What to Know Before Hiring a Carpet Cleaner

Stephanie Shaykin
Updated November 29, 2021
professional carpet cleaner
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When your carpet has seen better days, it's time to look into hiring a carpet cleaner

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A good cleaning can make carpets and rugs seem new. Cleaning extends the life of the carpet and even improves indoor air quality. Do you have food or beverage residue, muddy footprints, pet stains, or general dirtiness? When it's time to call in the experts, look for a company with a track record for delivering excellent service at a reasonable carpet cleaning cost.

You can take a few steps to ensure you get the right deal on the job—done the right way. Start by looking up qualified professional carpet cleaners near you. Follow along so you can get the best carpet cleaning experience possible.

Before Hiring a Professional Carpet Cleaner

The quality of your carpets and rugs now depends on the company you choose. The finest rug cleaning companies use high-quality equipment and skilled technicians. The technicians will thoroughly clean all stains from your carpeting. 

There's a risk of permanent harm from poor handling techniques like inadequately mixed chemicals or lousy brushing. You want to avoid bad businesses that partake in poor practices.

That's why it's essential to get accurate quotes, vet the company, and ask all the right questions before hiring a cleaner. You want to make sure the professionals do the job correctly with everything they need (including cleaning machines).

Plan Your Carpet Cleaning Project for Accurate Quotes

When you have everything laid out for your project before reaching out to a company for a quote, you're already off to a good start. 

Consider these variables so you can give the technician as much as they need to know about your expectations:

Square Feet to Clean

Be wary of prices quoted by room or "area" for in-home carpet cleaning rather than by square foot. Companies may believe more rooms to be part of your house than you do. For example, the company might charge you for two separate rooms in what you perceive as one L-shaped space.

spilled red wine on carpet
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Stains to Work On

Think about which stains or areas in the carpet need extra attention. If your carpet is just dingy, take note. But if your mother-in-law spilled Pinot Noir all over your beige carpet last Thanksgiving, you should point that stain out as well. 

Your Timeline

The typical length of time to clean a single room is around 20 minutes and will vary. It's all based on the amount of furnishings to move, the filthiness of the carpet, and any required spot cleaning treatments. 

Prepare to block off a part of the day if there is just one area to clean. But if the whole house needs carpet cleaning, expect the cleaners to be there all day. Allow anywhere from six to 24 hours to dry any room or otherwise stated by the company.

Use these factors to obtain at least three quotes from different cleaners. Also, discuss pricing with each of them to understand how they charge for their services.

Check the Carpet Cleaning Company's Qualifications and References

The carpet cleaning service you hire should have some qualifications and reviews to back their work. Here are some ways to make sure the company you hire is legit:

Check Industry Training and Certifications

Ask about the company's technicians' training. A Carpet Cleaning Technician certificate from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification is satisfactory—the most common and well-known training school for the cleaning and restoration industry. 

Find the Carpet Cleaning Company's Experience and Reviews

Knowledge isn't only attainable via formal education but through experience. Check the company's history online and social media sites like Facebook for customer reviews. 

Inquire with your friends and neighbors as to who they've used in the past and their experiences. If they're happy, you'll likely be happy too.

Do They Carry a Carpet Cleaning License and Insurance?

Check to see whether the company you're contacting is licensed in your state. You may also search for this information on local government websites. 

It is also a good idea to inquire about the company's insurance. Workman's compensation or liability coverage is standard.

Questions to Ask Your Carpet Cleaner

pet dirt marks on carpet
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By asking relevant questions will help you determine how well your carpet will turn out through the hiring process. Here's what you should ask:

What Is Included With the Cleaning Service?

At the least, the service should include these five cleaning methods:

1. Dry soil removal: vacuuming thoroughly to remove dry substances from carpet fibers

2. Soil suspension: removes soils with a high-quality pre-treatment substance

3. Soil extraction (steam cleaning): removes soils from carpet with a steam cleaning machine, also known as hot water extraction

4. Grooming: removes matting and spreads cleaning chemicals throughout the carpet

5. Drying: carpet should dry for a minimum of six to eight hours

Does the Price Quote Include Specialty Treatments?

Companies remove pet stains, treat high-traffic areas, and carpet protection applications through pre-treating. Usually, companies offer these extras at an additional expense. 

Will You Move My Furniture?

Carpet cleaning does not generally include furniture moving unless you specifically request it.

Will You Finish the Cleaning With a Low or Neutral PH Treatment?

Many cleaning companies use high pH cleaners on carpets. They clean effectively, but dirt becomes a magnet for them, allowing them to re-soil rapidly and produce a sticky or gritty sensation. A high pH may harm the carpet's fibers and reduce its useful lifespan. Inquire whether the technician will lower or neutralize the pH after cleaning.

Do You Guarantee Your Work, and for How Long?

A guarantee is something that a good carpet cleaning business should provide. Stains may return, or new problems develop, so you want to know if you have options if this happens. Also, inquire about the time limit for the warranty so that you can be sure to call in time if something goes wrong.

Hiring Your Carpet Cleaner

Before service begins, get everything in writing. Make sure it's in line with your plans and expectations. Try adding a stipulation not to pay until the job is completed and you are happy with the turn-out. 

After Your Professional Carpet Cleaner Has Finished

The carpet cleaning company will likely send you the final bill at the end. If you find new flaws after the carpet cleaning is over, speak up immediately. The longer you wait, the company will assume the spot is new. 

A carpet cleaning tip is not expected. However, if you appreciate the effort, tip between $10 to $20 to the technicians on site. You can also leave a review on social media pages and review sites.

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