Carpet cleaning professionals will of course clean your carpeting. However, most of them can also clean your air ducts, your upholstered furniture, the grout around your tile, and your draperies. The exact services will depend on each individual firm and the methods and equipment it employs.
The two most popular methods are currently steam cleaning and dry cleaning. With steam cleaning, a carpet cleaning professional will apply hot water and a cleaning solution with a machine. The machine's brushes will work the solution into the pile of your carpeting. Then a wand is used to extract the water, which is why this method is also called extraction clean. Hopefully, when the water is removed, it will carry the dirt with it, leaving you with clean, albeit damp, carpeting. Actual drying times vary, depending on how much water the carpet cleaning professional had to use and how well he was able to extract the moisture. As a rule, it is best to allow at least 6-8 hours of drying time before walking on the carpet.
Dry cleaning is not moisture free, but it does use very little water. Special chemicals are applied with a machine and the rapid evaporation means that carpets are ready for traffic almost immediately.
Encapsulation has been increasing in popularity with carpet cleaning professionals and homeowners alike. This relatively new method involves the application of crystals that encapsulate the dirt, allowing it to be vacuumed up immediately. Drying time is eliminated, and the entire process is usually much faster than the other methods.
Duct cleaning involves the use of a high powered vacuum hose to suction out the duct work. Make sure that the company you engage has the equipment that will provide enough power and enough hose to reach through your ducting. Some companies sincerely vacum around the vents, which provides little benefit and which you can easily do with your household vacuum and extension wand.
Most carpet cleaning professionals who perform upholstery and drapery cleaning use steam cleaning to accomplish the task, although a few use the dry cleaning method. A wand is attached to the same machine as is used for cleaning the carpets, and the wand is moved over the surfaces to be cleaned. Drapes can be cleaned while hanging, although they naturally can not be pressed.
Few carpet cleaning professionals today use the shampoo method, which was the most popular for decades. Shampooing involves using a machine to work a detergent into the pile of the carpet, rinsing it, and then extracting it to various degrees of dryness. The shampoos tend to leave a sticky residue that attracted dirt, and dirt from the padding and carpet back often worked its way into the pile, making the carpets look soiled again very quickly.
You can often save money on your clearing needs by "bundling" them and then getting quotes from several carpet cleaning professionals for providing all the services. Since the company will be there anyway, you can usually save the amount that would have been charged for transit time if nothing else.