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What's the Deal? DIY vs. Professional Carpet Cleaning

The experts say you should have your carpets professionally cleaned two to three times per year to prolong the life of your carpet and keep yourself and your family healthy and happy. But what’s the difference between doing the work yourself versus a professional doing the work for you? And what exactly does professional cleaning do that you can’t?

Having your carpets cleaned professionally can:

  • Eliminate contaminants

  • Increase and improve airflow

  • Improve your carpet’s look and feel

Eliminates Contaminants

Your carpet is likely the most heavily trafficked area in your home. The normal wear and tear alone allows bacteria, dust, dirt, and allergens to be pushed deep into the fibers of your carpet—and if you have a pet, the allergens increase exponentially. Your carpet acts like a sponge in your home; various contaminants can soak into the fibers of your carpet. When you walk through, those contaminants can be released into the air. These allergens and contaminants can cause health risks for your family; especially for children who spend more time on the floor, the elderly, or those at-risk for allergies and asthma.

Another concern that could affect your family’s health is dust mite infestations. Invisible to the naked eye, dust mites can live in your home’s carpet and contribute contamination without you even realizing it. Regular vacuuming can help with the removal of bacteria, dirt, and dust mites, but over time, the build-up of contaminants will remain deep in the fibers of your carpet. Professional cleaning is the only way to eliminate potentially harmful contaminants in your home, which will reduce the health risks associated with them.

Better Airflow

Surprisingly enough, carpeting can affect the flow of air in your home. When the fibers of your carpet get blocked with dirt, dust, and other debris, it becomes clogged and the air isn't able to permeate and pass through it as easily. This is especially true along the walls of your home. A dirty carpet can make your home feel stuffy and regular vacuuming alone can’t pick up everything in the fibers. Having your carpet professionally cleaned at least once a year ensures optimal airflow.

Improved Feel

A clean and well-maintained carpet presents guests with a pleasing impression of your space. Having your carpets cleaned shows that you care and are concerned with your home. Even when you take precautions such as regular vacuuming, emergency stain clean up, and taking shoes off in your home, the wear and tear from traffic in highly visited areas of your home will still accumulate dust and other contaminants.

The dirt and dust build-up in your carpet can have the same effect as sandpaper—each and every step you take can cause a breakdown in the fibers of your carpet. This can also make your carpet feel matted, rough, and flat. Our deep steam cleaning process penetrates deep into the fibers and lifts out all the harmful dirt, dust, and other debris, which will make your carpet feel better, longer.


While you can’t expect to get a deep clean doing everything yourself, cleaning your carpets yourself is still important. Vacuuming your carpets twice a week helps slow down the build-up of dust and contaminants. However, vacuuming and even steam cleaning your carpets won’t get your home as clean as professionals could.

Vacuuming slows down build-up, but still leaves enough dirt and allergens in the fibers to affect the quality of your air. In addition to this, the cleaning solutions used in most DIY steam cleaners are filled with chemicals and can leave behind a soapy residue that actually attracts dirt. Another issue that can arise while attempting to clean a carpet yourself—mildew. Using an incorrect amount of water while steam cleaning your carpets can result in odors and mold or mildew; a far more expensive fix than a cleaning would have been.

Stain Removal Tips

While we try to, we can’t control everything—especially around the holiday season. Accidents happen! If you do have an emergency spill that you can’t get a professional to come out for immediately, try some of these tricks for short-term prevention of deeper staining.
Note: Professionals should be called after all short-term DIY stain removals to ensure the stain is fully eliminated before it settles deep in the fibers of your carpet.

Lemon Juice

  • Best used for rust stains, this spot treatment may require a trip to the store. Put lemon juice on the stain in question, then sprinkle cream of tartar on top. Rub the mixture in gently (do not scrub the stain!) and let it sit for 15-30 minutes. Then, blot the area with a warm washcloth and dry with a towel.

Vinegar + Water

  • Often know as the general ‘DIY Carpet Cleaner’, this mixture is best for synthetic carpets, which are strong, durable, and tend to be pretty stain resistant. Mix ½ gallon of vinegar with ½ gallon of water, and clean your carpet using the solution either by hand or with a handheld carpet cleaning machine.

Rubbing Alcohol

  • If you find yourself in a pinch with an oil-based stain (grease, crayons, makeup, etc.), scrape as much of the stain up as possible, then use a cloth to apply rubbing alcohol onto the stained area. Blot with a clean cloth and repeat if stain persists.

Hydrogen Peroxide

  • Organic stains, like those from fruit juice or berries, are easiest to spot remove with hydrogen peroxide. Pour 1-2 capfuls directly onto the stain and let it sit for 5 minutes. Dab with a cloth or sponge and dry with a towel.

Ammonia + Warm Water

  • Mix 1 tablespoon with 1 tablespoon of warm water in a spray bottle and spritz some of the cleaning solution onto the stain. Blot the area with a clean towel and repeat until the stain has disappeared. If necessary, switch to the rubbing alcohol trick above.


More Cost-Efficient and Convenient

In the long run, having your carpets professionally cleaned is more cost-efficient in terms of the level of clean you get. The money you put towards renting or buying a steam cleaning machine and cleaning products could go towards a professional service for a much deeper clean. Store bought or rented extractors aren’t as powerful as professional equipment, meaning your carpet could stay damp for up to a full day. This leads to mold and mildew growth deep in your carpet. Attempting to use equipment you aren’t familiar with could result in you paying even more than it would cost for you to hire professional cleaning services.

The cost of cleaning your carpet yourself increases when you consider the damage you could do to your own home in the process. The additional costs from replacing your carpet prematurely due to water damage or having your carpets re-cleaned if you couldn’t get that stubborn stain out the first time could add up and make that cheaper DIY project end up costing you more in the long run.

Hiring a professional to clean your carpets is more convenient for your money and your time as well. Instead of trying to rent a steam cleaner and block out the time in your schedule to do it yourself, return the machine in time, and not make a costly mistake, you can schedule an appointment with one of our professionals and let them put in the work for you!