Carpet Cleaning Coercion

My carpet is a smorgasbord: dirt, glue, paint, chocolate, raspberry jam.  In addition, my one-year-old has been in a drink dumping phase for the past year.

I also heard a news report about lead on carpets.   Apparently it’s possible for lead to be tracked in when people wear shoes on the carpet.

And, my three-year-old recently got over a stage where he would have daily potty accidents, then tell no one!  All this could only mean…

it was time.

My husband called up a guy.  A great deal!  Seven rooms, stairs, and couch for a somewhat extraordinary price.  We set a date.  My toddler whipped off his diaper the day before and whizzed on his bedroom carpet, as if to confirm our decision.

The guys showed up and went to work–selling me.

“Now you’re going to want to sanitize everything.  That’s only an additional $49.”

“That couch your husband told us about is much bigger than we understood.  I’ll do the whole thing for another $30.   And that’s such a great deal.”

“Also, there’s no way we can get all those stains out without our special power scrub system, only $35 and your carpet will look as good as new!”

I gave in to the pressure!   Thinking about all the potty accidents put me over the edge.

They went to work.   He made sure to show me the large pinkish stain in my living room.  “In addition to the power scrub we’ll need to use our special stain remover to get it out, but I’ll give it to you for free.”

Time to pay.  I reconfirmed the total price before writing the check, though it was not enough.

“Oh I forgot to add tax to that.  You see we’re a legitimate company and so we have to add the tax, but I didn’t charge you anything for getting that stain out.”  So kind.

They left.  The carpets looked good, until they dried.  And that’s when the pinkish stain reappeared, only now it’s more gray.

Next time,  it may be wiser (and cheaper) to just have new carpet installed.

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  Keeping a constant eye on my

And an extra bonus:
Dax christened our almost brand new looking carpets just yesterday with apple juice.  At least I think that’s what it was.


  1. Don’t you love how they come in and try to sell you everything else and suddenly you are spending way more than you anticipated!??! Last time I had my carpets cleaned I had to smash a monster-sized spider that came charging out of the toy cabinet later in the day…all on my freshly cleaned carpet. That’s ok…the cat threw up a hairball that night and milk was spilled the next day. Clean carpet is a stain magnet!

  2. Cheers to a semi clean carpet for almost a day! Lol

  3. Oh no!!! You know, every time I dream about getting someone to clean my house…I think of your story!

  4. We just have area rugs, but our main area rug is in dire need of a cleaning. I’ve been thinking of renting one of those rug cleaners at the grocery store – thinking no hidden fees there?

  5. Well at least they look almost like new for a little while.

  6. I have the same problem in my house. We invested in a steam wet vac. It was about $100 then you just fill it with water and soup. It gets rid of all the stains and the carpet looks brand new. It pays for itself in about one use too.

  7. Not cool. Did you call them back to tell them their special system didn’t work? I would be complaining. I have to say, that’s why I love having hard wood. When we used to have carpet, the cat was the biggest offender. Hairballs everywhere. Yuck! Hope it gets better.

  8. Oh my. I would’ve kicked them right out of my house. What thieves.
    I agree, though. It might be time for new carpet 🙂

  9. I definitely give you an A+ for effort….. and kids wonder why we never have any money. lol

  10. oh no!!! we learned after we bought our own steam cleaner that the set in stains will come back after they dry. new carpet would have been the way to go for sure…

    I’m just like you when it comes to giving in to the sales pressure! I won’t allow myself into any situation anymore when it comes to stuff like that. I like Jon handle it all! He thought I was just punking out, until he FORCED me to sit in on the sales pitch for ADT. I felt sorry for her, so I basically gave in. He sees it’s really a sickness.. haha

    Hey, at least next time you’ll have NEW carpet??!! 🙂

  11. Someday I will get rid of our stained, pink living room carpet and pout down beautiful, glorious hardwood. I just need to click my heels together 3 times and wish really, really hard.

  12. We bought a carpet cleaner for about $200 and use oxiclean in it…and we have never had a stain come back!

  13. I so remember those days! It was so nice to get new carpet…..and then I spilled pop om it the second day we had on it.

