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DIY Carpet Cleaning - Rug Doctor / Carpet Express / Other?


ELaurie
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Well, none of them are going to be as good as a professional cleaner.  I have tried both and it usually ends up being really close for pricing because of the all of things you have to buy.  I would call around and get some quotes/look for coupons and discounts before you plunge into doing it yourself.  Now, if someone you know has a carpet cleaner you can borrow, I may try it that way.  I borrow my sister's periodically for spot cleaning, but get it professionally cleaned about once a year.

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I read Mary Hunt's "Everyday Cheapskate" column and every once in awhile, she'll talk about a steam vac she bought and how she uses it for her carpets. I think her latest post on it was http://www.redbluffdailynews.com/business/ci_24263559/mary-hunt-everyday-cheapskate-best-thing-i-ever. I have the vac wish listed on amazon, but so far haven't decided to pull the trigger on it. Probably will wait until we put our new carpet in, then maintain it with that.

 

Erica in OR

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I have the steam vac in the article mentioned above. I bought it eight years ago when we got a dog. I paid about $80. It's been well worth it. It's still going strong. I use ammonia instead of purchasing the cleaner for it. We don't like perfumy smells. The ammonia smells like ammonia, but once it dries there is no smell or residue. I'm sure commercial trucks clean better, but I never called them more than once a year. Owning the steam vac allows me to keep the carpets tidy all the time.

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I have my own steam cleaner.  I consider it an absolutely essential household item.  I used Stanley Steamer before I bought my own, and while they are very good, I can't tell that what they did is better than what my own steam cleaner does.

 

I've used about all the brand name cleaning solutions over the years, and it seems to me that they all do a very good job.  I've never had any problem at all with soap residue, nor would I recommend following the advice in that article and using (almost) boiling water.  The owners manual in my steam cleaner specifically says NOT to do that.  And since almost all of the parts are plastic . .  well, boiling water and plastic don't usually mix.  Plus doing the extra work of heating water just isn't necessary at all IME.

 

FWIW -- Several years ago I cleaned my MIL's carpet with my steam cleaner a few months after she'd had a truck mounted service (not Stanley Steamer) do it.  That was a nightmare -- the carpet was indeed loaded with soap residue.  It was mind-boggling how much foam and bubbles I lifted out of that carpet.  It took forever to get all that leftover mess rinsed out.  It was a very good reminder to me of why I do it myself!!

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We actually bought this and I love it:  http://www.amazon.com/Hoover-SteamVac-Carpet-Cleaner-F5914900/dp/B00009R66F/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1401717183&sr=8-1&keywords=hoover+steamvac

 

 

I buy the cleaning solution at Sam's Club for $7.00.  Far cheaper than anything you can buy anywhere else and it does a great job.  Key is doing an extra hot water rinse after as any left over soap will attract dirt.

 

 

If we were to buy again, I'd probably go all out and buy a green machine.  http://www.amazon.com/BISSELL-Cleaning-Machine-Professional-86T3/dp/B00450U6CS

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Well I actually rent from Lowes or Home Depot and have been really satisfied. I think the brand has been Bissell. It costs $25 for 24 hours. $3 extra dollars for the stair/upholstery attachment. The cleaner is a bit pricey (I want to say $20) but it lasts me for at least 3 cleanings so I usually just spend $28 to do my house. It works out cheaper for me than having people out and I feel like my carpets look great afterwards.

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I occasionally rent one from one store or another so i have two tips for you:

 

1. Check the brushes of the machine and make sure they're clean, because they can be DISGUSTING.

 

2. Don't buy the overpriced cleaning solution. If you have pets or very dirty carpet, use HOTHOT water and pour it into a squirt of dawn (or whatever you use), a splash of vinegar and maybe 1/4 cup of peroxide. I have also just used a splash of pine sol. I have never had residue left in my carpet.

 

 

 

I keep saying I need a spot bot, but I know I'll never buy myself one. We have friends with one and it appears to be awesome!

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