If you are looking at DIY carpet cleaning, here are some of our tips.
You can rent a steam cleaner from a supermarket, Bunnings or a vacuum shop. If you pick up the machine late in the day, some places may let you keep the machine until the next day – it won’t hurt to ask. You will be looking at around $60-$120 but remember the detergent costs are additional to the rental fee.
Or, you may prefer to buy a carpet shampooer – plan to spend $100 to $1000 or more. The more expensive models may have more powerful water jets and suction, and some have a heating element to keep the water hot which will produce a better result. Do your research first – the reviews on these machines are mixed, and some are prone to breakdowns.
Most rental machines weigh more, hold more water (meaning less of those annoying refills), keep the water hotter, and come with a wider wand than purchased domestic models. This makes them more user-friendly on larger, high-traffic areas. You will find that the purchased domestic carpet cleaning models are usually smaller, more portable, easier to store and to carry up and down stairs. Some say they find these models more suitable for spot cleaning than for cleaning whole rooms.
Whether you rent or buy, you want to avoid damaging your carpets and to make your carpet cleaning last longer, so here are our tips.
Clean the carpet before it gets really dirty
How often you need carpet cleaning depends on the type of traffic and soiling you have. If you wait until they are very dirty, carpet & upholstery cleaning will be much more difficult, take much longer and cost more.
Vacuum well before and after cleaning
Vacuum beforehand to remove large particles and dry soil. Vacuum again after carpet cleaning when the carpet is completely dry to pick up soil that could wick to the surface during drying.
Pretreat heavy soiling and high-traffic areas
Mix a drop of detergent with hot water in a spray bottle and lightly mist the dirtiest areas. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes before starting the general cleaning.
Remove or elevate furniture
If your furniture is too heavy to move, tear some al-foil squares and put them under/around the legs to prevent rust from metal casters or stains from paint and other finishes from transferring to damp carpet. This will also prevent mould and bacteria growth from the moisture being trapped in the carpet under the furniture, unable to dry.
Don’t over-wet the carpet
DIY machines put a lot of moisture into the carpet, and most don’t have strong enough suction to extract it thoroughly. Make only one pass with the detergent and water solution, then make two or three drying passes with the water off.
Let it dry thoroughly
Wet carpet is a perfect environment for mould and mildew. After you clean your carpets, open the windows, use fans and a dehumidifier, and put the airconditioner on to remove excess moisture from the air. This is especially necessary in our humid environment.
Split the cost
Perhaps you know someone that may also be looking at renting a carpet cleaner. Ask friends or family if they would like to share the rental fee. Do all your prep work ahead of time and be ready to make the most of your time with the equipment.
Get a Quote
Depending on what you are looking to clean, sometimes the cost of having a certified professional cleaner complete the job is quite comparable. Get a quote to help you weigh up your options, and ask the professional carpet cleaner for advice specific to your needs.
Know Your Limitations
We offer this information to help you minimise the risk of damage when undertaking DIY carpet cleaning, and to make the most of your DIY carpet cleaning experience. No liability can be accepted for damage caused to carpet or upholstery by a DIY operator. What shouldn’t you do? It is not advisable to approach natural fibres such as wool, silk, jute etc as these may be particularly prone to damage from an untrained operator. Also, if you are dealing with stains, be aware that specialist products and techniques may be required. A rented or domestic carpet cleaner may not improve the appearance of stains and could in fact cause them to spread.