To thoroughly clean your carpet after years of dust, foot traffic and spills, a little bottle of carpet cleaner simply won’t do. If you have big stains to tackle especially, cleaning your carpet is a big undertaking. Whether you have a house showing or party coming up or you simply want to enjoy a clean carpet, your options may be limited to buying a carpet cleaner and cleaning it yourself or hiring a professional to clean it for you. Deciding which option to take depends on how much money, time and effort you’re willing to invest in the chore.
Buying a carpet cleaner isn’t cheap. You could easily spend several hundred dollars on a good model that will last. Professional carpet cleaning is not only likely cheaper, depending on the size of the room or rooms you want cleaned, but it also makes more sense. Unless you have huge spills every week, you probably won’t need carpet cleaning more than once a month, or even once every few months. Some homeowners don’t clean their carpets more than once a year. A carpet cleaner isn’t worth the investment if you don’t plan to use it frequently.
The Time and Effort
Cleaning a carpet isn’t comparable to vacuuming it. You don’t just run a hose over the carpet in under five minutes and call it done. You slowly move the hose in a careful pattern so you don’t leave any inch of the carpet unclean or leave streaks behind. You’ll have to set aside an entire morning, evening or afternoon just to do one room and days if you want to do the entire house. It can also prove physically exerting if you’re not used to the job. Leave the job to professionals and you can focus on other things.
Even if you’re willing to put in the time and effort of cleaning the carpet yourself, you probably won’t be able to do it right. Soak the carpet for too short a time, and you won’t get it fully clean. Soak it for too much, and you could be left with a wet, soapy carpet that “crunches” underfoot even when it’s mostly dried. Amateurs also leave obvious streaks when professionals don’t.
Maintenance and Storage
Even the smallest carpet cleaners are bulky and a pain to store, especially considering you won’t use it much. Plus, because they use soap and water, they’re difficult to maintain if you don’t know what you’re doing. Dirt can get caked throughout the machine, leaving you with an ineffective cleaner. Hire professionals to free up more space in your close, attic or basement and to take comfort in the knowledge that the tools they use are clean and efficient.
In order to avoid the high cost and inconvenience of owning your own carpet cleaner, you might consider renting one from a local hardware store, but it’s still likely to prove more effort than it’s worth. You still have to clean the carpet yourself, and you also might have to transport the machine to and from the store on your own. If not, you’ll owe a delivery fee.
Plus, if you don’t get the same model each time you rent, you’ll have to learn how to use the machines from scratch every single time. Because other homeowners and even business owners rent these machines to clean up sometimes the very worst unexpected messes, and hardware stores don’t specialize in maintenance of these machines, you also can’t rely on a rented machine to be clean or in proper working order.
Some homeowners jump straight into buying a new carpet, not realizing it’s quite possible to get their current carpet looking brand new with a professional cleaning service. SFGate reports an average cost of replacing carpet as anywhere between $6 and $40 per square yard, depending on the quality of the carpet. Multiply that by the square yards of every room in your home with carpet, and you’re easily looking at thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars in costs. Before you buy new carpet or invest in a piece of equipment you won’t often use, consult with a professional cleaning service. They can also make minor repairs to carpet you wouldn’t be able to tackle yourself.