AF company strives to make carpet truly safe - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Business

AF company strives to make carpet truly safe

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Posted: Thursday, September 1, 2011 8:00 am | Updated: 1:53 pm, Fri Mar 16, 2012.

The feel of fresh clean carpet is something Shantell Gallegos always loved - that is until she found out how "clean" her carpet really was.

"I always had my carpet cleaned regularly and I would have it steam cleaned," said Gallegos, an Ahwatukee Foothills resident. "Then when I had my baby, my second child, he was a thumb sucker. He was active and he was always playing on the floor and so I would have them cleaned more often just to make sure they were clean. Then I started doing research on what they were using, the chemicals they were using. The more I learned the more I realized this is not safe for my baby."

Shantell and her husband, Justin, had been in the flooring business for years in Washington. Shantell handled sales and Justin installed or repaired. Since they already knew how to run a business, and there was obviously a need for a better way to get carpets cleaned, the two decided to do some research and expand their business to carpet and floor cleaning. Their goal was to provide a natural solution without compromising the results.

"After a ton of research we found a company that is in Washington state that has been in business for over 20 years," Gallegos said. "It was started by a carpet cleaner himself who had an issue with the chemicals that he had to work with everyday. So he developed these solutions that were plant based. They have grapefruit seed extract, lime, orange peel and coconut. It's all things that we know what they are."

Once they had the cleaning solution they invested in state-of-the-art equipment and then put in the extra effort to get IICRC certified (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification), the only certification available for all floor cleaners. Gallegos says that certification process confirmed that what they were doing is something new and something good.

"A lot of the training was open conversation and a lot of others in the training sort of scoffed at us for trying to do things naturally," Gallegos said. "But throughout the training we learned all the horrible things these chemicals can do. It was don't do this and don't do that because it will dye the carpet. Don't get it on your skin because it can harm you. I'd raise my hand and say, ‘So does all of this come out of the carpet?' and they'd say, ‘No, most of it does.' The answer was never yes. I just thought that was wrong."

They began their company with the name Barefoot Organic Carpet Care, a name they believe takes people back to the feeling of thick, clean carpet - without the guilt of it not being free of chemicals.

Now the couple has moved to Ahwatukee and brought their small but growing company with them. They've found wholesale carpet companies in the area so they can also install completely new carpet. They hope to become known as a one-stop shop for all carpet and flooring needs.

"We know people's concerns and we wanted to address those," Gallegos said. "We found the best products, the best equipment and the best method. We just wanted something safe for our kids."

To learn more about Barefoot Organic Carpet Care, visit their website at barefooto.com or call (480) 283-0999.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com

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