Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
Carpet Cleaning


  • How much do you charge for carpet cleaning?

We don’t charge by the room like some companies, instead we charge by the square foot, a honest and uniform rate. We charge .55 cents a square foot. If we are just cleaning traffic areas in a bedroom we will measure the entire room wall to wall and deduct the furniture we are cleaning around so you only pay for the actual area cleaned. Since we do a lot of edge work in hallways, closets and bathrooms these areas stay at the normal rate. For larger areas such as Living/Family/Dining/Sun Rooms or basements, we offer a discounted rate of .49 cents a square foot if we clean the entire room and you have the room mostly emptied out. We can clean around things that are not practical to move such as a book case, TV or piano. You can leave your sofa or dining room table and we can move it around in the room while cleaning. But if you have everything else emptied out like end tables, coffee tables, chairs, plants etc. you can save some money.  Click here to learn more on our pricing page.
  • Can you come out and look at the spots on my carpet?

We have great success with removing the majority of spots, however some spots can be permanent.  Removing difficult spots often require actual cleaning to determine if they will come out or not.  Just looking at the spots won’t tell us much.  The success of specialty spotting varies based on the type of carpet fiber, the source of the spot and what spot removal products have already been used.  We carry all the necessary cleaning solutions and tools on our truck so we are prepared to remove a wide variety of spots.  Consider having us out to clean another area and while we are there we can test any spots you are concerned with before you decide to clean the entire room.
  • Can you come out and measure my carpet?

We offer over the phone estimates based on the sizes you provide.  Don’t worry, they don’t have to be exact because when we arrive for your cleaning appointment we measure the areas to the nearest half foot to figure the invoice.  Consider hiring us for at least our minimum cleaning order on your dirtiest room so you can see the results of our high quality work and while we are there we can measure other areas you are interested in and give you a more accurate estimate before you decide to do the whole house.
  • Will your equipment scratch my
    floors, walls or baseboards?

No. We take special care and precautions to make certain nothing is damaged while we’re in your home. Fine floors and white painted trim are no problem. Use use floor guards, corner guards, hose stabilizers to prevent our hose from falling down stairs, a door stop, and a door drape. We take great pride in our work.
  • How long does carpet take to dry after you clean it?

Carpet and fabric will be dry within 24 hours of cleaning based on the type of carpet, level of air flow, temperature and humidity in your home. (See our drying tips to learn how to speed it up) After cleaning the carpet, it is just damp, not soaking wet.  There are several things Referral does different to ensure your carpet dries quickly. 1- Powerful truckmount equipment 2-We change the vacuum filter after every job or more often if needed 3-Our water pump PSI is set properly so it won’t overwet your carpet by injecting the water to hard. 4-Our cleaning technique, we don’t ‘scrub’ we only pull the solution trigger in one direction so your carpet isn’t overwet. 5- We take an extra vacuum only pass to extract as much solution as possible 6-We bring high speed fans to begin drying completed areas while we are working in your home. Let us know if there is a room you would like dry first and we can start in that room. 7- We help you set your home up for the best possible drying conditions by turning on your thermostat fan, turning your humidifier off and turning on any of your ceiling or box fans.
  • Can I walk on my carpet right after its been cleaned?

  • Do you offer dry cleaning?

No, however we find normally if you are interested in that method you have had a bad experience with a cleaning company that used steam/hot water because they overwet it, it took a long time to dry, or the spots came back. Steam Cleaning / Hot Water Extraction can be the worst or the best cleaning method depending on how it’s done. Learn more about different cleaning methods, carpet manufacturers recommendations and what makes Referral different.
  • What method of cleaning do you use?

Hot Water Extraction also known as Steam Cleaning. This method is recommended by carpet manufactures and is the best way if done correctly, but can be the worst way if done wrong. Learn more about different cleaning methods, carpet manufacturers recommendations and what makes Referral different.
  • Does your method of cleaning get the carpet backing and pad wet?

