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
Thanks for your help! Djay
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.
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.
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
I bought a Bissell DIY carpet cleaner and use their brand of cleaning
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
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.
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