DID YOU KNOW that when you have your carpet professionally cleaned it can take as little as one hour to dry — and, according to some reports, as long as THREE DAYS to dry?
According to the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, or IICRC, the certifying body for professional carpet cleaners, carpet should take about six to eight hours to dry, and never longer than 24 hours to dry because, after that amount of time, microbial growth (like mold and mildew) can begin to grow.
You’re getting your carpets cleaned! Congratulations on making the smart decision to hire a professional carpet cleaner to improve the look, smell, feel, and longevity of your carpets.
Once your carpet cleaner arrives at your home, they’ll be doing all of the work. But, there are 5 easy things you can do before they get there to ensure the most efficient and effective cleaning for your carpets.
1. Clear Your Carpeted Areas
The first thing that you should do is clear the carpeted area as much as possible. Things like lamps, plants, tables, and chairs all cover the areas of the carpet that need cleaning. The more of your carpet that is clear, the more your technician will be able to clean.
Your carpet cleaner will let you know in advance what types of furniture they move. They’ll also let you know whether or not they charge an extra fee for moving heavy items such as beds, couches, or televisions.
In addition to clearing as much as you can (or waiting for your carpet cleaner to do it if it’s included in their service), you should also remove any extremely fragile items from the carpeted area. Your carpet cleaner will take great care throughout your home. But, if you have a place to stow fragile pieces, it’s a smart precaution to take.
2. Inspect Your Carpets
Once you’ve cleared the carpeted areas, you should do your own inspection of your carpet. Your carpet cleaner will inspect your carpet when they arrive at your home. But, it’s extremely useful for you to do your own inspection first.
Take a walk around, and look closely. Pay special attention to the areas that were hidden by furniture. Note the locations of the spots and stains. Even better, if you can remember what caused the stain, note that too. Also, take note of the high-traffic areas on your carpet and the traffic pattern in your home.
Now that you’ve inspected your carpet yourself, you are prepared to give your carpet cleaner a tour. You’ll be able to show them the spots and stains so they’re sure to treat them. You’ll also be able to explain which areas of your home get the most traffic.
Your pre-inspection increases the efficiency of your carpet cleaning because you can quickly familiarize your carpet cleaner with the unique challenges of your carpet.
3. Plan for Your Pets
Your pets are part of your family. Let your carpet cleaner know in advance that you have furry children. That way your cleaner can come prepared with the proper solutions for treating pet-related soils. They might even bring a treat for Fido or Kitty too.
Once your carpet cleaner meets and greets your friendly pets, you’ll need to keep your pets out of the carpeted areas until after the carpets are fully dry. Set your pets up in a non-carpeted area of your house. Make sure they have access to food, water, and the outdoors. Borrow gates from friends and neighbors if necessary. Or, consider asking a friend or family member to take your pets on a brief play date.
4. Make Room in Your Driveway
It’s very helpful if your carpet cleaner can park their van in your driveway. Their hot water extraction machine is mounted in their truck. By parking in your driveway, their truck and all of their equipment are as close as possible to your house. Parking in your driveway also allows your cleaner to keep their hoses on your property instead of on the sidewalk or in your neighbor’s yard. And, their equipment is surely safe from theft in your driveway as well.
5. Prepare Your Family
When your carpet cleaner is done with their service, your carpets will still be a little bit moist. While your cleaner is in your home, they will have worked hard to extract most of the water from your carpets. They’ll also have placed fans strategically throughout your home to speed up the drying of your carpet. But, your carpets will still need a little bit of time to completely air dry. Your technician will let you know how much additional time you will have to wait. They’ll also let you know what you can do on your own to increase airflow around your carpets and encourage fast drying.
You should make a plan in advance for how you and your family (and your pets) will stay off of your carpets until they are fully dry. Make sure the laptop is in the kitchen instead of the living room. Plan a family date night out to dinner and to the movies. And if you can’t avoid walking on your newly cleaned carpets, ask your cleaner for some shoe coverings (booties).