thought this was a good article , not all applys to all companies of course but still good info
What to do before a carpet cleaner arrives
Getting your home's carpets cleaned is a great way to freshen up the appeal of your home and preserve a floor covering's life span.
While part of the joy of hiring a professional is having someone else do the dirty work, taking these pro-active steps can help make sure you get the cleanest carpet possible:
1. Vacuum, if needed - Removing as much debris and dirt from the carpet fiber prior to a cleaning can help ensure your carpet cleaner is focusing on the deep down soiled in dirt. Some carpet cleaning services vacuum the carpet prior to beginning their work. Others rely on you, the homeowner, to do so. Ask your carpet cleaning professional whether or not you need to vacuum prior to their arrival.
2. Dust and clean Skirting boards - Clearing these areas of dirt and debris can help ensure the carpet isn't' dirtied quickly following a cleaning.
3. Remove fragile items - Porcelain knick-knacks, Ming dynasty vases, collectibles and any other potentially fragile or breakable items should be removed from the cleaning area and placed in a safe area.
4. Remove valuable items - While many carpet cleaning companies thoroughly screen and vet their employees, it's still a good idea to remove any items of value from rooms with carpeting that will be cleaned. Store them behind a locked door or in your car's trunk.
5. Move furniture, if necessary - Your carpet cleaner may offer a discount for cleaning a room that's empty or just focusing on high foot traffic areas. On the other hand, you may want to ensure your carpet is totally clean from wall to wall. Some companies charge a fee for moving furniture, others don't, so ask about moving furniture when making an appointment.
6. Remove smaller items from the floor - Floor lamps, waste baskets, toys, and clothing or shoes should all be moved out of the area to be cleaned. It's also a good idea to lift up and secure things like bedspreads, drapes or dust ruffles with a clothespin to prevent them from getting in the way of a carpet cleaner's tools.
7. Free up a parking spot - If your carpet cleaner uses truck-mounted equipment, they'll need to park their vehicle as close as possible to an entry door to run hoses for their cleaning equipment. Make sure your family's vehicles aren't obstructing them.
8. Point out areas of concern - Showing a professional carpet cleaner the stains, spots or high traffic areas you're most concerned with will help make sure they're not missed during the cleaning process.