When reviewing methods for deep cleaning your carpet, two clear options emerge: You can either hire a professional cleaner, or rent a steam cleaner and attempt to do the job yourself.
Hiring a professional such as Aquawave is thought to be the better option for a number of reasons: One, it doesn’t cost much more than renting a steam cleaner for the length of time you will need it to thoroughly clean your carpet, and two, it’s easy to make mistakes which may cost you your carpet when attempting a “DIY” job. (Waterlogging the carpet, for example, is a common amateur mistake that tends to lead to mould growth which cannot be removed by future cleaning, necessitating the purchase of new carpeting.)
If you do opt to go the DIY route, however, you can mitigate risks and hassles by planning the job in advance, keeping the following logistics in mind:
Cost. You’ll need to rent the steam cleaner for at least 24 hours, which averages around 25 pounds. You will also need to purchase detergent, which is usually at least another ten pounds. Better machines may cost more, upwards of 30 pounds per 24 hours. Ergo, you should budget for an expense of at least 40 pounds.
Length of time needed for the job. As mentioned above, you will need to rent a machine for at least 24 hours. However, if your carpet is very dirty or has stubborn stains, you will probably want to run the steam cleaner over it at least a couple times, so may wish to rent the machine for 48 hours instead.
Bigger houses may also require a 48 hour job—realistically assess your level of physical strength and energy when planning how long to rent the machine. Always “play it safe” and overestimate how much time you will need to clean your house.
Know that getting the right detergent is a must. Many people would rather skip on the additional ten pounds needed to buy detergent from the company renting out the machine, but this is not recommended. Rental companies don’t ask that you use a specific type of cleaning solution with their steam cleaners as a “cash grab”; different machines often require different cleaning solutions, and in addition, there are often different solutions for different jobs (for instance, a company might make one type of cleaning agent for upholstery and another for carpets). When cleaning your carpet, it’s essential to use the right detergent, as the wrong one may leave residues which promote mould growth, damaging the carpet.
Make sure you get a machine portable enough for your needs. Steam cleaners are heavy as a general rule, and you need to keep in mind that you will have to load and unload it into your vehicle when transporting it, in addition to simply pushing it around your house. Be sure to get a cleaner that you can safely lift even when it is full of water; if you cannot easily lift the machine yourself, it’s time to call in the professional cleaners rather than attempt cleaning your carpet yourself—saving a few pounds is not worth a serious back injury, after all.
Factor in drying time. “DIY” jobs often dry more slowly than professional ones, so you will need to make sure no one walks on your carpet after it has been cleaned for at least ten hours.