Carpet & Rug Cleaning

Parent Q&A

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  • Carpet cleaner needed

    (1 reply)

    The fellow who has cleaned our carpets for years has retired so we would very much appreciate some recommendations for someone to take his place. We would prefer someone or a company who does not use a wet method as often the water seeps into the padding and can damage the wood below it. Many thanks.

    We use Ken at Sparkling Carpet and love their work. Not sure they use a dry method but worth asking Ken:

    Sparkling Carpets, Inc.
    Carpet, Rug, UpholsteryCarpet Repair, Flood Cleanup
    Toll Free: 1.888.408.4358

  • Carpet cleaner needed

    (7 replies)

    My wife are I are in need of some recommendations for a good, honest and reasonably priced carpet cleaner to come to our house for that purpose. Individuals preferred but thoughts on companies welcome. Many thanks.

    I recently had a great experience with Friendly Green.

    The owner was also the person who came to clean my carpets so it’s a small operation and he was very friendly, professional and thorough. Also honored a Groupon deal I wasn’t aware of and prices were the best out of the few quotes I got. 

    we just had Larry from Larry’s Extreme Clean out to do two rooms in our rental and he did an amazing job— he was quick and the price/value for his work is phenomenal. I cannot believe they’re the same carpets. he’s great!

     I have been using Appleby Cleaning (510)351-5230  for years and I really like them.  They always do an excellent job, they don’t use toxic chemicals  and they are very reliable.  I cannot guarantee they’re the cheapest but I do think you would be happy with them.

    I have recently used Ulysses ( cannot remember company name) and he was GREAT! Reliable affordable and great results. He can be reached at 510-484-5634. 

    Feel free to contact me with questions-

    gretchen_davidson [at]

    Hey there!

    We have worked with Larry Lynch for over seven years. He’s reliable and he can customize his services depending on what you need. We have dogs and kids so I wanted someone who uses non toxic products that could get out tough stains. 

    Larry.lynch [at]

    We use Sonny at 510.334.8630 for our rental units and home).   

    I believe the company is Dry Master Carpet Cleaning in Oakland (or something like that). 

    Very thorough, easy to work with and honest. 

    I used Johnson's to clean a very delicate area rug and found him to be fair, honest and provide excellent service. He was referred on a neighborhood site and I'm glad I found him.

  • Rug and Carpet Cleaners

    (3 replies)

    Any recommendations for rug/carpet cleaners. Especially need to remove dog urine odors. 

    We've used Tulanian Rugs in Berkeley for years. I have a wool rug and they hand wash and do a good job.

    We've used Sonny at Bay Area DryMaster in Oakland for years.  From tenant move-outs to our home (wall-to-wall carpet and Karastan orientals).  We have a cat who has the occasional accident.  Sonny removes stains, cleans and removes the smell.  I would recommend you call him for an estimate and evaluation.  He is hard working, reasonable and honest.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

    I had Ulysses come clean my rugs a couple months ago.. he is very friendly, responsive and and efficient.  I was very pleased with my carpets and the experience.  Here's his info:

    Ulysses at Organic-Choice carpet cleaning:  (510) 484-5634

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Carpet cleaner - for upstairs - kiddo safe

Feb 2013

We have a 5-year-old and a baby who will be crawling before we know it and our carpets are in desperate need of cleaning. So far, we've had two negative carpet- cleaning experiences: one stole from us, the other was rude to us and didn't want to clean on a rainy day (didn't have portable equipment). We live in a building that is shared with a catering biz (we are on second floor), so whoever cleans our carpets cannot have a big van parked in the back lot (where there catering biz needs space.) And also, I wouldn't want harsh/toxic chemicals when we'll have a baby crawling around soon. Any family-friendly/apartment-friendly recommendations would be great!! Thank you so much! carpeted

I had gotten Larry's Extreme Clean name from BPN & I just had my WW's cleaned a month ago by Larry. I highly recommend using his services. He is reasonably priced, nice to have working in the house & did a really caring job on my light blue carpets. I had quite a stubborn stain in the TV room & Larry really worked on it & I couldn't believe that he really did make it disappear, though he honestly told me he may not be able to get it all out. He uses oderless, non toxic products & came to my house right on time. I'll use his carpet cleaning services again, when the time comes. He told me he has a band & he'll play at weddings too - a really nice guy. Larry's Extreme Clean 510.215.7664 Liza

You should contact Larry at (510) 215-7664 We have had him clean our carpets (and upholstery) a few times now and he is awesome! His equipment is all portable (he just needs to get hot water from a sink or bathtub) and he uses green methods. There is no bad chemical smell when he's done--just clean rugs. I don't think he is the cheapest out there, but the price is reasonable and so worth it for peace of mind. He is completely reliable and trustworthy. happy customer

I'd recommend doing it yourself. Safeway rents out steam cleaners, and they're easy to use. I used one once a month when I was in college and house-training my puppy on wall-to-wall carpet...You rent the machine (on wheels, and not too heavy) and buy the soap. The directions are on the machine and easy to follow. Cheaper and safer than hiring a stranger! sk8ma512

I highly recommend Sonny with Bay Area Dry Master (check out the amazing reviews on Yelp) - (510) 334-8630. He is amazingly nice and pleasant to work with. He'll vacuum before doing the cleaning, so you don't have to worry about that. The carpets will take a little while to dry, I think 4 hours?, so it's great if you can take the kids out for the day. I didn't detect any unpleasant odors after it was done, and I have sensitive skin and never had any skin irritation, nor did my crawling child. Hope this helps! happy Bay Area Dry Master customer

Non-toxic cleaning of wall to wall carpet?

Nov 2012

We had wall to wall carpet put in our house three years ago, and unfortunately picked a light color. It is now desperately in need of a deep cleaning, especially as we just wrapped up a dust generating bathroom remodel.

I was going to just call Stanley Steemer, but then became concerned about the chemicals used. We have a toddler and I am in the first trimester of a new pregnancy and so am both smell sensitive and concerned about the effects of chemical cleaner residues on both my little ones.

