Carpets are soft, comfortable, and add a nice cozy feeling to your home, but when they are dirty, stained, or smelly, they do not achieve what you want them to. Choosing to clean your carpets is the first step to making sure they remain presentable and in their best condition.
But, should you attempt to clean them on your own or hire a professional to do so? Carpet is one of the most popular options amongst homeowners when it comes to flooring in their home and for good reason too.
Every time you walk on your carpets, you are dragging dirt, allergens, and bacteria all over them. In addition, the fibers of the carpet start to wear down and flatten, which can quickly eliminate that fluffy and comfortable feeling that you have come to love.
Annual and bi-annual cleanings of your carpet can help keep it smelling and looking its best and freshest while making sure you get the most out of your carpet’s life. Hiring a professional carpet cleaner is a great way to keep your carpets cleaned, it is not the only option you have. In fact, you can choose to do it as a DIY project.
Below, we will go over the different options available to you and this blog is designed to help you choose the right option to meet your needs and budget.
Professionals or Do It Yourself?
There are a number of professional and do it yourself options when it comes to carpet cleaning. Each one of these options has its own pros and cons with it. Hiring a team of professionals will guarantee that the job gets done right using the best cleaning solutions and equipment, but it may not be right for your situation. Below, we will explore some of the options you have available to you.
Buying a Machine
- Cost – Anywhere from $85 to $500 or more
- Effectiveness – Minimal
- Time – Around 60 minutes per room
Renting a Machine
- Cost – Anywhere from $30 to $75 per day
- Effectiveness – Moderate
- Time – Around 60 minutes per room and an additional 60 minutes to pick up
Hiring a Professional Service
- Cost – Anywhere from $115 to $275
- Effectiveness – Best
- Time – Around 120 minutes to complete
Purchasing Your Own Carpet Cleaning Machine
Having a carpet cleaning machine on hand may seem like a good idea to you, especially if you have pets or kids who tend to make a lot of messes on the carpet. While it does sound like a good idea and you have good intentions, consumer grade machines usually deliver the worst results out there.
- Convenience of having the machine on hand
- Easy to grab and use on quick notice
- Not always effective
- Must have room to store it
Renting a Carpet Cleaning Machine
If you are not wanting to purchase your own carpet cleaning machine, you do not have to. You can opt to rent a machine from a local home improvement store. These carpet cleaners work better than the ones you can purchase but you will need to make sure you have a way to transport it to and from your home.
- Don’t have to worry about storing it
- Does a moderate job of cleaning
- Cleaning time can take you a little while to do
- Must have a way to transport it
Hire a Professional Carpet Cleaning Team
Hiring a professional carpet cleaning team will net you the best results, especially when you choose a team that is licensed and insured. The biggest upside to this option is that you do not have to put in the work yourself and can spend time doing other things you need to.
- Warranty is usually provided
- Great results
- Expensive in some cases
- Inconvenient if you have a busy schedule
Biggest Downfalls to DIY Carpet Cleaning in Your Home
A DIY carpet cleaning project can save you money and may fit better into your schedule, but there are some downfalls that come along with it that you need to pay attention to. Keep the following things in mind as you start to plan your carpet cleaning DIY project.
- Damage to Your Furniture: Did you know that wood furniture can suck up the moisture that is left behind in the carpets once you have cleaned them? If this does happen, your furniture can experience damage and eventually the structural integrity of the furniture pieces will be compromised. You will need to make sure you remove everything from the area to be cleaned and wait to replace it until the area is completely dry.
- Moisture: Excess moisture that is not sucked out of your carpets can lead to mold and mildew growth, which is a serious health hazard. If you clean your carpets yourself, you will want to make sure that you remove all of the water.
- Staining: You never know when a chemical may stain your carpets, so you want to test the solution out before you rely on it to clean all your carpets. Additionally, staining can occur afterwards too.
- Too Much Shampoo: You may use too much solution or shampoo when you clean your carpets. Doing this can have an adverse effect and actually lead to more staining.
What Types of Carpet Cleaners Do Professionals Use?
The biggest difference between the machines that consumers use to clean their carpets and commercial carpet cleaners is price and power of the machine. Commercial-grade machines are much more powerful and can clean a lot better than consumer-grade machines.
When it comes to cleaning, professionals use a combination of steam, dry cleaning, and shampooing. Some cleaners may rely on one or two of these methods more than another. DIY machines and consumer-grade machines utilize the shampooing method to clean carpets.
What is the dry cleaning method? This method utilizes no liquid and a dry chemical compound to clean the carpets. The chemicals are designed to breakdown ay oils and dirt and then they are vacuumed up. This type of cleaning has virtually no drying time, which is ideal for some homeowners. While dry cleaning does work, there are better options out there such as hot water extraction.
What is carpet shampooing and steam cleaning? These two terms are often used interchangeably, but they are a little different from one another. Both terms refer to the use of hot water being extracted from the carpets utilizing chemicals and water. While consumer-grade machines say they steam clean, they actually do not. Rentals and residential options release some hot water and shampoo directly into the carpet and then vacuum the liquid back up. The steam in this case does not do the work, but the bristles and shampoo do.
FAQs About Carpet Cleaning
Check out these helpful questions and answers!
How often do I need to clean my carpets?
Carpets should be cleaned on a regular basis whether you hire a professional or do it yourself. You should have them cleaned, at a minimum, of once every 12 to 18 months. If you have an area of high traffic or your household members tend to be messy and spill things often, you may want to have them cleaned more often than that.
How long after cleaning do I have to wait to walk on the carpets again?
When your carpets are dry, you can walk on them. This can be a short process, or this can be a long process. You can expect the carpets to be dry in anywhere from 3 hours to 24 hours with the proper fans and ventilation of the area. The amount of time it takes will also depend on the humidity levels within your home. Professional carpet cleaning will take less time to dry than DIY methods.
How can I keep my carpets clean in between cleanings?
In between carpet cleaning, you can work to keep your carpets clean by vacuuming them regularly and also cleaning up any stains or spills that occur.
Pros or DIY?
The choice is up to you in the end. There are pros and cons to each. The choice you make will be dependent on what your budget is, time constraints, and how well of a job you want to be performed. If you have heavily stained or very dirty carpets, going with a professional carpet cleaning company would probably be best. If you only have a small area to clean or you are confident in your ability to clean your carpets, you can choose DIY.