July 1


DIY Carpet Cleaning

DIY Carpet Cleaning: Good or Bad?

Over the years we have been asked, many times,
about Do-It-Yourself carpet cleaning. We have been asked by clients, and potential clients, so we thought we would take some time and let you know how we view DIY carpet cleaning methods.

DIY Carpet Cleaning - What is it?

When we talk about DIY carpet cleaning we are talking about a person renting a machine from the local store and cleaning their own carpets.

Or, buying a carpet cleaning machine (non-professional machine) and cleaning their own carpets.

So what do we think about people doing this?

Well, in the name of being politically correct we are going to put it as kindly as we can:


DIY Carpet Cleaning Rarely Saves Money

Let us make a couple of clarifications, and tell you why we think DIY carpet cleaning ends up being a bad idea formost (not all) people that decide to take this route to clean their carpets.

Bad Idea Reasons #1 - 4


Most people, a vast majority (like 99.6345%), don't know
how to actually clean carpets!

They don't know what type of fiber they are cleaning.

If they do know the type of fiber they are cleaning, they
don't know the appropriate cleaning agent to use on that
fiber to get it as clean as possible.

The average person, 99.6345%, doesn't know anything about spot
and stain removal and many times make the situation worse.


Even if they do know how to clean carpets (a bit) they don't
have the proper tools to clean a carpet the right way.

The local portable machine down at Safeway or Fred Meyer's isn't
going to cut it in most cases. Sure, a professional using those
low powered machines could do a good job - but that is because
professionals have the knowledge and skill to clean well.

The average person does not.

Take a look at the machine in this picture, one of the many tools we use at Linton's Carpet Cleaning. This tool is attached to a very powerful truck-mount carpet cleaning machine that makes 600 separate cleaning passes a minute. A MINUTE!

There is nothing on the market, at any local shopping center, that is going to allow you to clean carpets like this machine can clean - even if you have a tiny bit of knowledge when it comes to carpet cleaning.


Most carpet warranties (and those warranties can be very valuable)
require you to have your carpets cleaned by a professional carpet
cleaning company approximately once every 18 months or use equipment certified under the Carpet and Rug Institute Seal of Approval Program.

If your carpet is still under warranty, and you have a problem with
that carpet, your warranty can help you get new carpet or have your
problem fixed without you paying for it.

But if you clean your own carpets and never have them cleaned professionally (again, usually within 18 months), you have voided your warranty.

And here is another issue: If you clean your carpets and mess them up - you only have yourself to blame and no recourse. But if you have a professional carpet cleaner clean your carpets and something goes wrong - the professional carpet cleaner is responsible for the carpet and will be required to fix the problem at NO COST TO YOU.


This ties in with the first two Bad Reasons: You are usually going to get mediocre to poor results, with poor results usually leading the way.

What type of poor results? Well there are mainly two types of poor results we see on a regular basis.

Types Of Poor Results With DIY Carpet Cleaning

1. Bad cleaning. Pure and simple. The carpets don't look good after cleaning,
or they might look ok but the amount of soil removed was far less than what
a professional carpet cleaning company would remove.

Remember, you just don't clean for appearance, you should also be cleaning for health.

Not only do DIY carpet cleaning methods usually NOT get out sufficient amounts of soil, but most people that DIY carpet clean don't get out stains and spots that most professionals can easily get out. Like wine, coffee, tea, Kool Aid, things of that nature.

DIY Carpet Cleaners Have A Hard Time With Stains

Take a look at the Kool Aid stain above. Most DIY carpet cleaners would not be able to remove this stain. 

2. Long dry times. This one can lead to huge problems. We have seen 24 hour and even 48 dry times when people DIY carpet clean. This should be totally unacceptable and can actually lead to big problems.

DIY carpet cleaning machines usually lack power (this is why professionals do not use them) and they don't recover water and soil as well as high-powered truck mount hot water extraction units.

Long dry times can lead to furniture being put down on wet carpets, which almost always leads to furniture stains in carpets. Plus, long dry times can lead to bacteria growth and the carpet can actually end up smelling bad.

And this leads to another problem with DIY Carpet Cleaning Methods

Pet odor removal!

Pet urine cannot be treated like just any other type of soil in the carpet. Pet urine, and the odor associated with it, has to be treated differently.

Most people, 99.6345%, have no idea how to properly treat pet urine and odor, and actually make the situation much worse when using DIY carpet cleaning methods on the urine and odor.

At Linton's Carpet Cleaning we are experts are removing pet odors in carpets because of our knowledge, experience, proper odor control cleaning agents, and the right tools to remove odor. Very few DIY carpet cleaners have any type of real knowledge to properly deal with pet odor in their carpets.

The Bottom Line: DIY Carpet Cleaning Is Not A Good Idea

Is there a time that is good for some DIY Carpet Cleaning?

Yes, there is.

And those times are the following with a few caveats.

1. When you spill something on the carpet. In this case having a portable carpet cleaning machine can be a big benefit if you quickly use that machine to clean the spill up.

But cleaning the spill up has to be done the right way.

What is the right way? Well let's say you spill some gravy on your dining room carpet. The thing to do would to be get a good portable machine (hand held is fine) and lightly mist the area and suck up as much of the spill as you can. Then make plenty of dry strokes.

You can repeat this process until you get no more of the spill out.

This is a very good use of a portable carpet cleaning machine. But you need to use it on only smaller areas, like spots and spills.

2. When cleaning up dog or cat deposits - urine or feces. Again, the method to use would be to QUICKLY get out the portable machine and rinse the area well, making sure not to over-wet the area. 

Once the urine has been in the carpet for a period of time, especially if it has penetrated deep into the pile, using a portable carpet  cleaning machine would not be the way to go.

The way to go would be to hire a good professional carpet cleaning

Do Some People Have Success When DIY Carpet Cleaning?

Yep, they sure do. But they are the exception rather than the rule.

With over 20 years of carpet cleaning experience, plus talking with many other professional carpet cleaners, the consensus is that DIY carpet cleaning is not a good idea.

And we do not think that because the DIY carpet cleaner did not hire us! LOL.

We have the belief that we do because we have seen the aftermath of DIY carpet cleaning gone bad. We have seen it many times and been called in to fix bad DIY carpet cleaning.

In the end run, hiring a professional to clean your carpets is very much
like hiring someone to re-finish your wood floors, re-model your bathroom,
fix your plumbing or things like that.

Yes, you can do it yourself - but in most cases (99.6345%) you are better
off having a professional, that does that type of work regularly, do the job
for you. Carpet cleaning is no different.

Thank you for reading this article. If you have any questions about our
carpet cleaning service in Vancouver, Washington please do not hesitate to
give us a call.

Linton's Carpet Cleaning - (360) 608-5441

If you have a need for carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning, tile and grout cleaning, or oriental /area rug cleaning - give us a call today at Linton's Carpet Cleaning.

We will be more than happy to answer any and all questions related to our carpet cleaning service in Vancouver, Washington.

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