Can anyone recommend a Berkeley/El Cerrito area carpet cleaning service that uses non-toxic, eco-friendly materials? Thanks! grungy carpet

I've used SurfClean a number of times and have been very happy with their work. They are extremely thorough and guarantee their work. Victor uses a hot water extraction method. They also do upholstery and other surfaces. I'm planning to have them clean my couch next month as I've been so pleased with the carpet jobs.The website is and the phone number is 383 3563. And they also have terrific Yelp reviews. Sydney

Jillian Brorby of Natural Care for Carpets has many years' experience doing completely non-toxic carpet cleaning and she is terrific both as a professional and as a person. I can't recommend her highly enough. Her number is 510.237.3777. Terry

Check out they are in El Cerrito. I contacted them after reading a recommendation on BPN, and was happy with their work. The job they did for me was an interior shampoo of my car (done in my own driveway!) so I can't comment on experience with cleaning wall-to-wall carpet, which, as a carpet cleaning company, they also can do. They say they use natural and chemical-free products, but unfortunately, they are not any more specific than that (after all, many safe cleaning solutions are technically chemicals, and there are things in nature that are harmful). I was happy with their result, though - clean without any perfumey smell.

Know a good carpet cleaner?

Aug 2011

My carpet is about 7 years old and is light in color. I need a carpet cleaner who will clean around the edges as well as the main surface. I live in Alameda. Any recommendations? Darlene

Give Mother Nature carpet Cleaning a call at 510-776-8115. Amazing people and amazing results! Not to mention their prices....They are local (El Cerrito)and green. I'm confident that you'll be absolutely happy with them. BTW, they also specialize in green upholstery cleaning. Idit.

Carpet cleaning machine for dirty dog

March 2011

Any recommendations for a decent carpet cleaning machine? Have dog, and this rainy/muddy season is killing me. If I called Coit, they would be here every other day. Not Martha Steward, but...

I did a lot of online research and decided on the Hoover SteamVac with Clean Surge. I've only tried it on large area rugs so far, but it was fantastic. My rugs were filthy and the steam vac pulled up all the dirt and mud -- you could see it in the water tank. I got mine at (currently about $135 with free shipping). Have muddy paws too

Carpet Cleaners for Pet Stains

Oct 2010

Can anyone recommend a carpet cleaner who is particularly good at getting out pet stains? We have a 13-yr old dog who is having all sorts of accidents on our carpets. Thanks.

Carpet Cleaning Wizards (925) 525-5202 are fantastic! They go all over the Bay Area and are the best by far for getting out stains of any kind. They also clean upholstery , tile, and do the dust free hardwood floor refinishing.

We know for a fact that they do a great job with pet stains. Our 15 year old dog recently passed on and had a 6 month daily incontinence problem. These folks came in several times and did a wonderful job. Prior to her incontinence issue, they also miraculously maintained over 3000sq ft of WHITE tile and carpet from toddler and muddy paw abuse.

AND they are remarkably affordable.

We once lost the magnet that they gave us and accidently called a competitor. Not even close to being as good. From then on, every time they come we get more magnets and keep them in strategic places so if the kid runs off with the one on the fridge we won't be SOL when the time comes. Yes, the stains will come out with the right cleaner guy

Earlier Recommendations

Need to get large rag rug cleaned

Nov 2009

We have a large area rug that is a ''rag'' rug. (Meaning its made of small fabric strips tied to its warp and weft.) It is in desperate need of someone to take it away and clean it thoroughly - but gently. It is my daughters rug and she loves it but is allergic to the dust that it collects. Any suggestions for professional, reputable, and hopefully eco-friendly services that will do this? Thanks! Laura

Google ''Larry's Extreme Clean'' in El Cerrito. He has amazing reviews on Yelp. He is very into eco-friendly products, and does a great job. He himself is the one that does the job. He does not send an employee---and he is totally trust-worthy. Just on the side, he is also a great musician. That probably won't help your carpets much, but he's a dynamic and reliable carpet cleaner. . . and an all around fun guy. Leah

Oct 2009

Can anyone recommend an eco-friendly carpet cleaning service that uses products safe for babies and toddlers? I have inherited a beautiful oriental rug that unfortunately was soiled by cat urine. I also have recently moved into an apartment with brand new carpeting that smells of chemicals and I'd like to get rid of the smell somehow, maybe by steam cleaning? Any suggestions for one or both of these problems? got carpet issues

Jillian Brorby of Natural Care for Carpets has many years' experience doing completely non-toxic carpet cleaning and she is terrific both as a professional and as a person. I can't recommend her highly enough. Her number is 510.237.3777. Terry

If it's a genuine oriental carpet, you must take it to a place that specializes in oriental rugs or your rug will be ruined. Take it to Emmet Eiland, they are the best. And it's eco- friendly too -- they just use mild soaps. For wall to wall carpet, try Organic Choice. (510) 484-5634 Magic Carpet Rider

Nov 2008

I am in need of recommendations for a good professional carpet cleaner. If you have used someone that you recommend, can you please let me know? Thanks very much. Dirty Carpets

With kids, you want to go with a green cleaner. So, I recommend Leon Cross of He is a kick - you'll really enjoy meeting him, and he uses only green products. Berkeley Home Owner

We recently used Larry's Extreme Clean ( for our sofa and large area rug based on his overwhelmingly positive reviews on yelp. They sure were right - Larry was on time, is very nice, and knows his business. He uses relatively mild detergents and he went over stubborn stains three or more times to try to get them out. Our rug was still stained with food and puppy pee after sending it to a rug store for cleaning and Larry made it look (and smell) a whole lot better. (A total bonus - as revealed on the yelp site, Larry was an 80s rock star, so he'll share stories like about his hotel stay with Springsteen - but only if you ask him!) We would definitely use him again if the need arose. Anon

