted, without cutting corners? If you get a quote that seems much lower or much higher than the industry average in your area, ask the owner why their price point is so different. It’s possible they are running a special discount for new customers, in which case a very low price shouldn’t be a mark against them.
  4. Are they bonded and insured? No matter how great an upholstery cleaning service may be, no one is immune to accidents. As with any service provider who you hire to do work inside your home or on your property, you need to make sure the company is fully bonded and insured. Just in case.
  5. What do their customers think? If you can’t find reviews of a service provider online, chances are they are either a brand new company, or they are going to great lengths to keep reviews off the internet. Honest, competent cleaners LOVE reviews. Even if there’s an occasional nasty one, the good ones more than make up for it by bringing in new and repeat clients. You can find reviews of upholstery cleaning companies in your local area by checking out paid membership sites like Angie’s List, free review sites like Yelp!, on search engines like Google, and even on some social media sites like Facebook. If you don’t find many reviews on one source, check a second or even a third source to be sure.
  6. How are you treated? Let’s say a company you’re researching passes all five of the above tests. Great! Now it’s time to give them a call or write an email. This last step will determine how the company treats its customers. When you call, do they answer right away? If not, do they get back to you within a reasonable amount of time? Are they friendly and courteous over the phone or in their email communications? Do they seem to answer your questions honestly and without beating around the bush? If the company passes this final test, you’ve probably found yourself a keeper. Chances are high that the same friendliness and courtesy they showed you in your initial phone call or email thread will extend to the manner in which they treat you as a service provider in your home.

We hope this post helps you with the sometimes-frustrating task of how to choose the right upholstery cleaning professional. If you live in the Asheville, NC area, we welcome you to put us to the test! Peruse our blog and website, and feel free to call us at 828.327.7233 or drop us a line with any additional questions you might have.

 

Why Customers Love Five Step

We couldn’t be more pleased. The five-star reviews just keep pouring in, and we love reading what our customers have to say about our service. From our punctuality to our ability to literally decrease the weight of area rugs, all of these customers hav found something to love about our service. Check out these reviews to find out what customers love about Five Step Carpet Care!

If you live in the Asheville, NC area and you’re in need of carpet cleaning, rug cleaning, upholstery cleaning, wood floor cleaning, or tile cleaning services, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 828.327.7233 or get in touch via our contact form. We’d be super pleased to give you a reason to love Five Step!

Best Wood Floor Cleaners in Weaverville, NC!

wood floor cleaners weaverville nc

Looking for the best wood floor cleaners in Weaverville, NC?

Even though you maintain the cleanliness of your wood floors through regular dust mopping and polishing, there will eventually come a time when your floors need a deeper clean. In order to maintain their original shine and luster, hardwood and pine floors require periodic polishing. Even engineered wood and laminate floors can benefit from occasional deep cleaning.

Our wood floor cleaning process is green and sustainable, and can restore the beauty and radiance of your floor, making it look as good as new. Our cleaning solutions contain no bleach, acids, enzymes, dyes, or colors.

And if cleaning alone isn’t enough to make your floor shine, we can remove old layers of polyurethane or wax coating and refinish your floor in a new gloss!

Homeowners in Weaverville and across western NC call us for their hardwood, pine, and laminate wood floor cleaning needs. Our reputation for top-quality, professional wood floor cleaning services can’t be beat!

Don’t believe us? Check out the photographic evidence! Here are some before and after pictures of our work.

If you live in Weaverville, Asheville, or anywhere else in western NC, and you’re looking for excellent wood floor cleaning with a smile, give us a call today at 828.237.3237 or get in touch via our contact form.

A Brief History of Wood Floors

wood floor

Humans have been building homes for at least 400,000 years, but it was only in the 1600s that we got around to making floors out of wood. Prior to that, the floors of most houses were made of bare dirt or stone.

The first wood floors in Europe were simple. Just a few rough-hewn pine planks supported by joists, or even split logs set into the dirt with the cut side facing up. These early wooden floors were nothing like the elegant, polished interiors we associate with hardwood flooring today. They were unfinished, and smoothing was accomplished through years of regular foot traffic, not by sanding and polishing. Think of how many splinters you might have gotten in your feet after installing a wood floor in your home if you lived in the early 1600s!

Soon artisans began to refine wood flooring. By 1625, wealthy Europeans could pay to have intricate parquet floors installed in their homes. These floors were made by hand-cutting pieces of wood into small shapes that could be arranged together in repeating geometric patterns.

