No need to overdo it
If you have your own carpet cleaning device, you can keep your carpet in pretty good shape by yourself, but most professionals still recommend a cleaning once every 12 to 18 months. If your winters are like ours, I'd make it an annual event in the spring. I found out the hard way that you can not only harm your rugs with too many cleanings, it really can take its toll on your pocket book over the course of time. So again, don't overdo it!
Do some simple research
In this day and age there's no excuse for not doing a bit of homework on anyone you hire out, let alone are willing to let into your home. Do a quick search on Google Maps or Yelp to check out reviews on carpet cleaning services in your area. Like most services, the pickiest will yell the loudest, so don't let a couple of angry reviews turn you off to a company - make sure the general trends in feedback are positive before you pick up the phone.
Talk to your carpet cleaning prospects
If you think of this as an interview, you'll likely find yourself a provider that you can use over and over again. A short list of simple questions and a couple of phone calls will help you separate the wheat from the chaff. If there's swift, smart responses to these questions, you've got yourself a good candidate. If not, keep calling...
- Does your company have any professional certifications?
- Do you vacuum before cleaning the carpet?
- Do you have a formal training program?
- How long has your business (or branch if it's a franchise like ServiceMaster) been in business?