Carpet Steam Cleaning: Professional vs. DIY

Best DIY Carpet cleaning machine

Cleaning Machines / September 14, 2016

Many don't take the time to use real carpet cleaning equipment until they absolutely have to. You’ve got a dirty carpet. Regular vacuuming hasn’t picked up everything. Spot cleaning still left some marks. Even the shampoo-in rug cleaner in the canister that you scrubbed in for hours still left the rugs dinghy and gray. It's time for a real cleaning.

Which Carpet Cleaning Equipment Works Best?

One type of cleaning equipment well known to many consumers because they’re available for rental from your local grocery store are steam cleaners. The ones rented from the stores work okay but, because the water they use is only as hot as you can get from your tap, the ability to really remove oily, greasy stains may be limited. Consider buying your own. One with a 12 amp motor for sucking up the water quickly and efficiently is best.

Professionals will also have models equipped with heaters that are able to get the water much hotter than tap water. They also know which cleaning agents work best with which type of carpet, and how to best treat difficult stains.

Another type of carpet cleaning equipment is the rotating brush cleaner. These machines scrub all the fibers through the use of one or several rotating brushes, beating the dirt out of the carpet as they go along. People that prefer these cleaners over steam equipment say that just shooting hot water at a stain doesn’t guarantee you’ll get everything up. The rotating types, they maintain, get deeper into the pile itself, loosening dirt and grime that hot, detergent-filled water and its wet vac equipment may miss.

What Type of Cleaner for What Type of Carpet?

Another thing to consider when choosing the type of carpet cleaning equipment is best for you is to consider the type of carpeting you have.

  • Long-pile, shag carpeting will likely be cleaned better by a steam model, as there is so much more pile on the surface that needs to be covered for optimum cleaning.
  • If you’ve got the shorter pile carpeting, rotary cleaners that reach deep into the base of the carpet to loosen dirt and grime may be best.
  • If your carpeting is treated with stain-resistant chemicals, you’ll want to use cleaning products that are specifically made for that type of carpet. And remember, even stain-resistant carpeting loses that resistance over time and requires just as much attention to detail in cleaning as any other carpet.

In general, your carpet should be cleaned every 12 to 18 months, more if your house gets a lot of traffic from people and/or pets. Every carpet collects oily, sticky soil from cooking vapors, tracked in dirt and air pollution that the average vacuum cleaner can’t get out. If these stay in your carpet for an extended period of time, they can even start grabbing and holding onto loose dirt, as well. Investing in the best carpet cleaning equipment for your particular needs is key.