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Professional Carpet Cleaning vs. DIY Carpet Cleaning by Hand: Which is Better?

August 30, 2022

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Homeowners often wonder which is best, professional carpet cleaning vs. DIY shampooing. One reason to consider DIY cleaning is the cheaper cost. Two, you don’t need to wait for an appointment when you tackle floors yourself. Additionally, DIY carpet cleaning means not having technicians in your home.

However, while the do-it-yourself floor method is faster and cheaper, this doesn’t always make it better! In fact, DIY carpet cleaning often risks damage. Also, carpet cleaning machines are typically heavier and more cumbersome than homeowners realize! Before you decide on floor care for your home, note some added details about professional carpet cleaning vs. DIY methods.

Professional Carpet Cleaning vs. DIY Care, In Short

Note some pros and cons of both professional carpet and flooring care versus tackling this project yourself. Then, don’t hesitate to discuss any concerns you have with a carpet cleaning contractor near you.

Pros of professional carpet care

  • A carpet cleaning contractor typically offers a range of services based on a floor’s needs and your budget. For instance, you might choose bonnet cleaning, a lightweight surface clean. On the other hand, especially filthy carpets might need strong detergents and a full scrubbing!
  • Carpet cleaning contractors also know what methods might damage various rug and flooring materials. Consequently, there is less risk of fading, stripping, or unraveling carpet fibers when you rely on the pros!
  • Professional carpet cleaning companies can tackle tough stains more effectively.
  • Carpet and rug cleaning contractors often offer odor-neutralizing services as well as cleaning.
  • An experienced professional ensures proper rinse water extraction, reducing the risk of mold and mildew forming underneath carpeting.
  • Remember that using carpet cleaning machines is difficult and physically taxing! In turn, relying on a pro means not having to manage that cumbersome equipment.

Cons of professional carpet care

Professional carpet cleaning is typically more expensive than renting a machine and tackling this job yourself. Also, calling an outside company means having to work around their availability. Some homeowners are uncomfortable with strangers in their house, even cleaning the floors, and understandably so.

carpet steam cleaning home equipment

Pros of DIY carpet and floor cleaning

Obviously, the cheaper price is one reason many homeowners choose to tackle rug cleaning themselves! Additionally, you don’t pay for services you don’t need or for a pro to clean areas that don’t need services. For instance, high-traffic areas in your home might be the only spots needing cleaning.  Also, you can manage this work whenever it’s convenient for you, whether that’s Sunday morning or Friday at midnight!

Cons of completing DIY rug and carpet cleaning

There are a lot of downsides to DIY floor care and cleaning! One is that those machines are often difficult to move, as said. Two, using the wrong shampoo or cleaning methods can result in damaged and flattened carpeting.

Also, homeowners often tend to leave too much rinse water behind. In turn, mold and mildew might form underneath carpet padding. Additionally, leaving behind detergent can mean a sticky residue on the carpet. Those floors then attract more dirt than before!

Do Carpets Get Dirty Faster After Cleaning?

One common question asked by homeowners is if carpets get dirty faster after cleaning. The simple answer is both yes and no! What does this mean?

First, note that cleaning itself doesn’t somehow allow carpets to get dirty faster than before. Second, carpet cleaning can remove sticky residues that attract dirt, so carpets stay cleaner longer.

On the other hand, leaving behind detergent residue can attract more dirt than before, as said. Also, as mentioned, not extracting rinse water risks mold and mildew growth. Consequently, you might soon notice an unpleasant odor from those carpets!

However, thorough rug cleaning by a professional reduces the risk of leftover shampoo and water. In turn, your carpets won’t get dirty faster after a shampoo by an experienced technician. In truth, they’re likely to stay cleaner longer after professional cleaning services.

carpet cleaning

Do You Need to Rinse Carpets After Shampooing?

Rinsing after shampooing carpets removes any trace detergent and dirt and grime left behind. Also, rinsing and removing that clean water helps to “fluff up” carpet fibers so they feel softer underfoot.

However, note that a contractor might not always shampoo and rinse carpets. For instance, steam with little to no detergent offers an excellent cleaning solution. Also, your technician might not need to rinse after lightweight bonnet cleaning. The extraction process is often sufficient for removing cleaning residues.

On the other hand, a homeowner tackling carpet cleaning themselves should rinse and extract thoroughly! Added rinsing means no sticky residues left behind. Also, the more water you extract, the less risk of mold and mildew forming underneath those carpets.

Do Professional Carpet Cleaners Vacuum First?

Professional carpet cleaners don’t typically vacuum first, as their equipment usually extracts lint and other debris. However, a homeowner might still vacuum before they arrive! A good vacuuming lets them see the floor’s condition so they can adjust their methods accordingly. Also, the less debris their equipment must extract, the more it can readily clean ground-in dirt.

Moreover, you might note some added tips for preparing your house before your carpet cleaning professional arrives. A few simple steps can make their job much easier and more effective overall!

  • Carpet cleaning professionals must run hoses from their truck through your doors. In turn, it’s helpful to move vehicles, toys, and other obstructions between your driveway and entryway.
  • Get full-length curtains off the floor. You can drape them over the curtain rod, tie them up, or fold them together! Whatever your method, this prevents damage to those drapes as a carpet cleaner works.
  • Move as much furniture out of the way as possible. Your carpet care team usually bring help for moving furniture. However, the more pieces you can relocate, the less time your cleaning project takes!
  • In the same way, pick up smaller items from the floor including under the bed. This also makes their job quicker and reduces the risk of damaging those items.
  • Note spots and stains that need extra attention. Doing so helps ensure your contractor doesn’t overlook those areas during cleaning!

