How to Prepare for Your Carpet Cleaning

Clean carpets are a big part of a healthy home and family. But Carpet cleaning can be a big investment of time and money. So when you bring in the pros, you want to get the best bang for your buck.  We can help you prepare for your cleaning appointment.  Just follow these pointers and schedule that carpet cleaning service with confidence.

Image of carpet area mid-clean shows how much of an impact carpet cleaning can have.

Prepare for Your Carpet Cleaning by Preparing Your Family

Your family can help prepare for your carpet cleaning by removing toys from the floor.

As you prepare for your carpet cleaning, take the following steps to ensure a smooth and safe process. First, reserve the rooms or areas you want to have cleaned. Schedule your appointment for a convenient time when everyone in your household can stay away from the carpeted areas. During cleaning, stay vigilant to potential job site hazards. Cleaners will have to leave doors propped open for equipment access and they will be bringing professional cleaning equipment and products on site. Always supervise curious children. And while you’re in safety mode, put pets in a secure and quiet area where they won’t be disturbed by the cleaning process. Whenever possible, it’s ideal to schedule your cleaning when family will be away from your home or apartment for a few hours.

Keep these guidelines in mind, too, when coordinating with other service companies. While it may seem convenient to schedule multiple service providers on the same day, this often leads to sub-par results and frustrated professionals. Please avoid scheduling other service companies while your carpet cleaners are servicing your home. Reserve the best access for the cleaner’s vehicle. Also, allow for the necessary drying time to protect your freshly cleaned floors before hosting any subsequent appointments.

Pro Tip: A special note about odors: Trustworthy cleaning companies do everything possible to reduce or eliminate pet odors. However, depending on the depth of contamination, it may not be possible to have 100% success. Also, for several days after cleaning you may notice an elevated odor due to higher humidity levels). Call to see if the pros think your carpet might benefit from a 2nd cleaning.

Prepare for Your Carpet Cleaning by Preparing Your Home

To prepare for your carpet cleaning, move small furnishings from the room to be cleaned.

When you prepare for a carpet cleaning appointment, people-management comes first but furniture placement is a close second.  This is where a checklist of must-do’s from your service providers can help you feel fully ready for the arrival of your pro.

Make sure you ask the big questions ahead of time. For instance, some companies require homeowners to vacuum before their appointment. Others include vacuuming as part of their cleaning service. Certain carpet cleaning companies impose charges for moving furniture. Others prohibit their employees from providing furniture moving help. Whatever the case, you should plan to remove small items like dining room chairs, magazine racks, floor plants, etc., from areas slated for cleaning.

Secure all breakables. Common examples are framed photos, glass or china items, decorative lamps, and more.  Ensure accessibility to the carpet itself. Raise draperies at least 6″ above the floor and pin up any upholstery skirts. Lastly, clear the carpet of personal belongings like clothes, toys, electronics, or other items.

Put away valuables like jewelry and loose cash, before your carpet cleaners arrive.

You should also put away valuables before the professionals arrive. Do not leave cash and jewelry out unattended. Move fragile and small furnishings to minimize the likelihood of damage. This will ensure your peace of mind and an efficient cleaning service visit. Professional cleaners rarely move larger furnishings.  So pianos, pool tables, computer equipment, china cabinets, sectional sofas, entertainment centers, antiques, and high-dollar furniture should remain in place. However, the pros can clean the carpet beneath such items where there is enough room. Otherwise, technicians can edge around the base of these pieces.

Some companies will allow for these furnishings when calculating the total square footage they will be cleaning. When scheduling your appointment, be sure to ask the company representative about their furniture moving policy. That way, you can anticipate what to expect during the service.

Be Prepared to Make the Most of Your Walk-Throughs

Technicians need access to clean carpet on stairs and in hallways.

Plan to be on-site at the start of your appointment. You’ll find it helpful to learn a little about abrasion dullness and filtration soiling beforehand, as these topics may come up during your initial inspections. When your cleaning pros arrive, request a walkthrough of your home with you to discuss your expectations for the job. This is the ideal time to inform the technicians about any special requirements for moving your furniture. Point out weak legs, loose tops, or previous repairs.

Communicate your concerns regarding the items or areas the pros will be cleaning. You can also highlight any spots or stains that may necessitate special techniques. It’s particularly helpful to identify the make up of the spots are and whether you have used any cleaning products on them.  In turn, your service providers may point out common carpet challenges like heavy staining, filtration and traffic path damage. Conditions like these are not necessarily responsive to cleaning efforts. However, the pros can help minimize these issues and will explain what results you can reasonably expect.

After the walk-through, your carpet cleaning team should provide you with a price estimate for the work before they begin. Make sure the technicians acknowledge your concerns and inform you about the expected outcomes. When the cleaners prepare to depart, inquire about the areas that responded well to cleaning. This is a great time to ask what additional services they recommend. Depending on your household needs and the age of your carpet, they may suggest an application of carpet protection. They may also suggest that you be added to a reminder list for regular carpet warranty service.