  14. I say skip the carpet guys and get your own carpet cleaning machine… We have a bissell I think. IT is truly amazing!!

  15. Oh, I forgot to mention they are actually pretty fun to use…. By fun I mean seeing how truly dirty your carpet is each time you empty the bucket… It makes me feel accomplished 🙂

  16. well…at least they were clean for 24 hours :p.

  17. when my oldest was potty training I went out and bought a steam cleaner just for that reason. I hate dealing like companies like that

  18. Go with the new carpet. You get to have fun choosing the color!

  19. I use resolve and it works great for me.

  20. I hate all those add-ons! Why can’t they just be upfront about the costs?? Maybe you ought to get hardwood or tile floors!

  21. At least you had a clean carpet for a couple of hours, that’s good right?

  22. Well…at least they were clean for a day, right?!?

  23. I HATE, HATE, HATE carpeting!!!!! And we have a lot in the current home. I am hoping this winter to switch a bunch of the gross carpet and poor quality linoleum out for a good quality wood laminate. Right now, I use a cheap-o $200 carpet cleaner about once a month. Carpet is my bane. I like it in the bedrooms, though.

  24. About 15 years ago we purchased our own carpet cleaning machine. I just couldn’t see shelling out a couple hundred bucks every 6 months. The other thing we did was when we recarpeted this time we put in commercial carpet. The problem is that we let it go much longer now between cleanings. When our socks start looking black, then I know it’s time.

  25. Not sure I would have let them talk me into more $$ after they already gave me a quote to start with, but I would call them up and tell them that you are very disappointed in the after look of your carpets and ask for your money back, especially for that power scrub detailing! We hang out mostly downstairs where its all hardwood and if it were carpet, it would be destroyed. I keep having to say “NO SQUEEZIES!” when my kids hold their juice boxes and those darn caprisun’s that spill out no matter how you hold them– its a sticky mess around here and dont’ get me started on the dog hair dust bunnies in every corner!

  26. Ah, the joys of parenting! My 2yo is always dumping stuff on our rug. I don’t know why, but she thinks sitting on the rug to eat is WAY more fun than sitting at the table or on the wood floor. So she sneaks in and sits on the rug to eat whenever she gets the chance! We ripped out all our carpets because of DH’s dust allergies, and cleaning is so much easier.

    And stories like yours are why one of my sisters finally went out and bought her own carpet cleaner!

  27. I hope you called them! They ought to have some sort of guarantee.

    And I REALLY hope that’s apple juice. It looks awful suspicious.

    I always rent the rug doctor and do it myself. For less than $50, and the time/energy it takes to do it, it’s worth it. And, my stains don’t come back.

  28. I relish the 20-30 minutes that my house is clean every two weeks after the service comes. And then it’s not clean anymore. So much damage in so little time.

  29. I’m not good under pressure either. Oh my, how about calling that company and complain? We have Bissel carpet cleaner at home and it works wonder. Luckily for me, it’s my husband’s job to do the cleaning, not mine.
    Well.. at least the carpet was clean for one day.. 🙂

  30. One day of clean carpets…LOL I think it’s time for some hardwood! Oh but then the dust shows…ugh.

  31. We have mostly area rugs on hardwood floors, and those rugs are in OK shape. (Oriental rug patterns hide stains well!) Our couches, however, are a different story. They are begging to be cleaned. Might wait till my boys are a little older though.

  32. Oh, Janae…what a bummer. That makes me so mad when they try to sell you everything under the moon! Ugh!

  33. Between our dog and our son I’m afraid of what our carpet is going to look like. Our dog has done enough damage on her own, Now that we’re about to start potty training our son… I think we may be in trouble!

  34. Clean carpets are over-rated! 🙂 And those darn stains always come back!!!

  35. Your posts are always fun reads; thanks for the smiles today.
    Blessings to you for lightening my day!

  36. If only money were no object. I’d ripe it all out. a bare dirt floor is probably cleaner. I shudder to think what lies within and beneath our basement carpet. I love that our main floor is all wood, excluding the Master — pretty sure hubby hasn’t whizzed anywhere in there lately 🙂

  37. Those carpet cleaners sure know how to suck the money from us. We put new carpet in the bedrooms when we moved into our house. Now my dogs like to puke in the bedrooms when they can’t get outside. I’m reconsidering hardwood in the whole house now.

