DIY vs Professional Carpet Cleaning - Which Is Best

Homeowners with extremely dirty carpets can choose between DIY vs professional carpet cleaning - which is best largely depends on the budget and how dirty the carpeting is.  Vacuuming is merely a way to maintain your carpet.  However, it is not effective for removing deep set stains.  Every carpet gets to the point during their usable life where mere vacuuming can no longer restore its appearance, and a thorough deep cleaning is needed. 

If your carpet is sticky and matted, no longer has the color it did in the showroom, or has stains around the chairs or from pets, a deep cleaning is needed.  Most people will start with a carpet and rug cleaning machine that can be rented at most grocery, big box retail, and home improvement stores.  The stores also carry an assortment of cleaning chemicals to help you get rid of the stains and odors.  Most carpet and rug cleaning machines work the same way, and the difference between them is negligible.  Even the cleaning chemicals are very similar.

DIY carpet cleaning machines can get minor stains out of your carpet.  But, major stain and odor problems need to be treated by professionals.  There is a big difference between DIY vs professional carpet cleaning - which is best for your carpet is up to you, but some problems will need professional attention.  Pet stains are particularly problematic.  The rental machines can take care of the surface stains, but pet stains go deep into the carpet, the padding, and even into the flooring underneath.  Only professional chemicals and cleaning techniques can get deep enough to thoroughly remove both the stain and the odor. 

Most people know how to clean a carpet.  However, knowing how to clean a carpet is not always enough.  If you do not have the necessary equipment and chemicals, then all your knowledge cannot help you fix your carpet problems.

The cost of carpet cleaning depends on whether you are using a machine for do it yourself carpet cleaning vs professional carpet cleaners.  The do it yourself rental machines cost just over $20 a day.  The chemical concentrates cost about $13 for a half gallon. If you are cleaning your entire house, you will need more than one bottle of cleaning solution.  Pet odor removers and spot cleaners cost between $4 and $5 a bottle.

It can be hard to gauge how much solution you will need for cleaning your carpet, but professional carpet cleaning costs are easier to gauge.  For 650 square feet of carpet, count on spending up to $240 for chemical cleaning and up to $208 for hot water extraction.

While the cost difference between do it yourself carpet cleaning vs professional is substantial, so are the results.  Professional cleaners use two different techniques to deep clean carpets.  These techniques depend on the type of equipment that the service uses.  Chemical cleaning This is also known as encapsulation.  Some professional cleaning services use liquid chemicals or granulated cleaning products to surround or "encapsulate" the dirt.  The chemicals trap residue as they dry into crystals.  Then, the crystals are vacuumed up.  This process works great with pet stains and odors, and the carpet can be dry enough to walk on in two hours or less. 

Steam cleaning can also be called hot water extraction.  Both terms mean the same thing.  Hot water is forced deep into the carpet fibers.  This loosens the dirt, which is then sucked out of the carpet.  This equipment is large, and is usually mounted in a van, with only the hose entering the house.  Hot water extraction is a wetter process, and it can take as long as 24 hours for the carpet to dry completely.

DIY carpet cleaning vs professional cleaning - which is best should be easy for you to surmise.  For carpets that are deeply stained and filled with odors, the store rental machines are no match for professional services.

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