The abundance of timber in the New World made wood floors much more commonplace. But most American settlers and pioneers did not have much use for the impressive, artisan-crafted designs used in wealthy European homes. Early American plank floors were simply the most practical option in a country full of old-growth forests. The floors tended to be simple, with the boards cut at random widths and lengths and no stain or varnish applied.

The innovation of shiplap joinery made wood floors more durable and less prone to developing gaps, through which cold air, moisture, and small objects could pass.

In the 1700s, people began to apply painted designs to their wood floors. These could range in complexity from simple checkerboards to ornate vining or flowering patterns. Stain and varnish did not become common until the late 1800s.

During the Industrial Revolution, the process of making hardwood flooring became much less labor-intensive. Whereas before each plank would have to be sawn individually by no less than two men, now steam-powered lumber mills and woodworking machinery could process more boards in a day than two men could do in an hour. The technology meant wood floors could be produced more cheaply, and the finished product would be more uniform and attractive.

Still, the installation process was much more labor-intensive until the invention of the electric sander. Prior to that, floors had to be hand-scraped or have loose sand rubbed over them.

The 1940s and 50s saw a decline in the use of wood for flooring, as carpets and other flooring materials like linoleum grew in popularity. But nowadays, people are turning back to hardwood flooring for its simplicity, durability, and beauty.

Who knew the history of wood flooring could be so interesting? The history buffs at Five Step Carpet Care aren’t just here to regale you with factoids, though. If you live in Western NC and are in need of professional wood floor cleaning services, give us a call at 828.237.3237 or drop us a line today!

A Brief History of Vacuum Cleaners

The ancestor to our modern vacuum cleaner was a “carpet sweeper” invented in 1860 by Daniel Hess of West Union, Iowa. The non-motorized machine used a complex system of bellows for suction, and spinning brushes to pick up dirt.

A slight improvement on the original design was patented in 1865 by Ives McGaffey of Chicago. His invention was hand crank-operated, which made it unwieldy to use, as one had to turn the crank and push the machine across the carpet at the same time.

In 1901, Englishman H. Cecil Booth invented a large machine called a suction cleaner. It was powered by an internal combustion engine that ran on gas, and the monstrosity had to be mounted to a horse-drawn cart, and later, an automobile, in order to be transported from place to place. Booth found a receptive clientele among British nobility, which inspired others to improve upon his design.

These early vacuum cleaners did not appeal to the average consumer due to their bulky designs, loud operation, and the odor produced by their exhaust systems. But over the years, enterprising people from around the world fiddled with various suction-cleaning concepts, contributing to gradual improvements.

But then, a breakthrough! In the 1920s, an Ohio janitor named James Murray Spangler created a carpet sweeping contraption out of a soap box, a broom handle, a pillow case, and an electric motor. He then began to sell his machine to local housewives. One of these housewives was a woman named Susan Hoover. (You might recognize the name!) Her husband, William, invested in the mass production of Spangler’s machine and eventually purchased the rights to the design. He named his company Hoover’s Electric Suction Sweeper Company.

The first plastic vacuum cleaner was produced in the 1930s, and the precursor to modern central vac systems was created in 1952 by the Hoover Company, whose name was now synonymous with “vacuuming”.

By the 1960s, vacuum cleaners were much more lightweight and easy to use. The Oreck Corporation produced a uniquely portable model for the hotel industry, and in response to demand from hotel housekeepers, began marketing it to the public.

All of the designs since the first Hoover had used bags to collect the dust and debris suctioned away from carpets. But in the 1970s, James Dyson conceived of a different way of doing things. He thought the vacuum cleaner would benefit from dispensing with the bags altogether. Five thousand one hundred and twenty-seven prototypes later, Dyson unveiled his Dual Cyclone Machine in 1993. Bagless technology was a huge hit with the public. Fast forward to today, and the majority of vacuums sold are the bagless type.

But the bagless vacuum was not the last innovation to disrupt the household cleaning market. In 1996, the first robotic vacuum cleaner was manufactured by Electrolux of Sweden. This serviceable gadget captured the attention of consumers, but ultimately was discontinued because of the ineffectiveness of its early sensors, causing it to collide with other items.

In 2002 the first Roomba was produced by the iRobot company. This robotic vacuum can change directions to avoid colliding with household furniture. Its sensors can detect debris on the floor and keep it from falling down stairs. Only time will tell if robotic vacuums may someday replace manually operated ones, but one thing is for sure: the vacuum cleaner is still evolving!

 

 

 

 

Bagged or Bagless Vacuum Cleaners?

Image by kropekk_pl from Pixabay

What type of vacuum cleaner is best? Bagged or bagless? Both types have advantages and disadvantages. In this post, we’ll go over the pros and cons of each.

