It doesn’t matter how meticulous you are about your home’s cleanliness. Every 1-2 years, your carpet needs a deep clean in order to eliminate underlying dirt and debris and keep it looking stunning.
But do you really need a professional carpet cleaning service to get the job done? We explore the benefits and downsides of cleaning your carpet yourself versus hiring a professional so you can decide which approach works best for you.
Why Annual or Semi-Annual Carpet Cleaning Matters
Carpet cleaning should be a part of your spring cleaning checklist. Yet all too often, homeowners or renters go years without cleaning their carpet. After all, if it looks clean, it’s fine, right?
Carpets should undergo a deep clean every 18 months, or every year if your carpet experiences high traffic or the wear and tear of pets and children. This chore isn’t just to eliminate stains and visible carpet flaws. It rejuvenates worn carpet and digs deep to reach dirt and debris your regular vacuum can’t reach.
Which leaves you with the question: how will you go about it? Will you hire a professional to handle the task or will you try to do it yourself?
The Pros and Cons of Professional Carpet Cleaning
Unlike most spring cleaning tasks, a quality carpet cleaning involves heavy-duty tools you may not have on-hand, such as a steam cleaning machine. Many professional carpet cleaners use either portable steam cleaning machines or a large unit attached to their truck.
These truck mounted machines are far more powerful than their portable alternatives, providing a deeper, more thorough clean. This is why so many homeowners turn to professional services to get the job done.
However, with great technology and service does come a price. On average, you can expect to pay $65 per room, though that price can be significantly higher depending on who you hire. If your home is heavily carpeted, the final price tag can be $550 or more.
If you’re on a tight budget, you may be tempted to shop for a lower quote, but you have to be wary. A lowball quote may be a sign of poor quality service.
For a clear picture of what a quality carpet cleaning service does, you can read more here. However, ideally, you want to look for a company with positive reviews, a strong BBB rating, and verifiable certifications.
Cons to Be Aware of with Professional Carpet Cleaning
In truth, there really isn’t much of a downside to hiring a professional to come to clean your carpet. However, there are certain things you should be aware of before you sign the dotted line and bring in the pros.
First, you want to make sure you get a solid quote prior to bringing in a carpet cleaning company. Many have upcharges for various challenges, such as removing stubborn spots, cleaning more difficult carpeted areas such as stairs, and more.
Be clear about the job and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Do a walkthrough with the cleaners prior to having them begin to make sure they won’t nickel and dime you unexpectedly.
You also may find that your carpet may need repairs, especially if it is older or hasn’t been maintained throughout the years. This includes buckling, ripples, and wrinkling.
If this is the case, you need to address the repair aspect first. Otherwise, you may find a carpet cleaning service will actually harm your carpet.
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The Pros and Cons of DIY Carpet Cleaning
If you want to save money, you can clean your carpet yourself. This approach is significantly cheaper, even if you have to rent a steam cleaner to do it.
Steam cleaner rentals are typically between $35 – $50 per day. You can potentially save hundreds of dollars in exchange for your time and a little bit of elbow grease. However, you want to make sure if you choose this route, you do it right.
Things to Consider Before Cleaning Your Carpet Yourself
A few things can go wrong if you don’t know how to use a steam cleaner, such as:
- Oversaturation of Your Carpet
- Difficulty Navigating Small Spaces
- Frustrations Due to Equipment Complications
Portable steam cleaning machines use water in order to deep clean your carpet. However, if you don’t clean it properly, you may oversaturate your carpet. If this happens and your carpet spends more than 24 hours drying out, you run the risk of developing mildew or mold.
Also, portable steam cleaners can be difficult to navigate. Small spaces like studio apartments or small or awkwardly shaped rooms can lead to uneven cleaning.
Plus, rentals often have miles on them. This makes them more likely to break down or lack efficiently due to wear and tear.
The Honest Truth: DIY is Never as Effective as Hiring a Pro
While the DIY method isn’t necessarily ineffective, it will never be as good as hiring the pros. As we stated before, these professionals often use powerful truck-mounted cleaning systems that far exceed the strength of a portable carpet steamer.
The end results will be more thorough than anything you do yourself. But, at the end of the day, you have to weigh the pros and cons. Often, the decision comes down to money.
Is a professional carpet cleaner in your budget? If not, the DIY method will give your carpet a deeper clean than a vacuum ever could. This, in turn, can revive the look and feel of your carpet’s fibers so long as you do it correctly.
If you’ve never cleaned a carpet before, make sure you do your research and understand the do’s and don’ts before you go out and rent a steamer. It’s more work, but it’s better than neglecting your carpet.
Once the job is done, you’ll both see and feel a difference.