Drapery and carpet cleaner

A drapery and carpet cleaner


Drapery and carpet cleaners clean draperies and carpets for their clients by removing stains, dust or odors. They do this by applying chemical and repellent solutions and with the use of brushes or mechanical equipment.

The duties of a drapery and carpet cleaner include, but are not limited to:

  • Meeting with clients to discuss their cleaning needs.
  • Assessing the state of the floors and carpets that need to be cleaned.
  • Applying stain and pre-cleaning treatments to the carpets and floors.
  • Carefully removing furniture to access all areas that need to be cleaned.
  • Cleaning carpets and floors using machine and hand-washing techniques.
  • Drying carpets using drying machines.
  • Resetting the furniture.
  • Up-selling cleaning services and company products.
  • Providing invoices and maintaining good customer relations.

Working conditions

Drapery and carpet cleaners generally work full time. They may have to work some evenings and weekends. Because much of the work is done in customers’ homes and businesses, working conditions vary. Workers usually drive to job sites in trucks provided by their employers.

Drapery and carpet cleaners who work in cleaning plants may find the heat and noise unpleasant. Certain chemicals used in cleaning drapery and carpets have unpleasant odors and may irritate the skin. Workers must use these chemicals with care.

Drapery and carpet cleaners often lift heavy machines and rugs. Workers who meet and talk with customers should be friendly and courteous.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to drapery and carpet cleaner:

carpet and drapery cleaner
carpet cleaning technician
carpet cleaner
rug cleaner
drapery cleaner

Minimum qualifications

Drapery and carpet cleaners typically have a high school diploma as a minimum. On-the-job training is usually provided to new employees.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Drapery and carpet cleaner is a Skill level 1 occupation.

Drapery and carpet cleaner career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to drapery and carpet cleaner.

laundromat attendant
domestic cleaner
train cleaner
kitchen porter
toilet attendant

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of drapery and carpet cleaner. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of drapery and carpet cleaner with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

laundry ironer
laundry worker
building exterior cleaner
domestic housekeeper
spa attendant

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of drapery and carpet cleaner.

  • Types of staining: Check the fabric for different kinds of stains such as invisible, perspirative, and oxidation stains. Understand the right way to deal with the defects by testing the nature of the stain, the type of fabric (absorbed, built up and compound staining) and the colour fastness of the dye.
  • Cleaning techniques: Various techniques and tools used to clean different types of surfaces to achieve a certain degree of cleanliness such as sweeping, vacuuming, degreasing and wet cleaning.
  • Types of brushes: Tools with bristles used for a wide variety of purposes such as cleaning, painting, putting on make up and grooming hair. Materials used for bristles include animal hair, synthetic fibers and plastic. Various shapes exist such as cylindrical brushes and twisted-in wire brushes for cleaning brushes, and flat, round or mop for painting brushes.
  • Types of carpet: Different types of carpet based on materials, production method, backing, fitting techniques, cost, durability, aesthetics and other criteria.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of drapery and carpet cleaner.

  • Guarantee customer satisfaction: Handle customer expectations in a professional manner, anticipating and addressing their needs and desires. Provide flexible customer service to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Maintain personal hygiene standards when cleaning: Make sure to keep yourself clean and tidy and wear protective equipment when performing cleaning activities, as required by the health and safety procedures of the task or the organisation.
  • Use solvents: Clean products or surfaces by using solvents to dissolve or extract other unnecessary substances.
  • Operate floor cleaning equipment: Set up, maintain and operate roto, extractor and walk behind scrubbers and other floor care equipment to clean carpets and scrub hard floors.
  • Perform dusting activities: Remove dust from furniture, blinds and windowsills using specialised dust cloths or hand-cleaning items.
  • Handle chemical cleaning agents: Ensure proper handling, storage and disposal of cleaning chemicals in accordance with regulations.
  • Groom carpets: Inspect the rug and use a groom to set the nap in the direction in which the knots are tied. Use detergents and non-chlorine bleaches to regroom, clean and brighten the fringes of the carpet, treating spots and odors.
  • Vacuum surfaces: Use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust and small particles from floors, drapes, carpets or furniture.
  • Eliminate stains: Use stain removal equipment to remove stains without damaging the fabric. Carry out garment and stain detection to identify the specific staining type such as wet or dry side staining in a safe and appropriate manner.
  • Maintain customer service: Keep the highest possible customer service and make sure that the customer service is at all times performed in a professional way. Help customers or participants feel at ease and support special requirements.
  • Maintain cleaning equipment: Clean and preserve the equipment and material used for cleaning purposes in a proper state.
  • Operate carpet centrifugal machine: Set up and operate a machine which unwinds, spins and dries the rug, extracting the majority of the water out of it. Hang it up to dry afterwards.
  • Maintain a safe, hygienic and secure working environment: Preserve health, hygiene, safety and security in the workplace in accordance with relevant regulations.
  • Rinse cloth articles: Flush out detergents, soil and odors from cloth materials and articles using a water hose.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of drapery and carpet cleaner. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Properties of fabrics: The influence of chemical composition and molecular arrangement of yarn and fibre properties and fabric structure on the physical properties of textile fabrics; the different fibre types, their physical and chemical characteristics and different material characteristics; the materials used in different processes and the effect on materials as they are processed. 

