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At my last house, a rental, I was much more attuned to decorating than to common sense. So I got a very pale Berber that looked fabulous and stayed reasonably clean considering my cats, my son and 400 of his closest and dearest friends were always tromping through, tromping through, and tromping through. He was a very popular boy. You get the picture.
I did what I could; I reminded them, I glared at them, I shooed them. I fell just short of screaming at them. Well, maybe once or twice I did scream at them.
But after a time the carpet, my lovely new carpet, my very first carpet, began to look mighty shabby. So I hired a professional carpet cleaner who arrived at the appointed time with all kinds of equipment, made the carpet wet, took my money and left.
I wanted to be thrilled. I wanted to be satisfied. I wanted to be a woman who had not just wasted her very hard-earned money.
The short of it (too late) is that soon enough the carpet again needed cleaning and I sure wasn't going to call in the professionals -- at least not until I'd had a whack at it myself. I went to the grocery store and rented a Rug Doctor.
It is an awesome machine. It spits the water out of one reservoir and sucks it up into another one, so that you aren't reusing filthy dirty water. When the shampoo reservoir is empty, you dump out the dirty water and refill the clean reservoir. I have never seen such a dirty carpet come so clean. I was delighted, enchanted and amazed, especially at the cost. It was $20 for the Rug Doctor and about $12 for the shampoos. I used regular shampoo and a pet-odor additive. I think I also got an anti-foamer, which I didn't need.
The last time I rented this baby I shampooed the carpet as usual, then I ran the Rug Doctor with clear water. Next I ran it a third time with vinegar added to the clear water. It's lousy carpet, but by golly, it's clean. They don't suggest this kind of extra nonsense, but my carpet was deeply deplorable.
The cool thing about the Rug Doctor is that it is very easy to operate, and if you are unsure or technically challenged, there is an 800 number printed right on the machine that you can call for assistance; I think 24 hours, though I might be mistaken.
I hope I get an endorsement check from those nice Rug Doctor people. I really like it and will never hire professionals again. Also, when I sold carpets we had a product, Capture, a dry cleaner that does an excellent job on nasty stuff like ink. But for an overall clean, rent a Rug Doctor. You'll be glad you did.