Do you ever wonder how a pro detailer handles auto carpet cleaning?

What kind of equipment they use? The professional level cleaners that apply using those tools, etc.

Those are important questions. There are quite a few important criteria to consider when choosing a detailer. Especially when it comes to cleaning carpets.

Proper High End Detailing Equipment

If you are paying a detailer professional rates, then shouldn’t they have professional tools to get the job done fast and efficiently?

How would you know? You should ask to check out their equipment when you drop off your vehicle. Or ask them on the phone and then ask again when you get to the shop.

Detailing equipment today is more affordable than ever. And it’s high-tech. There is absolutely no reason for a professional detail shop to not have the proper high-end equipment necessary to clean your car.

And that leads to another question. If a detailer isn’t using equipment that other detail shops would never give up using, then you need to ask yourself how successful are they?

Many Old School Detailers Have Inferior Equipment

No, I’m not talking smack on experienced detailers.

I have a ton of respect for anyone that can turn a trashed minivan into a shiny, sellable car that no longer smells like old Cheerios.

My issue isn’t with skills or talent. Experience gives you a lot of both.

The problem is that many old school detailers have inferior equipment.

I get it. When you started detailing you probably used an old shop vac, scrub brush, and a bucket. But why stick with that?

It might have worked back in the day, but there are so many better ways to get that same work done faster and easier with the right tools.

I remember the first time my company hired a detailer with a decade of experience.

Most Experienced Detailers Don’t Like Change

One of my shop managers told me he had met with a guy that had recently closed his own detail shop. I replied that he probably won’t want to do things our way because most experienced detailers don’t like change. So he will keep trying to show us how his ways are better.

But we still gave him a shot. Sometimes people surprise you.

This guy did not. He immediately began telling us how his ways of doing things were better.

Later on, the 2nd day after he started, I heard several detailers yelling ‘STOP’ in one of our garage bays. I walked out of my office to see the new guy holding a pressure washer wand inside a new BMW.

My shop manager was red-faced from yelling. He looked at me and said, “Boss, the new guy was pressure washing the interior of a 7 series!”

The new guy explained that it’s faster to pressure wash everything on a car, even the inside. Then shop vac it after.

High-end carpet steam cleaners

I told him I spent over $30 grand on high-end carpet steam cleaners so we didn’t need to do that. And then I pulled him aside and politely told him that maybe he should try some of the new detailing techniques that we were using since we are still in business and he is not.

After that, he changed his tune and started learning new ways.

Some of those old methods cut corners and even damage vehicle carpets.

And it isn’t even close to a professional auto carpet cleaning by today’s standards.

Other ‘fly-by-night’ detailers like to spray a chemical on your carpets, pressure wash the dirt out and then drill small holes in your floorboards to let the water drain out.

I know you think I’m kidding, but I’m not. Less than reputable used car dealerships have done this for years with really bad carpets they don’t want to replace.

It works, but the customer isn’t happy when they can’t seem to figure out why their carpets get really wet while driving during heavy rainstorms.

Modern Equipment That Will Increase Productivity

That brings us to modern technology for auto carpet cleaning that all professional detailers should be using in this day and age.

Professional heated carpet extractors will run about $1,500. So if your detailer does not have one, go somewhere else.

If they can’t afford $1,500 for modern equipment that will increase productivity by leaps and bounds then you don’t want them near your car.

Heated carpet extractors will mix water and cleaning chemicals and heat that solution to 210 degrees.

The handle attachment is for shooting the heated solution into your carpets and lifting the dirt back out with a very powerful suction system.

It is, by far, the fastest method for achieving the best results in professional quality auto carpet cleaning services.

How a Pro Handles Auto Carpet Cleaning

The reason you go to an experienced detailer instead of a newbie is because of things like this.

Cleaning carpets in cars isn’t as easy as you think it is. A good detailer will know how to pre-treat the carpet with specialized cleaners.

Spots and stains are also treated with lifting chemicals to remove the stain once the heat hits it.

At our shop, we also used a small buffer that has a scrub brush attached to it for really tough to clean carpets.

That’s how a pro handles auto carpet cleaning, how does your detail shop do it?

Make Sure Your Detailer is Properly Insured

Everybody thinks they can be a carpet cleaner, but be careful. A good detailer knows to pre-spot sections of your carpet that aren’t visible so that they can make sure there isn’t any color separation during the carpet cleaning process.

Certain chemical cleaners can take the color right out of your carpet.

This is a good time to also remind you to make sure your detailer is properly insured BEFORE you drop off your car with them.

Call the shop and ask the shop owner to fax you a certificate of insurance to prove they are insured and call the agent to verify the insurance is in force.

Check out our proper insurance page for specifics as to what you should be looking for and asking about when it comes to insurance at your local shop.

Mishandling your auto carpet cleaning can result in destroyed carpets. How do you feel about mold and mildew, foul-smelling odor and carpets that need completely ripped out and replaced?

Auto Carpet Cleaning

You are spending good money to have your car professionally detailed.

Your carpets should look great when they are done. If they don’t look new then ask your detailer about dyeing the color back to a new look again.

Don’t automatically assume that your detailer isn’t professional or unskilled because they weren’t able to completely remove blood stains from your trunk.

Sometimes no amount of cleaning is going to remove a stain. And you really need to stop transporting bodies without first wrapping them in plastic.

That’s when it helps if your detailer also has training in reconditioning services, like auto carpet dyes. An experienced detailing and reconditioning tech using good quality carpet dye can make a heavily stained carpet look completely new again.

Most detailers have dyeing packages for carpet, just don’t let them use the can spray paint colors on your carpets. It rubs off eventually and it looks horrible.

Injectable or soak dyes are better and look more like the real thing.

Of course, just starting with professional auto carpet cleaning is the way to go, but there are additional more advanced repair and cleaning options if they are needed.

We hope you enjoyed this “how to” tip sheet. Access more tips, training, and insight by subscribing to the E-Newsletter. We are also very active on Facebook and Twitter.

Suggested Pages to Check Out

Detail Shop Liability Insurance Page with Info on Garage Keepers Liability Coverage

1099 Contractors and Other Detail Shop Tax Issues

Go Back To Home Auto Detailing Step-by-Step Page