No. We thoroughly clean deep down in the fibers to remove dirt and stains, but because of our equipment and cleaning technique Referral does not overwet your carpet and pad.  If removing pet urine odor carpet and pad may need to be saturated, click here to learn more.
  • What kind of equipment do you use?

We use the Butler Hot Water Extraction System. It has been manufactured near Boston since 1984 and is the ‘Cadillac’ of carpet cleaning truckmounts. The system is truckmounted so the machinery doesn’t come into your home, just our tools and hoses. We have a 110 gallon fresh water tank and a separate 110 gallon waste water recovery tank. Vacuum and solution line reels are mounted in the truck with enough hose to reach 175 feet.  Some truckmounts are “slide in’s” which are powered by a separate motor and do not have as much power as our truckmount equipment which is Direct Drive / PTO (Power Take Off) powered from the van engine. It generates over 200 degree water, strong vacuum, safe water pressure and injects cleaning solution into our water. The truckmount machine exhausts outside, not inside your home like a portable. However for unusual situations we do have portable machines that can be used such as in a high rise apartment building or office space.
  • How can I learn what to look for when choosing a professional cleaning company?

  • Do you move furniture?

Yes. If you don’t want to, are busy or not physically able to move your furniture we can do so. We still request that you remove your breakables such as picture frames, candles, decorations etc. If you are able to move your furniture and have the room mostly emptied out you can save some money. We also request that you vacuum before our arrival, if you are busy or not able to we can also do that for a small additional charge. See our different carpet cleaning packages and the cleaning preparation checklist for more details.
  • Do you offer a deodorizer?

We are often able to remove odors. The first step is to identify the source of the offensive odor and its source.

‘Dog’ smell coming from pet hair and dander will often be removed with a thorough cleaning.

Smoke odor all surfaces that the smoke came into contact with must be cleaned including walls, carpet, furniture, air ducts, contents etc. Sometimes ozone and thermal fogging are needed.

Moisture / Mold odor often means there are materials with excessive moisture content. The source of the water damage must be identified and repaired, wet materials identified, wet materials dried or removed and affected areas cleaned.

Urine/Feces odor from pets requires an thorough inspection to locate the individual odor causing deposits. These individual spots on the carpet and pad must be deodorized and cleaned. Depending on the severity the affected materials could also include subfloor, tack strip, walls and base trim. These may need sealed and/or replaced.

  • I have allergies / chemical sensitivities, are your cleaning solutions safe for my family, pets and the environment?

The normal solutions we use for cleaning are environmentally friendly. We use them according to manufacturer’s directions and MSDS Sheets. They have been on the market for over 30 years, and are used daily by thousands of companies in thousands of home. We have had success cleaning for people with allergies and chemical sensitivities, however every individual is different. If you are very sensitive as a precaution you may consider leaving the home while we are working and having someone else present. We also offer a green cleaning solution made of only food grade ingredients, however it may have limited cleaning ability.
  • Can I get the same results cleaning it myself?

  • What type of stains can you remove?

A wide variety.  We can not guarantee 100% removal of all stains, some may be permanent.  Success depends on several factors such as the type of fiber, the source of the stain and what stain removal attempts have already been made.  Click here to learn more on our specialty spotting page.
  • Do you use my water?

Our truck is equipped with a 110 gallon fresh water tank that we fill with softened Fort Wayne city water.  Generally that will last for an entire day but if not we may need to hook up to a water source at your home.
  • Do you recycle the water while cleaning? 

No, The water we extract during cleaning is not reused.  It is extracted to a separate 110 gallon waste water tank which is properly disposed of at the end of the day.
  • What kind of vacuum should I use and how do I take care of my carpet?

  • What kind of carpet should I buy?

  • What kind of spot cleaner should I use?

  • How often should I have my carpet cleaned?

  • Do I need to vacuum after you clean the carpet?  

