At first glance the appeal of cheap rental equipment to clean your carpets sounds wonderful. But just like any other DIY project, education is needed for a successful outcome.
Most rental equipment does not have the ability to heat the water used in the cleaning process to achieve steam. Therefore when you are cleaning the carpets it will actually be cleaning with water at whatever temperature that has been put in the “holding tank” of the machine. This poses 2 very important problems:
1) You are actually putting water on the carpeting and the machine does not have sufficient power to remove water. The drying time will be greatly increased, so that will need to be allowed for. The carpeting will not be dry enough to walk on when the cleaning process is done, and the replacement of furnishings will need to wait until the carpet has dried completely through. Carpet also has what is known as a “wicking” effect as it dries. So while the drying is completing you will notice spots that seem to be gone when you first finished cleaning that are reappearing. (This wicking effect can also happen with professional cleaning; we reservice those spots at no additional charge to you). These are areas where an offending substance has soaked through the carpet and into the backing or pad when the surface of the carpet is cleaned these substances then resurface as they are pulled up through the carpet fibers. While some offending substances are even difficult for the professional to completely remove on 1 visit. The DIY equipment lacks the power to completely remove most substances.
2) The cleaning products can actually cause more damage than good. Some cleaning products contain heavy soaps, and as we all know soaps leave a residue. Those residues cause dirt to stick to the carpet which makes the carpet dirty faster. Because it is a residue vacuuming will not pull the dirt off the carpet fiber like it normally would. Products like these can also “set a spot”. Meaning that what was a spot is now a stain! Much like doing the laundry, if the spot is not removed correctly it will never be removed. (Please see our carpet spotting tips on this website).
This does not mean that you cannot do it yourself. Just be aware of some key factors to save one of the biggest investments in your home. Correctly treat problem areas before beginning the cleaning process. When using the rental equipment, use as little water as possible. Make sure that you do not walk on the carpet or put any furniture back into place until the carpet is completely dry. And read the label ingredients on the cleaning products, and the safety precautions. The advertising on the label doesn’t always give you the whole picture.
If your carpeting is less than 5 years old, consult your warranty information. Most manufacturers’ warranties require professional cleaning, and the use of rental equipment, and even spot removers could invalidate that warranty.
Carpeting adds warmth and comfort to a home. It is also one of the biggest investments in your home. We here at ServiceMaster of the North Valley want to make sure that your carpet is properly taken care of. Our Technicians can answer questions about removing spots, or ways to help extend the life of your carpet. Phone calls and estimates are free!
Enjoy your carpet and have a very blessed day!