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Advantages of Having Your Carpets Professionally Cleaned vs. DIY

The season called “Spring” has finally sprung! What does that mean for most homeowners? It means spring cleaning time! And there is so much to do. From cleaning your garden beds, to having the vents cleaned, high level dusting, carpet cleaning and so on. Many homeowners are turning to DIY projects for cost-savings, but is this always the most effective route? What are the advantages and disadvantages? Today we are going to look at the advantage of having your carpets professionally cleaned vs. DIY.


Carpet cleaning is a necessary evil. One that most homeowners will avoid. Generally carpet cleaning is a highly overlooked chore. If I vacuum my carpet regularly it will stay clean, right? Wrong! Vacuuming is only half of the job. While vacuum cleaners from sources such as https://www.bissell.com/steam-and-hard-floor-cleaners/wet-dry-vacuums will make your carpet less dirty and appear cleaner, a carpet cleaning is the only way to make your carpet truly ‘clean’. Even with the most amazing vacuum cleaner, you will only get half the dirt out of your carpet. Vacuums leave behind grime, smells and allergens.

The Carpet and Rug Institute recommends to have your carpets cleaned regularly every 12 – 18 months. Carpet cleaning should be part of the regular maintenance for your floors. It will add years of life to your carpet. Not cleaning your carpets will result in you needing a new carpet, for which you’ll need to know the Carpet fitting cost. So now that you know it’s time to clean your carpets, what is the best route, professional or DIY?

DIY is considered a cost savings benefit. Why pay a professional to come into your home, when you can go rent one? Rental rates start as low as $29.99 for 24 hours. Add on the cost of accessories (especially if you have stairs or upholstery) and cleaning supplies. Do you have pet stains? Don’t forget pet stain remover. Now you have your machine. Time to get it home. Often bulky with a weight of about 55lbs, pop it into your car, drive it home and take it up the front steps, and tada! it’s in your front hallway. Once it is on the floor you want to clean, it easily movable with the wheels on it. But carrying it up and down stair cases could prove tricky.

So now you start. What are some things you should do or know before you start? Here is a list.

  1. Proper vacuuming – don’t just start washing. Vacuuming helps loosen dirt particles in the carpet. It also fluffs up all those carpet fibers, which means the carpet machine will be able to do a deeper clean.

  2. Proper amount of chemicals – using too much can harm your carpet. It will reduce the life of your carpet by weakening the latex. It can leave a residue on your carpet attracting more soil and make future cleanings including vacuuming less effective. You could possibly even set current stains so that even a professional won’t be able to remove them.

  3. Be careful not to release too much water while cleaning your carpets. Too much water can lead to the same results as using too much chemical. Also, if the carpets don’t dry properly this can lead to microbial (mold) growth.

  4. Check the forecast! Cold days, humid days or rainy days are not a good time to wash your carpets. Not only will it take longer for the carpets to dry (which again can cause that mold I just mentioned), but your windows will get foggy in your house.

  5. Check the type of carpet. Certain carpet types require special treatment or different care techniques. Carpets such as oriental rugs and natural or wool fiber carpets and rugs are in this category. You can cause color bleeding, staining, water damage and fiber damage if you don’t know what you are doing.

  6. What is the situation? Is the area a high traffic area with built up grime and dirt, or is it just regular care? If you have really dirty carpets, that rental machine is really only going to make your carpets wet. It doesn’t have the power needed to clean your carpets well or effectively. If you regularly clean your carpets, you’re probably OK.

There are a few other factors to consider when thinking about the DIY option. Professionals are trained, they know all the techniques and how to effectively treat your carpets. Professional carpet cleaning machines also heat the water to much higher temperatures than your rental machine. The hot water is more effective for a proper cleaning.

The biggest benefit to hiring a professional though is your sanity and time. After you take into account the amount of money you spent on the machine, the accessories, the solutions, your time to pick-up and drop-off the machine and late fees or additional charges if you keep it longer than 24 hours, what is your time worth? And don’t forget that 55lb machine that needs to be moved around your house.

By no means are we suggesting you shouldn’t DIY. Lots of people do it. But never enter into it without knowing the risks involved. The biggest benefit to hiring a professional is it frees up your time and it’ll be done right! There’s nothing wrong in asking for a bit of help once in a while, espeiclly when it comes to looking after your home. If hiring a professional cleaner is something that you have considered, you may want to look into a company like ServiceMaster of Lake Shore, where you know for sure that you will receive the best quality of service and know that the job will be done to the highest standard. As much as you think you could have done a good job, companies like these may do it even better. Don’t forget that the work is guaranteed, which means if you find that stain is still there after the carpets are all dry, they will come back and treat the spot again. Additionally, if companies have met quality standards, they are IICRC (http://www.iicrc.org/) Certified, which means they underwent a rigorous list of qualifications.

I think once you cost it all out, you will find the cost savings to be minimal. We have even seen many cases where it has been much more costly. Do your homework! Most companies offer introductory specials, which can significantly reduce your costs and you can end up with some extra money in your pocket! And you can be rest assured your carpets are cleaned. But best of all – you can now do something you really want with your time!

Happy Spring Cleaning!

Written by Mary-Ann Fornalik, Operations Manager, Lucy’s Cleaning Services & Janitorial