If you can't remember the last time you cleaned your carpets, maybe its time.
"At least once a year, it's a good idea to have your carpets professionally cleaned by an outside service. You'll get a better deep-down job than you could if you did it by yourself," said Carolyn Forte, Good Housekeeping Institute.
Make sure which ever company you hire does all the basics.
"Technicians should move small furniture, put protectors under the furniture legs, and if your carpeting hasn't been cleaned in a while, give you realistic expectations of what the results should be," said Forte.
Testers evaluated Stanley Steemer, Sears Carpet and upholstery care, Servicemaster and Home Depot.
Stanley Steemer tied with sears for first place.
"Both companies used a process where they inject a hot water and cleaning solution into your carpet and then use powerful equipment to extract the dirt and any residue that might be left behind," said Forte.
Stanley Steemer got high marks for being the only one to locate the pretreated stains in all the testers homes. They also explained how to remove stains.
"It's clean. I didn't think they could get all those stains out and it's white again," said Nicole Larsen, Carpet Cleaning Customer.
Good Housekeeping also recommends spending the extra money on stain-protection treatment when you get your carpets cleaned.