I use Pristine Carpet Cleaning. They're from Brentwood or Antioch or something, but they come out to Oakland for my house. It's a family-owned and run company, so it's always the same two guys that come. They're very friendly and neat and I usually leave them at the house and just have them drop the key in the door when they're done. I think for my 2,000 square feet plus stairs, it's usually close to $200. Here's their website, I'd call, I haven't had luck with their online form. Happy carpets! Sarah

We have been using Dale from Streamline Carpet Cleaning for years and have always been pleased. We have tried others but always find our way back to Dale. His number is 925-788-8407 or 800-799-1500. When Dale has been too busy for an emergency we used Gary Rains of GR8 Carpet Cleaning and were also very pleased. His number is 925-286-3180. Greg

I use Leon Cross regularly for my apartment and my office. He uses green materials, is reliable and inexpensive. Here is his info: xxbey [at] 510-475-7511 Stuart

Sept 2008

Can anyone recommend a good local carpet cleaner? Ideally organic. We used one of the companies recommended on BPN recently and didn't have a great experience (when they plugged their equipment in they blew a fuse and damaged 4 outlets). I was hoping for more recent experiences than what is currently posted. Thanks! Anon

I have tried various carpet cleaners and have found that my local Stanley Steamer is the best overall. They have their own generator and do a really thorough cleaning. The workers are courteous and professional and well trained by the company. It isn't organic per se but really excellent. By the way, I have tried various types of cleaning in the past including more organic and supposedly superiour types and the Stanley Steamer Steam Cleaning rules. Mary

We had good luck with both Fremont Carpet Cleaner's in Fremont and Zero Rez. I always try Fremont's first, but they are often booked far in advance. They are happy to come to Oakland/Berkeley. Nikki

I've been using Crosstown Carpet for several years for both my home and my office. They are a green company, and owner, Leon Cross, when he came to my house, asked if we had used bleach, and I said ''no.'' He sleuthed me out when I produced a bad-for- environ can of stuff that had bleach. He cleaned everything using green materials, and I use him regularly. 475-7511 Stuart

Oct 2007

I'm looking for a great home carpet cleaning company, preferably one that uses non-toxic products. We have a houseful of beige carpeting and two toddlers - not a good combination! I checked previous recommendations, but they're not very recent. Thanks! Lisa

SunClean Carpet Care is non-toxic, organic and the only Green Certified carpet cleaner in Alameda County. Also, very friendly and professional Check them out @ or call 510-263-0321

Jillian Brorby does wonderful non-toxic carpet cleaning (as well as space clearing, feng shui, and face reading). She's very knowledgeable, professional, delightful to have in your home, and reasonably priced. 510.910.6886

I highly recommend Larry's Extreme Clean for Carpets, Upholstery, etc. Larry has done good work for me in the past, but today what he did was simply astounding. Two days ago my mother had a ruptured varicose vein and bled all over her apartment before the paramedics arrived. It looked like a crime scene! Fortunately, she is OK now. But yesterday I got a call from her apartment manager saying that the place was ''un-inhabitable''. Evidently, they were intending to remove all the carpeting - at tremendous expense - and meanwhile my mother would have no place to live. I hired Larry. He went over and in 3 hours he removed all traces of blood from the carpet. His price was amazingly low, considering how much work was involved, and especially considering how much replacing the carpet and putting my mom in a hotel would have cost. The phone number for Larry's Extreme Clean is (510) 215-7664.

April 2007

I have wall to wall carpet with lots of pet stains due to an ill, incontinent dog who is no longer with us. I would like to try to remove the stains before having to replace the carpet. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. susie best there is, orientals and walltowall. great service and prices. happy feet

I have been using Advantage Carpet Cleaners at (510) 235-3487 for the past couple of years. The owner comes out and does all of the work himself. He's a nice, honest guy, very knowledgeable and he steam cleaned my microfiber sofa where as one other company would only dry clean it. I've got two little kids who have managed to have accidents of all sorts on this sofa and the results were amazing! He also has a young child and is in tune with that sort of thing. In addition to the sofa, he's done our area rugs as well. We will continue to use Advantage! good luck!

Feb 2006

Is it better to clean carpet by having it professionally done (chem-dry) or do it yourself with a steam cleaner? Has anyone actually bought a steam cleaner? What brand? dirty carpet owner

If you need a professional carpet cleaner, I highly recommend David Skuse of Organic Choice Carpet Cleaning ( I found him here on the BPN and wanted to update the information on him. He cleaned our carpet yesterday and did a great job. Plus he was very reasonably priced - and gives discounts to clients from the Berkeley Parents Network. He runs his own business and does all the jobs himself. And, best of all, his products are all organic and not harmful to the environment or to our kids. cclocke

2002-2005 Reviews

Nov 2005

Can anyone suggest an ecological /eco-friendly/non-toxic carpet cleaning service? Want the kids to be able to roll around on the ground without ingesting chemical cleaning ingredients...Thanks, Sarah Sarah

My good friend and housecleaner of many years has set up a new carpet cleaning business using only Bi-o-Kleen products made of grapefruit seed extract. He cleaned 2 heavily trafficked rugs (kitchen, livingroom)for me. They came out beatiful, smelled nice and won't harm my little ones or the environment. Mark Has really done his homework on the products he uses and is probably one of the nicest people to work with. His companty is called SunClean Carpet Care. Lorrie

For the green carpet cleaning option, contact David Skuse of Organic Choice Carpet Cleaning. - Melanie

Replying to the person wanting ecological carpet cleaner: Call Leon Cross at Jan Pro Cleaning, 510-475-6024. I was impressed because before he even started to clean our carpet, he said he smelled bleach. So he checked his equipment to make sure the previous employee didn't use any. Then I confessed that we had used a bottled stain remover. Ask for Leon and mention my name and ask about their ecology consideration. Stu

Nov 2005

I do not recommend Carpet Master Chem Dry of Oakland. I recently used them for a toilet overflow that soaked my hallway carpet. They responded promptly and extracted the water and removed the ruined pad, but the service took a deep dive after the first visit. They showed up twice without necessary material and equipment, each time requiring another visit. They missed 2 appointments and were 90 minutes late to another. The dispatcher was very rude, telling me it was my fault the technician made an appointment and didn't tell the dispatcher. The carpet was badly reinstalled, rippled and not attached to tack strips in some places, the technician was unable to correct. It took a total of 4 visits to complete this disaster at an outrageous price. I will now have to have a carpet installer to correctly reinstall the carpet. The owner has yet to return my call and it's been a week. I've used other Chem Dry cleaners before and been pleased. Anon

Sept 2005

Does anyone have a recommendation for an affordable area rug cleaning service? The cost for a 9x12 rug at our local dry cleaner is $179 which is more than half the original cost of the rug! But, with a dog and twins, our dear rug is in desperate need of cleaning. Thanks!

