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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

What is upholstery cleaning?

From your carpets to your drapes to your furniture, all fabrics need to be cleaned. Cleaning upholstery, or the fabric on your furniture, removes the dirt and oils that are transferred to couches and chairs through regular use. Because furniture upholstery can be delicate and colors can fade easily, it’s often a good idea to let professional sofa cleaners handle the job. They’ll determine the type of fabric — usually cotton, linen, wool, suede or microfiber — and the appropriate method for cleaning it, either steam-cleaning or applying a dry-cleaning solvent. In general, cleaning an entire piece of furniture includes a pretreatment, cleaning, and neutralizing rinse to the body, plus removing and cleaning all cushions and cleaning all crevices.

An upholstery cleaner may clean the entire piece of furniture, on a regular schedule or by request, or do spot treatments to remove pet, food, drink, or oil and grease stains. Furniture can also be deodorized to remove the smell of pets or tobacco smoke. Furniture that’s used often, like that in your family room, should be cleaned once a year to keep it fresh and extend its life. Sofa cleaners often also offer repair services to mend tears in fabric or patch holes in leather.

What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a professional carpet cleaner during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Set up a virtual appointment to discuss the scope of work. Conducting the consultation over video conference or phone call will ensure that you remain within the CDC's social distancing guidelines

Start by messaging a professional steam cleaner or carpet cleaner near you, and ask them if they would be willing to talk by phone or video call. Be sure to ask them how they handle payments and what precautions they have in place to keep you and your household safe. 

How can I find out if a professional carpet cleaner is considered an essential COVID-19 service provider?

Local and federal governments are currently in the process of defining essential services guidelines, and it’s best to read them to see whether professional carpet cleaning or steam cleaning is considered essential. A good place to start is with your city or state’s government website.

The CISA's Identifying Critical Infrastructure During COVID-19 webpage identifies 16 critical infrastructure sectors on a federal level. Some, but not all, jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure.

Can I use digital payments to pay for professional carpet cleaning?

It’s common for professional carpet cleaners to accept digital payments such as Square Cash, Venmo, Google Pay, Zelle, PayPal and others. The current COVID-19 pandemic is quickly encouraging other companies to digitally transform as well. Make sure the carpet cleaner you hire will accept a digital payment instead of cash or check, and come up with a strategy for complying with social distancing regulations.

Compare carpet cleaners near you to see which types of payments they accept.

Who cleans area rugs?

Like your carpets, area rugs should ideally be cleaned at least once a year to remove dust and dirt and help them last longer. In general, carpet cleaning professionals also clean area rugs. Some rug cleaners bring their cleaning equipment to your home, while others remove your area rugs and clean them at their facilities. Either way, the rug should be cleaned with the solution most appropriate to its specific fabric and construction. It should also be completely dry before you return it to the floor.

Does a professional carpet cleaner or steam cleaner need to enter my home?

Because the majority of carpet cleaning and steam cleaning jobs take place in someone’s home, it’s likely that a professional carpet cleaner would need to enter your home.

When you contact carpet cleaners near you, ask if they will do a video call in place of a standard consultation. Send photos and other materials digitally. Practice safe social distancing at all times, and follow both local and CDC guidelines.

Is it worth getting carpets professionally cleaned?

Purchasing a steam cleaner yourself may help to remove stubborn stains, but it simply won’t match the deep clean and efficiency that comes from hiring a professional carpet cleaner. Pros have powerful tools that can quickly remove even the most stubborn stains. 

If you’re selling your home, clean carpets can make your home more appealing to prospective buyers. And the expense is offset when you consider that you only need to get your carpets cleaned about once a year. Plus, professional carpet cleaning can extend the life of your carpets, saving you money in the long run.

How much does it cost to get your carpet cleaned professionally?

The cost of carpet cleaning is generally determined by the type of carpets, stains, square footage and number of rooms that you need cleaned. On average, a professional will charge $94 to clean one room. Two rooms cost an average of $120, and three rooms cost approximately $146. 

