Looking to have my carpet cleaned ...but....

Toomuchglass

I'm scared to hire anybody unless I can verify that they're honest and reliable. Long ago (before I had a computer to investigate ) I hired cleaners twice. Seems like there is alot of people that do it by themselves and have no standards or no guarantees. One time , a guy gave me a quote on the phone and when he got here and was finished - the price shot way up because he considered a little patch of carpeting a "hallway" . Second time , the price shot up because I thought shampoo was included - I just got steam. Last week I called a guy that advertised online . I asked him if he lifted the furniture just to get under it a bit - and he yelled " What the hell? Do you want me to move your whole house ? " and hung up on me. The next minute he called back and said really snotty " yeah- for 10 bucks I'll move the stuff" . I said "no thank you " ,hung up and quickly blocked his phone number. I don't want to rent a machine myself - did it once long ago and it was the biggest, leakiest mess I've ever had to deal with. What do you do when your carpeting needs shampooing ?

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dees_1

I have always had pets so I clean my carpets more frequently than most. I used to rent cleaners but usually spent a lot of time cleaning the cleaner before I used it. The gross factor one so I bought a carpet cleaner years ago and it does a great job. I clean mine every 6 months at a minimum. I move all my furniture myself and clean around things I cannot. It's a lot of work and it takes me a full day but I know it's clean. To me, this is my best option. I can clean at my convenience, do one room at a time....and so on. Cost of the carpet cleaner is about the same as someone coming out to do it once. Pays off in the long run.


I've had my carpet cleaned professionally once. He did a good job and I really did it for the convenience factor. I moved all furniture so he had a clear shot and I had him do stairs. I wanted them done quickly because I work from home and had meetings and all so I tried to make it simple for them. See if you can get recommendations from your neighbors. It's so hard to find good cleaners!

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raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio

I've used pros (I stick with companies that have been around for years) but usually I just rent the machine from the grocery. I've not found it to be a leaky mess, and I like that I can go over an area as much as needed. I also don't have trouble moving my furniture around as needed to get all areas clean -- if I couldn't it would be a different story.

Most of the less expensive or price-with-coupon pros generally make one pass and that is it, although may go over a small area more if you point it out and ask. They want to get in and out as quickly as possible.

I can remember having pros that will move furniture, and take care to place plastic under the legs/feet of furniture, but those guys do cost more.

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gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

Hire a professional carpet cleaning company. In my area, there are a number of them around that are licensed and insured. Moving furniture is not something most of them do so best to get all the smaller stuff out of the way first.

btw, most carpet manufacturers recommend steam cleaning only.

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eld6161

We only have our basement that has carpet. We found a family run business and use them. They also will do tile floors and upholstery.


I think you are better off with a chain like Stanley Steamer rather than take a chance like you did.


Side story, but relevant: We are going to surprise our DD and have her sofa cleaned while sh is away. it is a disaster. For the past year, she has been fostering dogs. From the looks of things she stopped covering up the sofa. I called a few places in her area. One wants $250 plus an extra $40 for fabric protection. Another place will come out prepared to work and will give the price right then. If you don't agree then they leave without the job.

They claim that the cheapest is $90. Right! Like they will ever charge that low. However, I will probably go with them because I think they will be lower than $250. We are prepared for $200.



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Elmer J Fudd

"I'm scared to hire anybody"

I hope you don't mean this literally.

It's true there are a lot of scoundrels in this business. Maybe best to go with a referral from people you know. When setting it up, get a few quotes if a large area is involved and specify you want a fixed price estimate. That should be enough to avoid "extra" charges.

"Licensed" doesn't mean much in this business because this isn't a trade for which there's much regulation or a contractor's license. When this is said, it usually means they have a "business license". They're available to anyone from the local county or municipality with the payment of a small fee, it doesn't signify compliance with knowledge and standards as for the contractor types that are regulated.

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Lucille

Toomuchglass, I bought a nice, quality machine from Costco and it works very well, no leaks, no problems, easy to use and not too heavy and is about the same size as an upright so is easy to store. This was after I had a nice one and took care of it for many years, and DS borrowed it and broke it in 1 weekend. I love him, but no one gets to borrow the new one.

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Toomuchglass

I remember renting one of the grocery store ones. UGH ..... First I'd have to clean it --- and it had a big tub that you had to fill with soap water and when you'd go back and forth over the rug , it would splash out of the sides , leave puddles on the rug and we had to empty this filthy water in the bath tub a couple times ..... that was the last time. They HAVE to have gotten better since then ......

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Bluebell66

We have had our carpet professionally done several times and every company has moved the furniture - at least enough to clean underneath and then they put it back in place with square plastic things to keep the furniture legs from getting wet. But I like the sound of buying my own machine so we can do it as often as we like, one room at a time.

