Get Quotes from Top Carpet Cleaning Services in Washington, WA

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Carpet Cleaner

Dirty carpets carry microbes, pollutants, and allergens that cannot be eliminated by your household vacuum and may impair the health of your family and pets. Hence, it is recommended you deep clean your carpet or rug once or twice a year. However, this is a job best left to the professionals who have mastered various cleaning techniques for every kind of carpet, are well-trained to handle all types of cleaning chemicals, and are well-equipped to restore your carpet’s look and feel.

To hire the best carpet cleaning pro in Washington D.C., ensure that your prospective carpet cleaners can satisfactorily answer the following questions:

How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other Carpet Cleaning Companies in Columbus?

When searching for carpet cleaning services in Washington DC, it is important to find out exactly how much you will be required to pay for these services. Doing this helps you avoid future misunderstandings with your selected cleaners. Professional carpet cleaners in the DC area typically bill their customers per square foot of carpet cleaned, per number of rooms cleaned, or per hour of work done. Nevertheless, your total bill at the end of the day will be determined by several factors, including:

  • The type of carpet
  • Carpet size
  • The condition of the carpet
  • The cleaning supplies and techniques used
  • Your location within the district
  • The urgency of the job
  • The labor intensity of the job
  • Additional cleaning services requested

While many professional carpet cleaners commonly offer prospective clients free initial cost estimates, be suspicious if any carpet cleaner asks you to sign paperwork before they do this. It is also advisable to get and compare cost estimates for your required services before making a final hiring decision. This is an effective way to spot carpet cleaners with rates significantly higher or lower than the going market prices, both of which indicate dishonest business practices and scams.

The list below provides average costs for different kinds of carpet cleaning services offered by professional carpet cleaning companies in Washington DC:

Carpet Cleaning Cost Estimates per Square Foot:

250 square feet
$45 - $110
500 square feet
$105 - $220
1,000 square feet
$200 - $450
1,500 square feet
$350 - $550
2,000 square feet
$450 - $900
2,500 square feet
$500 - $1,100

Carpet Cleaning Cost Estimates per Room:

1 room
$35 - $75
2 rooms
$45 - $155
3 rooms
$75 - $300
4 rooms
$85 - $300
5 rooms
$135- $605

Carpet Cleaning Cost Estimates Based on Cleaning Method:

Steam/Hot Water Extraction
$100 - $350
Carpet Shampooing
$100 - $230
Dry Cleaning
$65 - $135
$30 - $90
$80 - $215

Carpet Cleaning Cost Estimates Based on Carpet Type:

Synthetic fiber carpets
$60 - $325
Natural fiber carpets
$100 - $475

Carpet Cleaning Cost Estimates Based on Type of Service:

Green carpet cleaning
$110 - $250
Carpet stain removal
$30 - $400
Upholstery cleaning
$50 - $100
Pet stain and odor cleaning/removal
$30 - $50 per hour
Stair carpet cleaning
$2 - $5.50 per stair
Water extraction
$400 – $2,000
Furniture moving
$10 - $50
Carpet patch repair
$100 - $250
Carpet re-stretching
$100 - $300
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Do You Conduct Background Checks on Your Carpet Cleaning Technicians?

Ascertaining whether a carpet cleaning company screens its employees is crucial when searching for professional carpet cleaning services in Washington DC. Carpet cleaners enter your home and personal spaces. Thus, the importance of ensuring that proper background checks have been conducted on these individuals cannot be overemphasized. Background checks typically look into the following areas:

  • Court records
  • Credit records
  • Criminal records
  • Driving records
  • Educational and certificate verification
  • Financial records
  • Sex offender lists
  • Social Security number
  • State licensing records
  • Worker’s compensation records

These checks assure you that you are dealing with trustworthy cleaners. They also benefit the carpet cleaning company by guaranteeing that employees will not ruin their reputation by stealing from clients. Therefore, be wary of any carpet cleaning company that cannot guarantee that its cleaners, and other personnel involved in providing your required services, have been properly checked and vetted.

Are Your Carpet Cleaning Technicians Certified By the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC)?

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC) is the premier cleaning–related certifying organization, and it not only accredits some of the best cleaning technicians in the industry but also upholds globally accepted cleaning standards and guidelines. As such, determining whether your prospective carpet cleaning company provides its staff with training and certification opportunities from this institute or other reputable organizations like ISSA is a great way to judge their ability to efficiently and satisfactorily deliver the services you requested. This is because these certifications are only granted to cleaners with sufficient work experience who have completed written exams to confirm this. This, in turn, indicates expertise and professionalism on the part of the certified carpet cleaner.

