Carpet cleaning DIY?

I'm looking at options to clean my light-tan carpet. My limited knowledge and google attempts reveal that the carpet is a Cut Pile of the Saxony variety as it shows footprints and beater bar marks from the vacuum. Anyway the carpet is just lightly stained - nothing unreasonable but it certainly could use a deep cleaning. I've used one of those "green machine" spot cleaners for a few years and it's done a wonderful job but now it's time for an all-over job. The spot cleaner is just too small.
So, I've seen the "rug doctor" in my local supermarkets. Outside of that I think I have to call a pro team. I have about 1000 sq ft of carpet to clean. Is the rug doctor what I want to use or should I get a pro to come in?
Thanks for your help! Djay
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It's hit and miss with professionals. Some of them are in such a hurry that not much dirt actually leaves the carpet. Some of them do an outstanding job. I've used large companies with good reputations and had one of their subcontractor do a poor job.
I like to use the rental machines. I can use as little or as much soap as I want, I can move as slowly as I want to so the machine scrubs more, and I can go over the carpet 37 times with clear rinse water if I want. It takes me three times as long to do it myself, but the carpet is visibly cleaner than when the "pro" does it.
Many people (and companies with big truck-mounted steamer machines) will tell you that the rental machine leaves soap in the carpet which then causes dirt to collect faster. The only alternative is to use no soap. That's better than nothing, but not much. The steamer machines don't work well either if the operator is an idiot.
Sneaky trick: If the machine won't take out a spot, put a little paint remover on it. Test first in a closet to make sure the paint remover doesn't damage the carpet.
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Steve B.
New Life Home Improvement
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Glass Plus also removes spots.
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Jim Yanik
jyanik
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Thanks Steve!
You're the opposite side of the coin from buffalobill. Do you have a particular brand of DIY machine that you've used?
Thanks! DJay
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I don't much care about the brand. I look for one that has moving brushes to scrub the carpet.
By the way, that trick should be paint THINNER, not paint REMOVER.
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Steve B.
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The supermarket devices work.
There are also consumer grade rug cleaner solds in appliance stores. For the cost of a few rentals you can buy one. Not as good as the pro machines that are much bigger but they work just about as well as the supermarket machines.
I've been using one I bought and don't use the pros anymore. One of the advantages is that you can clean spills when they occur.
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buffalo ny: doing it yourself takes forever. you work from a limited liquid into the rug and suck it into a limited collector container, with or without a brush, then dump, and keep repeating until cleaned or fatigued. if you repeatedly continue extracting the water until your collection tank is actually clean water, your padding will be soaked and you may be damaging the floor or ceiling below you. you will be thinking about all the money you spent renting, buying, buying proper low foaming stuff by the gallons, is vinegar a cheaper anti- foamer, and on and on. but the wisdom you seek is reached at the time where you figure a garden hose and a wet shop vac might have been a choice.
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wrote:

Bill,
I take it that you are not an advocate of the DIY drugstore models? What pro service do you recommend? What do you recommend I look for in a pro service?
DJay
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I bought a Bissell DIY carpet cleaner and use their brand of cleaning solution. When we got it, it was the midpriced of three models at about $100. For spots and stains I use Spot-off. It was recommended years ago by the carpet installer.
One advantage to me is that I can do the house in sections and not knock myself out by trying to do it all at once with a rental. My carpeted areas are about 2000 square feet. None of the carpet is very light, maybe a medium blue.
I have been satisfied with the results.
Charlie
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