1. Truck mounted equipment
Truck-mounted equipment is a better choice than portable steam cleaning equipment because it exhausts the dirty air and humidity outside. Its stronger suction leaves carpets drier, too.
Most carpet manufacturers recommend professional hot water extraction as the primary cleaning method for synthetic carpets. Although it’s often referred to as “steam” cleaning, there’s no steam involved. The carpet is pretreated with a detergent solution, and then a very hot rinse solution under high pressure is forced into your carpet and vacuumed out. When done correctly, this process cleans deep and doesn’t leave behind a soap residue. Quality pros charge $300 to $500 to deep clean 1,000 sq. ft. of carpet. At that price, you might be tempted to skip professional cleanings altogether and just rent a machine to clean the carpet yourself. Don’t. Or at least don’t do only that. A rented or purchased carpet-cleaning machine will remove the surface dirt. But deep cleaning to remove allergens, dust and greasy residues requires the specialized equipment and training of a pro. The best strategy is to use our DIY cleaning tips most of the time and hire a professional every 12 to 18 months.
2. Don’t take bids over the phone
Quality pros will provide references, an in-home inspection and a written estimate based on the square footage, type and condition of the carpeting rather than the number of rooms cleaned, and a written guarantee of their work.
3. Beware of “discount” carpet cleaners!
Discount pros depend on making volume sales rather than establishing ongoing client relationships. They typically spray soap on your carpet, suck up the water and are gone in 30 minutes. These services leave behind a soap residue that will actually attract dirt to your carpet. Those “three rooms for 50 bucks” offers also get them into your house so they can sell you high-priced add-ons like spot removal and deodorizers—services that quality pros include for free.
4. You get what you pay for!
Quality pros charge according to the type of carpeting, the services you need and the size of the job. The entire process can take one to three hours.