Getting your carpets cleaned professionally at least once a year has become a must. Regardless of how stain resistant your carpets are supposed to be, they will get stained. Dirt and dust will build up, and your standard vacuum cleaner won't be able to cope. Additionally, professional carpet cleaning services have been known to extend the life of carpets and improve indoor air quality.
There are plenty of preparations you can make prior to having your carpets cleaned. In this article we will go over them in detail, and also what you need to do after the cleaning. Before we get into the specifics, however, it's good to discuss how to choose a carpet cleaning company.
How to choose the right carpet cleaners?
- Has the company been on the market for long?
Professionals who have been long in business are likely to have high-end carpet cleaning machines and cleaning agents. Odds are, they also have extensive carpet cleaning knowledge due to their experience. This all makes a huge difference when it comes to odour and stain removal.
- Do they have good reviews?
A proof of the good work done by a company are the positive reviews online. Generally, a customer is likely to leave a review if their expectations have been met and even exceeded. A company which manages to do that on a consistent basis is another proof of their reliability.
- How much do they charge?
As steam cleaning needs to be done relatively often, you need to be sure that you're not spending a fortune. Companies which are local to you should have better pricing than the top dogs. This is why it's good to compare at least a few options prior to making your final decision.
- Are they asking enough questions?
A smart and experienced customer service representative will make sure to ask you a lot of questions. Without all the necessary information, the quote and information provided to the customer may be misleading. Due to this, you should be prepared to tell them as much as possible about your carpets and area rugs.
If a company ticks all the boxes, you may have found the right one.
What to do before carpet cleaning?
- Move furniture
Placing smaller furniture, such as chairs and coffee tables, on top of sofas and beds saves your cleaner time. Additionally, small items such as books, toys, etc, should also be removed prior to the technician's arrival. Just in case, we also advise storing fragile and valuable items.
As far as heavier furniture is concerned, if you need the carpet cleaned underneath, place tin foil onto the legs. This prevents possible discolouration and dents onto the carpet. Otherwise, make sure to move the heavier items back to their place only once the carpet dries fully.
- Hoover the carpet
Vacuuming the carpet before the actual steam cleaning process saves you and the cleaner a lot of time. Start from the room furthest from the property entrance. This is also the way in which the cleaner will do the carpets to avoid stepping on the cleaned areas. While professionals would hoover for you anyway, it doesn't hurt doing it yourself if you're willing to speed things up.
- Make sure there is parking
Assuming you have a driveway, you'll simply have to make sure there is space available for the cleaner to park there. However, not all property owners are lucky enough to have their driveway or personal parking space. Some of you would have to be prepared to get a permit for the duration of the cleaning. Alternatively, an additional fee for the parking might be applicable to the total bill.
- Get your pet out of the room
Industrial steam cleaners are twice as loud as household hoovers. As we all know, pets are scared of hoovers and get stressed out during vacuuming. The same applies to professional carpet cleaning. Even if your pet is unbothered by the noise, it will get in the way of the cleaning and can make a mess onto the cleaned carpet.
- Prep longer curtains
Curtains which go all the way down to the floor should be tucked or tied prior to the cleaning service. While you're at it, you can even put them in the washing machine to further improve the look of your home. Moreover, most steam cleaning companies also provide with curtain cleaning in situ. And if you already have your carpets booked, why not ask for curtain cleaning and get a good deal?
- Be aware of the stains and marks
The chances of dealing with certain stains and marks will be higher if the cleaner knows more about them. Be prepared to tell them about the origin of the stain, its age, and if you have attempted treating it. It's best to be honest about this, as misleading information can lead to worsening of the carpet problem. If you also have information of the carpet type and when it was laid, make sure to let the company know.
What to do after carpet cleaning?
- Have the carpet protected
An additional after-care service which carpet cleaners offer is Stain Protection. Having your carpets protected helps prevent future stains; keeps dust above the base of the carpet and strengthens the carpet fibres. Essentially, if a spillage or an accident happens, the chances of you removing the issue successfully will be significantly higher. Furthermore, better results will also be achieved the next time the carpet gets cleaned professionally.
- Allow time for it to dry
Depending on how wet the carpet is after the cleaning, the drying time will vary. Dirty carpets and high traffic areas in general require more treatment, and in turn would need more time to dry. The average waiting time is between two and four hours with proper ventilation. If the weather conditions do not allow for windows to be left open, turn on the heating.
In case you need to walk on the carpet while it's still damp, have some clean slippers handy. If not, the cleaning company representative should be able to provide you with shoe protectors.
- Remember to vacuum
Neglecting to hoover the carpets on a weekly basis lowers their life expectancy. Essentially, the longer you wait to vacuum the carpet, the deeper the dirt and dust will go into it. This can lead to loss of colour and lower indoor air quality. Additionally, the next steam cleaning service will be less efficient and effective.
- Deal with stains right away
The best advice for stain removal is to act in a timely manner. Leaving a stain for as long as 24 hours is a common mistake. It's usually best to soak up as much of the issue as possible and clean the area with a mild detergent. We advise using soapy water and treating the stain with blotting motions.
Rubbing or scrubbing can widen the stain and make it go deeper into the carpet fibres. This will make the take of stain removal significantly more difficult for the professional. In some cases, it's even better to leave the issue as is and wait for the cleaner to arrive. The most adequate advice for the specific situation will be provided to you as soon as you call an expert.