How to hire carpet cleaning services
By Kate Martin
If you've got ground-in dirt or tough stains, it might be time to call in a professional carpet cleaner. Find out how to keep costs down
It might seem surprising, but experts recommend that you get your carpets professionally cleaned about once a year.
Regular vacuuming helps to keep surface dirt under control. But after a few months, grime, dust and allergens can build up in your carpet fibres, especially if you have pets, young children or tend to leave your shoes on indoors.
If you’ve bought a new carpet and have a warranty, check whether it includes information about how frequently the carpet should be cleaned.
Finding a professional carpet cleaner
Look for carpet cleaners near you that are registered with professional organisations. The National Carpet Cleaners Association has its own listings. Alternatively, search our directory at Which? Trusted Traders. Every company that we endorse has been vetted in our rigorous assessment process, and we make sure that they comply with our strict requirements and code of conduct.
Once you've found a firm you're interested in, check its online reviews to see what other customers thought. If the company is a Which? Trusted Trader, all of the reviews on its profile page will have been checked by a team of moderators. You can also read reviews on Google's business listings, websites such as Trustpilot, or on social media, but take these with a pinch of salt as they're not always accurate.
If you can, ask friends and family who live nearby whether they’ve used a company that they recommend.
Getting quotes for professional cleaning
Before you agree to hire a professional service, work out how much of your home needs to be cleaned and discuss your requirements with the company.
You could ask for a quote for only cleaning parts of the carpet that you regularly walk on. You may find that it's cheaper to clean around large items such as beds and sofas than to move them out of the way.
It's likely that the call-out charge will make up a significant proportion of the total job cost . If that's the case, it may be better value to get several rooms cleaned at once.
That said, if your carpets are all in good condition apart from one stain or spillage, your cleaner may be able to just deal with the stain and blend in the surrounding area for a cheaper fee than a full service.
Some cleaners offer discounts to customers who use them regularly, as it’s easier to clean carpets that have been well looked after. So you may be able to negotiate a reduction on future services.
If you can, get quotes from at least three companies before choosing which one to use.
Don't forget to ask how you should prepare your home so that the job can be done quickly. If the company has to move furniture for you, that may add to the cost.
When you buy a new carpet or have one professionally cleaned, ask for a ‘stainguard’ treatment to be applied – it makes removing stains in future far easier.
Getting carpets cleaned when you’re moving home
It’s usually cheaper to get carpet cleaned in an empty house because the cleaners can get round more quickly.
If possible, it's worth arranging a professional carpet clean in your new home before moving in any furniture. Just remember to lay decorating sheets to protect freshly cleaned carpets when you do carry in your furniture.
Some rental contracts require you to have your carpets professionally cleaned when you check out at the end of your tenancy. If that's the case, try to arrange to remove your belongings in advance, so that the clean is quicker and cheaper.
Cleaning a stain or spillage yourself
If you've got a stain that's fairly minor or has only just happened, read our carpet cleaning tips for advice on how to tackle it yourself.