Carpet Cleaning: Professional vs. DIY – We Highlight The Pro’s & Cons

At some point, we all need an extra clean for our carpets. Over time, stains and spills build up and cause it to become discoloured.

Not only this, but households with pets, children, or those who wear shoes inside are likely to be trailing dirt along with them unknowingly. Your carpets could look great on the surface, but you would be amazed what can be found after a deep clean.

There are two main options people have when they go to clean their carpets – hiring the professionals or doing it themselves. 

There are great arguments for both methods, and here we go into more detail about how effective they can be as well as the methods you can use at home.

The Two Main Options for Carpet Cleaning

When you go to have your carpet cleaned, there are two options for you. Either, you can hire a professional to clean your carpets and upholstery, or you can do it yourself.

Usually, if you go for the latter option, you will be able to hire a carpet cleaner from a reputable hardware store, which will be explained in more detail as we go through this guide.

Professional carpet cleaners can be found easily either online or in your phone and services book.

It is more than likely you will find one that is close to your home, so you don’t need to worry about having to reimburse them for travelling the extra distance.

How often?

A commonly asked question is how often do you need to have your carpets cleaned? The answer is not simple; it varies from household to household.

Those that have pets and children, or wear their shoes in the house, are likely to need it more often than those who don’t.

The average number of times people have their carpets cleaned is twice in a year – once in the summer and again in the winter.

It’s amazing how much dirt and grime it can bring up, and it can even help to remove germs and bacteria from the fibres in your carpet.

If you are quick to clean up any spillages, you are less likely to need carpet cleaning more frequently as well due to a lack of stains (or at least noticeable ones).

If you have nylon carpets in your home, then they will need to be cleaned even more frequently. This is because they contain a hydrogen molecule, the key factor of their resilience.

Regular cleaning means that it becomes rejuvenated and can even enhance its performance. So foot traffic over your nylon carpet is no longer an issue.

Carpet Cleaning Methods

If you decide to clean your carpets yourself, then the main method used would be to spot clean any stains using either home solutions (such as baking soda and vinegar), or chemical ones from the supermarket.

Following this, you can hire a carpet cleaner for use around your home. This should result in your carpet being pristine if used correctly, which is excellent.

Professional carpet cleaners also have superb methods, many of which are more advanced than the ones you find online or at the hardware store.

However, we will explore this further as we look at which carpet cleaning method is the best one for you to use.


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Professional vs. DIY

Now that the basics have been covered, we can take a detailed look at which method is the best one to use. By examining some of the key factors for both professional and DIY carpet cleaning, we can help you decide which one you should use for your carpets.

The Cost and Overall Quality

If you decide to take the DIY route, then hiring your own carpet cleaner from a hardware store is, on average, going to cost you around £100. Some places may charge more or less; it depends on where you go and the types of carpet cleaning machine available.

If you follow the instructions and complete the process correctly, you will end up with pristine carpets that look fantastic and a result that really is excellent quality. However, if you make a mistake or do something incorrectly, it could end up somewhat disastrous.

The professional carpet cleaning route can be the most beneficial route to take because you know that you are generally going to get excellent quality from them regardless – especially if you go with a reputable company.

They do tend to cost more than if you did it yourself, but it is not usually by much.

On average, you can expect to pay around £150 for a full carpet cleaning session in your home (which includes all carpets). Of course, some companies will charge more than others and some less.

It can also depend on the size of your home and the amount of carpet that needs to be cleaned. So while the professionals often cost extra, you are generally guaranteed fantastic quality – which is worth the extra.

Read Here - 5 Important Reasons to Deep Clean your Carpet

Time and Effort

Cleaning carpets take two things, time and effort. If you have the extra time to spare, then hiring a carpet cleaner for yourself could be a great idea.

It can take several hours to get through your home (size of the house and amount of carpet depending) so it is a task that requires the whole day to be set aside. 

On top of this, it can take a lot of effort to complete. Many of the machines are heavy to operate, as well as a little complex.

The vast majority of people who undertake DIY carpet cleaning complain of back pains and severe neck pains once they have finished the task.

If you are used to work that takes place in similar positions to carpet cleaning, you may not notice. However, if this is not the case, then it is best to be prepared to feel sore once the task is complete and stiff the morning after.

Generally, a professional cleaning company will be faster than you doing it yourself. They are trained to clean your carpets quickly and efficiently, saving you time and effort.

Plus, because they are used to handling the equipment and know techniques to prevent painful joints, they are unlikely to suffer the next morning after cleaning your carpets.

A job that would have taken you the whole day is likely to take the professionals half the time.

Plus, it means that you can get on with other important tasks that need your attention. It’s a much more efficient route to take if you led a busy life and are pressed for time.

Knowledge and Experience

The main thing that a professional carpet cleaner has above doing it yourself is better knowledge and experience.