Another great way to ensure that your required carpet cleaning services will be provided optimally is by looking out for carpet cleaning companies that have an IICRC badge. This badge is typically awarded to companies with at least one IICRC-certified technician on staff, a current business license, and proper insurance coverage.

What Carpet Cleaning Methods Do You Use?

Finding out the kinds of carpet cleaning supplies and techniques that will be employed for the work is another essential step to take in ensuring that you receive satisfactory carpet cleaning services. The best cleaning methods and materials for carpet cleaning jobs in Washington DC are usually determined by several factors, including:

  • The carpeting material
  • The types of stains and dirt on the carpet
  • Personal preferences or allergies you may have

Note that the type of carpeting material usually has the most significant impact on the most suitable cleaning techniques for the job. Carpets are typically made from either natural or synthetic fibers, such as:

  • Nylon: this is one of the most commonly used materials for carpets due to its high durability and resistance to wear. However, nylon carpets are susceptible to stains
  • Polyester: while these types of carpets share similar characteristics with nylon carpets, they are not as resilient
  • Olefin: this carpeting material is commonly used for basements and outdoors because of its high moisture, mold, and mildew-resistive nature. However, olefin carpets can be uncomfortable to walk on
  • Triexta: this is a synthetic fiber carpeting material that is extremely moisture and stain-resistant, very durable, and relatively low-maintenance
  • Wool: this is a high-quality natural fiber carpeting material that is eco-friendly, durable, and stain-resistant. However, wool carpets are rather high-maintenance and prone to fading
  • Acrylic: this is an inexpensive alternative to wool carpets but is not as readily available
  • Cotton: this is another popular natural fiber carpeting material. Cotton carpets are ultra-soft and easy to clean but are also prone to fading, high maintenance, and can get easily stained

Professional DC-based carpet cleaners often employ at least one of the following cleaning techniques when providing their services to interested clients in the district:

  • Steam/Hot water extraction carpet cleaning: this method removes dirt, stains, and other similar particles from the carpet by using superheated pressured water
  • Carpet shampooing: this method uses a mixture of water and special detergents to clean the carpet. Typically, a spinning brush is used to apply the "shampoo" to the carpet, and a machine is then used to extract it until the carpet is free of dirt and shampoo residue
  • Dry carpet cleaning: in this method, the carpet is cleaned using special powders or chemicals. Very little or no liquids or water at all is typically used in the cleaning process
  • Bonnet cleaning: in this method, the cleaning solution is applied to the carpet's surface with a machine equipped with a motorized rotating pad and then extracted along with any trapped dirt and debris
  • Encapsulation carpet cleaning: this method uses cleaning solutions that, when applied to the carpet, bubble, inflate, and trap dirt and debris

The table below lists the pros and cons of each of these carpet cleaning methods:

Method Pros Cons
Steam Carpet Cleaning/Hot Water Extraction Carpet Cleaning Effective for removing dirt and bacteria from carpets
Can help neutralize pollens, dust, and other allergens 
Requires hours of downtime to dry
Retained moisture may cause mold or mildew-related issues
Carpet Shampooing Separates and removes dirt molecules from carpet fibers
Strips embedded pet hairs from tightly wound carpet fibers
Improperly removed shampoo molecules can end up making your carpet look dingy over time
Excess moisture may soak into your carpet’s foam padding and create mold and moisture-related issues down the line
Dry Carpet Cleaning No drying downtime
Safe for all types of carpets
Powders and detergents used can be pungent
Not a good option for homeowners with breathing difficulties or allergies
Bonnet Cleaning Effective for light stains
Not effective for deep cleaning 
Encapsulation Carpet Cleaning Environmentally friendly
Does not rely on water or electricity 
Only useful for surface cleaning and is usually ineffective for deep stains and odors 

Always find out the specific cleaning techniques your carpet cleaners plan to use before they start any work and confirm that they have the necessary tools and experience to implement these techniques effectively. It is also a good idea to let the cleaners know if you have any allergies or breathing problems that need to be considered so that they may avoid using cleaning supplies that can make your condition worse.

Are Your Cleaning Products Safe for Kids and Pets?