Above all, ensure that you quarantine pets and children. Your children and pets shouldn’t be near carpet cleaning equipment or distracting professionals while they work! Keeping them out of the way allows your technicians to concentrate on the job at hand. It also reduces the risk of injury to your kids and furry friends!

Shampoo vs. Steam Clean Carpets

There is no “better” or “worse” way to clean a carpet or rug. Instead, you need to make that decision based on the material’s condition and cleaning needs, and a few other factors. For instance, plain steam might not remove stubborn stains, grease, food debris, and the like.

On the other hand, shampooing might be too harsh on some carpet fibers. Also, your contractor might not shampoo carpets that only need a light cleaning. In those cases, shampooing simply wastes cleaning materials and rinse water. Additionally, steam is excellent for restoring carpet fiber nap, restoring worn areas such as those around doorways.

Moreover, many homeowners have sensitivities to carpet shampoos and detergents. For them, steam is often a preferred cleaning choice. Steam cleaning can also mean fewer noxious odors that are often common with standard carpet shampooing. For more information about which is the better option for your home, ask your carpet cleaning technician!

professional carpet cleaning

Why Did My Carpet Turn Brown After Cleaning It?

It’s not uncommon for homeowners to notice discoloration or brown spots after DIY carpet cleaning. There are a few reasons why this occurs. One, harsh detergents might strip carpets of dyes so that they look brown and dull. Two, not using clean rinse water can mean leaving behind dirt and debris!

Also, not rinsing and extracting dirty water thoroughly often means discoloration. During cleaning, extraction pulls dirt trapped along carpet fibers to their surface. If you don’t clean and extract that dirt thoroughly, this often means a brown, dirty-looking carpet.

Why Does My Carpet Look Worse After Cleaning?

Improper cleaning techniques often damage carpets, as said. Leaving behind shampoo residues is probably the most common mistake homeowners make when cleaning carpets. That sticky residue traps dirt, dust, air pollution residues, and the like. Also, you’re more likely to crush carpet fibers weighed down with shampoo every time you walk over them!

Browning and other such damage is one reason to leave this work to the professionals. A trained technician ensures thorough cleaning without damage or leaving behind shampoo residues. You’ll then enjoy clean carpets that look their best when you call a trained contractor.

What Is the Best Type of Professional Carpet Cleaning?

Homeowners are often surprised to find out that a professional usually offers several carpet cleaning methods, not just shampooing. The right method for your home’s floors depends on its dirt levels and materials, your budget, and cleaning needs. Check out some details about each method so you know the right one for your home:

  • Shampooing uses specialty detergents or cleansers on the carpet. These loosen dirt so a contractor can then extract it along with the shampoo. Carpet shampooing is best for stubborn dirt and stains. However, some homeowners are sensitive to shampoo chemicals and smells.
  • Steam cleaning uses little or no detergent. This process helps lift worn-down carpet fibers and is also excellent for those with shampoo sensitivities. Also, steam helps kill mold and mildew along carpet backing and padding.
  • Bonnet cleaning offers a light surface clean. A contractor uses a specialty tool covered with a towel or bonnet, applying shampoo to the carpet. Next, he or she uses a clean bonnet to remove that shampoo and trapped dirt. Bonnet cleaning doesn’t offer a thorough clean. However, it’s excellent when you need a fast, affordable “touch up” of your home’s carpeting.
  • Encapsulation uses a specialty foam that traps and locks dirt deep in carpet fibers. This foam expands and pulls that dirt to the surface with it. In turn, a contractor can extract that dirt and foam together. This process uses fewer chemicals than shampooing, making it more eco-friendly overall.
  • Dry carpet cleaning, like dry cleaning clothes, uses chemicals with little water. Dry cleaning is used in high-humidity areas but can leave behind noxious odors.

cat on rug before professional rug cleaning

Is Professional Carpet Cleaning Worth the Money?

Professional carpet cleaning is a great investment for homeowners and commercial building owners! If you’ve been putting off this service, check out some reasons why it’s time to make that call:

  • Dirt and grime get more ground into carpets the longer it’s ignored. In turn, it’s even more difficult for a contractor to remove it once you do schedule cleaning.
  • Ground-in dirt also crushes carpet fibers. Eventually, they might flatten so much that a contractor can’t restore carpet nap.
  • Professional carpet cleaning removes more than just dirt. This service also extracts pet hair and dander, air pollution residues, pollen, dust, and other irritants. In turn, you might breathe more easily after carpet shampooing.
  • Carpet cleaning restores a rug’s appearance, color, and nap. Before you buy new carpeting, have it cleaned first! You might be surprised at how new a carpet looks after a professional cleaning.
  • If you notice unpleasant smells in your home, consider carpet cleaning. Trapped dirt and other debris often means noticeable smells. Also, mold and mildew can mean musty odors in the home. Consequently, a thorough carpet cleaning can remove those odors as well as dirt and grime.
  • Since dirt and grime tend to ruin carpet fibers over time, regular shampooing can extend a carpet’s life. In turn, you might need to schedule carpet replacement far less often when you invest in professional cleaning.

Ameri-Best Carpet Cleaning is happy to offer this information about professional carpet cleaning vs. DIY care. Hopefully, it helped you better understand why a pro is a the way to go! If you’re in the market for expert floor care, call our carpet cleaning contractors in CT. We offer affordable, reliable services for a variety of flooring materials. To get your property started, contact us today.


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