Top 10 Tips for Choosing a Carpet Cleaning Company

Clients should always feel comfortable haviing service providers in their homes.

When was the last time a service person visited your home? Was this person on time? Careful? Was pricing clear up front or were there surprise costs in the final bill? How did you feel about the results of the work? Was your home treated with respect? In the end, were you left with a bigger mess to clean up than when you started?

Carpet cleaning is like any in-home service. The experience can be positive, or it can be a headache all around.  Some cleaners make carpet problems worse. In those cases, customers end up paying twice. They pay for the original service and they pay for a more trustworthy carpet cleaner to fix the damage.  But what if you could avoid the hassle and make the best choice the first time around? 

It only takes a little “home-work” on the front end to save you time, money and migraines. The following guide will help you feel confident when choosing a carpet cleaner. Use these 10 tips to find the best carpet cleaning company for your job.

Tip 1: Make a short list of local carpet cleaning companies.

The traffic path in a carpet often needs the deepest clean.

It only takes a little “home-work” on the front end to save you time, Ask friends about their cleaning experiences. Call local carpet retailers and ask who they recommend. Then search carpet cleaning companies on the internet.  However, be wary of the first results that come up on a search. These are ads paid for by the business to put their listing at the top of the page. In short, first doesn’t mean best. 

Click on each company’s website. Is it professional and easy to navigate? Does it provide helpful information? More specifically, is the carpet cleaning company you are considering a franchise or a local business? Is it a member of the Better Business Bureau? What testimonials are you finding online?

Tip 2: Call and ask each company “Are you licensed & insured?”

The only acceptable answer is “yes.” Admittedly, it is rare for a professional company to make mistakes.  Still, should there be a mishap while on your property, the cleaners can set things right if they are licensed and insured. So ask to see proof of insurance because a trustworthy company has nothing to hide.

Tip 3: Ask if their technicians are certified in carpet cleaning.

Trustworthy carpet cleaners don't cut corners.

Want to know a secret? The average employment span for a technician in the carpet cleaning field is around 6 months. Obviously, that’s not much time to learn all the ins and outs of the profession. It takes training to understand the cleaning needs of all carpet types and conditions. A reliable company makes sure their employees are fully certified. 

On the whole, the most respected carpet cleaning certifications are awarded by the IICRC, the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification. When companies are dedicated to the ongoing education of their teams, they tend to keep their technicians for several years. Clearly, those are the folks you want in your home.

Tip 4: Ask what cleaning methods they use.

The carpet cleaning industry includes a variety of methods. However, the big-name carpet manufacturers like Stainmaster, Mohawk, Shaw and Couristan prefer hot water extraction. The primary alternative to hot water is a dry chemical cleaning. This can be harsh on carpet fibers. What’s more, dry chemical substances can leave behind a sticky residue.  Extraction, in contrast, uses a milder detergent. Plus, this method flushes out both the detergent and the dirt buried deep in the fibers at the same time. Done correctly, extraction does not leave any residue and it does not over-wet the carpet.   So ask the cleaning company to talk you through their process.  Their website should provide this information too.

Tip 5: Ask if they offer free estimates.

A trustworthy cleaning company will not overwet flooring.

Most carpet cleaners will quote you a ballpark price range for your project over the phone. The best companies will also send out a technician to make a detailed analysis of your job. Technicians will provide a cleaning estimate based upon the information you provide. They will also note what is visible on the surface of your carpet.

When the team returns to perform their service, the carpet cleaning process may uncover issues that were invisible to the estimator.  In this case, the team should be able to talk you through exactly what they have found and how they propose to address the issue.  Otherwise, the cleaners will stand by their original estimate when the work is complete. In short, ask the company to put their estimate in writing for your peace of mind.

Tip 6: Ask how they price a carpet cleaning job – and what services are included in that price.

Carpet cleaning companies may be equipped to stretch loose carpet.

As Angie’s List says, “Don’t choose the cheapest company.” Low-price, high-volume companies may have tricks up their sleeves.  In addition, beware those “3 rooms for $99” type of promotions. The promotional pricing you get is usually a minimum.  Companies use this strategy to get you to book with them. Once inside your home, these cleaners often try to up-sell you more expensive packages. An honest carpet cleaning business will break down their estimate up front.  That way, you’ll know what add-on costs there might be before the job even begins.

Note: At the time of your call, ask a company what services are included in their estimate and what would involve additional fees. For example, will they walk you through the job before getting started? Will they need you to move furniture before arrival? Does it cost extra to clean stairs, area rugs, or high-traffic zones? A good website will also provide this sort of information.

Tip 7: Ask if they have a satisfaction guarantee.

Look for a company that backs their work 100%.  Be sure to ask them about this before you book an estimate. Without a doubt, you want to know that the company stands behind their reputation and the expertise of its employees. The best carpet care companies are all about serving their clients and guaranteeing the quality of their work.

Tip 8: Ask what additional services they offer, beyond cleaning carpets.

Family plays with blocks on light carpet

If you are putting the time into this research, why not see what else the company can do for you and your home? For instance, some companies offer upholstery cleaning. Others provide care for stone or tile floors. And some provide all of these services for their residential and commercial clients. When you have a great relationship with a full-service company, you’ll want to book them for all your home’s needs.


Tip 9:  Ask about availability – a good company is often booked out a week or two.

Be prepared to wait a bit for an appointment – the best and most trustworthy carpet cleaning companies are going to be busy.  Remember, an outstanding service experience is worth the wait.

Tip 10: After the call, ask yourself these questions:

Was the representative informed? Courteous?  Patient? (Remember, great companies will take the time to answer your questions).  Likewise, did you feel your concerns were understood?  Did it seem like the company is dedicated to the quality of your experience?  If your gut says yes to all of that, you’ve found a good service company. 

In Conclusion:

Pro-Care Technician cleans carpet under curtains.Wherever you live, it is possible for you and your family to have the best possible carpet cleaning experience. First, look for local, licensed and insured. Second, ask about training and certification. Reputable carpet cleaners screen their technicians and make sure they are trained and certified. Furthermore, the best companies will be happy to explain their cleaning services, methods and pricing up front. Likewise, they will offer free estimates and a 100% guarantee of your satisfaction. They will work with you to schedule appointments as quickly as possible. Lastly, they will make sure you have the most outstanding customer service experience possible, from start to finish.   

How do we know what top 10 tips to suggest?  Because we respond to client concerns every day. Pro-Care is a locally owned and operated company in Middle Tennessee. We have offered expert carpet cleaning in the Nashville area since 1995 (for some great tips, see ). For more about our services, find us at

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