• johnoreynolds

Rental carpet cleaner or professional carpet cleaner?

DIY carpet cleaning

So you believe your carpets need a good clean, and you are torn between a rental carpet cleaning machine and a professional carpet cleaner. Which is best for you?

Before you decide on your options, let's look at the pros and cons.

Let's look at the options and help you make the right choice

These days, most retail outlets have a rental option that is easy to arrange, and you can take the machine away the same day. We can't mention the most common name, but it's red and white and rhymes with 'BUG Shocked Her'.

The red and white unit is usually cheaper than a professional service, but don't forget you also have to buy cleaning solutions.

A professional service price will incorporate all the costs to get the job done.

The average price for a rental carpet cleaning machine in the UK at the time of this post is £24.99 for 24hrs or £29.99 for 48hrs, and generic cleaning solution varies from £15.00 to £22.00 depending on the quantity of the solution and the retail store.

Let's assume that you need the unit for only one day as you have a bad stain on your living room carpet. The total cost would be between £39.99 and £46.99.

On average, a professional cleaner charges around £40.00 to £50.00 for the same room. So in comparison, the prices are not that far apart.

Let's move on from the price for a moment, and let's look at the power comparison.

Rental carpet cleaner v's The Professional carpet cleaner

The rental carpet cleaner is limited in its capacity compared to professional equipment. Any upright carpet cleaner is capable of skimming the surface of the carpet and cleaning the tips of the fibres. The solution is sprayed on the carpet's surface, agitated and then lifted using an inadequate and underpowered single vacuum; any moisture left behind will dry and cause a damp, musty smell that will be hard to neutralise.

Most professional cleaners use twin high powered vacuum units, which are more than capable of lifting ground-in dirt and bacteria from deep within the fibres, something the rental units are not cable of.

Due to the rental unit's limited power, the chances are that your carpets will stay wetter for longer, and you will have to rely on natural air movement around your home. Professional machines will lift water and cleaning solutions from deep down in the fibres.

Most professional machines will lift 80%-90% of the water left behind. If you were concerned about the carpets being damp, your professional will add an odour neutraliser to their cleaning solutions and undoubtedly use an air mover. These air movers are high powered fans that will speed up drying times around your home.

Rental carpet cleaner solution

There are many types of carpet cleaning solutions available in retail and DIY stores and the prices I mentioned earlier in this post, but are they strong enough to get your carpets cleaned?

When you inquire about a rental carpet cleaner, you will be upsold a cleaner solution. The advisor in-store will not ask any questions about what carpets you have in your home. You will be sold will be a generic solution compatible with most carpets, but is it suitable for your carpets?

Before starting this post, I searched online for the correct wording on the products supplied when hiring a rental carpet cleaner.

The generic solutions sold:

  • Wool friendly

  • Pet safe

That's it! There is nothing as to what type of carpet this solution should not be used on!


I couldn't find anything that would make me rent a carpet cleaner.

The other downside to rental is that you are expected to read a manual and automatically know how to use the machine.

Professional carpet cleaner

This is where things get technical. A professional cleaner will carry out several tests to ensure you get the clean and the results you want.

  • Wool friendly

  • Pet friendly

  • Carpet fibre checked

  • Carpet backing checked

  • Type of carpet construction checked

  • Tried and tested Ph safe cleaning solutions

  • Odour neutraliser treatment

  • High powered Hot Water Extraction

  • Fully trained technicians

To be honest, the list goes on…

You need to be aware that the cleaning will be carried out by professionals, and you can sit back and relax and enjoy the results.

In total honesty, if we were not a professional carpet cleaning company, I would employ someone who knows what they are doing. The prices are about the same, but the expectations of a professional cleaner outweigh a rental machine. For an extra £5.00, let someone else do the job the right way.

Calling a professional after DIY

Most people rent a machine as a quick fix for red wine spills, dog wee and food stains. Using a rental should take the stain from the surface but not deep down.

Red wine is complicated to remove and requires typically additional heat to remove. We use a hot iron and a specialised spotting kit to eliminate these stains as professionals. Using a portable rental machine can and will make the stain worse. Then you will have to pay twice for the same job.

I also mentioned dog wee; this will not be removed with a rental carpet cleaner. Wee contains ammonia that will give a long-lasting odour virtually impossible to extract. When our favourite friends decide to pee on our carpet, it's already too late to clean. The urine will penetrate the fibre and backing of your carpet and reach the underlay in record time.

A professional uses specialised acid rinses to counteract the urine and neutralisers to eliminate the odour forever.

If you are still contemplating hiring a rental carpet cleaner, head to our contact page and request a callback.

We can arrange a free, no-obligation visit to assess your carpets and give you a fair price.

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