Appleby Cleaning has been cleaning my carpets for years. My children are allergic to most everything. They do a second step fresh water rinse or just clean with hot water if I ask. No problems since. They show up when they say they will and are very professional. More $ than some, but worth it. They clean my upholstery too. Debra

August 2005

I have a 4x6 area rug that needs cleaning. Given its size, I can easily take it to a rug cleaner. All the recommendations in the archives are for services that come to one's home. Can anyone recommend a good rug cleaning place? It's mostly pet hair and rug fuzz that my vaccuum can't get rid of. Lorraine

I have used Imperial Rug Cleaning Co. 1716 San Pable Ave. slightly north of University in Berkeley. 526-5664. I have used them for years on my area rugs, couch cushions and futon covers. They are a family owned business, do not use any chemicals, just soap and warm water, a good suction vaccuum, and are VERY reasonably priced. They also pick up and deliver for large rugs. They do most work at their facility where they have good air drying facilities. They also come to your home to shampoo your wall-to-wall rugs. I have used all of their services for years and have always been very satisfied. I hope you give them a try. Jana

Appleby's Rug Cleaning in San Leandro is great - pull right up and they will help you get the rug inside (although sounds like you won't need help). Not sure if it is officially ''female run'', but I've only encountered women when I've gone, which was a nice surprise. It's located just west of the 880 past Davis St. - katie

April 2005

I noticed that a lot of people on this group recommend Stanley Steemer and I wanted to share my experience with their San Leandro branch. On Monday, April 4 2005, I witnessed Stanley Steemer employees dumping wastewater from one of their jobs onto park property in very close proximity to a creek. This is highly illegal so I called the City of Oakland Environmental Services and informed them of the situation. A warning was issued to the employees and they were forced to immediately abate. When I called their San Leandro office, I was told that the incident had been complete farce and that it never happened. I was also given a story that their truck is equipped with a special machine that turns the waste water into the same ingredients as macaroni & cheese and that it is good fertilizer for plants.

After doing some online research on Stanley Steemer, I found out that they have been in trouble before with the County for dumping wastewater. I thought people on this list should know that while they may do a good job cleaning carpets, they appear to be violating City and County ordinances by improperly disposing of their wastewater. If you call them they will adamantly deny that this is going on. If you are lucky, you may even get the macaroni & cheese story. Here is a link to a photo of the incident which they deny happened: Sandy

Nov 2004

I just had an incredibly great experience using Stanley Steemer in San Leandro for upholstery cleaning. I read some of the positive postings about them on this network, and decided to give them a try, and also called 3 other companies to compare. I called to make an appointment, told them I had two FILTHY cream-colored couches, one 9' and one 6' that needed cleaning, and they gave me a quote of $150.00, when other companies said that they would have to see ''just how filthy'' they were to give an estimate. They gave me an appointment with a 3 hour window, and called 30 minutes before they arrived to let me know that they were coming. When they arrived they looked at the couches, and got to work. I fully expected them to tell me that ''we needed this special kind of deep cleaning that would be an additional $100,'' like most of the carpet cleaning companies we've used in the past have done, but they didn't say a thing. They set to work, and were done in an hour. They were efficient, professional, and very friendly. It was a really pleasant experience, and I will definitely use them again and again. Request Joe Bayluy to do your cleaning! Erika

October 2004

I would like to highly recommend IMPERIAL RUB CLEANING COMPANY. They just delivered all of my area rugs (all 8 - 12 ft in dim) and they look and smell terrific! I have been using them for years, and call them every 18 - 24 months. They use only mild soap, no chemicals, and warm water, have good drying rooms and pick up and deliver the rugs for a very small fee. All of my rugs cost between $80 - $120 each to clean, and I have them back within a week to 10 days. My boys spend most of their time with their faces on the floor, driving their trucks or playing with their trains, so clean rugs are improtant to me. I cannot recommend this place more highly. They are located at 1716 San Pablo Ave. a few blocks north of University. jana

Sept 2004

Does anyone have suggestions for a safe carpet cleaning product for the nursery? Two years of use have left the low, tight- weave, woolen carpet dirty in the the most heavily used spots. Any suggestions on products that are safe to use? Thanks.

I have rented the industrial-type machines from Hertz (there's one in San Pablo, and maybe one in Berkeley? Check the phone book) and filled it up with a mix of vinegar and water -- about 1 part vinegar to 5 or 6 water. I get the vinegar by the gallon at Costco. The machine rental is about $30 and the vinegar (two gallons) about $3. It works great and is non-toxic. There may still be some solvent left in the tank, so if you are very concerned about that you could rinse the machine out before use. You may also want to bring a big strong friend with you to carry the machine if you live in an upstairs apartment, like we do -- gosh, it's heavy! Sara

We had great luck having someone come in to clean rugs--all organically. I've heard that a lot of the chemicals in other systems are pretty scary--especially for a baby's room. We used David Skuse at Organic Choice Carpet Cleaning. 866/522- 2876 also at Not too expensive. He also did some furniture and everything came out very well. Dried quickly, and best of all--no fumes. nancy

May 2004

We need a recommendation for a professional carpet cleaner (wall to wall and an area rug) that uses a non-toxic process (if one exists) that is, of course, also effective and not too expensive. The two rooms that we need cleaned are the rooms our babies crawl around in the most and I would prefer to use as few chemicals in there as possible. Does anyone have someone they can recommend? Thanks. Sharon

Hello.. Steve Bohnert wtih Everclean does a great job cleaning carpets. He is reasonable and uses gentle cleansers. Karen

Feb 2004

I live in the Alameda area and am looking for suggestions for a carpet shampooing service. I want someone who isn't expensive but who does a good job. I'm renting a place, and my lease requires that the carpet be shampooed before we move out. Thanks for your advice!

