Carpet Cleaning: Do It Yourself or Hire a Pro?

Question: Are the carpet steamer/cleaners that you can rent at the grocery store really worth it?

Answer : It is possible to clean your carpet reasonably well with a machine you rent. With that said, you should also recognize a good professional will always do a better job. And if you anticipate tackling the job frequently on your own, you might be better off buying a deep-cleaning machine (expensive), which works much better then the rental machines in the grocery stores.

With all of these options, the basic cleaning method is the usually the same. Although it’s often called steam cleaning, the process doesn’t use actual steam. First a solution of detergent and water is spread over the carpet and worked into the fibers (Pre-Treatment). This will depend on what types of soils, stains, and yes bodily fluids are on the carpets. Then it is rinsed out — along with the grime — by vacuuming up as much moisture as possible. (Other approaches to carpet cleaning, such as buffing fibers with absorbent pads or working in absorbent powder and then vacuuming it out, doesn’t work as well, according to research done by Shaw Industries Inc., which by the way is the world’s largest carpet manufacturer.And yes the recommend always using a licensed professional. After all, carpet is a very large investment in the home!

Professionals with quality equipment have the edge in several ways. Because they clean carpets day after day, they aren’t as likely to make mistakes such as using too much detergent or neglecting to rinse away all residue. Also, the trucks deliver hot water, which boosts the detergent’s effectiveness and kills the germs and bacteria built up in the carpet. With a rental machine, the best you can do is pour hot water into the mixing tank and hope it doesn’t cool off too much as you clean. Finally, professionals benefit from having more powerful vacuum systems. Because they remove more water, it’s possible to rinse more thoroughly. The amount of water flowing through carpet fibers is the most important factor that determines whether a cleaning is thorough, Shaw’s researchers found. Plus, the professional vacuums leave the fibers dryer, so the room can get back in use faster and reduce the risk of too much moisture left behind. This alone can destroy your carpets and in result never be the same.

However, getting a professional cleaning is usually more expensive compared with tackling the job yourself with a rented machine. Two years ago, as Consumer Reports magazine was testing deep cleaners, researchers also evaluated one professional service and one nationwide rental company’s machines. The pro did an “excellent” job, while the rental machines were just “good.” Yet Consumer Reports, is always on the hunt for bargains, still saw value in using a professional over a rented machine. To clean two rooms and a hallway, the professional on average depending on what area you are in, was about $175. Renting a machine for a day cost about $50. but then you have to factor in the cost of the detergents and special treatments needed which can add on $30 to $75 and sometimes more. Not to mention the right tools to get the job done as is in service. One factor that dragged down the score for the rental machines: Their quality varied considerably. If you’re a novice at carpet cleaning, this is a big issue. If a machine not in good repair dumps too much detergent onto the carpet, for example, you might just keep going, assuming that’s what it’s supposed to do.This can lead to costly water damage and even mold.

Carpet manufacturers generally recommend professional cleaning of carpets every 12 to 18 months. But if you have indoor pets, track in oily dirt from a garage floor, or find lots of sticky things spilled on your carpet, the frequency of cleaning most also increase. renting a machine or buying one for interim cleanings makes sense. However, many cleaners now offer a yearly plan that can be broken into a monthly payment. Kingdom Cleaners offers this service and we can show you how it is much more cost effective and you can keep doing what it is you need to be doing with your valuable time.

If you do proceed to clean on your own, with either a rented machine or one you buy, a few steps can make all the difference in how the job turns out. Use only the detergent recommended for the machine, and never use more than the label recommends. A more concentrated formula won’t clean better; it will just leave the carpet fibers sticky.

Many professionals mist a pre-treatment solution onto the carpet, which allows a longer time to break down oily compounds. Then they run only clear water through the machine. You might experiment with the same approach. Or, if you want to minimize the use of cleaning products in your house, try using the machine with only plain, hot water, especially if you still plan a professional cleaning periodically.

Before you begin, make sure that you have one or more good fans available so that you can ensure speedy drying even if something goes wrong. With properly functioning equipment, the carpet should dry within four or five hours; if it takes more than 24 hours, you risk getting mildew growth in the backing.

What’s a realistic expectation for carpet stain removal?

Many so-called “stains” are actually soil that has stuck onto carpet fibers because something sticky spilled and wasn’t cleaned up. A deep cleaning with detergent and water should get this out.

Stains are color changes in the fibers themselves. Quick action when spills occur usually makes all the difference in whether these changes are permanent or correctable. The first aid measures depend on the specific spill. On the Web, you can find all sorts of home remedies, some that work and some that don’t. For advice based on actual test results, look at the floor care section of Shaw’s site, http://www.shawfloors.com/ .

Please contact us if you have any questions. We will do whatever we can to help and we always look forward to serving our customers. If you do go the rental route, at least do yourself a favor and get a free estimate before you put out the money on the rental and the chemicals needed to clean your floors. Also keep in mind that we speacalize in total floor and upholstery cleaning. Call727.723.4301 or send an email to sales@kingdomcleaner. Also you can visit our website home page www.kingdomcleaner.com #carpetcleaning #upholsterycleaning #furniturecleaning #professionalcleaning

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