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Discussion Starter #1
Is there a decent carpet cleaning machine available to rent? One that won't leave a lot of water behind?

Would it be better to hire a carpet cleaning company that has better equipment?

Nestor Kelebay wrote a lengthy post about carpet cleaning a few years ago, but I haven't been able to find it.

Barb
 

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Carpet cleaning can be a no-win situation. Most of the home machines do a poor job and many of the big companies send out a guy with a couple hours instruction. I have seen some ruined by too much water and the water being too hot. I would find a small local company and ask for references.
 
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Ever tried the carpet "dry cleaning" stuff called Host. There's no water involved, and it's a relatively easy DIY thing.
It is treated cedar sawdust that is sprinkled all over the carpet and "shampooed" in with a double round brush machine and allowed to dry overnight, and then vacuumed up. It leaves the carpet clean, dry and smelling really good.
My late wife used it for years. I think that I am going to use it again pretty soon. My live-in German Shepherd and I need it. LOL
Check around your area. It's kind of expensive, but you can buy as many boxes of the Host as you need and rent the machine by the day. Works great! Just another alternative.
Good Luck!
Mike
 

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Too Short? Cut it Again!
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Are we talking 200 or 20,000sf? The dry clean stuff is pretty good unless you have heavy stains. Capture is a brand I have used at times. Sprinkle it on, brush it in. Vacuum out.

If you are not sure your situation, don't start messing around with varied DIY products and approaches though.

If you have pet stains and are trying to get rid of that odor? Forget it, call a pro.

I've got to be honest with you. The carpet cleaning industry is so fiercely competitive these days I cannot imagine it makes any sense to do it yourself. They are all insured and bonded (or those you hire should be) so if they goof it is on them. Even if you have but a tiny space if you can be flexible with scheduling by a few hours or days? They will beat the price of what you can do yourself.

It is like $40-50/day to rent a cleaner here in Chicago and at least another $60-100 for pre-treating and carpet cleaner chemicals to clean a one or small two bedroom apartment. Plus you have to drag it back and forth and pay for water to run the thing.

My clients tended not to have carpet but last time I needed a cleaner it was like $250 or something to do everything on three floors of a townhouse with a steam, not water extraction process I had used in the past. I would have had to charge my client time for dragging the machine to and from the rental place and for the work. No way I could justify doing that to them.
 

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My problem with Host and the other dry type cleaners, is all that sawdust that ends up under the rug. I have removed carpet with several inches of that stuff underneath.
 

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I only have a few area rugs and have been very happy renting the 'rug doctor' machines. They do a good job, don't leave things wet, and are convenient for my application (mostly regular soiling and dirt the dogs bring in). If I had wall-to-wall (like my last place) I'd watch the coupons in the paper and let someone else do it.

Also, I have a little-green-clean-machine that is GREAT for preventing stain problems before they become a problem. You just set it over the stain and it does all the work. Perfect for when my elderly chihuahua was too demented to remember to go outside or when someone spills kool-aid.
 
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