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susanwv

Do u hav Stanley Steemer in your area? They are good !!

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katrina_ellen

I just had a conversation last week with a flooring guy I have had do my house and asked him about carpet cleaning companies. He said to go to the CRI website - I think it stands for carpet research institute and find who they have listed in your area who is certified in their methods. He said to beware of some companies because they don't do a good job and they try to sell you on other things. The one I found close to me was a Stanley Steemer. But I don't know if all of them are certified, they listed two in my area and they also listed some that are not chains. I haven't called them yet though and don't know anyone who used them so I can't say how they do.

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Rose Pekelnicky

There are some really nice carpet cleaners now. They are easy to use, don't make a mess and are about the size of an upright vacuum.

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Toomuchglass

I do have a Stanley Steemer in my area ! I see the house across the street using it. I'll look into it ! Thanks for telling me about the newer shampooers,Rose .... I thought they'd have to get better -they couldn't get much worse !!!! lol

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Elmer J Fudd

I think Stanley Steemer is a franchise, each independently operated and owned. I wouldn't assume anything from one to another.

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functionthenlook

I have my own carpet cleaning machine and do them myself. My motto is " If you want something done right, do it yourself" I never ever use the shampoo. Some of the shampoo remains in the carpet and actually attracts dirt. Making you have to get your carpets cleaned more often. All I put in the shampoo container in my machine is vinegar . Different carpet fiber clean better than others. My nylon cleans like a breeze with just hot water , the poly in the bedrooms needs the vinegar . There is only the two of us on a regular basis, but have our two grandchildren every week end and don't take off our shoes when we enter the house. I only have to clean mine once a year.

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annztoo

As Elmer said: "I wouldn't assume anything from one to another."

I chose to use Stanley Steemer recently since I'd had a good experience with them a couple years ago. This one was a nightmare. Afterward I read all the local feedback and 95% of it was negative.

First, he tried to upcharge once he got here (just one guy), then when I questioned the dark spots in the FR after he was done he said they were stains and wouldn't come up. I doubted him after he left and drug out my Bissell carpet cleaner and the dark spots were dirt and dog hair. (I knew he couldn't have been thorough when he finished the carpet portion so fast.) I left a detailed review and was promptly contacted by the company. They wanted to send someone else out to try to rememdy the situation....something I'd already done.....and no mention of a credit! I let them know my thoughts and received their standard apology, etc.

I'll do better research next time.

For those that want to tackle the job themselves, be sure you have a strong back and be ready for several trips to the sink to change out the water. I'll do small areas with my Bissell but I'd never tackle a large room......especially since I have pets!

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nicole___

My property manager has a GREAT guy that cleans empty rentals. I think he charges about $250, which the tenant pays. I own a carpet shampooer, have used it once. It works. I usually have a little cat hoark spot to clean. I use Awesome Carpet spray, done! Most of my house is wood floors.

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maifleur01

A suggestion about emptying the tank. Do not use a sink. Empty it into a toilet. The drain pipe is larger from the stool and especially with animal hair less likely to clog if your water pressure is not very strong. It all goes the same place sewer or septic tank but it could save a drain clean.

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lisa_fla

If you want to hire a service your best bet is either asking friends, asking on Nextdoor, or reading reviews on Yelp. I utilize Nextdoor for most services-these are your neighbors recommendations! I do my own carpets. It’s not much different than vacuuming with a large upright. It never leaks and I empty the dirty water outside or down the. toilet. I buy the Zep carpet shampoo at Lowe’s. I’ve also used diluted LA Awesome following the measuring instructions.

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amylou321

I bought a rug doctor a few years ago and I do it myself. Only 2 rooms in my house now have carpet and they are largely unused but our last house had carpet all over and I cleaned them 3 or 4 times a year. The machine itself was pretty pricey but I think it was worth it.

I empty the tank in the yard. I like to hose it out after each time I empty it.

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DawnInCal

I used to use the guy who cleaned the carpets at the school where I worked. I knew him from observing his work and talking to him when he came to clean the classroom carpets during summer break. Now that we have mostly hardwood floors and just two bedrooms with carpet, I rent a machine and do it myself. Used to do it twice a year, but now that we no longer have pets and are planning to replace the carpet, I haven't bothered for the last 18 months.

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Elmer J Fudd

I'm not a fan of using Next Door for service recommendations. To me, it's random comments from random people. Recommendations from strangers can be useful and can also be poor advice, it can be hard to know which it is. Recommendations from people I know similarly fall into both the Useful and Not Useful categories, so for me, I consider only advice from people whose opinions I think have a good basis.

(The worst painting contractor I've ever hired was recommended independently by two friends, failing to follow my own reluctance. I thought he was awful before the work was even done but I said nothing to them. They later came around to the same point of view because each experienced durability problems that occurred much too soon.)


