How to choose the best carpet cleaner for your home in Rochester Hills MI? Part 1 of 3


The ‘cheapest’ carpet cleaning choice for your home:  do-it-yourself with a rental unit.  Article 1 in a series of 3

It’s about that time.  You want, or just really NEED, to get your carpets cleaned.  You may be moving into a new place or out of an old one.  Important guests are due to stop by for an event you are hosting at your home soon.  Or, it’s just been a long while since your carpet has had a deep cleaning and you can no longer avoid the spots and dirt that have accumulated and become more apparent.

There are a few options for a homeowner or tenant to consider when they want to get the best carpet cleaning possible in Rochester Hills, MI, but let’s start with what many consider to be the most affordable choice.  Most people find that the cheapest carpet cleaning option is to rent an upright carpet cleaning machine at their local retailer and do the job themselves.  This is known as DIY or do-it-yourself carpet cleaning.  Rental costs for an upright carpet cleaning machine run on average from $30 to $50 for the day (depending on the machine and if you decide to get an upholstery cleaning attachment to clean your furniture).  Generally it’s a full 24 hour rental period.  The most popular rental units on the market today are the red and white Rug Doctor and Bissell Big Green Clean Machine.  You can usually find these units at a major local retailer in a special display section or rack located near the front of the store or near the customer service desk area.  The display will also have accessory equipment such as upholstery cleaner attachments, instructions for use, and the company’s brand of cleaning solutions formulated for use with their machines.  You will usually need a state ID or driver’s license and a credit card to be able to rent an Rug Doctor or Bissell Big Green Clean Machine upright carpet cleaner.

The manufacturers of these upright rental carpet cleaning machines typically recommend that you buy and use their specially formulated brands of carpet cleaning solutions and treatments.  Depending on your needs, you may need to buy a combination of separate products in addition to the carpet cleaning solution such as:  spot treatment spray, urine treatment for pet accidents, high traffic area pre-treatment, odor remover, allergen treatment, anti-foaming agent and deodorizer. This can run you another $30-$40 in addition to the carpet cleaning unit’s rental cost!  Some homeowners have been known to use alternative cleaning agents, homemade or store bought laundry detergent, to save money instead of buying the rental machine’s manufacturer recommended products.  A homeowner in Rochester Hills, MI must use great care when using non-traditional cleaning agents to shampoo their carpets as this may damage the carpet fiber, void the carpet warranty and may not provide the best cleaning results.  Consult the Carpet and Rug Institute for more direction on how to select the best carpet cleaning products for your carpet and to search for the ones that have won their industry seal of approval.

There are many types of carpet cleaning products for consumers to choose from to use with their rental machines.  On one hand you have your standard soapy detergents and treatments that are chemically-based.   If you have kids or pets in the home you may prefer more environmentally-friendly carpet cleaning products.  In fact, Rug Doctor now offers an alternative ‘green cleaning’ line called Rug Doctor Green to use with their rental units.  Earth Friendly Products and Simple Green also offer non-toxic carpet cleaning shampoos.   

It is also not advisable to ignore the directions on how to properly mix carpet cleaning solutions.  Using more of the cleaning product in the solution-to-water ratio is not better.  Be sure to review all the information listed on the bottle and use the correct measurements.  Failing to do so will result in wasted dollars and physical effort because what you will end up with is excess soapy, dirt-attracting residue throughout your carpet.   Why take on the time and the expense of cleaning the carpet yourself if you end up making it dirty again soon after it’s already been ‘cleaned’?

Homeowners and renters in Rochester Hills, MI will also have to take into account that a rental unit has a limited water and cleaning solution capacity.  In addition to the time spent actually cleaning your carpet with the rental machine--if you have a large amount of dirty carpet and furniture--you will end up dumping dirty water, opening and closing bottles of cleaning solutions, trying to figure out and measure the right amounts of solution-to-water, and refilling the unit with a resupply of clean water and new cleaning solution several times over.

When you hire a professional carpet cleaning service in Rochester Hills, MI that moves most types of furniture all you have to do is sit back, relax or go about your business or errands.  However, when you decide on DIY carpet cleaning, you must move the furniture yourself.  It is the only way to ensure that a maximum amount of carpeted areas are exposed if you plan on cleaning more than the traffic lanes (a.k.a. only the open areas while the furniture is in its usual place).  You may have to allocate help from family or friends if you cannot provide your own personal manpower to partially or completely move your furniture out of the areas to be cleaned (and then back later).  Once the areas are cleared, and before you start to clean your carpet with the rental unit, you will also need to vacuum all open areas of the carpet and use the stick/wand accessory to vacuum the outside edges of all the rooms.  According to the Carpet and Rug Institute, all professionals should vacuum before they deep clean carpet, so DIY carpet cleaners should make the attempt too. 