The very first vacuum cleaners were bagged models, and for much of the vacuum cleaner’s history, bagged models were all that was available. Bagless technology wasn’t introduced until 1993, but now they make up the majority of the vacuums on the market. However, bagged models still sell, which tells us that the bagless option is not necessarily superior in every situation. A lot of people still prefer a vacuum with a bag, and not just for nostalgia’s sake!

Below is a brief rundown of points you may want to consider when deciding between a bagged or bagless vacuum cleaner.

  • Bagged vacuums are more hygienic. Removing the vacuum bag and throwing it away releases less dust and allergens into the air than emptying a canister. It also eliminates all of the dirt—whereas the filter in your bagless model will hold onto a lot of that dirt until you change it.
  • Both bagged and bagless vacuums usually come standard with HEPA filtration. This means that with both types, fewer allergens will be released into the air, either through the exhaust or when changing the bag.
  • Both bagged and bagless models require repeat purchases. Vacuum bags have to be changed out more often than the filters on bagless versions, but the cost of replacement bags or filters usually works out to be roughly the same, since bags are much cheaper than canister filters.
  • With bagged models, be prepared to deal with reduced performance. With a freshly installed bag, these vacuums work great, but as the bag fills, you’ll probably notice that the suction is not as good. Some people see this as a positive—an early warning system. For others, it’s just a pain.
  • Bagless vacuums are less expensive to buy. But, as we noted above, they are about the same cost to maintain, with infrequent filter changes costing roughly the same as frequent bag changes.
  • With bagless options, it’s easy to see when the dirt receptacle is full. Most dirt receptacles are clear plastic canisters, easily visible to the user, so you’ll never have to wonder whether it’s time to empty the canister, you’ll just know by looking. Bagged vacuums do not have this advantage.
  • Bagless vacuums are the greener choice. The filters represent fewer pounds of waste going into landfills than vacuum bags, over the life of the vacuum.
  • Emptying the dirt receptacle on a bagless model releases a lot of dust and allergens. It’s highly recommended to empty the receptacle outside of the home. And if you have asthma or severe allergies, a bagged model may be the better option.

 We hope this post helps you choose between bagged or bagless vacuum types! Of course, vacuuming isn’t all there is to keeping clean and healthy carpets. Periodic deep cleaning is also highly recommended. If it’s been a year or more since your last professional carpet cleaning, give Five Step a call at 828.237.3237 or drop us a line today!

Five Step Carpet Care is hiring!

upholstery cleaning

Asheville’s premier carpet, tile, upholstery, and oriental rug cleaner is hiring! We are looking for  Carpet, Rug, and Floor Cleaning Technicians for full-time positions at the property of our client, Harrah’s Cherokee Hotel & Casino. This is a great opportunity with career potential for the right candidate.

LOCATION: Harrah’s Cherokee Hotel & Casino

COMPENSATION: Living wage +

CONTACT: Please call 828.772.1824 for email address to send resume, or respond to this Facebook post.

 

Job Duties include but are not limited to:

-Cleaning carpet, tile, wood floors, and upholstery

-Able to lift 65 lbs up a flight of stairs

 

Requirements:

-Must be available to work Monday-Friday from 3am to 11:30 am.

-Applicants must have a clear driving record and a valid driver’s license and social security card.

-Applicants must have great customer service skills

-Must be hard-working, self-motivated, and good at communicating with clients.

-A clean-cut appearance is required

-Must be detail oriented and able to take repetitive direction.

-Must be polite and personal, exhibiting professional conduct and going the extra mile to make clients feel at ease

-Experience is a plus, but not required. Will train the right candidate.

-Must pass a background check. (Required by our client, Harrah’s Cherokee Hotel & Casino.)

-Must be willing to submit to and able to pass an alcohol and drug screening (required by our client, Harrah’s Cherokee Hotel & Casino)

-Applicants must be non-smokers during the work day. Smoking is permitted only outside, and only during scheduled breaks.

-Must be willing to learn the trade and must like to work. This is work!

 

Principals only. Recruiters, please do not contact this job poster.

Please do not contact us about other services, products, or commercial interests.

Serious inquiries only, please!

 

 

What We Are Thankful For in 2020

Almost every year on the blog, we have done a Thanksgiving post, celebrating our successes of the year and expressing our gratitude for the things (and people!) that give our lives joy and meaning here at Five Step Carpet Care.This year’s a little…different. 2020 has not been easy for any of us, and it can be difficult to find gratitude in our hearts in times like these. But they say the most important time to count our blessings is when times are a little rough. Being thankful warms our spirits and gives us hope for tomorrow.

So we’re going to give it a try. Let’s see if we can find a few things to be thankful for in 2020.

