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Established Upholstery Cleaning Manvel 77578

In the early 1960′s, another “new” system hit the market. Steam cleaning. The first point that should be cleared up is the word “steam.” A very unfortunate choice of words. While technically water is vapor, hence steam, anytime it is warmer than the surrounding atmosphere there really isn’t what we would call live steam. 

Water does vaporize (steam) when it is warmer than ambient air, so the FTC in all its majesty decided we had to call them steam cleaners. Very misleading. Live or super-heated steam would ruin a carpet. The temperatures would be far beyond safe limits for any carpet dyes or heat set. Technically, this method should be described as hot water extraction.

Actually, steam cleaning systems, as hot water extractors, go back to the late 1700′s. The early 1900′s saw several systems that worked on the same principle. It was not until the 1960′s that it was refined sufficiently for general use. Again, the first workable “steam” cleaning units were in plants operated by cleaners.

The rebirth was in Southern California in a cleaning plant where the operator decided to make his unit portable, so he could take it to the home. Just as earlier equipment had been adapted to on location cleaning by making it portable. Evidently he wanted to keep this as an exclusive system, and be the only one in the country to offer steam cleaning in the home. Employees and coworkers who had used this method realized the profit potential. Some of them struck out on their own, and several units were offered to the carpet cleaning trade.

Each of these operators claimed patent rights, and either franchised their operations or attempted to. Several faults delayed acceptance by the established carpet cleaners. The first was price. Most of these units were very high priced. Fortunes were made as operators and manufacturers franchised these units to their customers, each with outrageous claims. Large franchise fees, high priced machines and a continuing high percentage of the operation were bound to limit the number of potential customers.

Once again, the established carpet cleaner was reluctant to accept anything new or different. Most of the marketing and advertising claims for these machines were grossly exaggerated, if not outright falsehoods. This led the builders of these fabricated units to go to the untrained and unqualified to sell their wares. 

There was no established technology, or state of the art, so most of the machines were not all that good a buy at any price. Not knowing any better, the purchasers of these new machines flooded the yellow pages and newspapers with ads wildly written, making all sorts of crazy claims. Many of these ads intimated that the established cleaner was in reality a thief, doing great harm to the carpets with his old scrubber or foamer.

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