At this point in the process you should have already read the rental unit’s instructions thoroughly before even starting the machine.  User error or guessing can result in damaged carpet fibers, severely damp carpet or even damage to the machine (which you will be responsible for).  Very often, even when used correctly, an upright carpet cleaning rental machine will still leave you with very damp carpet that needs a lot of time to dry.  One significant downfall to using do-it-yourself upright carpet cleaning machines is that the extraction function is, well, functional, but not powerful enough to provide a short dry time of a few hours like a professional carpet cleaning service with a truck mount system can offer.  It may actually take longer to obtain complete dryness depending on current weather conditions like humidity and precipitation.  Overly-wetted carpet can also potentially introduce mold and mildew into your household.  Mold spores become active within 24-48 hours in the right environment and can also end up causing irreparable damage to your carpet or your home.  Mold in particular has been in the news lately and often because it can cause of a HOST of health problems for you and your family.  You can protect against mold and mildew, and assist a quicker carpet dry time by opening windows, turning on ceiling or floor fans, running your cooling/heating system, using a special speed floor/blower unit or dehumidifier.  If possible, try to avoid cleaning your carpet on a really humid or rainy day.  Make sure that carpet is completely dry before introducing furniture back into the area.  If the carpet still seems slightly damp, any wood or sensitive furniture pieces should be put on sized-to-fit Styrofoam ‘blocks’ or protected with cut pieces plastic sheeting underneath to avoid damage. 

Homeowners in Rochester Hills, MI with newer carpet (or even furniture) that is still under warranty need to be very careful and do their homework before DIY carpet cleaning and DIY spot removal take place.  Be sure to check the information from the carpet manufacturer supplied by your local carpet retailer or visit the manufacturer’s website to see what their guidelines are to keep a carpet warranty in good standing.  Using unapproved “hot water extraction” systems can void yours.  Shaw and Mohawk approved methods are hot water extraction steam cleaning by an IICRC professional carpet cleaner once every 12-18 months.  Cleaning is recommended every 6 months if you have one or more of the following in your home:  light-colored carpet, heavy foot traffic, multiple pets or people with allergies.

It doesn’t end there with DIY carpet cleaning in Rochester Hills, MI.  Aside from the actual cleaning, you will also have to take into account the time spent driving to your local retailer to rent the machine, the rental and pay process at checkout, cleaning the machine so that you return it back in the condition that you rented it in, squeezing in, loading and unloading the unit from you vehicle, then driving back to the store to return the machine all usually within 24 hours.  If you are even a few hours late, and the retailer’s agent is not understanding about your situation, you run the risk of being responsible for another day’s rental cost.  Losing track of time will not be to your benefit when renting an upright carpet cleaner. 

Now, do you have a long drive to your retailer?  Well, then add today’s high gas prices to the whole rental and cleaning process.  You may have to ask yourself how much is the time, aggravation or expense of cleaning your own carpet worth?  Is do-it-yourself carpet cleaning really all that affordable when you consider all of the above?  In the end, you may find that the benefits of renting an upright carpet cleaning machine to clean your own carpets are negligible. 

There will always be homeowners who simply love hands-on home maintenance projects and get great satisfaction of doing all the work (within reason) in and outside of the home themselves.  It gives them peace of mind to see their tasks through from beginning to end and they still find value in the related out-of-pocket expenses vs. hiring a professional carpet cleaning service in Rochester Hills, MI.  If you’re that kind of homeowner, click here for more do-it-yourself carpet cleaning tips and important advice from Shaw Industries, one of the leading manufacturers of carpet on DIY carpet cleaning.  It is imperative that homeowners and renters in Rochester Hills, MI do their due diligence to make sure renting an upright carpet cleaning machine is the right choice for their carpet cleaning needs.  Our next two upcoming articles in this series will cover the other two options available to deep clean your carpets:  making a wise investment in buying your own home carpet steam cleaner and hiring a professional truck-mounted carpet cleaning service.

If, after reviewing the information here, you’ve already decided do-it-yourself carpet and upholstery cleaning really isn’t for you, then please visit us at to review the extensive consumer information on how to hire the best professional carpet cleaner Rochester Hills, MI.  You can also review our real client testimonials from extremely happy and satisfied local clients and find out about our new client special.  When you’re ready, pick up the phone and call Carpet Cleaning Excellence at (888) 688-0603 to set up your FREE 15 minute carpet evaluation.  We always look forward to helping our clients see the impressive value and low-stress service our family-owned company offers over do-it-yourself carpet and upholstery cleaning in Rochester Hills, MI.  We are IICRC-trained and have spent over 25 years proudly serving thousands of residential and commercial clients throughout Southeast Michigan. 

See Carpet Cleaning Excellence in action with their state-of-the-art carpet and upholstery cleaning equipment on YouTube.  You can also ‘Like’ us on Facebook for exclusive social media specials, contests and the latest carpet care and cleaning information in Rochester Hills, MI.