How to Hire a Professional Carpet Cleaner to Spruce Up Your Floors

Ben Kissam
Written by Ben Kissam
Updated July 20, 2022
professional carpet cleaner
Photo: New Africa / Adobe Stock

When your carpet has seen better days, it's time to hire a pro

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Carpets see a lot of wear and tear in our homes, including spilled coffee, muddy footprints, icky pet stains, and just general dirtiness. Luckily, hiring a professional carpet cleaner can help you get things looking as good as new in a flash. When it's time to call in the experts, you’ll want to look for a company with a track record for delivering excellent service at a reasonable carpet cleaning cost.

But if you’ve never hired a carpet cleaning service before, it can seem a little daunting. No worries: We’ll give you some tips for finding and hiring a carpet cleaning professional.

Finding a Carpet Cleaning Company

Your carpet is the centerpiece of your rooms, so it's important to research cleaning companies and do a little bit of vetting first before making calls. Finding the right carpet cleaning pro will keep your rugs looking healthy and give you peace of mind that they know how to care for your specific carpeting. 

Below are some tips to consider when finding the right carpet cleaner.

Calculate the Square Feet to Clean

Be as specific as possible when it comes to pricing: You want to hire a carpet cleaner that gives you price quotes by room, the square footage of your home, or the area they’ll be cleaning. Doing your due diligence sets you both up for success—you won't get blindsided by extra charges, and they won't have to charge more or take on more work than expected.

For example, some companies may count your home as having more "rooms" than you do. An L-shaped shape, for instance, might incur charges of two "rooms" given the square footage. If you have a floor plan, this is a great time to share it.

Take Note of Stains

spilled red wine on carpet
Photo: AndreyPopov / iStock/ Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

If your carpet is just dingy, finding a carpet cleaner might not be too difficult. But if you have excessive stains, such as pet urine, dirt, or wine stains, you may need to hire a team that does extensive deep cleans. 

You should also be sure to explain any specific stains as much as you can—including roughly how old they are, what the stain is from, etc. Send pictures to your carpet cleaner ahead of time to ensure they have the equipment to tackle the specific job.

Set a Goal Timeline

Is cleaning your carpet time-sensitive? If you’re looking to brighten up your floors before a special event, make that known. It takes a cleaning team 20 to 30 minutes to clean each room, and for bigger projects or homes, it could be a multi-day process. If the team is moving furniture or doing additional work, it could take even longer.

Let potential pros know if you have any deadlines in mind. This way, when researching companies, you might be able to weed out people/entities that aren't a good fit—such as single-person cleaners if you have a huge area to clean.

How to Interview a Carpet Cleaning Pro

Here are some tips for interviewing a carpet cleaning expert to find the perfect pro for your job.

Background Checks

Many companies conduct background checks on employees prior to hiring, taking one thing off of your plate. However, you’ll still want to research the qualifications and reviews of any carpet cleaning companies you’re considering. A simpler way to check up on a company's history online is to read testimonials on social media sites and to check reviews on sites like Angi. 

Remember: Online reviews are just one piece of the puzzle, and you should be sure to talk with potential pros and consider their qualifications before hiring, too. 

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

Contract and Payments

Always, always ask about a contract beforehand. You should never hire a carpet cleaner who doesn't offer terms for the work. This step protects both of you and can prevent future misunderstandings.

Be sure to clarify things like payment plans or installments if the work is extensive or will take multiple days.

Red Flags and Troubleshooting

Some red flags to consider about hiring a carpet cleaner might include:

  • Vague quotes

  • Poor or untimely communication

  • Low ratings online

  • Suspiciously low fees

  • Wanting to do the work with no contract

  • Uninsured carpet cleaning companies

Check to see whether the company you're contacting is licensed in your state. It is also a good idea to inquire about the company's insurance, as worker’s compensation or liability coverage is standard.

Questions to Ask Your Carpet Cleaner

pet dirt marks on carpet
Photo: New Africa / Adobe Stock

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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