Frequently Asked Questions about Carpet, Upholstery, and Rug Cleaning

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Carpet Cleaning

What method of cleaning do you use?

Steam Master uses the “professional hot water extraction” method of cleaning.  This is a washing and rinsing of the carpet.  We use only non-toxic cleaning agents that are safe for your home.  Our truck mounted cleaning units have powerful motors for deeper cleaning and they heat the water to just the right temperature.  This is the only means of cleaning recommended by almost all carpet manufacturers and the Carpet & FabriCare Institute.  Finally, this is the only method that can employ a rinse step to leave your carpets as residue free as possible.

How much does it cost?

We price based on the square footage of area that we clean.  The cleaning technician measures the area gives you the complete price before he starts the job.  There are three levels of pricing. The first level is for vacant rooms, the second level is for cleaning only the traffic areas and the third level is for moving and replacing furniture.  See our pricing page for more details.

What can I expect when the carpet cleaners come?

  • Conduct a pre-inspection of the rooms and/or items to be cleaned noting any heavily soiled areas.
  • Discuss the process with you and answer any questions you may have.
  • Move furniture in the rooms (except very large items)
  • Pre-treat any areas of concern to ensure the most thorough cleaning.
  • Clean using our hot water extraction method or the method deemed most appropriate.
  • Apply deodorizer or protector, and groom the carpet.
  • Return your furniture to its original location, placing protective pads underneath.

How long will it take to dry?


Drying time depends on humidity levels, airflow and the type of carpet. While it typically takes four to 24 hours for the carpet to dry, you can walk on it as soon as we are finished.  Wear clean tennis shoes or white socks to avoid re-soiling. If drying time is a concern, ask us about ways to significantly speed up the drying time.


Can I walk on the carpet after it has been cleaned?

Yes. Although it helps to avoid heavy traffic until the carpet is completely dry, it is acceptable t walk on the carpet with clean shoes or stocking feet.  

What makes you different from other carpet cleaners?


In contrast to the “fly-by-night” or “bait-and-switch” companies, our quality and integrity sets us apart. We have been in business for over 30 years and built a reputation based on fair prices and outstanding workmanship. We are family owned and operated, so we are personally invested in our company that serves the local Orange County community. We value the relationships we’ve built with our customers and look forward to serving our new customers, as well. We will be there when you call us, and we stand behind our work.


Can you treat pet stains and odor?

Yes. Accidents from pets, especially pet urine, can wreak havoc on carpet. The alkaline salts in pet urine absorb moisture out of the air and the pet urine never completely dries. It becomes a feeding ground for bacteria, which causes odor, staining and discoloration. Minor conditions can be handled with a combination of germicidal and enzyme surface treatments. Major conditions require pad replacement and floor treatment in addition to treating and cleaning the carpet.

Can you guarantee you will get all the stains out of my carpet?

Although we’d like to say yes…the answer is no.  Many factors are involved in whether a particular stain can be removed.  A few of these factors are the nature of the stain, the type of carpet fiber, how long the stain has been there and what, if anything, was used previously to get the stain out.  Our knowledgeable technicians are trained, certified and will take great care to provide the best results possible in removing spots and stains. Check out our tips for carpet spills.

What do I need to do to get ready to have my carpets cleaned?

Our technicians are trained to move your furniture and return it to its rightful place. We do ask that you remove items from your furniture like electronics, plants, lamps and knickknacks. We will move most furniture that you request. The exceptions are large items, including pianos, china cabinets, waterbeds, pool tables and dressers with mirrors.

What is the carpet protector and carpet deodorizer?

Over time and with regular wear, factory-applied stain resistant will wear off. The application of our Proguard Protector adds a layer of protection to repel spills and resists soiling and staining. Proguard Protector forms a molecular shield around each carpet fiber and helps to prevent dirt and stains from being ground in or absorbed by the carpet fiber.

Does my carpet get dirtier, quicker after I clean it?

No. If your professional carpet cleaner does their job correctly, this is not true. You cannot clean a carpet too often; in fact NOT getting your carpet cleaned is much worse. Periodic cleaning will extend the life of your carpet, while helping to keep your home healthier.

How often should I have my carpets cleaned?

This answer varies depending on many factors such as allergies, children, pets and whether the carpet gets heavy use, or light use.  Dirt is like sandpaper. It damages your carpet. The more often you have your carpets cleaned, the longer they will last. The Carpet and FabriCare Institute and most carpet manufacturers recommend that you have your carpet professionally cleaned every 6 to 12 months, depending on your lifestyle.

Upholstery Cleaning

What types of upholstery do you clean?

We clean most indoor furniture including leather furniture, patio furniture headboards and boat cushions.

What information do you need to give me an estimate?

Just tell us about the size, fabric and condition of your upholstery and let us know about any problems with the piece  (pet problems, spills, spots, etc.)

