Carpet Cleaning: 20 Key Questions to Ask

There’s no way to avoid it. No matter how often you clean, routine dirt tracked in on a daily basis can quickly make carpets look dingy.

Regular vacuuming removes some of this dirt, but much of it settles deep into the pile beyond the reach of traditional vacuums and home-based carpet cleaning equipment. Unfortunately those embedded dirt particles act like microscopic pieces of sandpaper, abrading the fiber, creating mats and frizzing, and permanently damaging the pile.

The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI), a carpet industry trade association, recommends you protect your carpet by having it deep cleaned every 12 to 18 months. Established, reputable cleaning companies use equipment and products that have demonstrated effectiveness and are approved by the CRI. They also employ technicians who’ve been certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC).

To help you find a qualified, reliable service provider, we’ve outlined 20 key questions to ask (and get answered) before you hire a carpet cleaning company.

Qualifications & Experience

  • How long have you been in business?
  • Are you licensed by the state?
  • Are your technicians certified?
  • Are your employees insured and/or bonded?
  • Is your work guaranteed in writing?
  • Can you provide references and contact information for recent satisfied customers?

Services & Pricing

  • What is included in your typical cleaning package?
  • Do you provide a firm written estimate?
  • Does the stated price include everything or will there be additional fees?
  • Does the stated price include pre-treatment for high traffic areas? Pet stains? Other stains and spills?
  • Does the stated price include a final treatment to protect against stains and resoiling?
  • Do you move the furniture? Do you charge extra or is it included in the stated price?

Cleaning Methods

  • What type of cleaning method do you use?
  • Is your equipment truck mounted or portable?
  • Does this method have a CRI seal of approval effectiveness rating? What is that rating? (bronze, silver, gold, platinum)
  • Are your cleaning products approved by the CRI?
  • Do you vacuum before you begin cleaning?
  • Does the final step include a low or neutral pH treatment to protect the carpet fibers?
  • How long will it take to complete the entire job?
  • How long must we wait before we walk on the carpet and move furniture back into place?

If you or someone in your household has allergies or chemical sensitivities, ask specific questions about the chemical compounds and fragrances present in the cleaning solutions. You may think of additional questions or find you don’t need to ask all of them, but this list will get you started.