I'm assuming that the carpets in your rented residence are a manmade fiber (polyester, nylon, etc) and not wool or some other special fiber. If so, then don't waste your money on carpet cleaning companies. You can do the job yourself using one of those rented carpet shampoo machines (avail at places like Home Depot, certain grocery stores). Pretreat any badly soiled areas with ''Resolve'' or another carpet stain remover, removing as much of the stain as possible. Then vacuum the carpet before cleaning it. Then clean it using the machine. When you fill the machine with water, be sure it is very hot water (I boil the water on the stove in a large pot) -- extremely hot water works so much better than warm water -- it's the secret to success with this process! Be sure to use a carpet cleaning soap (not laundry detergent or dishwashing liquid, which will overdo it!) -- available for purchase wherever you rent the machine-- and I always use a little LESS than the recommended amount to avoid over-soaping. Follow the instructions on the machine -- it's easy. I helped my brother clean the carpet in his condo rental & he was amazed at how it cleaned up. I've hired professional cleaning companies before to do my carpets, but now find that I can do the job myself for A LOT less money. The machines rent for approx $28/day, and you can sometimes get a half-day rental rate good for 4 hours. Good luck. Saved $$ / Did it Myself

Oct 2003

Looking for a recommedation for natural carpet cleaners for wall to wall carpets. Somebody who is ecologically minded and uses non-toxic materials.

I use The Carpet Marshall for cleaning carpet. He specializes in cleaning things for people with chemical sensitivities. He has cleaned offices at my work and home and cleaned our van that we bought used and I had to get the detailing chemicals out. He's listed in the phone book. The owner's name is David. Elizabeth

Oct 2003

We have 3 young kids and beige carpet in our den, which gets dirty often. Rather than having the capets cleaned regularly professionally, I am thinking about purchasing a carpet cleaner. Can anyone recommend a model that is easy to use and cleans well, including stains? I'd also like it to be gentle to the carpet. Thanks very much, Charlotte

We are in a similar situation -- light-colored berber carpet, 2 dogs, a toddler. We bought a Hoover SteamVac Deluxe 1600 model and I've used it now about 15 times over the last 10 months. It was about $300 if I recall. It is shaped like an upright vacuum cleaner but is heavier. It comes with a hose and special heads for cleaning steps and upholstery, both of which we use. It works GREAT on flat carpets and upholstery, but I'm unimpressed with the step attachment, though it's adequate. I have used the ones you rent at Safeway many times and find this easier with the tank of water lasting much longer before you have to add water and change out the dirty water. So buying it was a smart decision based on how much we've used it -- I can clean the carpets in the morning (you MUST vacuum first all over) and everything will be dry on a warm day by dinner time (i.e. we can have guests over without cringing about filthy carpets). I worry about the rainy season with the dogs...not knowing how long it will take to dry during damp weather. But all in all, I think we got a good tool and it will work for us. Another note: I'm pregnant, and once I reached the 3rd trimester, this thing got a bit heavy to push around. Not impossible, but it has to be a pretty good, energetic day for me to think about tackling the carpets. I purchased it at Berkeley Vacuum shop on Berkeley Way between Oxford and Shattuck. They took the time to show me how to use it, but I can't say as I shopped around for the best price -- I think I was in a panic to clean and just bought it. Bobbie

Aug 2003

This is my second plea for a competent carpet cleaning company/outfit that services the Berkeley area. Furthermore, if anyone has an opinion about the chem-dry process versus steam cleaning, I would hugely appreciate the input. Thank Dirtier and Dirtier Carpets

I have used both Chem-Dry and steaming for cleaning carpets. My best experience was with Stanley Steamer. They came out when they said they would, took lots of measures to lift furniture so they could clean underneath and generally seemed to get better cleaning results. I don't have their number to hand, but am sure they must be in the book. The drying took a little longer, but probably not a problem in the summer months. Loraine

For the person asking about Chem Dry cleaning. I have used this method twice, the second time because I was so unhappy with the result the first time. It looked great for a couple of days, but somehow all the old stains appeared again soon after that. Even the second time did not produce a clean carpet, so I gave up. Jannette

I can highly recommend Appleby Carpet Cleaning - they are very good and very professional. That being said, we have two small children and our carpets seemed to be dirty two weeks after they were cleaned. We finally broke down and bought a carpet cleaner - it's not inexpensive, but pays for itself in 2-3 uses and you can clean as often as you want. (It was about $275-$300) We bought a high end Hoover from Sears (I think Target has them a little cheaper) It is amazing! Very easy to use and you will be shocked how dirty your carpets are/were! We are self cleaning converts now, and believe me we're not the do it yourself types! Good luck! Kristi

We had a good experience with Appleby Carpet Cleaners: 3025 Teagarden St San Leandro, CA 94577 I would say they are at least worth a try. Karen

I've had great luck with Skyline Chem-Dry. I've used them several times with no complaints. They are very courteous and have been able to clean most of my carpets well. I did have problems with spots they couldn't get out of an all-wool light-colored carpet, but I think that was a problem with the particular carpet. Maria

April 2003

Hi, I am looking for a good, child safe, rug cleaner for a light colored carpet. Thanks in advance. BH

Never tried, but I heard shaving cream is a good carpet cleaner. Also, oxyclean mixed in water and rubbed into carpet works for organic stains. Good Luck

I recommend Heavenly Horsetail All Purpose Cleaner. Infinity Herbal Products makes it. They may have a website by now if you can't find it in a store.

