It’s not uncommon for people to think that when they call in a carpet cleaner, they don’t need any prep because, after all, he or she will deliver the work anyway. Right? Wrong. When it comes to cleaning a specific item rather than the entire house, you should clear the way for the pros to do their job. They don’t have to put up with your clutter, clothes or dust.
So, here comes the question: what kind of preparation is then necessary? You ask, we deliver. Stay put to find out how to prepare for carpet cleaning to get the best value for your money.
Here are the main things to prepare before the carpet cleaner shows up at your front door with their professional equipment.
This may seem like a no brainer but you will be surprised to learn how many questions arise on the very day of cleaning that could have been answered ahead of time. Not to mention the issues that may emerge as a result of lack of proper communication. Most carpet cleaning companies list information about the services on their website where you can answer most of your burning questions.
However, since every case is different, you may have questions that are unique to your situation. Thus, it is a wise idea to have a discussion with the cleaning experts on the phone earlier on.
Now, this step is not mandatory and should only be executed if the professional cleaning company asks you to. In other words, you need to speak to the manager and inquire whether such action is needed on your part. Most companies will come and do a pre-inspection to identify high traffic areas, tough stains or pet stains, which will allow them to create a pre-treat strategy as necessary. Having done that, they can let you know in advance if you have to move furniture around to facilitate the manoeuvre of carpet cleaning machines. This will help the pros to actually meet your carpet cleaning needs.
It’s not that professional carpet cleaners are not prepared to work their way around furniture but the job will be carried out so much more effectively when you ensure that no small items will get in the way. Think ottomans, chairs, coffee tables, and other small pieces. By putting them away from the cleaning area, you will make the entire procedure more efficient. Meaning, the technician will not need to spend time on moving things around and instead will be able to focus on the actual carpet cleaning process.
Moreover, you want to protect fragile furniture or any other fragile items that may be accidentally damaged in the cleaning process. Take for instance antique items, bookshelves, and china cabinets. If you have a hard time completing this step, you should ask the company whether they have such a service on offer. Some cleaning pros add furniture moving to the final deal and it's usually included in the price. But not all companies were created equal.
If you were to call in cleaners to do your regular cleaning, then it wouldn’t make sense to vacuum the place since, well, that’s what you will be paying them for. But when it comes to carpet cleaning, the only thing that matters to the technicians is any carpets and rugs you want them to clean.
Their responsibility lies in this specific task and does not extend to sweeping the floor, picking up dirt, and getting rid of dust for you. So, if you want them to do a terrific job shampooing or steam cleaning, prepare the surfaces by giving them a quick vacuum. Don’t expect that the cleaner will perform tasks outside of their area of expertise, especially not without discussing them first.
With that out of the way, they can pay more attention to the real pre-treatment step and further cleaning action.
A few words here. You know how some cleaning equipment tends to be bulky and cumbersome. It can involve large hoses that stretch from one room to the next. Sometimes these things can rub against the walls leaving unsightly marks in the corners, doorways, and baseboards. So, to save yourself a few headaches, it may be a good idea to cover these parts with painter’s tape. Foam padding will work for those awkward corners.
The other things to think about are curtains and drapes. If you have window treatments that go all the way to the floor, you should take precautions to protect them as well. So, keep them out of the way if possible.
Tips: This step should not be implemented if on top of carpet cleaning you also booked upholstery and curtain cleaning. In that case, you want to consult the cleaning service if you need to take the curtains down or if they should stay put.
We feel like this is a no-brainer but, still, it deserves a quick mention. If you have pets, the last thing you want them to do is to lend the carpet cleaner a helping "paw” or - worse - growl at them. So, in addition to preparing the area, you should also ensure there are no cute offenders (pets) in the room where the professional will be removing stains from your carpets. If more rooms will be covered during the cleaning, it's best to send your pet to friends or your neighbours for the time being.
Make sure to save a parking spot near the building or clear your driveway (if you live in a house). This will provide adequate access to the equipment. See, apart from cleaning products, most carpet cleaners will also bring heavy machinery, like truck-mounted machinery, that requires a parking lot near the point of entry.
We want to close this section off with a quick Q&A on what to do before you get your carpets cleaned.
Are you supposed to vacuum before the carpet cleaning company arrives?
Yes, it is best to vacuum your carpets and rugs, as well as the area around them, so that you remove any large pieces of dirt, hair, and debris. This will enable the cleaners to get down to business straight away without wasting time on additional tasks.
How long do you have to stay off the carpet after cleaning?
It's best for your family to plan to be outdoors for some time after the carpet cleaning is done because it will take a while before the carpet fibres dry completely, regardless of whether they've received hot water extraction or steam cleaning. On that note, if you have any kids or pets, it is vital to keep them off the carpet area the first few hours or so.
No shoes in the house. Heavy traffic should be avoided until the next day. This will prevent the fabric from flattening or getting any damage. You should also remove furniture that may contribute to that problem. That is, do not bring any heavy objects back into the room until everything is dry. Your professional carpet cleaners will explain everything in more detail.
Should carpet be stretched before professional carpet cleaning?
You should stretch your carpet prior to the carpet cleaning appointment, as this will prevent creases from forming on the surface once the drying process begins. Ideally, you will provide enough ventilation in the rooms where your items will be drying on the floor.
Should I use a pre-treat formula on my carpets before the carpet cleaner arrives?
Other than vacuuming your carpets and rugs, you do not need to give any extra care to the items prior to the service. Leave the job to the pros. They will do everything in their power and expertise to leave your carpets fresh and clean.
How often should I have my carpet cleaned?
It is recommended to call in a professional once or twice a year. In the meantime, you should vacuum your carpets every week. If the fibre allows it, you may even wash them. And if there is a small stain that you think you can handle yourself with some baking soda, it's best to think twice before you ruin the piece.