Dream Steam Blog

DIY Carpet Cleaning Horror Stories

Oct 27, 2020 1:15:00 PM / by Monika Morales


“What could possibly go wrong?” and “How hard could it be?” can often be the famous last words of DIY home projects. DIY carpet cleaning can easily turn into a horror story worthy of retelling on a spooky night if you’re not careful. 


What Could Go Wrong?

Carpet cleaning is very important, but can also be very tricky. When choosing a DIY route, there are many things that could potentially turn disastrous.


Chemical Exposure

Cleaning your carpet usually means using a cleaner, which can contain harmful chemicals. If you do not properly rinse your carpet, or if you even use the wrong cleaners, you could unintentionally expose your family to harmful agents. Additionally, discoloration is common when the wrong chemicals are used on the wrong type of carpet, so it’s important to not only know your carpet, but also which types of cleaners are best.


Carpet Damage

Improperly cleaning your carpet can leave it susceptible to extensive and irreparable damage. It can become stained beyond repair, discolored, burned, retain heavy odors, and more if you blindly or incorrectly follow a DIY carpet cleaning suggestion. All carpets have their own specific needs, just as many spills require different methods of cleaning. A professional carpet cleaner naturally has a good understanding of what your carpet needs, so if you’re not sure how to proceed with your cleaning, call an expert.


Damage to Home

If you’ve cleaned your carpet and it smells worse than before, you may have a horror story to tell! Just as your carpet can sustain damage, so can the flooring material underneath. This is most commonly identified by a musty or moldy odor after cleaning, as a result of over-wetting or over-shampooing. With too much moisture in the carpet, much of it will seep through to your flooring, leading to mold problems and more. While this problem is typically caused by a DIY cleaning attempt, it can also accompany hiring a low-quality carpet cleaner for a “good price.” Don’t settle for anything less than great quality when it comes to your carpets, or you may pay for it later.


To DIY or Not to DIY

While cleaning a spill or stain in your carpet may seem easy, it can easily lead to a larger problem. When considering if a DIY clean is the right move, it’s best to evaluate what exactly needs to be cleaned out of your carpet. Stains from red wine, blood, and urine/feces should definitely be left to a professional for a thorough cleaning to fully remove all of the particles causing the problem.


While you should react to stains immediately, you won’t be able to pull everything out from under the surface—this is when a carpet cleaner machine or a professional cleaner would be needed. A deep cleaning with a machine should always be done by a professional. Renting a carpet cleaner machine is rarely a good idea for several reasons:

  • High cost for poor results

  • Machines often aren’t cleaned well themselves

  • Equipment is often outdated or faulty

  • Machines are more challenging to use properly than they seem


A DIY cleaning is best for simple, everyday spills, but deep cleans and treatment of tricky stains should be left to the professionals. For more information about the best ways to keep your carpet clean, subscribe to our blog! 

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Topics: Carpet

Written by Monika Morales