I also like Dr. Bronner's Castile liquid soap, with a 1/4 cup soap + 1/4 baking soda to 5 gallons of hot water, then rinsing with 1/4 cup vinegar + 1 tablespoon lemon juice for better smell in 5 gallons of water afterwards. The vinegar smell evaporates. Rinsing always helps to get rid of soap residues which attrack dirt.

Club soda works to get rid of many stains prior to shampooing. Carpet de-stainers often contain very harsh chemicals such as volatile organic compounds, and is not reccommended for homes with children. Susan

Nov 2002

I need to have my carpets and couch cleaned. Last time I used Coit but it always feels like I could have gotten a better deal if I negotiated it, so I don't really know how much the going rate is. I am concerned about safety too. Recommendations? LN

We have an excellent, friendly, family owned carpet cleaner company to recommend. Gary Figuerido of Hy-Vac will make your carpets and rugs look and smell brand new! H B

Nov 2002

I would like to recommend Stanley Steemer in San Leandro for cleaning of upholstery and carpets. We have a toddler who trails his meals all over the house and have had them come to our house and steam clean the carpets and upholstery for two years now. They are always prompt and very professional, and we have had excellent results with the cleaning. We also had them do a protective coating on carpets and furniture that allows stains to just be cleaned with water and lasted for about a year (though only promised for 6 months) on our light colored carpet. I was about to reupholster two badly dirtied chairs as well, but they cleaned up very well, except where nap of fabric was physically worn (arm ends). It is way cheaper to clean than to reupholster, so I'd try cleaning before committing to redo upholstered furniture. The cleaners were very honest with me when they came about whether or not the damage could be cleaned, and the results exceeded my expectations. Cheryl

May 2002

Can anyone recommend a good company to clean our carpets or a place that rents steam cleaners? Also, is it advisable to buy a steam cleaner? Any good brands/models? Places to purchase one? hana

About a year ago I rented one of those steam cleaners from the grocery store and our beige carpets turned sort of pink striped. I just used Stanley Steamer in San Leandro. They gave me a quote over the phone, came the same day, were in and out very quickly and did a great job. elizabeth

I recently used a carpet cleaning company called Hurtado Carpet Cleaners. They were great, affordable, and very professional. I had my light cream colored carpet cleaned (son's bedroom, stairs, hallway, and living room) for $70. My carpets look great again! Their offices are in Hayward, and can be reached at 783- 3358. One of the owners, who accompanied the person cleaning my carpets, also mentioned that they also provided services as movers. The moving company is called AAA Service, and can be contacted at 538-8761. I totally recommend them. Monica

Feb 2002

I assume that it makes more economic sense to buy a rug shampooer/steamer/whatever they're called, as opposed to renting one. But do they do an adequate job (as opposed to hiring a commercial rug cleaning company)? Melanie

I love our rug cleaner, a Hoover. If you clean it deeply enough the spots don't seem to return like they do with many of the commercial cleaners. The only commercial cleaner I've been satisfied with is Coit and they cost a fortune. With two little kids and a large dog and off white carpets (bought, not chosen) I will swear by the cleaner. Linda

Jan 2002

I'm surprised this isn't in the archives yet! Does anyone have a recommendation on where to take a 5x8 rug to be cleaned? It's not delicate or antique or anything, it's just a wool rug. Thanks! Nancy

I like Imperial Rug Cleaners at 1716 San Pablo, Berkeley. For a small charge they'll pick up and deliver. They wash rugs by hand (do a lot of oriental rugs) and do a great job. It cost $100 to pick up, clean and deliver my 9x11 wool rug. Margaret

We have been getting our rugs cleaned by Cooperative Cleaning Company in Berkeley (849-0695) for years. I think they are great. About once a year they come and clean several area rugs in our house at one time. They use a dry, natural method of cleaning that I much prefer to the wet chemical smell of other cleaners. When we first started using them, my kids were babies and I liked that they could crawl on them right away. I don't know their prices offhand, but they seem to be quite reasonable when I first priced them and the staff is very pleasant to deal with. -Karin

Earlier Reviews


We desperately need our carpets cleaned after our male cat got a UTI and left inappropriate messages on them. We looked at the previous recommendations and called Golden Bear for our needs. Alas, they botched the scheduling up twice and will not return my phone calls. Anyone have another good company to recommend? We have some wall-to-wall and some similar type not nailed down that needs sme serious attention. Thanks!

I recommend Bailey's Carpet & Upholstery Cleaners here in Berkeley. Cindy

I've used Stanley Steemers (San Leandro) in the past and have been satisfied with their services. They seem reasonably priced ($149 for five areas) and were considerate about scheduling. Lisa

From: Jannette

I can give you a recommendation of who not to use. I have used a company in Richmond called Chem-Dry. I think there are several franchise companies under this name. They use some chemical to clean the carpets, but whatever they used, it made it worse. I too have white carpet, and for about a week it looked spotless. But after that, all the same stains resurfaced. The carpet looked worse than before, because the chemical they sprayed on left it very vulnerable to new stains. Every time I even spill as much as a drop of milk, it leaves a stain that becomes darker and darker over time. It is as if there is some kind of glue on the carpet that attracts dirt. I had them come out twice to redo the carpet, but within a very short time, it was back to the old dirty carpet.

From: Kristin

I have used the Cooperative Cleaning Company in Berkeley for years to clean my carpets and I highly recommend them. I originally chose them when my son was a baby and crawling around because they use a dry cleaning method (with ground corn husks or something like that) and therefore there were no wet chemicals on my carpets. You can walk on them immediately after they leave. They were, as I remember, about the same price as traditional methods and the people I deal with on the phone and who come to do the work have always been friendly and reliable. I am sure their number is in the book.