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lisa_fla

So far I've been very happy with Next-door recommendations. Usually some companies names will come up several times with good results in a thread about whatever service is mentioned. People also mention who not to use!

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amylou321

My Nextdoor is not helpful. Of course, I live in a rural area. If there is any activity, it's usually for lost or found pets, or people selling their stuff. Occasionally someone selling avon or pink zebra gets on there looking for new customers.

Once,there was a scold/curse posted entitled:

"To whoever shot my duck."

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pudgeder

Once you find a company, do a search with "name of company" and "reviews." That should help some.

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watchmelol

I don't care for NextDoor recommendations either. Too often it's friends pushing their friend's or neighbor's businesses. I have good luck with Yelp. You do have read the reviews carefully and look between the lines. Like many review sites the negative reviews can give you a lot of insight also. Many times they end up putting the business in a more positive light when you see what the crankiness is about. I found a great plumber, a family run appliance repair and an excellent drywall guy though Yelp. Before we pulled our carpet I was going to use a carpet guy from there. Very eccentric in the reviews but meticulous to a tee.

Many people trust the big companies with the big advertising budgets. However one must consider that their employees come from all walks of life, with varying experience and are working for a paycheck not their companies reputation. The sole proprietor in skilled service work has more to lose, often really knows the in and outs of his craft, has years of experience or apprenticeship and gives better, more personal customer service.

But I come from a standpoint of knowing how to do many things. Hiring it out for us is more related to aging and no longer wanting to do some things ourselves. I can hire a good worker by understanding the job I want done enough to know what I want. I also know to leave them be and do their job without interference once the decision has been made to use them. You read the contract and/or ask questions to be sure you understand what they will do or not do before hand. Not afterwards. We recently delayed a fence being built because the grade of wood and an additional post was verbally mentioned but omitted in the written quote. Once that was done we signed them off on them doing the work which they did well and professionally.

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sjerin

In my area Stanley Steemer, Coit and Zerorez are the biggest, most well-known companies and I've used them all. Back in the day they used to send two guys who could easily move furniture (not the really heavy pieces, of course,) around and who took turns with each room or at least each job. Now they only send one fellow and I always feel soooo sorry for how hard they have to work. But they do a good job and so I continue. I had a guy do it who worked for himself at the behest of our agent when we moved into our house and he left the old carpet in waves. Not happy. Have you looked at Yelp for your area?

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bpath Oh Sophie

Toomuchglass, why not knock on your neighbor's door and ask if they are happy with Stanley Steemer?

Our town has a "secret" Facebook group dedicated to service recommendations. The rules are, you can't recommend your own or your family business, has to be local if possible, and if you have a negative review, PM it to the person asking for recommendations. I found a carpet cleaning company through the group, it gets raves and is somewhat locally, independently owned and operated. They've done my parents' and my aunt's carpets a few times, that get a lot of abuse, and the carpets look great each time. They didn't move the big furniture but raised it and put blocks underneath.

We bought a shampooer and have been very happy with it. I hate washing floors but I kind of like shampooing, as long as I have earplugs and the chunk of time to dedicate to it. Bonus: we've also used it for unexpected water on the floor and carpet from seepage or frozen pipes. But, it's heavy. I slipped on the stairs with it and it put a little hole in the wall at the foot of the stairs. Oh, it's a Hoover and despite the weight, a couple of plastic parts have broken. It still works, but the bucket handle is gone and I'm worried the supply tank is about to fall off.

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joyfulguy

Good idea to have a wide circle of friends, and one can ask various ones for a while before one wants the job done.

Or ... maybe have a few buy a machine, together ... and it would be great if one (or more) would be interested in doing a job for others, occasionally.

A carpet cleaner that gets used once a year ... in each of several houses ...

... is great for the manufacturers of carpet cleaners, but rather an unprofitable/unwise use of resources from the consumer's viewpoint.

ole joyful


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quasifish

I also do our own carpet cleaning because I don't want to hire someone and don't like the smell afterwards. We bought a home rug doctor machine at Walmart after doing a lot of research. One of the reasons we bought that one was because a reviewer said she could use it while in a wheelchair and I have a bad back at times that makes pushing and pulling heavy things problematic.

I don't move furniture most of the time, just do the high traffic areas and move everything on occasion. Set up and break down is very easy and fast. There are some good, easy to use models out there if you are interested in going that route. If not, then I'd probably go with a national chain with good reviews in your area, though when I was young we had to hire someone to clean rugs moving out of a rental and ended up with a con artist from a franchise with one of the biggest names- the quoted price more than doubled when he was done. At least you can look at reviews online these days.

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sheilajoyce_gw

Look at the ratings on YELP. We found some good cleaners that way. Stanley Steemer is a waste of money.

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