A couple of months ago, we got a professional company in to clean the carpets at work. Both my bosses regularly bring their dogs in to work and with moderate foot fall through the building, the carpets were starting to look really rather filthy. It didn’t help that the carpets were fairly poor quality to begin with and definitely not suitable for an office building. I was absolutely convinced that the process would be a total waste of time and money and not for a minute did I think that we would see an improvement in the state of the carpet.
I have to hold my hands up here and admit that I was totally mistaken. When I came into work following the weekend that the cleaning took place I was utterly shocked. The carpets were unrecognisable. They had previously been covered with rather large stains and lots of marks and most of these were now gone. Granted they still looked like cheap carpets and were getting a bit thread bare in places but most of the staining was now gone.
This got me thinking about my own carpets at home. Both our livingroom and hallway carpets were replaced shortly after we moved in at the end of 2013. We were on a very tight budget so picked something from the cheaper end of the spectrum. We were also aware of the fact that we were about to start a family so we didn’t want anything that could be easily ruined by children.
We chose our two carpets knowing full well that we would probably be looking to replace them after a few years. For cheap carpets they’ve done pretty well so far. They have survived (or are currently surviving) babies bringing up milk, potty training accidents, baby-led weaning, play doh incidents and the general wear and tear that toddlers cause. The livingroom carpet was also the victim of a green paint spillage which it has never recovered from (but which has been strategically hidden under a cupboard).
So as you can imagine they are probably pretty disgusting, even if you can’t actually see all the dirt. As the girls are now two and four, there is still no point in replacing the carpets as the likelihood is still very high that food and play doh will get smushed into them and drinks will be spilled.
So after the great results of the carpet cleaning at work I wanted to give carpet cleaning try at home. However, there was no way I was going to pay the price of professional carpet cleaning as this would no doubt cost more than the carpet itself. Instead, I decided to go for the next best thing and looked into hiring a carpet cleaner so I could do it myself.
I got in touch with Rug Doctor, who kindly offered to hire me the machine free of charge if I was willing to share my experience with you guys. So the first thing that struck me was how easy the hire process was. On the website there are two options. You can hire a carpet cleaner for 24 hours (from £22.99) or for 48 hours (from £28.99) depending on how much carpet you need to clean and how long it will take you.
You can then input your postcode and it will show you where you can collect your carpet cleaner from. Rug Doctor partners include supermarkets, DIY stores, dry cleaners and variety stores. Most people can drive to their nearest outlet in 10 minutes or less. My results showed that there were eight different locations within a 10 minute drive from my home. The good thing about picking up from a local store is that you don’t have to wait in for a delivery. If you would prefer home delivery though, this is also an option although it does cost more (£15 standard delivery and £25 next day) and you can choose a delivery slot to suit you.
I didn’t actually have time to collect my carpet cleaner so I opted for home delivery. It was such a simple process and I was so surprised at how cheap it was to hire the machine. At work we were quoted £480 to clean the carpets, so at just under £30, this seemed like a total bargain. The hiring process was the easy bit though and actually cleaning the carpets was a bit more of a challenge.
The machine is quite big so maneuvering it around can be tricky. It’s advisable to move as much of your furniture and belongings out of the room before you start. This also ensures that you can clean as much of the carpet as possible. You should also give the carpet a good hoover before you start to get rid of any surface dirt.
Whilst I knew our carpets were pretty filthy, I can tell you now, I was not expecting them to be quite so gross. They weren’t particularly stained and there were no marks (apart from the paint stain) so I didn’t bother to do a before and after as there wasn’t really that much difference. However, the dirty water that was collected in the machine was absolutely shocking! It was the colour of coffee. I’m not kidding!
It made me gag a little to think that all that dirt came from our carpet. The same carpet that we regularly sit and lie on. It just goes to show that even when your carpet looks clean there can be loads of hidden dirt lurking deep in the pile. For the sake of £30, I am never going to leave my carpets that long again without a clean.
It’s difficult to see the filthy water in the main machine as the recovery tank is white and opaque, but we did use the spot cleaner machine we were sent on a few areas that were particularly dirty. The area under our dining table is especially disgusting as the girls are constantly dropping food at meal times. So we gave the carpet here an extra clean and it was truly gross. Just look at that. Yuk!
As an added bonus, the Rug Doctor carpet cleaner also comes with a hand tool that is perfect for cleaning soft furnishings as well as those hard-to-reach areas, including stairs, skirting boards and car interiors. We didn’t actually use this as we live in a flat with no stairs and we didn’t have time to clean the car. But that would definitely be something I’d do next time to make my £30 work even harder.
I’m so glad that I got this done before Christmas. If you’re having visitors over for Christmas and you’re worried about the state of your carpets, there is still time to hire a machine and get them cleaned. It’s super easy to do and you’ll feel much cleaner having expunged all that filth from your carpet. If you need further convincing check out this video of Richard and Judy on YouTube talking about carpet cleaning. It’s utterly vile.
I’d love to know how often you guys clean your carpets. Please tell me I’m not the only one who doesn’t do this on a regular basis?