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Carpet cleaning?
Old 10-06-2010, 11:21 PM   #1
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Carpet cleaning?

Hi all,

I have a ~1800 sqft 4 br 2 ba home that is about 6 years old and the carpets need cleaning.

My plan is to go to a local grocery store this weekend, rent a Rug Doctor, buy the special Rug Doctor cleaning solution, and clean them myself. I am willing to spend a day of my time and ~$50 on this method.

Anyone have a better suggestion or plan? I'm assuming several things -- that the grocery stores still rent these sorts of things, that there's no cheaper/better place to rent, that a Merry Maids person or those carpet cleaning companies would charge me more...

2Cor521
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Old 10-06-2010, 11:58 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SecondCor521 View Post
I have a ~1800 sqft 4 br 2 ba home that is about 6 years old and the carpets need cleaning.
My plan is to go to a local grocery store this weekend, rent a Rug Doctor, buy the special Rug Doctor cleaning solution, and clean them myself. I am willing to spend a day of my time and ~$50 on this method.
Anyone have a better suggestion or plan? I'm assuming several things -- that the grocery stores still rent these sorts of things, that there's no cheaper/better place to rent, that a Merry Maids person or those carpet cleaning companies would charge me more...
I'm a big fan of DIY but after years of this I've sought professional help. I'd use a Rug Doctor for a hallway carpet or a flooded room but anything bigger than that is more than I care to handle.

The biggest problem with us amateurs is that we use too much soap, the water's not hot enough, and the vacuum doesn't suck enough. The remaining soap actually attracts more dirt and requires cleaning more frequently.

Perhaps you could find someone like this: A neighbor up the street is a carpet cleaner who contracts (among other places) the carpet of the local Chuck E. Cheese franchise. (You don't want to know, but he cleans it every night after closing.) He's been doing this for over 25 years (he's 62 years old and in great physical condition). For a house your size, with no surprises, he'd charge $350-$400. That's in Hawaii, so you'd probably be able to cut a better deal. There's an extra charge for moving furniture, but he can work around it. He'd do your house every year or two, considering kids/pets & foot traffic.

We start by giving the carpet a good vacuuming before he shows up. Then he stain-treats the spots (depending on the nature of the stain) and sprays a light coat of surfactant. He uses a truck-mounted diesel-driven extractor that heats the water to ~180 degrees. The tool is an 18" rotary brush (with sprayers on the end) that soaks and agitates the fibers and then sucks up the liquid. He finishes with a second pass of a narrow-mouthed vacuum attachment that gets the last of the water and has the carpet nearly dry enough to walk on, you can walk/sit on it with bath towels as soon as he's done, and it air-dries within 24 hours. He says he gets a great aerobic workout. It's fun to listen to the diesel squat & grunt under the load as he runs his tools & vacuum. The job takes about two hours from the time he pulls into the driveway. The dirt/debris that comes out of the truck's filter is impressive, and we don't even wear shoes indoors.

Word of mouth seems to be the best way to find a guy like this, and you don't want the companies with the scary high-pressure flooding/extraction ads. You might begin by literally phoning your local Chuck E. Cheese or some other restaurant and asking them who cleans their carpets, then tracking down someone who does residences.
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Old 10-07-2010, 05:19 AM   #3
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I bought a Hoover SteamVac Carpet Cleaner with Clean Surge, F5914-900, $148 from Amazon. Works great.
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Old 10-07-2010, 06:37 AM   #4
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Bissell Proheat

We have had a bissel proheat for 10 years or so. It works quite well. We don't wear shoes in our home either and are always impressed with how much dirty gunk comes out of the carpets. I have never noticed any soap residue that attracts more dirt.
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Old 10-07-2010, 07:03 AM   #5
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I just have never been satisfied with do it at home units, and we now use Stanley Steamer. Usually they have specials towards the holdiays.
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Old 10-07-2010, 07:38 AM   #6
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There are a lot of good companies out there, but one thing to watch for is the lingering chemical odors left by many cleaners. My neighbor has various breathing disorders and finally switched to Stanley Steamer which helped her breathing condition. I think the chemicals stay in the carpet too long.
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Old 10-07-2010, 09:29 AM   #7
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I kept hearing Coit is really good even tho it's a franchise business when I was looking for someone to clean my rugs, but ended up giving them to an oriental rug specialist ultimately.
Cleaning it yourself? Like Nords, I gave that up long ago and now leave it to the pros.
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Old 10-07-2010, 11:08 AM   #8
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I bought a Hoover SteamVac Carpet Cleaner with Clean Surge, F5914-900, $148 from Amazon. Works great.
I had a Hoover and it did not work well at all... first, the water is not hot enough.. you use tap water and it does not heat it any... the connections did not want to fit together easily... the hose section with the little brushes did not work at all... gave it to charity...

Our new house has tile in most of the main rooms... carpet in the bedrooms only... they do not seem to be dirty, but who knows for sure..
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Old 10-07-2010, 11:39 AM   #9
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I have a Hoover SteamVac too. We have maybe 2,000 sq.ft. of light beige carpet in our house and I clean the carpets every year. Works great. I also use it for spot cleaning throughout the year. It's been almost a year since the last cleaning and the carpets still look nice and clean.

Edit: our carpets are never heavily soiled because we don't wear shoes inside the house.
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Old 10-07-2010, 11:42 AM   #10
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I had a Hoover and it did not work well at all... first, the water is not hot enough.. you use tap water and it does not heat it any... the connections did not want to fit together easily... the hose section with the little brushes did not work at all... gave it to charity...
Perhaps it was a different model. The one I mentioned has a very large number of predominately positive reviews on Amazon. If you like hotter water, you can heat the water in a kettle before pouring it into the machine. (To a previous comment) if you don't like leaving residual cleaner on the carpets, you can do extra passes over them with plain water. I don't know about the small attachments and hose, since I've never tried to use them.
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Old 10-07-2010, 11:47 AM   #11
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We used to use grocery store or rental company rug cleaners - usually ended up taking them apart and cleaning the filter screens at the spray nozzles so they would work right. They improved the look of the carpet and did remove dirt. Later invested in commercial rug cleaners, which take two people to lift in and out of a truck and have dual vacuum motors operating in series and higher pressure spray pumps - also use commercial janitorial spot cleaner and rug detergent. Those tools do much much better than the grocery store rentals.

The truck mounted units have even more power and water heaters to bump performance up.

Bottom line, anything you use will be better than just a vacuum - use the hottest water you can and don't use too much soap - plain water wash after is a great idea. You may discover why I loath the baking soda "carpet fresh" powders. Dry as fast as possible - fans and heat are good.
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:30 PM   #12
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DW bought hoover steamvac around 10 years ago and we heat the water for it in an electric kettle.
With a decent soap (real Bissell, not "Bissel" with one "l") it does an OK job.
Pro machines are faster, but DW likes to keep this one on hand.
Plus friends and neighbors are borrowing it too.
So far I needed to fix few pieces but it's still working fine.
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Old 10-07-2010, 02:20 PM   #13
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When I had a four legged furry kid (dog), I owned a carpet cleaner...these days, my time is worth more, and I'd find the best deal on having someone come in and work their professional majic.
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Old 10-07-2010, 04:52 PM   #14
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This is a very competitive business in any town of size. Have it done.

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