Cleaning your carpets is a chore that most homeowners will essentially skip over. They may vacuum their carpets every week or two and assume that it is good enough. Though this is far from the truth. Carpets should be thoroughly cleaned a minimum of once a year, and for best results, a homeowner should get a professional carpet cleaner in to do the job.
Professional Carpet Cleaning
Professional cleaners may use either a truck-mounted unit or a portable machine. The portable machine has obvious benefits, such as being able to be used in apartment and condo buildings in units that would otherwise be beyond the reach of a truck-mounted unit's hose. However, truck-mounted units are more powerful than portable units and should be used whenever possible for maximum efficiency.
DIY Carpet Cleaning
There are plenty of DIY steam cleaner available for homeowners to use to either rent or purchase. With so many different machines on the market, it can lead you to wonder if you should skip calling in the professionals and just tackle the job yourself.
Generally, DIY machines do not heat the water to the same high temperature as professional machines, which results in less effective cleaning. In addition, these machines are not as powerful as the ones that professionals use, which means that they are not able to extract as much of the water (and therefore dirt) from the carpet.
When properly done, the carpet should be only slightly damp after it has been thoroughly cleaned. Wet carpet indicates that the machine was not powerful enough to do the job effectively. If your carpet is very wet after cleaning, use fans to speed up the drying, and be sure to stay off it until it is dry. Do not replace the furniture before the carpet is completely dry.
Other variables—such as the amount of carpet shampoo added to the machine and the technique for using the machine i.e. how fast/slow to move across the carpet—present several opportunities for things to go wrong with DIY machines or at least not as well as with professional cleaners.