To find out how much it will cost to clean your carpets, contact the top-rated professional carpet cleaners near you and ask for free cost estimates.

How do I find and hire a professional carpet cleaner?

First, take your search online to find the best carpet cleaners near you. Look at their ratings, photos of their past work and customer reviews. Having too many negative reviews can certainly be a bad sign, but you should also pay close attention to how they handle those reviews. 

Before you make your final decision on who to hire, ask yourself these questions:

  • What method of carpet cleaning do you prefer? Steam cleaning is an increasingly popular method because it’s thorough and safe, and dries quickly enough for you to return to your home the same day the carpets are cleaned.
  • Are the pros reputable? It's always a good idea to check their reviews and references. Look for references from people in your neighborhood with homes similar to yours.
  • What’s included in the base price? What other services does the carpet cleaning company offer? Some companies will move furniture for you, while others charge a fee for it. Some include stairs in the cost of the home’s cleaning, while others charge per step.

Ask a few carpet cleaners to provide you with an estimate for your home, and compare their quotes to decide on the best one for you. You should also check to make sure that the contractor holds the proper insurance and licenses. 

Reviews for San Francisco steam cleaners
Courtney K.
My carpet looks great after Exceptional Cleaning Pros spent an hour thoroughly steam cleaning it.
Exceptional Cleaning ProsExceptional Cleaning Pros
Sohum M.
Team showed up a few minutes late (understandable due to weekday commuting traffic). Were able to steam clean two bedrooms in about 60 minutes.
All Five Star MJAll Five Star MJ
Thumbtack Customer
We hired Mother Nature's Carpet Cleaning to steam clean our couch, three chairs and an ottoman. They were on time (early in fact), reasonably priced, time efficient and extremely professional! I definitely recommend them!
Mother Nature's CleaningMother Nature's Cleaning
Avichal A.
We asked for a full house cleaning + carpet steam after we moved out. Jose's Cleaning Services came on short notice and did a great job. The place looked brand new after and we got our full deposit back.
Jose's Cleaning ServicesJose's Cleaning Services
Adam P.
Hire Silva to steam clean a few upholstery items and area rugs. He was quick to response with a good quote. He arrived on time to the appointment and made quick work of the job, making my Second Hand sofa look like new.
Silva's Carpet Cleaning Service, Inc.Silva's Carpet Cleaning Service, Inc.
Marsha M.
Scheduled a same day appointment. Vladi got here right on schedule, got to work immediately and did a great job. He did not have a problem with wearing protective booties and was very careful with his equipment so as not to dirty the carpet or hit the walls. He used a wet-steam clean method. Furniture and pillows were quite wet, but smell fresh and look clean.
Green Clean ServicesGreen Clean Services
Ange L.
2nd time using Carl of Carpet, Rugs Cleaning Pros. Exactly on time. Had no urine stain but a doggie odor in this one bedroom carpet that was steam cleaned by another company 4 months ago and started to smell already. He pointed out that the previous company must have done a rush job and I believe his assessment. Carl was thorough and pay extra attention to getting the high traffic areas extra clean. Love his full size portable unit... goes everywhere.
carpetrugscleaningprocarpetrugscleaningpro
Cristina F.
I moved into an older home with existing curtains that I wanted disinfected and cleaned (there were some stains). He did a quick and thorough job steaming the curtains with eco friendly products and removed most of the stains. I also appreciated the effort to protect the new flooring and handle the delicate curtain fabric properly. I’d recommend and work with this company again in the future.
Clean My Carpet-Upholstery-FlooringClean My Carpet-Upholstery-Flooring
Ed L.
Pedro Silva was right on time. He actually double parked in front of my house about 20 minutes before my designated appointment. I have 4 bedrooms spread between 3 floors plus a staircase to do. One bedroom had a bad odor which I requested that room to be deep cleaned and deodorized. The room smells fresh now. Pedro went ahead and deodorized all the other bedrooms too at no extra charge than what was quoted. This was the fastest dry time of all the steam carpet cleaning I have experienced to date. The cleaning was at 2pm and dry by 11pm. I highly recommend Silva's Carpet Cleaning Services based on my excellent service I received.
Silva's Carpet Cleaning Service, Inc.Silva's Carpet Cleaning Service, Inc.
Thumbtack Customer
