Carpet Cleaning What's best?

I would like to hear about your personal experiences and opinions about carpet cleaning.
Cleaning home carpets
* Commercial cleaners * Truck mounted? * Machine in home, not connected to truck? * National chain? * Local outfit? * Other? * Service?
* Rental machines * Grocery Store? * Tool Rental? * Home Improvement Store Rental?
* Materials used?
* Machine type * Brush? * No Brush?
* Other Comments?
* Results?
* Special Problems?
* Pricing?
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia \'s Muire duit
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Two data points for you:
1. I've had good luck with commerical (truck-mounted) services. The small number of times I've used them, the contractor has been personally recommended to me. That's probably why my experiences were positive. I'm sure there are lots of flakes in that game.
2. I also own and use from time to time a Hoover carpet cleaner with brushes. It works fairly well. Not as well as the professional services. It also gets very tedious if you're cleaning a large area.
A few general observations about carpet cleaning:
* Don't do it too frequently.
* Only use contractors (and machines) for which you have seriously positive references.
* Don't expect it to remove stains. It will remove dirt (and lots of it). But it won't make stains go away. Spot treatment may or may not work. But if you've had a stain for a while and are hoping a cleaning will zap it, you're likely to be disappointed.
* ABOVE ALL, do NOT allow anything or anyone to walk on the cleaned carpet until it is TOTALLY dry. Wait as long as you possibly can before allowing any traffic. Walking on still-damp carpet will result in a disaster. Be patient!
--
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| Malcolm Hoar "The more I practice, the luckier I get". |
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What sort of disaster?
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Even after the best cleaning, there will be dirt and dust deep down at the base of the pile. If you walk on a cleaned carpet while it's still damp, you'll wick that crap up to the surface. When the carpet does eventually dry, you'll have dirty footprints all over the carpet.
Actually, I must confess that I have not personally conducted this particular experiment -- my goal was to get the carpet clean! However, every professional cleaner I've used has urged my vehemently to follow this rule for the reasons I've given above!
--
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| Malcolm Hoar "The more I practice, the luckier I get". |
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On Fri, 9 Nov 2007 13:35:03 -0500, "Joseph Meehan"

My best experience was having/meeting a local referral from a real estate agent. Agents often need them for jobs when getting a house ready for market. The guy was formally a carpet installer for many years and due to health (knee and back pain); he starting cleaning carpet. He did not advertise - only referral (word of mouth).

excellent
Avoid _Three rooms for $49.00_. Scams and add on cost at the last moment.

I rented Rug Doctor twice and bought their chemicals (how they make the money); with excellent results.

Pet stains like urine or vomit use a diluted water and vinegar solution (color test in non-conspicuous place). This kills the odor. You really never get soap out of carpet, imo.

A careless worker marring your walls with long hoses.

-- Oren
"I wouldn't even be here if my support group hadn't beaten me up."
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wrote:

Heh, the recommendations that I've had came from a realtor too. A realtor that I've known personally for many years.
--
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| Malcolm Hoar "The more I practice, the luckier I get". |
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world, I worked for a carpet cleaning outfit (franchise) called Steamatic. They were as good an outfit as any, and their cleaning premise was one that is still popular today; shoot hot steamy water with emulsifying agents into the carpet and seconds later suck it out with strong suction. The device they used was like a big vacuum cleaner with the steam jets on one side of the head, the vacuum on the other.
This approach avoids shooting soaps into the carpet as well. Soaps/detergents and such have their place to break down certain soiling agents, but they also are impossible to thoroughly remove from the carpet. Over several cleanings with soaps, the accumulation of residue in the carpet fiber and base starts to attract dirt, and the nasty cycle starts.
Shampooing carpets was a serious no-no for professional carpet cleaners in those times. Perhaps the rental machines and technology has improved to make it a good option nowadays, but for my $.02 I'd still go with a steam injection/suction method. One caveat being watch the temps of the steam with a true wool carpet.
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Joseph Meehan wrote:

It looks like the post I made never made it, so I won't retype all my glowing review of "procyon" carpet cleaner. I can't find the company web site, but here is a link that I think at least explains what makes it unique (you can dig deeper if interested): http://www.procyon.info/index.html
-- John
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That sure looks like the company's web site!
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Bissell. At the time I bought it, there were three models available. I got the middle one, about $100 at Walmart. I also use the Bissell cleaning solution.
The upside: It is always here. It can be used any time there is a spill or whatever before the spill has a chance to dry. I can do one room at a time if desired and not knock myself out trying to do 3 bedrooms, LR, DR, family room and den the same day and having to move all the furniture around all while trying to get done so I can take a rental back.
It does not leave a residue that attracts dirt. I have seen that happen elsewhere. It does a reasonably good job of drying as you pick up.
The carpet should be spot cleaned first. I use Spot-Shot on the recommendation of a carpet installer who did worked on my preious house.
There is no need to wiat for someone to come with their pro rig.
The only downside: Something else to store.
Charlie
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Just my experiences, but the Rug Doctor rental unit works okay - just don't expect miracles and DONT let too much water out into the rugs. Stanley Steemer works better, but costs more...obviously. I was actually expecting more from SS, and some stains did come back several weeks after their visit, but I guess my expectations were pretty high. Next time I think I'll probably buy a $150 steam cleaner and do it myself, trying various soaps/solvents as recommended here and elsewhere on Google.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote on 10 Nov 2007 in group alt.home.repair:

Just throwing in some trivia: The last time I had my carpets cleaned professionally, the tech had a spray bottle of stuff that he used on stubborn spots his wand wouldn't remove. It really did a good job. I asked what it was, knowing he's say it was some commercial cleaner, but hoping anyway.
It was paint thinner.
Don't use much, only put it on the wet carpet, and suck it up immediately. If you use too much, it makes a noticibly cleaner spot. It also might remove the dye in some carpets.
--
Steve B.
New Life Home Improvement
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I was once in the office of a carpet cleaner company when they got a phone call from someone saying that whatever they used was too strong and had damaged their rug.
The owner called the truck driver right then to make sure he had not done something on his own. The only thing on those trucks was Ivory Snow. He did not take any chances on damaging customer's carpet.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia \'s Muire duit
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