Can you save cleaning your carpets yourself?

Not really.  Professional carpet and upholstery cleaning can actually cost you LESS if you factor in your TIME!

The scenario

Let’s take a look at an example:

Drive to the store and rent the machine – 30 minutes drive time, 30 minutes deciding which solution you need to buy, which attachment you need, calling your spouse to ask if you need the pet deodorizer or not.  20 minutes in the check out line because you have to fill out the rental agreement first before they let you have the machine.  Total cost – machine rental $37.99 per day, wand attachment for carpets $15.99 per day, and oh yes, let’s tackle the sofa too, so upholstery attachments $15.99 per day.  Cleaning solution $25.99. Defoamer?  The clerk told you you are going to need that. $19.99. Upholstery cleaner $11.98. Decided against the pet odor stuff, it’s not really THAT bad, is it? Ooops, might want to get that just in case $7.98, and don’t forget that deep stain stuff for those spills $7.98.

10 minutes trying to figure out how to get it into your car.  30 minutes drive home. That’s 120 minutes so far, and you haven’t even gotten the machine in the house. OK, so you wrestle the machine, the hoses, the attachments and the chemicals into your house.  You’re now at 2 hours and $143.89 in, and with sales tax at 7%, you’re looking at $153.96.  Hey, but that’s OK, the professional guy wants $140.00 just to clean the sofa and you’re going to do the living room and 4 bedrooms too! You are going to save cleaning your carpets yourself!

Setting it all up

You spend an hour reading the instructions and figuring out how to set up the machine.  The instructions recommend hot water.  More than 140 degrees?  But isn’t the hot water heater set at 140 degrees?  Oh, so you have to heat the water even more.  So you put all you pots on the stove and heat up enough water to fill the machine, you add the detergent solution.  Measure carefully! You add the defoamer to the tank as instructed and get ready to clean!  Start with the bedroom carpets.  First, you move the furniture. Whew! You follow the instructions on how to operate the machine and finally start cleaning.  And now you are 3.5 hours in.  You are almost finished with the first room.

The machine coughs and sputters.  You open the tank, and it’s empty. Back to the kitchen to heat up more water!  You refill the machine after cleaning each room.  It takes you nearly an hour for the first bedroom because you moved all the furniture, so you decide to just move the small stuff.  The next room takes 30 minutes, and you have to refill the machine again.  So, 3 hours cleaning time and you still haven’t gotten to the sofa.  You are 6.5 hours in.  That $140 sofa cleaning is looking pretty good about now….

The next day

It’s the next day. You are now committed to another 24 hour machine rental because you aren’t done yet. That’s another $37.99 plus tax, $40.65, but hey, you are saving so much money! You tackle the sofa.  That furniture cleaning tool is really tiny, it only cleans a 2″ wide stretch at a time. An hour later, and another machine refill and the sofa is done. Whew!

You are now at 8 hours in.  Now, you have to empty and clean the machine, take it back to the store and turn it in.  30 minutes to empty and clean it and load it in the car (again), 30 minute drive, 10 minutes in line to return it and 30 minutes home.

Easy, right?  So, 9.5 hours of your time give or take.  $184.62 in expenses, not counting your gas to drive back and forth or the electricity to heat all that water.  You can’t walk on the carpets because they are really wet.  And you can’t sit on the sofa and watch TV because it’s wet too.

But it was worth it, right? The carpet takes 3 days to dry, and starts to smell like a wet dog (guess that dog stuff didn’t work very well), and the sofa is still squishy.  There are black spots popping up where you had that soda spill and cleaned it up, and the sofa looks streaky. You call the rental machine company, and they tell you it’s “operator error” and to fix it, you have to rent the machine AGAIN, and go over the black spot a few times with water, and you have to go over the sofa again too!  Man, this is really adding up!

So, how much did you save cleaning your carpets yourself?

If you factor in your time, you didn’t save anything.  So, what’s it like to hire a professional?  Pick up the phone, call Accent American at 813-621-6015 and schedule an appointment.  Answer the door, show them the rooms and furniture you want cleaned.  Sit back and watch TV while they do all the work.  In about an hour or so, they are done.  Carpet is dry in about an hour, with no bad smell later.  The sofa is dry later that day.  You can relax and enjoy your day.

So, which would you rather do?

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