Plan for Post-Cleaning too…

Cleaning techs will place plastic tabs and blocks

So you prepared well and the carpet cleaning went off without a hitch. But just because the job is done does not mean the cleaning process is.

Every carpet cleaned with hot water extraction will require some drying time. How much depends upon many factors like existing stain removal or an add-on carpet protection service. Most technicians will advise that carpets take 6-12 hours to fully dry. If homeowners notice their carpets are sodden after 12 hours, this sort of lingering saturation should never happen.  A trustworthy cleaner will be willing to come out as soon as possible, to remove excess moisture.  The president of Pro-Care in Nashville compares a drying carpet to drying blue jeans. The surface may be damp to the touch but it shouldn’t be dripping.

Keep in mind that different types of carpet require different drying times.  Nylon and wool fibers hold onto moisture longer than polyester. The longer clients leave their carpet to cure, the more thorough the drying process will be.  Take special care any time you are crossing from damp carpet to hard surfaces like wood, tile or stone floors.  Wet shoes can be a slip hazard.

The best carpet cleaners will leave plastic “tabs” and “blocks” under movable furniture.  Keep those items in place for 48 hours after cleaning. That way you can make sure that any stain used on wood pieces or paint color or rust does not migrate from furnishings onto the carpet while it is curing. Also, take this safety precaution. Keep children or pets from crawling or lying down on the carpeted floors while they are still damp. Ask the cleaners to leave booties behind for the just-in-case situatiions. Mainly, try to give your carpets the best chance to dry fully before use.

Make that Cleaning Pay-off!

Prepare for your carpet cleaning by freeing up space to access your home

When done well, a professional carpet cleaning is worth the expense and the inconvenience. That said, you don’t want to be scheduling more than two deep cleanings a year.  More frequent cleanings may be required for significant pet contamination. There is plenty of advice out there about how often you should clean your carpet . But for the best condition, basic, ongoing carpet care is key. To preserve that just-cleaned feeling, make sure there are floor mats at all exterior entrances to your home.  Vacuum thoroughly and regularly to be certain that soil and other sharp particles are removed from your carpet. These substances are responsible for most carpet damage. And remember, replacing the filter on your air handler will help prevent your carpets from becoming filters themselves.

Carpet cleaning is a great way to get your home or apartment ready for the market.  Plan the appointment well in advance. This will allow for complications like residual pet odors or unscheduled viewings. The fresh smell of newly cleaned carpet is always a selling point. Even damaged carpet will look better after excess soil has been removed from well-worn traffic paths.

Finally, schedule your cleanings to meet the manufacturer’s requirements. If your carpet is still under warranty, your receipt will serve as evidence of your warranty compliance.  You can pass that information on to a buyer too so keep your paperwork somewhere it is easy to find.

Preparation is the Key to the Best Outcomes

Carpet cleaning makes a big difference in high traffic areas.

A clean carpet makes for a healthy home. A good carpet cleaning experience requires a close partnership between the professionals and the homeowner.  After all, you trust your carpet cleaners to get the best possible results. In exchange, they trust you to have your home fully ready for their visit.

Prepare for your carpet cleaning with a step-by-step strategy. The first step is a thorough preparation of the area to be cleaned.  With a little foresight, a homeowner can plan for ways to keep family members and pets away from the jobsite.  Families can work together to clear personal items and small furnishings from floors. This will insure fast, effective service.

It is important to be onsite at the time of the appointment. That way, you can make sure to identify the problem areas that may require additional effort and time to address.  A second walk-through at the end of the appointment should show where techs have acheived the best results.

Be sure to ask about post-cleaning protocols, including dry-time expectations and safety reminders.  The homeowner should ask for shoe booties to make the occasional carpet crossing a breeze. Leave the cleaner’s tabs and blocks in place will protect floors and furnishings and keep your pets and children off damp carpet for their own safety.

When You Prepare, You Reap the Benefits.

When you have your carpet cleaned, you make your home a healthier place for your family.

What’s left to do, once that appointment is done?  Prepare to be thrilled with your results. There is nothing like the fresh scent and springy texture of a newly cleaned carpet.  Enjoy the confidence that soil, contaminants and pet problems have been removed from your carpet fibers – helping your carpet hold up for years to come.  Appreciate the health benefits, including the positive impact on allergy sufferers in your home. Experience the peace of mind, knowing your family’s floor play time is safer and more pleasant than ever.  Oh, and anticipate the kudos you’ll get for making it all happen. A little preparation reaps big benefits for everyone.

Wondering how often you should have your carpets cleaned? Let this guide help you decide when you should schedule carpet care services. And be sure to vet your service company before scheduling with them.  If you’re not sure how, use these  10 Tips to choose the best carpet cleaning company for your home.


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