How often do manufacturers recommend professional cleaning?


Manufacturers recommend having upholstered furniture professionally cleaned every 12-24 months.


Is it best to clean at my home or at your plant?

This depends on several factors but the majority of the time it is much better to have your upholstery cleaned at our plant.  The advantage is that we can take as much time as we need to. Upholstery cleaning can be time consuming when done correctly. We may need to test your fabric or place it in our dry room. Often, we will clean upholstery multiple times so we can be as gentle yet as thorough as possible.  Also, it is not recommended to clean furniture that is on a wood floor.

Can you pick up and deliver my furniture?


Yes! We will pick up, clean and deliver back to you in about a week!


What method do you use to clean my furniture?

All fabrics are cleaned using different techniques for different types of soil or fabric.  A thorough rinsing step is always included.

If the tag on my furniture recommends dry cleaning, can you clean it?

Yes.  That tag is required as the “Manufacturers’ Liability Code.” We will test your fabric to make sure it is safe and to determine which cleaning method is the best. Even though dry cleaning is recommended it may not be the most effective method for removing all the soil.  

Can I Spot Clean My Own Upholstery? What Do The Cleaning Codes Mean?

The furniture industry has created a code for its care tags so you can quickly know how to clean upholstery when a spill occurs

Here is a guide to the codes:

W: Clean the upholstery fabric with water- based detergent.

S: Clean the upholstery fabric with a water free product, such as dry cleaning solvent.

WS: You may clean the upholstery fabric with either water based cleaner or a water free cleaner, depending on the type of stain

X: This upholstery fabric must be professionally cleaned. You should only vacuum and brush it — never use any type of upholstery cleaner on it yourself.

Can you treat pet odor?

Yes. Sometimes cats and dogs have accidents and while we can’t guarantee 100% removal every time, there is a lot we can do to restore the freshness to your upholstery.  

Can you apply some kind of protection to guard against future spills?

Yes. The soils that accumulate on your furniture over time, along with daily use causes the protective coating that came on your furniture to wear off.  It is a good idea to apply fabric protector after it is your furniture is cleaned. This will help to repel future spills and prevent them from becoming stains.

How much will it cost?

The basic pricing can be found on our pricing page.  There are additional charges for odor problems, and certain delicate and temperamental fabrics.

Rug Cleaning

Do you outsource the rug cleaning?

Many carpet cleaners outsource their rug cleaning. At Steam Master, every rug is hand cleaned on site at our store in Costa Mesa. After 45 years in the rug cleaning business, we’ve seen it all!  We have lots of techniques for all types of rugs. 

We treat every area rug like it’s a family treasure!

What types of rugs can you clean?

All types of rugs welcome!  Oriental rugs, Persian rugs, sisal and seagrass rugs, Flokati, Moroccan, Tibetan, Navajo, Dhurrie rugs and even cut carpet and boat rugs.

What's your turnaround time?


Turn around time is approximately one week as they may need more than one wash!


What does your process look like when you clean my rugs at your plant?

Our In Plant Process Consist of The Following Steps:

  1. Thorough inspection – We check for size, type, colors, odors, soil conditions, overall condition of construction of rug, condition of the fibers, fringe, edges and face of rug
  2. Dusting/Vacuum –  Our customers are amazed at the amount of sand and grit that comes out of their rugs  Removing sand and dirt is important because this grit acts as an abrasive that cuts and shreds the rug fibers. Eventually, the fibers break and this damage is irreversible.
  3. Address Problem Areas – Spots caused by urine, food, oil etc are worked on next.  In addition to liquid remedies, we employ the sun, shade, heat and many other natural elements to fix the problem.  Rugs with urine problems get flood washed in our “rug pool”. After a good soak, the water is extracted and the rug gets a thorough shampoo and a cleansing rinse.
  4. Cleaning.  Over the years we have found that there is no “one size fits all” method when it comes to cleaning rugs.  We decide what type of cleaning to use depending on the type of rug, the problem it has and the type of soil.
  5. The Fringe –  The fringing is brushed, untangled and straightened out, then shampooed and given a final grooming.
  6. Grooming and Drying –   The final step is to lightly brush so the nap is laying flat and the fringe is untangled.  Drying happens either in our controlled temperature dry room, or on a block tacked to the ground to maintain the shape.
  7. Inspection – . At this point we determine if the rug is finished or if there are areas, which need additional work and attention.  It is not unusual to go through this process multiple times in order to give the best results possible.  
  8. Protection –  If requested, apply fabric protector to repel spots and stains.
  9. Area rug padding – Many customers enjoy using a rug pad to keep the rug in place, create a cushion and to protect against excess wear.
  10. Roll and Deliver – Come to our shop or we will bring it to you!

CAn you pick up my rug, or do I need to drop it off?

Call for a pick up OR bring your rugs to us! Whatever is easiest for you.