It is critical to consider the types of cleaning products that will be used when choosing prospective carpet cleaning companies in Washington DC. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), as well as other potentially hazardous pollutants and chemicals, including ammonia, bleach, and artificial fragrances, are present in many everyday cleaning products. These chemicals and pollutants can have detrimental health implications, particularly on young children and pets, such as:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Sore throat
  • Eyes and skin irritation
  • Allergic reactions
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Increased risk of new on-set asthma
  • Increased risk of cardiovascular and lung issues

Therefore, even though professional carpet cleaning companies in the DC area typically utilize cleaning agents that are safe for children, pets, and the environment, it is always in your best interest to confirm this with your prospective carpet cleaners. Ask for a list of the cleaning products they intend to use and check them on the EPA’s Safer Choice platform, which lists products and supplies that have been verified as safe for use by this agency.

What Other Cleaning Services Do You Provide?

It is common to think about completing other cleaning tasks when making plans to get your carpets cleaned. As such, it is always a good idea to see if your prospective carpet cleaning company also provides these other cleaning services. Doing this simplifies the overall process by ensuring that you deal with just one company rather than having to hire different cleaning companies to fulfill your needs.

Many carpet cleaning companies in Washington DC usually provide their clients with a wide range of additional cleaning services, including

  • House cleaning: this entails dusting, sweeping, vacuuming, and polishing surfaces and usually costs anywhere from $50 to $200, depending on the size of the home or the number of rooms to be cleaned
  • Deep cleaning: this is a more thorough type of house cleaning that concentrates on less-frequented or difficult-to-reach sections of the home and usually costs anywhere from $175 to $450, depending on the size of the home and the number of rooms cleaned
  • Pet odor and stain removal: this focuses on getting rid of undesirable odors and stains left behind by pets and usually cost anywhere from $150 to $850
  • Upholstery cleaning: this involves washing couches, sofas, chairs, and other related furniture and usually costs anywhere from $15 to $230 per item
  • Rug cleaning: rugs are similar to carpets but are typically smaller and not attached to the floor. Rug cleaning can cost anywhere from $100 - $500
  • Laundry services: this entails washing, ironing, and folding dirty laundry, and this service can cost anywhere from $10 to $20 per load
  • Mattress cleaning: this entails washing bedding components, getting stains out of soiled mattresses, and sometimes even airing out these mattresses, and usually costs anywhere from $50 to $150 per mattress
  • Window cleaning: this entails washing and cleaning windows and usually costs anywhere from $1.50 to $12.50 per window
  • Pressure washing: this is typically done on hard surfaces like walls, sidewalks, driveways, roofs, and gutters and usually costs anywhere from $100 and $715
  • Green cleaning: this entails the use of only organic cleaning supplies and products for the job and usually costs anywhere from $100 - $350, depending on the size of the house and the number of rooms cleaned
  • Disinfection and sanitation services: this type of cleaning focuses on preventing the growth and spread of germs, bacteria, viruses, and other microbes and usually costs anywhere from $200 to $475, depending on the number of rooms that need to be cleaned, disinfected, and sanitized
  • Hardwood floor cleaning: this concentrates on hardwood floors and ensures that only cleaning supplies and tools that will help the floor maintain its aesthetic appeal without damaging it are used for the job. Hardwood floor cleaning usually costs anywhere from $40 to $70 per hour
  • Tile and grout cleaning: this is similar to hardwood floor cleaning but is instead done for tile floors, with particular attention being paid to the tile grouts. Tile and grout cleaning usually costs anywhere from $30 to $50 per hour
  • Pest control cleaning services: this type of cleaning focuses on preventing or treating pest and rodent infestations and usually costs anywhere from $85 to $1,200. Note that a government-issued license and certification may be required for the provision of these types of services

Always confirm the types and scope of additional cleaning services your prospective carpet cleaning company offers, and make sure that these align with your specific needs before reaching any hiring agreements with them. Also, be sure to agree on the cost of these services, and find out if the carpet cleaning company offers any discounts to clients who request different types of services or multiple cleaning sessions.

How Long Will It Take for My Carpet to Dry?

