If your carpets are in need of cleaning, you may have been tempted to have a go at the job yourself using a carpet cleaning machine that you’ve seen advertised for rent in your local supermarket. But is this really such a good idea? Read on to find out more.

Are carpet cleaning rental machines really a cheap option?

You might think that a big advantage to cleaning your carpets using one of these rental machines is that it’s a cheap option. However, consider the following costs that you’ll incur if you hire a carpet cleaning machine:

• machine hire – £30
• detergent – £9.99
• traffic lane cleaner – £6
• urine stain eliminator (for pet accidents) – £5
• spot and stain remover – £2.99
• anti-foam – £2.99
• odour remover – £2.99

The total cost of your ‘cheap’ DIY carpet cleaning option initially comes to approximately £59.96. Remember to factor in the time it will take you to work out how to use the machine, carry out the work, and clear up the mess afterwards, and then add your usual hourly work rate onto that figure. The DIY option is not so cheap after all!

So, what kind of job could you expect your bargain machine to do? The first problem you’ll encounter is that rental machines cause over-wetting of the carpets. This is because, unlike professional carpet cleaning machines, the DIY versions are not powerful enough to suck all the water out of the soaked carpet pile. Excessively wet carpets take forever to dry, which can cause shrinkage and discolouration. Damp carpet also encourages the growth of mould, leading to allergens in the air your family are breathing, and an unpleasant, musty odour you’ll never get rid of.

Stain removal is another problem area for the DIY carpet cleaner. Professional carpet cleaners have an in-depth knowledge of how to deal with different types of stains, as well as a broad armoury of stain removal products with which to tackle them. Cheap, over-the-counter stain removers simply don’t do the job, and they can even damage your carpets.

In conclusion

Although a rental carpet cleaning machine might appear to be good value at first glance, an experienced firm of fully-insured, professional carpet cleaners will do a much better job. Remember, if you ruin your carpets with a rental cleaning machine, your house insurance won’t necessarily cover you for the cost of replacement.