After much soul searching, my mother was getting ready to sell our childhood home, and the time had come to get the house  cleaned and in sellable condition. We had enjoyed many a family dinner and holiday in that house, and had gathered many cherished memories.

My mother needed my assistance in locating a reputable carpet cleaning business and since we had seen so many advertisements for Stanley Steemer, we decided to give them a try.

The Stanley Steemer technicians arrived at my mother’s home and did a quick assessment of our carpet cleaning needs. A couple of areas of concern were black marks left on the living room and dining room carpets left by the black shoes my mother wore regularly.  The technician said he would pretreat them and they should come out with their cleaning process.

It had been some time since the carpets had been cleaned and my mother and I knew it would be a challenge to bring the carpets back to life. The technician applied a pretreatment which we were hoping would bring up those black marks. He then began tackling getting the carpets cleaned.  The marks did not come up with one cleaning, so the technician quickly went back over the offending areas.  He said once they were dry the marks would be gone.  He handed us the bill and although they had quoted us their special rate, the bill went up substantially because their minimum order charge had not factored in cleaning the stairs and applying deodorizer.

It seemed like it took the carpets an inordinate amount of time to dry, like well into the next day.  The black marks from my mother’s shoes had not been removed at all; in fact, the carpets looked worse than before they were cleaned.

Faced with the challenge of finding a different carpet cleaner who could without question remove the stains, I did an online search for best carpet cleaners and came up with Chem-Dry.  I called them and explained my dilemma to the friendly customer service representative.  She assured me the technician would provide a recommendation for stain removal and do their best to solve our problem.  

Chem-Dry had an opening a few days later which still was within our timetable for getting the house ready to sell.  The technicians arrived on time on the scheduled day and explained the stains could be oil-based and he would pretreat them as such.  He allowed the pretreatment solution to set  on the carpet for about 5 minutes before beginning the extraction process.  We were hopeful this would do the trick.

After the pretreatment set for the allowed time, the technician began the extraction process.  With Chem-Dry hot water extraction and agitation process, soon we could see the ugly black marks disappear.  We were delighted to see clean carpets again! He also explained the carpets would be dry in 1 to 2 hours! That was music to our ears since it took much too long for our carpets to dry with the Stanley Steemer process.

For those of you who comparison shop like I do, here is a short comparison of Chem-Dry vs. Stanley Steemer:



  • Uses all-natural, green certified, nontoxic cleaning solutions which are pet and kid friendly.
  • Their process includes heating the water to 200 degrees which in doing so produces carbonation which explodes soil out of the carpet and is extracted with their hot water extraction system.  
  • Carpets are dry in 1 to 2 hours.
  • There is no dirt-attracting residue left behind so carpet stays cleaner longer.

Stanley Steemer

  • Uses a steam cleaning system by introducing hot water and cleaning solution into the carpet.
  • Uses a hot water extraction system by using a heavy-duty vacuum to remove water and soil
  • Carpets stay wet for 8 to 12 hours, and sometimes longer
  • A dirt-attracting residue is left behind which makes the carpet get dirty faster.

As you can see, Chem-Dry is my preferred carpet cleaning method! The results were amazing on my mother’s 50-year-old carpet so I’m sure your carpets will look great as well! If you need more information about whats the best method for cleaning read this article here