  1. Our health! We say this every year, but this year it’s definitely number 1 on the list. The global pandemic situation has really magnified for all of us the reality that our health is not something to be taken for granted. Our deepest compassion and well wishes go out to all those who have experienced loss of a loved one this year, or medical issues of any kind.
  2. Our staff. Our wonderful crew has amazed and humbled us with their commitment to continuing to provide stellar service to customers across western NC. When we re-opened after the temporary shutdown in April-June, these guys adapted seamlessly to the new operations practices, like masking, extra sanitizing, and social distancing. With all the stress that everyone is feeling right now, it’s not easy to keep your head up and keep doing your best work without complaint. But all our guys have pulled together and dealt with it admirably. We couldn’t be more thankful for—or prouder of–our team.
  3. Western North Carolina has been spared the worst of the pandemic fallout. Our local hospitals and medical personnel are staying on top of the situation. And although we certainly have not gone untouched by COVID, we’ve also avoided a major outbreak. In these trying times, that’s definitely something we can be thankful for.
  4. Autumn doesn’t care how weird and crazy 2020 has been. Leaf season this year has been phenomenal! Being surrounded by all that natural beauty while we’re driving around Western NC to serve our customers, sometimes we can’t help but feel a little gratitude.
  5. Our business has been able to withstand the most devastating economic impacts of 2020. In a year when over 100,000 American small businesses have permanently shuttered, this is nothing to shrug off. We are truly, deeply grateful for each day that we get another opportunity to clean carpets and upholstery in the Asheville area. It means that our business will survive. But more importantly, it’s a sign that our community will be okay. Of course, we have our customers to thank for all of it. More than any year before, you—our customers, loyal and new—have been our reason to keep going.

Thanksgiving 2020 may be a little different than normal Thanksgivings. A little smaller, a little more somber, perhaps. But for us, the meaning of the holiday will be more poignant, more deeply felt this year. We’ll be appreciating each bite, each hug, and each moment. We hope you will be sharing some warmth, good food, and family togetherness, too. Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Five Step Carpet Care.

 

Know Who Else is Doing a Lot More Work From Home in 2020? Your Couch!

upholstery cleaning

If you’re among the 42% of the American population now working from home in the midst of the COVID pandemic, it’s safe to say your upholstered furniture is getting a lot more wear and tear than it used to.

Your kids are either doing school-from-home or are on a limited school schedule. You and your spouse are taking turns on Zoom calls in the office. And while we’re trying to social distance, there’s not much to do on the weekends, either, so you’ve probably caught up with all your favorite Netflix series, and a few more besides.

Your couch, armchairs, and other upholstered furniture have been there to support you and your family through it all, and it might be starting to show. Increased use of our furniture means increased opportunities for dirt, crumbs, spills, sweat, and dander to come into contact with the upholstery.

We know upholstery cleaning is probably the last thing on your mind right now, and we totally get that. Still, if protecting your furniture investment is important to you, it may be time to schedule a professional cleaning.

Five Step continues to provide top-level, environmentally sustainable cleaning services with a smile (behind our masks, of course!) We have adapted our business practices to ensure we are staying safe, sanitary, and socially distanced while we serve our customers during these unprecedented times.

So if your furniture does look like it could use a little TLC, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 828.327-7237 or drop us a note for a free quote. And if now’s really not the time, we understand 100%. Just keep our number handy. We’ll be there when you need us.

 

 

Asheville Tile Cleaning

You may not have known that Five Step Carpet Care doesn’t only clean WNC’s carpets and rugs. Among other things, we are Asheville’s top source for tile and slate cleaning.

If you have tile or slate floors or walls in your home, you know they can begin to look dirty or dull over time. The grout between the tiles becomes stained, yellow, or aged-looking. Periodic deep cleaning is necessary to keep your tile floors looking new, but going the DIY route can leave your knuckles scraped and your knees aching. And without specialized equipment, a one or two-hour job can take days!

Instead of going it alone, give Five Step a call. Our friendly, professional crew will make your tile sparkle, your grout gleam, and your slate shine!

We can handle any surface:

  • Bathrooms— tubs, showers, and floors
  • Kitchens— floors, backsplashes, counters and walls
  • Outdoor areas— terraces, decks, patios, pool areas
  • Traffic areas— foyers, hallways, staircases

As always, our cleaning procedures are sustainable and non-toxic, using just a fraction of the water our competitors use, and keeping harmful pollutants out of our precious waterways. Just one more reason to choose Five Step!

If you have dirty tile and grout or slate that needs a little TLC, contact us today or give us a call at 828.237.3237. We promise you’ll be glad you did!