I have tried several carpet cleaners from wet to dry cleaning. I have found the chem dry does not work. It looks good when they leave but the same stains come back up. I use Fresh n Clean. They only charge 25 cents per square foot. I have a large dog who constantly gets the carpet muddy and had problems being potty trained. I have had the best results with Fresh N Clean. Very nice people too.
Marci (2/00)

Xanthippe (7/99)

For wall-to-wall carpet cleaning I recommend Golden Bear Carpet Cleaning. Steam cleaning is 20 cents per square foot and I believe there is a $60 minimum. It is a one man operation and I have used him twice. The instructions that came with my carpet say I should use someone who is IIRC (or something like that) certified--and that narrowed the field considerably. He measured the area first and gave a quote and it was OK with him if I only had certain areas of a room cleaned. (Some cleaners charge by the room and you end up getting cheated). According to the instructions that came with my carpet, it is essential to get up every last bit of soap or the residue will attract more dirt than if the carpet had not been cleaned, and most equiptment that people use to do the job themselves simply isn't powerful enough. For this reason it is better to use a professional cleaner.

From: Joyce

I have used Look Carpet Clearners for the last several years. It is a small family business who does the best job I have come across. They are very good with pet stains and spots. They are a steam cleaners with the machine in their truck. Their work is terrific.

I had 390 square feet of rather filthy carpeting done for $117.00 by Jillian Brorby of Natural Care for Carpets. Jillian uses nontoxic cleaners (dry extraction method, for what that's worth), ARRIVED ON TIME (!!!!!!!!!), and was efficient and personable. She's in Richmond.

Keeping carpets clean with kids & dogs

Nov 2006

I'm looking for a good solution to keeping a play-rug clean. Our preschool kids like to play (as in roll, lay, and sit) on the area rug (8' x 8') in our living room. What's the cleanest way to keep it clean....really clean....besides daily vacuuming, rug shampooing, and asking everyone to remove their shoes. Is there an alternative to shampooing? Spots never really get eliminated...they always come back. And shampooing relies on chemical cleaning solutions, don't they? Many thanks! Linda

I recommend not using a bunch of chemicals or doing a lot of shampooing. Vacuum it when it needs it, and get used to the spots. Minimize new spots by having a differnt palce for the kids do their art projects and eat. If the rug spots are really driving you nuts, get a new or used rug with a wild pattern that has a dominant color similar to the current stains, or get rid of the rug altogether Mom

Not sure if they will do just an area rug but we had our carpets cleaned by Heaven's Best. No chemicals, only water, and I was ASTOUNDED by how clean the carpets got. The only smell was wet wool smell which disappeared, of course, as the carpet dried. For spots, I use Foley's which works really well. The only way to keep a rug clean, however, is not to use it. Fran

Oct 2006

Because of kids and dog, there are already stains on our relatively new carpets. Does anyone know the best way to remove them? I'm considering buying a small wet vacuum as it seems more affordable than renting one. Thanks for any suggestions anon

Best carpet cleaner I've used is Folex. You can get it at most hardware stores. dr

I recently found the best carpet spot remover at Target. It is called Folex, and it comes in a really basic looking spray bottle. I figured it had to be good to have such palin looking packaging and it is! It has no odor and the stains seems to disappear magically. The only problem is that the carpet around where the stain was looks a bit dingy compared to the clean spot. It's relatively cheap too, at about $5 for a big bottle. Lori

Before you rent a carpet steam cleaner (which you can do easily at most supermarkets for $30 or less), I'd buy a bottle of Resolve Carpet Cleaner (also easily available at supermarkets.). It's not expensive, and has removed EVERY spot we've ever had in our 10-year old carpet. Just follow the instructions on the bottle. You could follow up with the steam cleaner for overall cleaning, but I'd use the Resolve for spots first. Heidi

Removing red gatorade stain on beige carpet

Oct 2004

Help! I've got a stubborn red (now pink) gatorade stain on my light beige carpeting, in a very obvious spot. I've tried all the usual things: steam cleaning, the assortment of grocery store products... nothing seems to get rid of it all. Now I'm left with a light pink stain about 10 inches in diameter. I'm trying to avoid having to replace the entire room of carpeting, and the spot is in a very central location, so covering it with a chair, etc. isn't an option. Your advice is greatly appreciated! Don't even like Gatorade...

This works for wine on fabric - maybe for Gatorade on carpet, too? Mix approximately equal parts hydrogen peroxide and liquid dishwashing detergent or woolite. Spead on the stain and wait a while. Keep an eye on it, and keep it moist until the stain disappears. As always, try on an inconspicuous spot first. I guess you'd then have to clean up the remaining liquid. R.K.

I'd encourage you to try Folex carpet stain remover. It's the most amazing stuff. It seems gentle and yet it works like a charm. I've purchased it at Piedmont Grocery as well as at Draeger's. been there

Have you tried Folex? It's available at the supermarket, but I had never heard of it before a friend of mine recommended it. It has worked great on old red wine stains on carpet, baby formula spit up, and all kinds of other domestic disasters. Wine Away also works really well, though I've only tried it on clothing, not carpet. Good luck! anon

Lambskin Rug

March 2003

Can anyone recommend a dry cleaner that will clean my genuine lambskin rug (4x6) for a reasonable price (what is a reasonable price?)? The only quote I've been able to get was close to how much I originally paid for the rug. Thank you.

My own lambskin rug comes out beautifully after going through the washer and dryer. Yes, this is a geuine skin. I use Woolite and a gentle, lukewarm wash cycle. Cassandra

I wash mine myself in the bath tub! The only thing is that the rug becomes very heavy once it gets wet, so you have to be strong to do this. You can remove dust and stain, and texture improves so much! My friend suggested I brush it after drying, but it was not needed. Good luck!

I rescued a lambskin rug about half the size of yours that was being thrown out. It was filthy and matted. I worked a little shampoo into the fur and washed it in the washing machine on gentle cycle, then worked some hair conditioner in and rinsed it again. While it was still damp, I rubbed the leather side with shoe-leather conditioner (different brands are sold at shoe stores with names like ''leather lotion'' -- look for one with lots of oily or lanolin and minimal petrochemicals). The hard part followed, brushing out the fur, which took maybe an hour. (I'm glad I'm not in the poodle-grooming business!)

