Your carpet is looking dingy and dirty. Or maybe your home or office has suffered from water damage. Or perhaps you just have a few stubborn stains that you need to remove. Regardless, your carpet needs to be cleaned, but you aren’t sure what cleaning option is your best bet – and there are a lot of options.
You can go it alone and clean it with DIY solutions, or you can rent a carpet cleaner. Alternatively, you can call in the professionals. We don’t need to do all three, but sometimes, in an attempt to find the most effective and most affordable solution, we end up trying more than one cleaning solution before we find the one that works.
Save yourself the time and trouble. Here’s how to determine what carpet cleaning option you need.
1) You have a recent spill.
Carpet cleaning solution: DIY
And by recent, we don’t mean in the last week or even in the last day or two. We mean in the last couple of minutes. If this is the case, a DIY clean is not only the most affordable option, it’s the best option. Grab some club soda and apply it to the spill immediately, dabbing the area until it’s clean. DON’T RUB! Rubbing will grind the spill into your carpet, causing the pile to absorb the color of the substance.
For grease stains, use baking soda to absorb the spill and dab until it’s gone.
2) You have a set stain.
Carpet cleaning solution: DIY/Hire a Pro
If you have a stain that’s really set in, you can DIY or hire a pro. The choice for you will depend on the nature of your stain. If you are treating stains on your everyday carpet, then you can probably handle it on your own. Simply grab some shaving cream, apply it to the stain, let it sit 20-30 minutes, and dab it until the stain disappears. You can also try mixing equal parts hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and Dawn dish soap and applying this powerful solution to the stain.
However, if these solutions don’t work, you’re going to want to call in a professional carpet cleaner. This is particularly important if you are trying to remove a stain from a delicate area, in which case you may want to forgo trying anything on your own and go straight to the pros. Reason being that fragile or sensitive rugs or carpets may need specialised care, and if you don’t know how to do it, you could do more harm than good.
Exception to the rule: PET STAINS.
If you have stains caused by pet urine or feces, call in professionals who have the equipment and technology to deal with this issue. They use a special system that detects all traces of pet mess, and has been shown to remove over 99% of the related bacteria.
3) Your carpet needs a general clean.
Carpet cleaning solution: Rent/Hire a Pro
If your carpets have general traffic dirt and grime, then you can either rent a carpet cleaner, or hire professionals. Which you choose will depend on how much time you have, as well as the nature of your carpet. If your carpeted area needs specific cleaning requirements, then pro is the way to go. If your carpet has more liberal care instructions, then you can use a rental cleaning unit.
Likewise, cleaning your carpet properly takes time, so if you can’t commit to that time, then hire experts to do the job right.
4) You have flood damage.
Carpet cleaning solution: Pro.
There’s no effective DIY solution for carpet cleaning flood damage. You need to call the pros to deal with the problem. Renting a unit to do it yourself is an expensive way to learn you should have hired experts in the first place. Professional companies have the tools and technology to remedy flood damage and help restore your carpet.
Wet or Dry?
Next up, which method of cleaning is best for your situation: wet or dry? If you choose wet (aka. steam) cleaning, then you can most likely do the job yourself with a rental unit, since these are the units most often rented out. Wet cleaning works by shooting a hot solution of cleaning mixture into the pile of your rug, and then almost immediately sucking it back up. Post-cleaning, you will usually have to wait 24-48 hours to walk on your carpet again.
Dry cleaning, on the other hand, works by applying a dry cleaning powder all over the carpet, and then using a special vacuum to remove the powder – and the dirt and stains. You can usually walk on your carpet again within a couple hours, but you will most likely not be able to rent a dry cleaning unit. You’ll need to call the pros.
In most cases, dry cleaning is the most effective and realistic, since it generally leaves your carpet cleaner than wet cleaning, and you can walk on it soon after. A notable exception to this rule is when you are dealing with flood damage, which necessitates wet carpet cleaning.
There you have it! Never wonder or worry about the best carpet cleaning solution again. All you have to do is identify the problem, and pick the solution that works best for your space and your budget.
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