  38. Last winter we rented a carpet cleaning machine for $25 and it came with the shampoo. Our carpets came out pretty good. It just took a lot of time.

    I’d call the company and let them know that their service did not work very well. 🙂

  39. Oh, you poor woman! I remember those potty training days that lasted forever. Forever is over for me at last, thank goodness.

  40. Oh wow, that stinks! I hate when people shovel more and more cost onto an already set price. :/ The last time I got my carpets cleaned, my daughter decided to get sick that night. Running to the bathroom throwing up like the girl in the exorcist movie. bahaha. i think clean carpets are like a magnet for dirt, (and other things). lol. We decided we’re getting hardwood floors with our income tax this year.. just in the living room & hallway, but I can’t wait to get rid of this stained up carpet. 🙂
    Good Luck!

  41. Wow, am I glad we have ugly beige carpet! It doesn’t show anything…and we’ve had our fair share of potty accidents too!
    Very funny post!

    Thanks for stopping by The Home Front! Have a great weekend!

  42. That reminds me that I picked out off-white furniture when my littlest was 9 months old. WHAT was I thinking? I feel your pain!

  43. At least you tried. Just think, in a few years it will be “party” accidents. I’m with Valerie, clean carpets are over rated LOL

  44. That sucks! We put in all new carpet/hard wood floors (well laminate) when we moved into this house, and if we ever do that again, or if we live in this house long enough to have to redo the floors, I think I am going to go with laminate almost everywhere. I thought carpet was a good idea, until some of these things like you are saying started happening when we had a kiddo.

    Sorry you got “suckered” by that guy. Crazy!

  45. Man, that stinks!!@ Sorry that people need to be so crappy. Hope you can find some stain-resistant carpeting. We just tore up our carpeting. Thank Goodness we have hardwood under there. My husband just one day got sick of the “trickles” across the floor and took a knife to the carpet!! It still needs to be refinished, but it will do.

  46. Call them BACK! Those idiots must come to take care of that stain!!! How dare them.

  47. Oh my!! I don’t know if I should write about the carpet cleaners being complete scammers or Dax’s apple juice puddle. I have to say that neither one of them surprise me though. Dax’s at least made me laugh though…sorry, it probably didn’t make you laugh (at least not at the time anyway).
    I say we should all just have floors that you can hose down at night and wake up to a clean, dry floor in the morning. Now who can we get to start working on that?!

  48. Our carpets need a good cleaning, and so does our couch. Then I look at the little monsters dumping juice and throwing snacks all over the room and think the deep cleaning can wait a bit longer. 😉

  49. Oh I hate dealing with people like that! There just always seems to be something else- makes me so suspicious.
    And yea, I figure until my kids reach a certain age I am just giving up hope of having anything nice.

  50. I recently found suspicious, dried, yellow-looking splatters on the boys wall upstairs. They deny everything. We put hardwood floors throughout our entire house (except basement), and I am SOOOO grateful for them! But I love my carpet in the basement. I dread the first bad spill, because I know my husband and I will chew the misfortunate kiddo out way too harshly. After that, yeah, anything goes…

  51. I’ve come to believe that it is truly impossible to have clean carpets for more than…oh, about 5 hours. And that’s stretching it. Drives me nuts, but between dogs, husband tracking in mud on his shoes, children spilling drinks or grinding in cracker crumbs…it’s just a mess!!

