Until this week, my answer has been, "I don't."
The likelihood an elective activity like carpetwashing gets done is inversely proportional to the number of linguistic and logistical obstacles that stand in its way. Not only must I identify a qualified carpet cleaning professional, that person has to come get the carpets. Furthermore, moving stinky carpets around is a royal pain in the ass any time of the year, more so when it is 100 degrees and you are on your own. These are all significant obstacles.
On the other hand, I have carpetdogs, so my carpets are pretty damn dirty. Smelly too. That workhorse 6' x 5' Dagestan sumac that was in the dining room in Baku and Kyiv absorbed prodigious amounts of food and alcohol from Sunday dinners and parties. These factors make carpetwashing less elective and more imperative.
Most importantly, however, if you're moving into a new apartment with Ottoman-era wood floors that appear to be designed for your favorite carpets (or, looking at it another way, if you made your second real estate purchase based on how good your carpets will look), you cannot have dirty carpets.
So what to do?
One thing you'll notice about Istanbul is that there are a lot of carwashes. Because Turks are enterprising, rare is the carwash that is only used for washing cars. For example, because they can be hosed down, carwashes are ideal places for a bayram sacrifice -- a ritual slaughter of sheep and cows and a right bloody mess. More frequently, however, carwash guys are as likely to be aiming their high pressure hoses and soap brushes at carpets hanging from wires as Anadolu sedans.
"No carpet of mine is going to a skanky carwash!" I sniffed.
Turns out, that's pretty much wrong. A few weeks ago, I called a carpet dealer and he came to get three of them. They came home all shiny and reptilian, smelling of clean wool rather than dirty dog. I fell in love with them all over again.
Apparently, they went to a carwash. According to my sources, that's standard Istanbul carpetwashing procedure.
If this is the case, I thought, why not just cut out the middleman and go talk to the guys at the carwash near my house?
Fortunately, my Turkish has progressed to the point where I can negotiate such a transaction. I hopped into the guy's 1967 green jeep Cherokee and we sped up the street to my house. He threw them in the back and took off. Receipt? Hells no. I've been able to track their progress as I pass by with the carpetdogs. They've been drying on the roof of the carwash in the scorching June sun.
I was only going to get a couple carpets washed, but why stop with six? I've got another eight ready to go. The remaining eight might wait, or I might send them to the car wash too.