Hired or Fired: Scott Jones tries his hand at rug cleaning

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – It’s time to see if the FOX59 morning crew could do your job! It’s the week-long series called "Hired or Fired," and Scott Jones is the first to give it a try.

From morning anchor to rug cleaner, this story is about getting out all the dirt, and grime and seeing if he can do it like the professionals.. or at least not get fired.

Have you seen the online carpet cleaning videos from Indianapolis companies Oriental Rug Cleaning of Indianapolis or Indy Rug Wash? The videos are mesmerizing, and they have millions of views.

“We're up over 30 million views across all these media platforms, so it's been kind of wild.  I put these video’s online and added pleasant music, and they’ve gone viral,” said Jordan King, operations manager at Oriental Rug Cleaning of Indianapolis.

The video views continue to go up.  There's something soothing about watching all the dirt get washed away.  Internet views really picked up because of  Buzzfeed.

"When they and then many other media outlets started to share the content, we found that people really just enjoy watching other people clean rugs," said King.

Scott went to Indy Rug Wash to give it a try. His first problem: He showed up in a suit and didn't have a change of clothes.

But they gave him rubber boots and a runner apron, and they showed him the ropes.

“One of the first things we do is gently tumble the carpet in a giant spinning machine to remove loose soil.  And from there it goes into a wet wash process where we wash it on a wash floor one at a time by hand,” said King.

Bucket after bucket, he poured the cleaning fluid and water mixture onto the rug.  He quickly realized why the boots are necessary.  It's not your typical wet carpet cleaning—the rug was flooded.

From there, he brushed it and scrubbed the carpet, all while being gentle.  He even used a big machine that looks a lot like a floor buffer, but instead of buffing a hard floor, it has soft spinning bristles that brush out the dirt.

“So do you guys want me to go down this line of the carpet, back and forth? Oh, it does pull left.  It's like a bad shopping cart,” Scott joked.

The company can also clean your rugs at your home, but the process is quite a bit different because they obviously can’t soak the carpet in a home without ruining the sub floor.

"And I just think that sometimes there's something relaxing about it.  We put it to music, and it becomes almost peaceful.  People just like watching the repetitive action of flushing out the rug and squeegeeing off the rug and people really seem to enjoy watching that," King said.

I quickly found watching the dirt flow off the rug is quite satisfying.  Within minutes the carpet went from dull and dirty to bright and cleaner.  The crew let me do a lot of the work, which benefited my learning and gave them a break as well.  It was also a bit of a workout.  The most satisfying part was watching all the dirt get washed away.

“All right, so we're going to pressure wash it now.  We’ve already scrubbed most of the dirt from the fibers.  This part helps push a lot of the soil to the back of the rug and out.  It also makes it a lot easier to rinse,” said Christian Stubbs, carpet cleaner at Indy Rug Wash.

The whole process takes about an hour and costs about $3 per square foot.  That’s not bad for sometimes expensive and often very dirty carpets.  It’s also something that’s impossible to do our your own, with this level of detail and cleanliness.  Scott asked some of the workers what's the worst type of dirt, grime and elements they’ve had to clean.

"We've seen some human blood situations, we've seen a lot of feces, a lot of urine, and just stuff like that,” said Kent  Sadler, Indy Rug Wash cleaner.

The next step is to squeegee the carpet.  This process might be the most visually satisfying as you can see the dirt shove out of carpet and go down the floor drain.

Once we get to a point where it's almost finished, it'll get rolled up and then put into a machine that’s like a giant centrifuge. It's going to spin the rug, and at the same time, they flush fresh water into the rug while it's spinning.  From there it's dried, thoroughly checked over and it’s done.

"So how'd I do," I asked?

“I’m looking at your checklist and as far as communication?  Pretty good.  Problem solving, I'd say yes.  You didn't trip or fall, so that was pretty good.  Your professionalism was absolutely spot on.  In terms of punctuality, you and your cameraman were early, so it was perfect.  In this economy, we would hire you for sure,” said King.

"That left me wondering, in a worse economy could they be more choosy and not hire me?  Regardless, I got hired, I cleaned a carpet and felt the satisfaction of a job well done, or at least not half bad!" Scott said.

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