On average, it usually takes four to ten hours for carpets that have been professionally cleaned to dry completely. However, the exact drying time of your carpet will depend on factors like:

  • Carpet material: natural fiber carpeting materials like wool and cotton are more absorbent than synthetic fiber carpeting materials like nylon and polyester, and as a result, they often take longer to dry
  • Cleaning method: carpets cleaned using techniques requiring little to no water, like dry carpet cleaning and encapsulation, often dry more quickly than carpets cleaned using techniques requiring a lot of water, such as steam cleaning and carpet shampooing
  • Humidity: carpets cleaned in low-humidity locations normally dry more quickly than carpets cleaned in high-humidity areas
  • Temperature and airflow: the temperature and airflow inside the room or place where the carpet is cleaned will affect how quickly the carpet dries

It is always a good idea to ask your carpet cleaners for an estimated drying time before they start work, especially if you need to prepare for upcoming visitors or have young children and pets that need to be kept away from the wet carpet. Taking the following actions after your carpet has been cleaned can also hasten its overall drying time:

  • Use fans
  • Move furniture away from the wet carpet
  • Open windows and doors
  • Turn on the AC if opening windows and doors is not feasible
  • Use a dehumidifier, especially if you live in a high-humidity location
  • Use a wet vacuum to remove extra moisture

Are You Insured and Bonded?

When you let service providers inside your house, there is always a chance that someone could get hurt or something could get broken. Carpet cleaners, in particular, face risks like injuries from work tools and exposure to potentially harmful chemicals while on the job. However, you can shield yourself from the financial and legal liabilities typically associated with these situations by ensuring that the carpet cleaners you intend to hire are adequately insured and bonded.

Note that while insurance and bonding are commonly used in conjunction with one another and provide similar financial protection to business owners and their clients, they are not the same. Generally, bonds shield clients from monetary losses if the bonded company fails to deliver on promised services. On the other hand, insurance typically protects both the company and the client, ensuring that neither has to pay out of pocket for any accidents, loss of property, or other unfavorable events that might arise while the agreed-upon services are being provided. Professional DC-based carpet cleaning companies usually carry the following types of insurance:

  • General liability insurance: this provides coverage for personal injuries, third-party bodily injuries, and property damage
  • Workers’ compensation insurance: this specifically provides coverage for the carpet cleaning company’s employees. Note that, per local regulations, this type of insurance is mandatory for any business in Washington DC that has at least one employee
  • Employee dishonesty insurance: this provides coverage for losses caused by theft and other similar dishonest acts by the carpet cleaning company’s employees

Request proof of insurance and bonding from any carpet cleaners you wish to hire and ensure that you authenticate this with the appropriate insurance and bond providers before any work is started in your home.

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Carpet Cleaning Service in Washington

The Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia is Washington DC's primary consumer protection agency, and complaints against bad carpet cleaning services in the district can be filed with this office.

The top 10 consumer complaints in the US each year usually include shoddy service delivery and home improvement-related scams. In light of this, the importance of looking out for signs of scammers and dishonest carpet cleaners when searching for professional carpet cleaning services in Washington DC cannot be overstated. Some common schemes that these fraudulent individuals often use when attempting to obtain money from unsuspecting residents of the district deceptively include:

  • Showing up uninvited and offering unsolicited carpet cleaning services for cheap
  • Offering to use special cleaning techniques that cost more than regular techniques
  • Advertising low rates or offering low initial estimates and then requesting higher fees by claiming that the carpet in question is made from a unique blend of materials that require specialized cleaning supplies
  • Asking for complete payment upfront
  • Deliberately failing to remove area rugs before commencing the cleaning

You can avoid being taken advantage of by scammers and dishonest carpet cleaners during your search for professional carpet cleaning services in Washington DC by taking the following precautions:

  • Never hire unsolicited carpet cleaners
  • Ask friends and family for recommendations to reputable carpet cleaning companies in the district
  • Always compare cost estimates from different carpet cleaners before making your final selection
  • Confirm that your preferred carpet cleaners can legally conduct business in the district by contacting the DC Department of Licensing and Consumer Protection at (202) 442-4311
  • Make sure that your preferred carpet cleaners are adequately insured and bonded
  • Use websites like Better Business Bureau, Google Review, and Yelp to look up reviews, testimonials, and complaints, if any, on your preferred carpet cleaners
  • Never hire any carpet cleaning company that asks you to pay the total cost of your required services up front
  • Be suspicious of carpet cleaners who seem unwilling to offer service contracts or written agreements. Also, make sure that any written agreement you are offered specifies the type, scope, cost, service delivery timeline, and products to be used for the job, as well as any guarantees or promises the carpet cleaner makes about their services

You can file complaints concerning unsatisfactory carpet cleaning services and carpet cleaning scams in Washington DC with the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia by calling (202) 442-9828. Complaints can also be filed with this office online, via email, or by texting “complaint” to (202) 738-5212 and following the guided prompts.