Sooner or later you'll need a professional cleaner. There's simply no way you can match the advanced chemistry, equipment and training a professional has.
Note that I used the term "professional" cleaner. Anyone can "clean," and anyone can call himself "professional." So if you're going to spend hard-earned money having your furnishings cleaned professionally, you need to know how to choose between the self-proclaimed professional and the true expert. Consider these suggestions:
The Experience Factor
First, check the cleaner's time in business (3 years or more generally indicates a more qualified cleaner). It's always interesting to see a new company identifying with a national marketing organization that advertises "20 years of experience." How do you determine actual experience? One way is to check a two-year-old phone book, if available. Chances are more experienced firms will be listed, while less experienced firms will not. If you're new in town, don't hesitate to ask friends and neighbors for suggestions.
Second, look for memberships in professional trade associations. No guarantee here, but it's certainly a step in the right direction. Third, look for IICUC (International Institue of Carpet and Upholstery Cleaners, Inc.) Certified Operators. These individuals are the best the profession has to offer and have met educational, testing and on-the-job experience requirements. Fourth, firms that care about their communities will have strong ties to their local Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau, etc. Again, no guarantee, but it puts you on the right track.
Finally, ask questions-and lots of them. A true pro will be happy to answer them in detail. Then, use common sense in making your decision.