The project I chose to take on for this little DIY test — the carpet cleaning of my in-law’s downstairs family room, stairs and bedroom areas — was not a particularly difficult one, and was one that is probably within the scope of abilities for many homeowners. Now I should preface the rest of my comments by mentioning that having worked in the operation’s side of the hotel business, I am familiar with carpeting cleaning work. That being said, while television commercials might portray companies as magic miracle workers when it comes to carpet cleaning, there’s often not that much too it, even for cleaning a completely filthy carpet.
For my DIY carpet cleaning project, I rented a Rug Doctor carpet cleaner from our local Jewel-Osco grocery store. The machine is relatively small (I think it weighs about 36 lbs., but you can check at the Rug Doctor website) and easy to handle. At our location, you can rent the machine for a 24-hour period for between $20-$30, and have the option of also getting a hand held accessory for cleaning stairs or upholstery for an additional fee. You can also purchase cleaning solutions such as deodorizers, shampoo, pre-spotter, anti-foam and similar supplies when you rent the machine. This particular machine is relatively easy to fill, easy to empty, and simple to use with instructions printed on the machine itself for filling, emptying, and using the various components of the machine.
Since the carpet I was cleaning was very soiled, I started by spraying the worst spots with a pre-spotter so that there was time for it to work while I readied the machine. After mixing the proper amount of carpet shampoo with hot water, I poured the solution into the machine’s tank. The machine dispenses the solution into the carpet from that tank onto the carpet, and extracts the dirty water from the carpet and into a dump tank. Both are relatively small tanks, so over the course of the carpet cleaning for all areas (downstairs family room/office, two half flights of stairs, and upstairs bedroom and hallway areas), I probably changed and refilled the tanks 12 or 13 times, recognizing that this carpet was in a severe state of dirtiness. A large portion of the carpet is heavily traffic by a dog, multiple family members, a heavy smoker, and the family room is also the site of most family dinners. When I was completed however, the carpet looked great and smelled much fresher. I also used the hand attachment to clean the home’s carpeted stairs. This attachment can also be handy for cleaning upholstered furniture as well.
As I mentioned earlier, the carpet cleaning machine, complete with hand tool, ran a total of $22.99 including tax. This was a special deal. Otherwise the cost would have been around $27 for the machine and probably about another $3 or so for the attachment. My in-laws already had the shampoo, pre-spotter, and anti-foam, so that cost was negated for this experience, although had we the need to purchase them, it would have run about an additional $24 for all three. It likely would have cost them between $200-$300 by my best estimate (as well as the Rug Doctor savings calculator’s estimate) for a similar job contracted to a carpet cleaning company. Here is a link to the RugDoctor.com’s savings calculator that will allow you to conduct your own savings calculations based upon areas to be cleaned, soil levels, and other needs.
This article is for informational purposes only. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.