There is no need to vacuum after our professional cleaning. However we do request that you vacuum BEFORE we come to clean.
  • If my carpet needs stretched should I clean it first or second?  

It is easier for us to clean the carpet after it is stretched.  If the carpet is being stretched it must be 100% dry.  Ensure that the carpet installer uses a power stretcher if appropriate.  If a carpet is properly stretched cleaning should not affect it.  Occasionally some carpets may ripple or bloat after cleaning but will typically return to their original look after they dry.
  • Should I have carpet/fabric protector applied to my carpet?  

Reapplying protector is recommended after cleaning.  Click here to learn the benefits of Scotchgard Carpet/Fabric Protector
  • Do you guarantee to remove all the spots and stains?  

No we cannot guarantee 100% removal of all spots / stains.   Removal results vary based on the type of fiber, the cause of the stain and what removal attempts have already been made.  Click here to see the great success we have removing spots / stains.
  • You cleaned my carpet a couple days ago but I still see some spots.  What can you do about it?

We stand behind our work so we will promptly come back and take a look at it.  We generally do not have to return because of poor workmanship since we do quality work the first time.   However even after a thorough cleaning occasionally a spot will ‘wick’ to the surface while drying and may just need an additional cleaning to remove it 100%.  If a spot is unusual or extreme it may need an additional cleaning, not because we did a poor job but because of the severity of the spot.  If this is the case the cleaning technician may at his discretion not guarantee 100% spot removal after the initial first cleaning or allow a free recheck if additional cleaning is required.  If this is the case we can return to clean other areas of your home and while there we can reclean the problem area at little or no extra charge depending on what is involved or you can hire us to come out for our minimum cleaning order.
  • Will cleaning my carpets with your ‘Hot Water Extraction System’ make them resoil quicker, shrink or mildew?

No, It is a common myth that cleaning them before it is absolutely necessary will cause them to get dirty faster. This is an old wife’s tale that was actually true several years ago when shampooing carpets was the common method of cleaning. When done correctly, hot water extraction or “steam cleaning” does not cause the carpet to get dirty faster. The hot water extraction or steam cleaning method is the BEST way to clean your carpets.  But sad to say that if done improperly it can be the worst for your carpets. Why? Improper cleaning techniques can cause over wetting. Many companies clean with the trigger spraying the carpet in both directions which causes over wetting. Most companies do not take the extra effort to take additional ‘dry vacuum strokes’ to ensure no over wetting. Referral cleans with the trigger spraying in one direction with the vacuum slot immediately extracting the cleaning solution. We always take extra vacuum strokes. We do not wet the padding or even the backing of the carpet. We do not shrink or mildew carpets. The rinsing action of the hot water extraction system leaves no soapy residue to attract soil any faster than it did before cleaning. Proper training, techniques, products and equipment are your assurance that maximum soil removal will be accomplished with no such problems.  Click here to learn other reasons you can trust Referral to clean the carpet in your Fort Wayne home.

General Frequently Asked Questions

Will cleaning remove fleas and bed bugs?

Referral can clean your carpet, rugs, upholstery and mattresses and is an important step in removing fleas and bed bugs but alone will not kill or remove them.  We recommend you contact a professional licensed pest control service to develop a plan to ensure that the eggs, larvae and adult fleas /bugs are 100% dead before cleaning.  In Fort Wayne contact Jackson Pest Management at 260-747-9772 or online at www.jacksonpm.com

Do I have to empty all of the furniture out of a room before it can be cleaned?

No.  We can move furniture around within a room while cleaning using furniture sliders.  Then after cleaning we replace it to it’s original position and place foam blocks or plastic pieces under the furniture legs to protect the carpet/furniture while it dries.  Some furniture pieces are not practical to move and we will carefully clean around them.  We do offer a lower discounted rate if a room is empty/almost empty.  Click here to learn more from our cleaning preparation checklist, refer to the section on furniture moving.

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