Carpet Cleaning Tips

Carpet Cleaning: DIY vs Professional

Is it finally time to clean your carpet for the first time? Did your neighbours and relatives shower you with DIY methods? Maybe some friends of yours recommended a couple of local companies to hire. Now you are left wondering which is actually better.

Should you do the carpet cleaning yourself or hire a professional?

Here you will learn everything you need to know about these two methods along with their pros and cons and make your choice a bit easier. Now, let’s start with the definitions for a DIY carpet cleaning and a professional carpet cleaning.

DIY carpet cleaning

DIY methods are everywhere. From your Great aunt’s diary to the endless Facebook posts. The truth is that you can find a lot of interesting tips and tricks that don’t involve just vacuuming the carpet. Most of them include household items like vinegar or baking soda, which are easy to find. A lot of them also suggest renting a carpet cleaning machine or buying a steam cleaner.

However, even if DIY methods should work for the most common types of stains, they are not recommended if you are in a need of a good, general, deep carpet cleaning. A better solution would be to trust a professional company and let them take care of the job.

Professional cleaning

Professional carpet cleaning is the other option in which you hire a specialist to do the job for you. Most companies and individuals offer two main carpet cleaning methods with the first one being the Hot water extraction method, incorrectly more popular as steam cleaning. This technique is done with a special machine by trained technicians. As the name suggests, this method works by injecting a mixture of hot water and carpet detergents into the carpet and extracting it right after along with all the dirt that is built up.

As we mentioned, often companies refer to this method as steam cleaning, so if you want to be sure, it’s best to ask before the service and be certain which type of cleaning they actually offer. And if you have a carpet that is a bit more delicate and not suitable for most DIY methods or hot water extraction you can go with dry cleaning, made for the finest materials.

Now that we have this covered, let’s move on to the factors most likely to influence your choice.

Carpet cleaning DIY or Professional: Factors to consider

If you are stuck choosing between the both, there are a couple of factors you should consider first. They will help you calculate the pros and cons of the carpet cleaning options and make the decision a lot easier.


Of course, the first factor is the price. Not many people spend without limits, so, whenever you need a certain service, the cost always comes up in the front. Logically, the DIY carpet cleaning will be the cheaper option here. It really doesn’t matter even if you decide to rent or buy a machine on your own. But you need to consider that just equipment is not enough.

If you go with the DIY methods, you will have to acquire the cleaning solutions and detergents yourself. This might not be a problem if the method you’re going with includes only dish soap, vinegar and a sponge.

In the professional carpet cleaning, you are paying for the whole service – the use of the machine + the detergents. If you would like to see example prices, visit our dedicated carpet cleaning page.

Still, in most cases, the DIY method would be the better option in terms of cost.

Time and effort involved

Not a lot of people have grown up cleaning carpets and rugs of all sorts, so when the cleaning day comes, it’s literally a whole day. Unless you’re taking care of a small stain, cleaning the carpet, especially if your entire home is carpeted, will take a full day to perform. Even if you do have that day free for yourself, a better option will be to spend it with family and friends or enjoy some quality time alone with a book. In any case, spending your day cleaning carpets is not something anyone would rather do.

If you are renting a machine you might think that it will make you fast as a carpet cleaning technician. What you most likely don’t know is that those machines are extremely heavy and not easy to operate.

Engaging in DIY carpet cleaning will cause most people severe back and neck pain, shortly after everything is done and the days after. If you are accustomed to hard manual labour, which requires similar positions, then probably you won’t even notice the aches. However, it’s best not to depend on it and try to escape the pain in the morning after.

So in terms of time and effort, hiring a professional carpet cleaner would be the better option.

Experience and know-how

Experience is the main reason why a professional will do the cleaning a lot faster than you will, even if you use the same machine. They know where to start from, how to clean each stain and area properly and most importantly – they clean carpets every day, so there is almost nothing they haven’t seen in terms of stains and carpet conditions.

As we mentioned earlier, each professional goes through special training, not only for the types of carpets and how to clean them but how to operate the different carpet machines properly.

If you decide to treat a stain on your own you may damage the carpet and taking care of it will most likely be very expensive. Hiring a professional is also ensuring yourself because if any harm is done to your carpet, the responsible will be the one cleaning it and you don’t have to worry about repairs cost.

In the short and long run, trusting a professional to do the job for you is the better option.

Type of equipment

If you decide to buy yourself a carpet cleaning machine, you need to do thorough research on what type you will need exactly. The most effective ones cannot be found in your local supermarket or might be too pricey, even if it’s just rental.

Companies that specialize in carpet cleaning go with industrial equipment, which is only used by professionals. These machines suck up to 95% of the dirt and the moisture, so in the end, your carpet will be only slightly damp and not completely wet like in most DIY methods.

In terms of power and efficiency of the equipment, professional carpet cleaning is the winner.

Risks of DIY

The main reasons why the machines used in DIY will not do a good job is that they are not programmed to heat the water to the needed high temperature like the professional machines. They are also not strong enough which causes less water and dirt to be extracted during the cleaning process. This leaves the carpet wet, not entirely cleaned and with a risk of developing fungi and an unpleasant smell.

Another important skill which non-professionals do not have is knowing the different carpet detergents and how much to use exactly. It depends not only on the carpet itself but on the “age” of the stain, the size and the reason that caused it.

All of these factors above will leave you with unsatisfactory results and possible damage, so in terms of risks, trusting a professional is again the better option.

Drawbacks of rental carpet cleaning machines

Knowing the quality of store-bought cleaners, you might decide that it’s better to go with a rental one. Unfortunately the situation there is similar. Not only are the machines not powerful enough, but they are also used all the time by many people, none of which – an actual carpet cleaning professional. Just as you, these are people who are not trained to work with such machinery and most likely get it damaged with every use. Even if it comes with instructions, learning how to operate this type of equipment might take half of the time you were supposed to spend on actually cleaning your carpets.

To learn more about the different existing cleaning methods, check out our post on the subject. There you’ll find a list with the most prominent carpet cleaning methods and a quick summary of how each one is performed.

Professional carpet cleaning by Fantastic Services

As we mentioned in the beginning, there are many useful DIY methods about removing certain stains by using mostly household product. There are also many affordable detergents for stain removal. Sometimes though it is not enough and if you want to make sure that your carpet is completely clean and is not collecting any unpleasant odours, you will need the help of professionals.

By hiring a company you will enjoy the best possible results, a stain and odour free carpet, and most importantly, more time for yourself and your family.

Learn more about the different carpet cleaning options and see how you can book a service.

Is professional carpet cleaning worth it?

If your other choice is to replace your carpeting, it is worth it to have the carpet professionally cleaned first. Compared to DIY, professional cleaning is more time-efficient. It reduces the risk of allergies and improves the quality of indoor air.


If you only need to refresh your carpets or remove a small stain, that DIY methods will do you just as good. However, in the long run, hiring a professional carpet cleaning company would be most people’s preferred choice.

You will have the best equipment on the market used by trained and vetted professionals to ensure that your carpet will look just like new at the end of the session. It might look a bit pricey in the beginning, but taking in mind all the above-mentioned factors, we are confident to advise that it still the best option.

In the end, it’s up to you to decide!


What method did you choose to clean your carpet? Tell us in the comment section below.

Right header image source: Depositphotos / AndreyPopov


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