Carpet Cleaning – and a Peek into our Living Room!

posted by Andrea | 08/3/2011


I’m usually more of a do-it-yourself kind of person…and I rarely back down from a challenge. However, when it comes to carpet cleaning, I’m more than willing to pay a professional!

I think the main reason I’m willing to pay for regular carpet cleanings is because it’s dirt and dust that I can’t see, so I feel like it’s impossible to really know if I’m getting it clean or not. Plus, professional equipment is way more powerful than anything I can rent or buy, and it takes them a fraction of the time it would take me because they do it every day!

Freshly cleaned carpets are one of my favorite things!

And since our carpets have seen some MAJOR abuse over the past 6 months {see picture below} and since we ran out of time to put hardwood in the living room {there’s always next summer!} we did not hesitate to schedule a professional carpet cleaner now that our renovations are nearly complete.


So yesterday, we had the carpet in our living room and stairway PROFESSIONALLY cleaned — and I am beyond thrilled with the results!

Since a picture of our carpet really isn’t that exciting, here’s a {poorly lit} picture of our “new” living room and the very clean carpet!! We JUST got our furniture in last night 🙂

Who We Hired:

Personally, I feel more comfortable hiring a small-business person who does the cleaning himself over a large chain company. So we hired Chip Garber of TLC cleaning {my parent’s long-time neighbor} and he did an amazing job — no he doesn’t know I’m writing this!

He has cleaned my parent’s carpet and upholstery for years now, and has been in business for over 32 years, so he definitely knows what he’s doing. His prices are great, and he had our carpets looking spotless within 45 minutes!

Ok, here’s one more picture {again, very poorly lit}… and you can even get a little sneak-peak at our gorgeous wood floors in the office area {more on those later!}

Now I just need some tables, lamps, pillows, blankets, a bookshelf, TV cabinet, a TV, a rug, and wall accessories — piece of cake!

Anyway, back to the carpet cleaning!

Since there seems to be an overwhelming amount of information available about carpet cleaning, I thought I would share some information from Chip, and some of the carpet companies I visited.

1. One of the easiest carpets to clean is a Nylon.

We ordered new carpet for a den area upstairs and I asked Chip what he would recommend. He said a “nylon twist” is great for wear and tear. So since that area will eventually be the kid’s play area, we went with a nylon twist!

Also, a nylon carpet will supposedly look brand new every time you get it professionally cleaned — where a polyester {which is a bit cheaper} will eventually “break down” and get more matted over time. It won’t ever look “brand new” again.

2. Clean your carpets when the windows can be open.

I’ve always been told that it’s a good idea to keep the windows open for a bit whenever you get your carpets clean — and I think the reasoning behind that is to allow any allergens or dust mites that get stirred up to have a place to go.  If your house is shut tight, all of that air-born junk will stay in your house and you’ll breath it in.

So even though you might really want to get your carpets cleaned before the holidays, it might actually be better to do it during warmer months {at least for those of us in the northern states!}

3. Declutter before you get your carpets cleaned.

Obviously, the carpet cleaner will eventually have to move or shift everything in the room he needs to clean {unless you are like us and didn’t have anything in that room} so the more stuff you can get out of the room, the better.

Use this as one more reason/incentive to declutter your home!

4. Don’t move furniture back to soon.

Even though a professional carpet cleaner will suck almost 99% of the water out of your carpet, it will still be damp for a while.

The problem with moving furniture back too quickly is that the damp carpet could ruin wooden furniture, and the stain from wooden furniture could “seep” into the damp carpet and cause it to be discolored.

In our case, we had just purchased our furniture so we simply waited until evening to move it into our house {we’ve been without furniture for 7 months — what’s one more day!}

However, if you need to move your furniture back right away, then ask your carpet cleaner for styrofoam or plastic pads to put under the legs of couches, chairs etc. The styrofoam won’t absorb any wetness and will protect your carpet and your furniture.

5. Get your upholstered furniture cleaned too.

If you already have a carpet cleaner coming, you should think about getting your upholstery cleaned at the same time. It’s not too expensive and will make your couches and chairs look and smell new again!

6. Spot clean in between professional cleanings.

Just like you wouldn’t expect a year-old stain to come out in the laundry, you probably can’t expect a year-old stain to magically come out of your carpet either! So even though I think it’s a good idea to get your carpets professionally cleaned every year {especially in high traffic areas} I would highly suggest doing some spot cleaning on your own.

