In the following article, we’re going to cover professional carpet cleaning versus doing it yourself. I’m also going to hopefully give you some tools that will allow you to make the best decision possible.
If you’ve had carpet installed and it’s under warranty, I highly recommend you read the warranty carefully. Very recently I came upon a situation where a homeowner had brand new carpets installed. The owner took the route of buying a high-end carpet that would last. However, after just over a year, the carpets started to show premature wear, coming apart in areas. The owner contacted the company they had purchased them from and explained the issue.
Over the next few weeks, 3 people were sent to investigate what the issue was. Upon review, all 3 concluded the damage was a warranty issue. The homeowner then contacted the manufacturer to send out a representative and inspect covering the rug’s damages. Following the inspection, the homeowner only had to wait for the call and was expecting new carpets. Unfortunately, the call came back as negative and the warranty would not be honored.
The homeowner couldn’t understand why the inspector denied her claim. The inspector had confirmed that the homeowner had a very high-end carpet cleaning machine that she used to do spot cleaning on her carpets, and as such had voided her warranty. Please understand that from her perspective she had done everything right. She bought a very expensive piece of equipment from a well-known brand. She followed the instructions to the letter and used all of the recommended products correctly. Unfortunately, because the homeowner was not a professional carpet cleaning company this voided the carpet’s warranty.
The other thing to consider when doing it yourself is stains and their removal. When I enter a home and see stains caused by such things as spilled drinks, ink from pens or a marker, pet accidents and at times human accidents. The first question I ask is, “what has been done to help remove the stain”. Now about 80% of the time I get told “nothing” about 10% of the time this is true, but don’t worry I can usually tell if you’ve fibbed almost immediately based on the look of the stain or how it reacts when we first begin to work on it. The answer I’m hoping to hear is “I blotted up as much as possible, used a damp cloth to absorb it and called you immediately” …. you can’t blame me for dreaming lol.
As professional carpet cleaners, we have specialized products designed to assist us in removing stains while not damaging the carpet. I understand that some carpet cleaning companies charge a premium to even attempt to remove a simple stain. I also understand that this is probably why people are reluctant to call someone and turn to their friends, social media or YouTube for help, and yes sometimes it works. This is also why Future-Now Carpets considers stain removal to be a part of our regular cleaning. I don’t believe you should pay extra for an accident and if it’s possible to remove it we simply do it as part of the cleaning.
When using the wrong product…
I had a call from a realtor who knew what and how we did stain removal and arranged for us to come in and clean a carpet in the living room of a client. Apparently, the family pet tried to eat a pen and the ink got all over the carpet. Ink from my perspective in this situation should have been a very simple removal. When I arrived, the homeowner assured me they had done nothing to assist in removing the ink. I then began treating the stain and got minimal transfer and breakdown of the ink. I explained that someone had definitely attempted to remove it prior to me coming based on what I was seeing.
At that time the homeowner explained that they had treated the stain with a very good pre-treatment product that they use on their cloths. Unfortunately, the product is designed to be used and then the cloths need to be washed immediately, not left to sit for 6 weeks. At the end of the day I was able to reduce the stain but not fully remove it. This very simple removal will cost the homeowner far more than my cleaning fee on the resell value of the home.
Access to proper cleaners.
It’s not uncommon to look at a stain and realize the carpet is bleached around it. People in a rush will sometimes grab other cleaners meant for in the home and use them. Remember that most of your kitchen and bathroom cleaners are designed to cut through grease and dirt with a simple wipe. Unfortunately, they often also bleach your carpets or upholstery.
Please understand that when you rely on a friend’s knowledge or ask for help on social media everyone means well. And in most cases, I’m sure the solution probably works for them……or a friend of theirs……or a friend of a friend who was told by a trusted friend with a family member that did it 15 years ago. But when it goes wrong none of them will attempt to make it right short of saying oops.
The last thing about stains is even if you go to the store and buy a product that claims to be amazing for carpets, be aware that almost none of those amazing products are used or recommended by professionals because they are not as effective as what we have access to. If you use a product that sets a stain, it is what it is and the company that made the product isn’t going to help you after the fact. Buyer beware.
I won’t tell you that we can pull all stains out, but what we can’t pull out is usually an anomaly, not the norm. Unless we’ve had help, in which case your guess is as good as mine.
A final word on DIY
If at the end of it all you still feel you can do it versus having a professional carpet cleaning company do it that works ok also. Here’s what I’m going to suggest in an attempt to help you……………. STOP!!! just kidding.
- Make sure you understand how the machine works.
- Make sure the equipment is clean and working properly
- Don’t use extra chemicals, more is not better
- Don’t use more moisture than necessary and remove as much as possible (excessive moisture is bad)
- Use only products designed for carpets
- Rinse your carpets thoroughly (soap residue attracts dirt back to it)
Remember we’re here when you need us.