Pros: Inexpensive, cleans great.
Cons: A lot of work.
We all know the feeling. Those precious carpets of ours so pristine and beautiful. It almost seems a shame to walk on them after all, but we know we have to. We can demand everyone take their shoes off at the door, banish snacks and drinks from the living room, but still, its inevitable: the carpet gets dirty. It happens to us, and our defensive measures are nowhere near as Draconian as the aforementioned.
What to do then? One solution is the Rug Doctor. What is the Rug Doctor? Its a steam cleaner available at thousands of outlets across the country, including supermarkets, drug stores, and department stores. Chances are, theres a store near you where you can get a Rug Doctor when your carpet needs cleaning.
Just like other steam cleaners, the Rug Doctor is available for rent or sale. Buying one, whether new or used, can cost you several hundred dollars. Keep in mind that this unit is of superior quality. Before you decide, you need to ask yourself how often youre going to use the cleaner. This is true of anything, but in the case of the Rug Doctor, you have options.
For our purposes, renting has been the way to go. Our carpets usually get by with a cleaning every six months. Consider that the Rug Doctor can be rented for about $18 for 24 hours. The occasional $5 off coupon makes it an even better bargain.
The Rug Doctor is compact enough to fit into our small hatchback. The handle folds down to make it even easier to transport.
Using the unit is a breeze. Youll need to fill with warm water and detergent. You can buy a custom cleaning solution at point of rental, but weve found that a simple blend of detergent and a little bleach works just as well and costs a lot less. Our carpets are light beige in color, of course, and you may want to omit the bleach on darker carpets. Basically, you push the Rug Doctor across your floor in slow motions, and squeeze the handle to spray the carpet with hot detergent
Subsequent runs across the rug are required to vacuum up the dirt loosened by the detergent solution. The Rug Doctor does a very good job, and we have found it lifts even tough stains with a few extra passes. You get a lot of work for your $13 to $18, and thats a major reason why weve been repeat customers.
The Rug Doctor is time consuming. Depending on the number and size of rooms you have to clean, you will be committing hours to doing it yourself. Combined with the detergent costs you will spend about $20 to $30 total. Youll need to compare that with what local steam cleaning services charge (usually around $60 to $70 here). Emptying the bucket is a constant and unpleasant task, as is refilling with clean water. And of course youll be moving furniture, too.
Your time and convenience are always a factor, and such factors must be considered in the final analysis. But we find we save at least $40 by cleaning ourselves with the Rug Doctor. Your mileage may vary, but its good to know the Rug Doctor is readily available, affordable, and does a great job cleaning your carpet.