While part of the joy of hiring a professional includes having someone else do the dirty work, taking these pro-active steps can help make sure you get the cleanest carpet possible and the biggest bang for your buck.
Vacuum, if needed
Removing as much debris and dirt from the carpet fiber prior to a cleaning can help ensure your carpet cleaner focuses on the deep down soiled-in dirt. Some carpet cleaning services vacuum the carpet prior to beginning their work. Others rely on you, the homeowner, to do so. Ask your carpet cleaning professional whether or not you need to vacuum before they arrive.
Dust and clean baseboards and HVAC registers
While not dusting or cleaning your baseboards of HVAC registers prior to the carpet cleaner's arrival won't inhibit their job in any way, you should still complete these tasks. Clearing these areas of dirt and debris can help ensure the carpet doesn't become dirty quickly following a cleaning.
Remove fragile and valuable items
Porcelain knick-knacks, fine china, collectibles and any other potentially fragile or breakable items should be removed from the cleaning area and placed in a safe area.
While many carpet cleaning companies thoroughly screen and vet their employees, it's also a good idea to remove any items of value from rooms with carpeting you hire them to clean. Store your valuables behind a locked door or in your car's trunk.
Move furniture, if necessary
Your carpet cleaner may offer a discount for focusing on high foot traffic areas or cleaning a room that's empty. On the other hand, you may want to ensure your carpet is totally clean from wall to wall. Some companies charge a fee for moving furniture, and others won't move your furniture at all, so ask about furniture when making an appointment.
Remove smaller items from the floor
Floor lamps, waste baskets, toys and clothing or shoes should all be moved out of the area that requires cleaning. It's also a good idea to lift up and secure things like bedspreads, drapes or dust ruffles with a clothespin to prevent them from getting in the way of a carpet cleaner's tools.
If you own pets, secure them in an area that is not set to be cleaned so they are not in the way of the cleaning equipment. Outside or in the garage are ideal for large dogs, however for smaller or indoor pets you can set them up in a bathroom with their food and water until the cleaning process is complete.
Free up a parking spot
If your carpet cleaner uses truck-mounted equipment, they'll need to park their vehicle as close as possible to an entry door in order to run hoses for their cleaning equipment. Make sure your family's vehicles aren't obstructing their work.
Point out areas of concern
Showing a professional carpet cleaner the stains, spots or high traffic areas you're most concerned with will help make sure the carpet cleaner won't miss those areas during the cleaning process.