  52. Thank goodness we don’t keep carpets. I’m always amazed at how the Westerners maintain their carpeted flooring. It’s a hassle for us here to keep carpets in the house. I’m guessing you need carpets for winter? But, I do love the feel of a carpeted floor…a CLEAN carpeted floor that is 😉

  53. Carpet cleaners are my biggest nightmare. Really! We opted out for doing it ourselves…well more like spot cleaning. The good thing lately has been that we moved to a new house with brand new carpet so probably don’t have to worry about that in a while… at least that’s what i think.. No apple juice or baby fluids on our carpets I promise. For some reason they like the hardwood floor better 🙂

  54. Dirty rotten BUMS! And I mean the cleaners…not your kids (although that applies too from what you said). I hate sells pitches.

    P.S. I sure hope that’s apple juice.

    P.S. There may be many downsides to an entire house of hardwood floors but spills and potty accidents are not one of them.

  55. Oh no, that’s terrible! I hate stained carpets. That’s why I prefer hardwood floors. LOL! Let’s all just say it’s apple juice to be safe.

  56. It sounds like they kept adding to the deal! I hope he spilled on the spot they left behind.

  57. Our carpets are GROSS. Sometimes I think we should just move b/c I don’t want to deal with them.

    Maybe to a house with hardwood floors.

  58. Oh, how I can relate to your carpet. And you’re right, it probably would have been cheaper to have new carpet installed! My hubby just asked me yesterday if we were going to do laminate in the entire new living room area we’re going to have. I would love to do that instead. And you’re hilarious! I love the part about your son “confirming” the decision!

  59. Maybe you should just pour apple juice all over the carpet so that it all looks the same?!

  60. Oh… those handy dandy carpet cleaners… they just know how to get ya, huh???

    We finally bought a carpet cleaner from Walmart.– it was either that or my poor knees would just give out from all the scrubbing.

  61. My kids always christening the carpet right after the carpet guys leave! The guys we us now are so use to us that when a new guy joins the mix they always tell him “this is the house where the 3 year old drew a race track all over the carpet in red ink” They always add that it was a great track!! That was Peter’s greatest contribution, and it was a good track!! I have to wonder if it would have been less expensive to get new carpet by this time. I do like when it look nice and clean though, those few hours are lovely!! Great post as always dear friend!!

  62. We just spent $300 last week to get ours cleaned, they turned out so amazing. I was just waiting the next day for one of the kids to spill nail polish or grape juice all over but it hasn’t happened yet (crossing my fingers).

    Now I am one of those annoying people (only to the kids though) who say ‘take off your shoes’ all day. At least we only have carpet upstairs. Downstairs is all wood.

  63. Oh bummer! Why do they think they’re going to get repeat or referral business doing that?! Such cheap shots, and they know once they’re there, you will say okay, because you have to. Carpets are supposed to have about everything under the Sun in them, but we’re all still here–alive after quite a few years of testing;)

  64. Ugh! How annoying! What about replacing the carpet with hard floors? Or putting those sexy plastic runners over all of it? We once had a dog who pooped in the house and then ate it. So it could be worse!

  65. ohhh, they always find ways to get ya, don’t they!? i’m sorry to hear about the apple juice right after.
    i have to admit, i might as well be a kid when it comes to spilling things on the carpet. my husband constatnly has to be like, “hunny, do NOT put that there!” bc i’m a big clutzo!
    i hope you have a wonderful spill free weekend <3

  66. It can be such a scam can’t it!? You may want to wait a few more years before you have that carpet replaced lol

  67. At least they tried to get that stain out! We had people come and they were like, yeah, that crayon and marker, we can’t get that out. AWEsome. Some tips for carpet cleaning – try white vinegar in a glass bottle, or a well placed lamp.

  68. At least you didn’t buy a Kirby!
    My carpet story. The evening before we tore out our carpet and had hardwood floors installed a Kirby Saleman came to my door…
    Long story short, you got off easy with your carpet no-cleaner.
    Actually I love my Kirby, but still I think I have “sucker” tattooed on my forehead.

  69. I like getting carpets cleaned but like you said they get dirty so quickly again! We had ours done this fall and while they did a good job on the couches, I was less pleased with the carpets. I could still smell odors that should have been completely banished!!


  1. […] Mom Leave a Comment I think certain people see me like this.After a recent experience with a carpet cleaning guy, I even lived up to the gullible title.  But I’m changing my […]

Speak Your Mind