PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Whether it’s red wine, the kids dragging in dirt or the dog’s muddy paws, sometimes you need a pro to come in and clean up the carpets.

And it’s possible to have carpets professionally cleaned without putting a huge stain on your budget.

There’s no doubt Wendie Zeller loves her dog. But what she doesn’t love are the tracks Joe leaves behind.

So when she saw an online professional carpet cleaning deal, she didn’t think twice about buying it.

“Good price, I needed the bedrooms done, and for four rooms,” Zeller said. “So I just bought it.”

It was exactly the deal Zeller needed — that is until the cleaner showed up at her door.

“One common complaint we’ve heard over the years when it comes to carpet cleaning companies is suggesting a price that just seems too low to be true,” Angie’s List founder, Angie Hicks said. “What happens is they get there and the consumer ends up paying more than they expected.”

“It was awful,” Zeller said. “You know, he had told me that because my carpets were so dirty that they would need to do a deep cleaning, and that would be extra.”

To avoid those added extras, consumer experts recommend homeowners insist on a written, detailed estimate on what the company will do for the advertised price. And never be shy about sharing your own family’s details.

“Do you have pets, do you have kids, do you have special areas that need treatments because you’ve had spills?” Hicks asks. “The more information you give them, the more prepared they can come to do the actual project in case you need special cleaners for some difficult spots.”

Chris Stone has been cleaning carpets professionally for over seven years. He suggests homeowners do a little work to save a little dough.

“You want to try to move as much as possible in the areas that you want clean; if there are any couches or sofas or magazines,” Stone said. “Everything you can do to help it move faster when they come to clean your carpets. The time that we save from you moving those things, we actually pass those savings on to you.”

It’s a lesson Zeller learned the dirty way.

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