Our cat sleeps on the rug for a month or so every winter, so I have to rewash it in the spring, and it always comes out great. The first washing was the only really time-consuming one. Kate

Cleaning Oriental/Persian Rugs

Oct 2007

I recently had to deal with a red wine stain on a Persian carpet. The ''Cadillac'' shop is: Talisman Restoration, Inc. in Santa Cruz Crystal 831-425-7847 office [at] $4.75/square foot for cleaning. Spotting is hourly rate: $68/hour. They pick up rugs every Wednesday at Emmet Eilands in Berkeley (see below) for evaluation and cleaning.

Talisman's local contact is Emmett Eiland's Oriental Rug Company on Ninth at Gilman has pickups. 1326 9th Street, 10-5 M-Sat, 12-5 Sunday; 510-526-1087 Richard Pratt Richard [at] Great guy! Super helpful and generous.

Another specialist: Farajian Rug Cleaners: Robert. (925) 283-8899 74 Clear Water Ct, el Sobrante, CA 94803. Wine has natural die in it. When it goes into carpet, once completely dry, it sets on wool. Probably can get most of it out. Must be washed by hand, soaked in water, washed, then through ringer to remove water, then dry. Soap and water. For the spot, they work on it before with chemicals to get most of it out. Not chlorine, but a mild chemical. Then the soapy water washes and rinses it out.
Found these helpful:
And a really helpful, nice guy for general rug cleaning: Leon Cross at Jan Pro Cleaning, 510-475-6024. 510-475-7511. xxbey [at] He's a generalist, not a specialist, with Persian rug cleaning.

Nov 2006

Can anyone recommend a person or service that would clean a large Oriental rug? I can bring the rug to that person/business location for cleaning. Thank you

We've used Emmett Eiland's Oriental Rug Company. Their prices are competitive and they will pick up a large rug. They don't clean the rug on site, but send it to a company they trust-- I think in the LA area. We've had most of our rugs cleaned through them-- even our antiques. Wouldn't trust anyone else. - antique persian rug collector

Oct 2003

We've got a persian tabriz rug, wool, that would cost about $350 to take to the dry cleaners. The Rug Doctor people tell me that I can't steam clean it with one of their rental machines. Does anyone have any other ideas for how to get it clean? We've got a dog, a hairy one, and it needs something more intensive that weekly vacuuming. Thank you!! grateful for any suggestions

I grew up with orientals littering my folks floors, as well as dogs and kids littering the floor. They too found that sending the rugs out was rather expensive and not necessary pleasing - the rugs were often still dirty upon return. Then then found an honest rug guy (yes he does exist!) who suggested they clean them themselves.

Here's what I've now introduced my new hubby to: pick a warm day. pull the rug to be washed out onto the clean driveway. soak with water. mix mild laundry detergent with warm water. use scrub brush and suds up the rug. rinse. rinse. rinse. squeeze as much water as you can out of the rug - we used a large rectangular tuperware, weighted it, and squished water to the edges. elevate the rug on e.g. plastic chairs or fence or railing to let air circulate and help dry, make sure you move what part of teh rug is taking teh weight or you might stretch it. be patient. It will take a good 48 hours with two sunny days to dry - if you got most of the water squeezed out. but Voila! a clean rug.

the neighbors may look at you funny, but it's cheap and it really does the job! on hands and knees

If it is a good rug, don't steam clean it-- you will wind up with a big mess, a ruined rug, and out the $40 it costs to rent the steam cleaner. Our 70 lb. dog and old cat are frequent barfers on our persian rug, and if you quickly get up the mess, blot with paper towels, and then use an enzyme cleaner like ''Nature's Miracle'' on any stain your rug can go a good 5 years between professional cleanings. The enzyme cleaners are at all the pet supply stores, test it on a small spot on your rug first. They work well for wine and coffee too. Also, because our dog has short, constantly shedding, barbed fur that goes everywhere, we ended up investing in a Dyson vacuum (Best Buy or carries them) that blows away any other vacuum I have ever used. I could spend 30 minutes vacuuming the rug with our old vacuum, and there would still be tons of fur embedded in the rug fibers. But with the Dyson, the rug looks and stays cleaner all the time with barely any time spent vacuuming it. I also take the rug outside in spring and then fall, and hang it over a sturdy fence and beat it with a broom to get the deep dust out and let the sun give it some UV rays to kill surface junk. This has worked out well, and you just have to bite the bullet every once in a while to have it professionally cleaned. Dogs and rugs can live in harmony with some extra work.- Lou. lou

I have been very happy with the cleaning, service and prices at Imperial Rug Cleaning at 1716 San Pablo (on the west side of the street, north of University Ave.) Rigo Gonzalez picked up the rug for me and trimmed a pad that did not quite fit the rug. No charge as I recall. Good luck. Laura

Sept 2003

We need to find a place to have our very large kilim cleaned. It is also fraying at the edges. Does anyone have a good recommendation for cleaning and repairing a kilim? Thanks, Elyse

I have been extremely impressed by the work of Farajian Rug Cleaners. They have taken great care of our kilims. They are very professional and trustworthy. Also, they do pickup and delivery. Ask for Robert. Jennifer F.


From: April

Imperial Rug Cleaning does a great job with oriental or other valuable rugs. It's a family owned business and they will pick up and deliver your rug and will come and spot it between cleanings. I've had only good experiences with them.

From: Peter

If your rug has either monetary or sentimental value, I would recommend Talisman rug cleaners. They are based in Santa Cruz but do weekly pick-ups around the Bay Area. Claremont Rug Company, which is a very high-end store, recommended them to me. Talisman did a great job on my oriental rug - it cost about $115 to clean a 5 x 8 rug. Rather than have Talisman pick up the rug from your house, which costs extra, you can take it to Emmett Eiland's Oriental Rug Company on Ninth at Gilman, and they include it in their weekly pick-up.