Dream Steam Blog

Carpet Cleaning 101: DIY vs. Professional

Dec 12, 2019 2:45:00 PM / by Brant Hambly

Carpet cleaner device on carpetWhen deciding whether to go the do-it-yourself route or call a professional, cost is typically a major factor. However, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of both options before making your final decision. While calling a professional is the best option for the health of both your carpet and your family, there are also benefits to doing it yourself.



Why You Should Clean Your Carpet

Your carpet is one of the most important—and noticeable—features of your home. There are many reasons to make its cleanliness a priority.



While surface-level cleaning will improve your carpet’s appearance, deep cleaning will extend your carpet’s life. In addition, most carpet manufacturers’ warranties require regular professional carpet cleaning.



As one of the more noticeable features of your home, your carpet should look and smell fresh, a particular challenge when you have children or pets. Cleaning it at least once per year months will help to eliminate underlying dirt and debris that mere vacuuming cannot.



Your carpet traps dust, allergens, and pathogens that can pose risks to your family’s health. A deep cleaning will help keep these contaminants away from your home and family.


When comparing calling a professional and DIY, the two main things to consider are cost and quality. While it is cheaper to rent a carpet cleaner for the day than to pay a professional, you must decide whether the risks associated with DIY are worth the difference in cost.



Benefits of Calling a Professional


  • Simply put, a professional cleaning is going to be a deeper clean. The deepest cleans come from truck-mounted steam clean hot water extraction systems, which use higher water pressure and stronger a more powerful vacuum to leave your carpet as clean as possible, without soapy residue.

  • With resources and knowledge at the ready, professional carpet cleaners can easily determine the fabric type and manufacturing process behind your carpet so they can clean it properly.

  • If you’re a pet owner, you know how important it is to keep your carpet clean. Professionals like Dream Steam are experts on pet odor issues and will deliver a deep clean that a rental machine won’t be able to provide.

  • Calling in a professional will save you time, freeing you to do the things you enjoy doing.


What to Watch for When Calling a Professional


  • Make sure that the company you are working with is certified and using certified technicians. Don’t be afraid to ask questions such as, “do you do background checks of the technicians who will be in my home?”

  • Watch for too-good-to-be true deals. Typically, in carpet cleaning you get what you pay for. A good carpet cleaning company takes pride in providing the best service with the best trained technicians, the most effective cleaning equipment, and environmentally friendly cleaning products.

  • Before signing a contract, be sure to watch for any extra costs that might be added without your knowledge or extra costs that may need to be factored in.


Benefits of DIY


  • Generally, the cost of a DIY carpet cleaning is lower. Your options are to rent a machine or purchase one. Either way, your overall cost will likely be lower than the cost of a regular professional cleaning service.

  • You can decide when to do it. With DIY, it’s totally up to you when to take on the task and how long you want to spend on it. However, regardless of when, it’s still your time that you’re giving up.


What to Avoid During a DIY Carpet Cleaning


  • You’re probably not a trained carpet cleaner, which means that you run the risk of over-shampooing. This happens when you use too much shampoo or fail to adequately rinse out the shampoo that’s left on the carpet after cleaning. This problem is common with DIY approaches and results in the leftover shampoo acting as a dirt magnet within your carpet.

  • Over-wetting is sometimes as an attempt at a solution to over-shampooing. Portable steam cleaning machines have less power and so are not able to soak up as much water and dirt as professional-grade cleaning equipment.  This can leave you with a soggy, musty-smelling carpet.

  • Moving furniture onto wet carpet is another common mistake. If you move your furniture back on too quickly, stain or dyes on the furniture can bleed into carpet, and trapped moisture can lead to mold or mildew problems.


If you have children or pets, you probably have frequent spills or accidents to clean. These can be easy DIY clean-ups on the surface. For a deep clean, however, it’s best to call a professional—especially if you’re starting to see other signs of wear on your carpets. For more carpet cleaning tips, subscribe to our blog! 

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Topics: Insider

Written by Brant Hambly