I will break this review down into sections. QUALITY OF WORK: 5/5. I was very thoroughly pleased by the results of Davendra's work on my carpet that I was required to have cleaned for moving out of my place. We agreed before his treatment began about what stains came from prior owners that would be impossible to get out, and that bleach stains could not be removed. All other stains were beautifully cleaned away. TIMELINESS/COMMUNICATION: 1.5/5. The agreed upon start time was 2 PM on Sunday, with a rough estimate of an end time of 4 PM without seeing the carpet. This was after a bump in schedule as he had a different customer from 12PM - 2 PM. Davendra arrived at 5:23 PM. I had texted at 2:15 PM asking if he was still preoccupied with the previous customer, to which I got no response. I called at 2:52 to ask what was going on, and he confirmed my suspicion the previous arrangement was running late. He said he would then call me when he was finished, which occurred at 3:51 PM. He then told me he would show within the hour. Bad traffic prevented him from showing on time, but did not attempt to let me know that this was the case. Now, I was very happy he could make this cleaning happen at all, as I needed to get it done before move out inspection on Tuesday, and I would not be available to meet him there on Monday, so Sunday made things very possible, and I very much appreciated his willingness. However, the failure to match prior commitments meant I needed to make special accommodations based on my schedule, and I needed to get him a lamp to work with since he was partially needing to work in a room without a built in light, and the place had been completely moved out. If I knew the real window when he was showing, I could have made the arrangements in the first place, especially for a group known as On Time Carpet Cleaning. ESTIMATION/PROFESSIONALISM: 3/5. When Davendra saw the carpet, he let me know he would need to power stretch the carpet to make it completely flat as parts of the carpet curled from the walls, and to steam clean he'd have to get it flat, which would increase the cost. He then gave me an estimate that he'd be done with the whole project in 90 minutes. I returned to the apartment with lamps about 40 minutes later. I found him having some trouble with putting his carpet stretcher tool together. I offered to help as he diagnosed his tools and tried to figure out the problem. Eventually it was determined that one of his tools had a great deal of rust at the end of the stretch piece after a lot of testing the longer middle pipe sections. I had to offer to help him be able to diagnose these issues and build the tool. This process consumed about an hour total, after which he then moved to a more manual tool that required punching with his knee to lift the carpets and seams on the sides of the walls, which worked out better for the final product anyway. I then left him to his devices to accomplish his work at 7:20 PM, and he finished his work at 9:00 PM almost on the nose. So his original estimate would have been very close to spot on if he had picked the right tool at the onset. With that mistake, it ended up taking about 3 1/2 hours. Now, he did give me some discounts for the carpet stretch service, probably due to the timeliness, so that was appreciated and noticed. It still ended up costing more than double what I anticipated. FEEDBACK FOR DAVENDRA I am a software engineer by trade, so I totally understand the want to focus on the task at hand and not worry about distractions. However, through that trade, I have learned a few things I'd like to pass on to improve your service. PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION: When you know that your schedule is going to not work as committed, it is better to escalate and let your customer know that issues are occurring than to do nothing and leave them in the dark as time expires. SHARPEN THE SAW: Know your tools and their state before beginning your work. If you need something to be able to maintain your tools, make sure it is in your toolbox or at least in your vehicle (in this case, WD-40 would have been good to have on hand). The last thing you want is to have your customer, who is calling on you for your professional expertise, to have to help diagnose problems. It looks worse than it is. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CUSTOMERS I still recommend On Time Carpet Cleaning, just know that if you're on a time crunch to be proactive with communication throughout the process to make sure your schedule won't be compromised, especially if the servicer lets you know that you are right after another customer to be serviced.
On Time Carpet Cleaning Water damage cleaning upOn Time Carpet Cleaning Water damage cleaning up
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