There are several different approaches to cleaning your carpet and they are pretty much in relation to how much they cost. Some ways work better than others, but the better the method is, it usually costs more to get the job done. But, you may not always need the best method for the highest cost all the time. So let’s take a look at some different carpet cleaning methods, compare them, and see which way is really the best way to clean carpets.
Scrubbing a carpet stain with a washcloth – This would by far the cheapest method to clean a stain off your carpet. A little bit of vinegar, mixed with some water and some scrubbing action with a washcloth can actually go a long ways towards removing most spot stains. This of course doesn’t do anything for the entire carpet but you may not need the entire carpet cleaned all the time.
Dry cleaning your carpet – This method does not use any water at all but uses a chemical that is sprinkled over the carpet and is designed to loosen up any stain that has a bond with the carpet fibers. After it sits for a bit, you simply vacuum it all back up. Sometimes, you can do this with regular table salt with decent results. However, this also can only go so far as this dry cleaning method will not work very well for heavy stains that are ingrained deeply into the carpet fiber. In fact, it would only really be one step above a really good vacuuming. However, the dry cleaning chemical is not that expensive and if your carpet is not that dirty, you can do this yourself with decent results.
Using an upright portable carpet cleaner – These are the units that you can buy in your local department stores that basically look like a fat vacuum cleaner. You load them up with some water with a little bit of cleaning detergent and as you pull across the rug it sprays out the water into the carpet and then sucks it back up. The nicer models will have some type of agitating brush system to scrub the soapy water into the carpet before it gets sucked back out. One way to make the system work better is to use hot water in the mixture. Most of these units that you can just store in your closet do not preheat the water and hot water can make quite a difference in stain cleaning. However this type of carpet cleaner lacks the real power to push the hot water down deep into the carpet fibers. But, generally they do work pretty darn good and if you have kids in the house they might as well be made out of gold.
Renting a portable carpet cleaning machine – These are those larger carpet cleaning units that you can rent from the rental store or they can be commonly located up in the front of many department and even grocery stores and are available to rent. These units, are usually quite a bit larger than the previous units but will preheat the water, pressure it into the carpet deeper, and have a better vacuum system to suck it back out. This can be much more of a hassle to get it home and to do your job but besides the next method, it is the most effective.
A professional truck mounted carpet cleaner – These are pretty much the holy Grail of carpet cleaning as they have the most pressure, heat up the water the best, and have the best storage for the dirty water that comes out. On these, the actual machine is mounted in the back of a van and hoses are run up to the carpet cleaning wand that is drug through your house and across your carpet to get it clean. They usually have at least a 100 gallon tank for the dirty water so they can do the entire house in one shot and will be able to do it faster than most other methods. They have the pressure and the power to wash all way down to the padding of the carpet and still be able to suck all the water back out. This is the best method for cleaning your carpet; however it is the most expensive.
So there are the most common methods to clean your carpet listed out and compared. The best way to clean your carpet is also the most expensive but you may not need to do that all the time. It will be up to you to really determine what your needs are and what the best way to clean your carpet is for you.