Winter can be tough on your carpets, even if you don’t live in a cold area. The hustle and bustle of the holidays bring a lot of traffic through your home, and more activities mean more chances for something spilling and damaging your carpets. And if you do live in a zone with a lot of snow, your carpets will see even more wear and tear as people track in salt and snow.
That's why winter is an ideal time to hire a pro to clean your carpets. You should hire a carpet cleaner about once every 12 to 18 months — and stick with 12 months if you have kids or pets!
It may seem obvious, but frequent vacuuming is a crucial step to keep your carpet in good condition. One thing that's not so obvious? You should avoid using DIY products to remove stains. Experts say homemade cleaning products can actually do more harm than good. Carpet stain removal can be a tricky chemical balancing act, and that expertise is one of the most valuable things a pro cleaner brings to the table.
If you have a serious stain or spill, it’s better to have a pro take care of it sooner rather than later. Mop up what you can with a towel, and then call in help. When hiring, tell your carpet cleaner upfront what specific problems you need them to handle. Kids’ throw up, dog pee and spaghetti stains all call for different solutions. Your pro can use various techniques to address the issue, but only if they know what to look for
You can also help the job go smoothly by clearing furniture and removing breakable items before your pro arrives.
Questions to ask
Before hiring a pro, make sure you get a quote with details about how they charge for their service. Some pros bill based on square footage, while others charge by the number of rooms they clean. Some may even tack on an extra charge for targeting specific stains.
You should also ask how long their technicians have been on the job, and what kinds of certifications they hold. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification is one of the more prominent certifying organizations and requires workers to complete continuing education to maintain certification.
Don’t forget to ask about their cleaning method. Professional cleaners have a variety of tools available to them. Truck-mounted services tend to offer the deepest clean, but if you live in an inaccessible area, they may need to use a portable unit. Most cleaners use either dry-cleaning or hot-water extraction (sometimes called steam cleaning), which have their own pros and cons for various carpet types and situations.
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One more thing: Carefully check your carpet manufacturer’s documentation when deciding on a cleaning method. Some techniques will void your carpet’s warranty.
Tweet your home care questions with #AskAngi and we’ll try to answer them in a future column.
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This story was originally published January 13, 2022 4:28 PM.