The professionals have been trained to operate the machinery and learn the best methods for a deep clean that offers the best results.

Plus, the experience they have gained over time and working with multiple clients and carpet types means that they have gained a great deal of experience and know how to deal with most situations.

This also means that they can tackle the vast majority of stain types effectively and without causing damage to your carpet.

However, if any damage is caused then it is on them instead of you. They will rectify the situation for you, whereas if you made a mistake and caused damage, it would be you paying for repairs – which has the potential to be very expensive.

So hiring a professional can help you to cover all your bases and could end up saving you a lot of money.

Type of Equipment

If you take the DIY route, you can purchase the portable carpet cleaner, but you can also use steam cleaning to bring up the dirt from the base of your carpet. This is a very popular method that tends to generate excellent results.

Of course, when you are doing it yourself you can only really use the steam cleaners you buy in the supermarket or home shops. These are not always as effective.

Professional carpet cleaning companies have the use of industrial steam cleaners that are actually mounted on a van with the hose being placed in the house via the front door or a window – whichever is closer and easier.

This bulky equipment does an incredible job and works efficiently to remove dirt and bacteria from your flooring.

The professionals can also use chemical cleaning, which is also known as encapsulation. The chemicals are poured onto the carpet and surround the offending stain.

Slowly, they soak the stain up and as they dry they turn into crystals. When the process is complete, and the crystals are fully formed, they simply need to be vacuumed up, and the stain will be gone.

It is a heavy duty process that is not available to those who do it themselves.

You Know What You’re Getting

When you go to hire a carpet cleaner for your own use, you don’t always know what you’re getting.

The machine may not have been cleaned, it could be faulty, or you might end up struggling to understand how to use it. After all, these machines are not always straightforward to operate.

When you hire a professional they generally come from a reputable organisation, and you know exactly what you are getting – your carpet cleaned in good time and without disruption.

It gives you peace of mind and saves you from unwanted frustration and potential struggles.

When to Use the Professionals

Sometimes it can be difficult to know when you should use the professionals. After all, not everyone is a carpet expert, and it can be hard to tell.

If you have small stains on your carpet, it is very possible that you can clean them up yourself using a home remedy or a solution bought from the supermarket.

However, there are times when your carpet may suffer from heavier soiling or even start to collect odours.

These can be very unpleasant, and it is more often than not the case that DIY carpet cleaning will not be able to resolve the issue. It is in cases like this that the professionals should be called out.

With better tools for the job, they can remove just about any stain and odour from your carpets, leaving them looking just about brand new. If in doubt, always go to the professionals.

Professional Carpet Cleaning Statistics and Facts

Here are a few important statistics and facts about professional carpet cleaning that might give you better insight into the profession and the benefits of using them.

  • Since 2004, the specialist carpet cleaning market has increased by a massive 150%, showing the demand for professional services
  • People who used both professional carpet cleaners and ones they hired for their own use were on average 50% happier with the results from the professionals
  • Professional machines are up to 10 x more powerful than portable cleaners.
  • Drying time is on average 75% less when cleaned
  • Professionals use advanced cleaning solutions not generally available to consumers and are not harmful to carpets, they will kill 99% of bacteria’s, allergens and moulds.
  • Professionals will clean your carpets on average 85% quicker than DIY Cleaned carpets
  • 30 Mins – The average time a professional cleans one room
  • Professionals are generally happy to move furniture for you and are insured against any damages.
  • Professional companies that are part of associations such as NCCA, TACCA are fully accountable to you and the organisation
  • Professionally cleaned carpets will not re-soil as quickly as DIY cleaned carpets

These can be very unpleasant, and it is more often than not the case that DIY carpet cleaning will not be able to resolve the issue. It is in cases like this that the professionals should be called out.

With better tools for the job, they can remove just about any stain and odour from your carpets, leaving them looking just about brand new. If in doubt, always go to the professionals.


Hiring a carpet cleaner and doing it yourself can be the cheaper option, and sometimes it could end up working better for you – especially if you only have small stains to clean up.

However, while the professionals do cost a little more, they can produce better results in a shorter period of time. If your carpet is suffering from heavy soiling, then the professionals are the only ones who will be able to return it to a cleaner state.

They have better, and more industrial, cleaning supplies as well as more experience and training with nearly every type of stain.

If you are looking to save yourself time, effort, and any potential to damage your carpet, then the professionals are the best option for you. They are well worth the extra expense.

Last Updated on February 27, 2021 by Gemma Tyler

  • Thank you for the article. One option for the DIY is to buy some of the recent vacuums for shampooing. This will enable you continually maintain your carpet all year round and you will not have to allow a build up of dirt or bacteria. The downside of this option is the initial cleaning. The cost would also have been but with instalment payment options the cost of 2 professional cleaning will cover all equipment required. I recently did this and it was amazing. Very interesting too.

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