Because I love using vinegar I’ve always just used a small spray bottle filled with 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water to spot clean carpets; however, I recently learned that mixing a little dish soap with water works really well too — watch this video for more information. {you have to watch an advertisement first}

So how do you clean your carpets?

Do you get them professionally cleaned? How often?

Do you rent or own a carpet cleaner?

Do you simply rely on heavy spot cleaning throughout the year?

Do you just live with dirty carpets? 🙂


Filed under: LifeCleaning

Leave a comment


  1. Marty


    I am split in between getting a bigger coffee table and having several little side tables
    for lamps etc. Suggestions? Something like this – Marty?


  2. Allen David


    We would love to clean our own carpets but where is the time? Vacuum cleaners do an okay job but it is important to clean a carpet thoroughly because of its size and length. The pad under the carpet needs to be cleaned as well to maintain its look and feel. Carpet cleaning providers are your best bet.


  3. amelia


    I bought a Hoover carpet shampooer (if that’s a word Ha!). I had rented the ones at the store because paying someone to clean them was so expensive, but I didn’t like doing that because no matter where you rented it, it always had someone else’s dirt, etc. left behind in it. So now I can shampoo them whenever I want, I always have a clean shampoo canister, and if we spill something I can shampoo it out right away. I love it!


  4. sports hall maintenance


    we are putting down the board like laminate wood flooring that snaps together & have been told it is easy to do . Does anyone know how to do it? We could use your help..


  5. MelissaPete


    I think leaving your windows opens has to do with drying the carpet and pad also. We’ve attempted cleaning when we can’t leave windows open do to cool air, or when it’s just not warm enough. I think our carpet pad has gotten mildew set in and it won’t come out. The last time we cleaned, it smelled for days. 🙁


  6. JoDi


    Carpets look great, love the furniture, but why oh why, do bloggers almost always spell “peek” wrong??? Seriously, I don’t nitpick spelling and grammar on blogs, but this one is getting to be an epidemic in blogland! 😉


  7. Faith @ Artistic31Mama


    I love your living room!! 🙂 I have to agree with you that I also LOVE clean carpets!! It’s great to walk around in your bare feet and not have them get dirty from your carpet. We have an older home that is being renovated and remodeled over the course of our seven years of marriage. We have a large family room downstairs that is two rooms but all open. The one room (our billards room) has been remodeled, but not the living room. We have to wait to get new carpeting until our living room is remodeled to get accurate measurements for the carpet because when we take all the plaster, wooden slats, etc out from behind the paneling it adds about 3″ to the room on all sides. Since my husband works full time AND operates his own computer business it’s been a LONG wait due to the fact that he only has weekends to work on the house and other more crucial projects always seem to come up. It’s on our to-do list for next year!! 🙂 Then we will finally have nice flooring downstairs!! Until then, with four kids, a cat, a dog, and all the remodeling stains (black soot etc) even with carpeting cleaning I’m still stuck with living with dirty carpets for now. Just recently I ripped up the carpeting on our stairs because I couldn’t take all the stains from my husband tracking dirt in while working on the house. 🙂 I can’t wait until my carpets are clean like yours!!! I still rent carpet cleaners once or twice a year though (or on an as needed basis if something majorly messy happens).


  8. Heather @ Work At Home Market


    We need to have our cleaned, but we were going to try and do it ourselves. I guess I need to figure out if it will really save us money in the long run and be worth it.

    I love your couches! Gorgeous!


    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Heather — it actually only cost us $89 to get the entire living room and staircase cleaned… and that was Chip’s normal price {no discounts}. I would consider that to be a pretty reasonable price, especially since the rentals can be $50 and then you still have to do all the work yourself!

    Obviously, different companies charge different rates, but you should at least check into getting it professionally cleaned 🙂


  9. jane


    I don’t know. I recently moved into a house that had professionally cleaned carpet and there were some stains that supposedly just wouldn’t come out. I got them out with my own steam vac and pretty easily at that. I’ve also been in rental homes with permanent black stains all around the baseboards and been told that they were caused by the professional cleaning pushing the dirt to the edges. That having been said, though I’ve had my carpets cleaned professionally plenty of times, I don’t know that I’ve ever used a small business/individual to clean my carpets. They may indeed do a better job. For now, I prefer to do my own and having a steam vac is great for quick clean ups when there is a pet accident.


  10. Jessica


    I am loving that IKEA furniture!!


  11. Cassie


    Your living room looks great! i love it! =D