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of drapery and carpet cleaner. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Maintain inventory of cleaning supplies: Follow the stock of cleaning materials, order new material when the stock is empty and follow their usage to maintain a constant supply.
  • Sell services: Encourage sales by identifying the customer’s buying needs and by promoting benefits and features of the organisation’s services. Respond to and resolve customer objections and agree to mutually beneficial terms and conditions.
  • Sort waste: Manually or automatically sort waste by separating it into its different elements.
  • Maintain relationship with customers: Build a lasting and meaningful relationship with customers in order to ensure satisfaction and fidelity by providing accurate and friendly advice and support, by delivering quality products and services and by supplying after-sales information and service.
  • Clean household linens: Wash linens such as sheets, towels and table cloths with water and soap or detergent. Clean linens by hand or by the use of a washing machine.
  • Sell products: Encourage sales by identifying the customer’s buying needs and by promoting benefits and features of the organisation’s products. Respond to and resolve customer objections and agree to mutually beneficial terms and conditions.
  • Follow up orders for customers: Follow-up/tracking of an order and notifying the customer when the goods have arrived.
  • Iron textiles: Pressing and ironing in order to shape or flatten textiles giving them their final finishing appearance. Iron by hand or with steam pressers.
  • Trim excess material: Trim surplus material of fabric such as fiberglass mats, cloth, plastics or rubber.
  • Dispose waste: Dispose waste in accordance with legislation, thereby respecting environmental and company responsibilities.
  • Clean upholstered furniture: Use appropriate cleaning techniques and materials to clean upholstered furniture depending on the type of fabric used in its fabrication: cotton, synthetic, microfibre or leather.
  • Carry out pressure washing activities: Use high pressure equipment in order to clean areas, surfaces and materials.
  • Clean surfaces: Disinfect surfaces in accordance with sanitary standards.
  • Clean equipment: Perform cleaning routines after equipment use.
  • Work with chemicals: Handle chemicals and select specific ones for certain processes. Be aware of the reactions which arise from combining them.
  • Set up machine controls: Set up or adjust machine controls to regulate conditions such as material flow, temperature, or pressure.
  • Apply prespotting: Remove stains in dry-cleaning by using the pre-spotting technique. Use a spotting board, which vacuums the garment attached to the spotting board through air suctions. Use a spotting gun to apply steam to loosen the stain and use a blow dryer to dry the fabric.
  • Inspect dry cleaning materials: Check which items are suitable or unsuitable for dry-cleaning by interpreting care labels and decide which dry cleaning processes may be required.
  • Operate tunnel finisher machine: Handle wide or narrow body tunnel finishers which remove wrinkles from garments. Insert the material in a steam chamber, making the fabric moldable.

ISCO group and title

9129 – Other cleaning workers

  1. ESCO
  2. Carpet Cleaning Technician Job Description – Betterteam
  3. Rug and Carpet Cleaner Job Description – StateUniversity.com
  4. Featured image: Photo by cottonbro
Last updated on June 13, 2022

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