What about the Rug Doctor?

Posted on Friday, September 19, 2014

This is one of the most common questions we get asked - "Should I spend $25 on renting a Rug Doctor or spend hundreds on hiring a professional?".  Since I am the professional, I had to ask the same question before investing over $80,000 in carpet cleaning equipment. The Rug Doctor has it's place in the cleaning world or they would not be around.

First, let me say if you are a renter and are considering using a Rug Doctor for your move out, BE SURE to check your lease agreement as most landlords REQUIRE you hire a professional and provide the receipt as proof.  This is very important because many tenants ignore this, spend time and money on a rental machine and then the landlord hires us anyways at your expense.  

Rather than simply talk bad about the competition, I think presenting some facts will help you decide which is right for you.

1)  With tax, required cleaning products, etc., the actual cost of renting the Rug Doctor is usually closer to $50 than $25.  That is also for a 1-day rental, so if you end of keeping it a second day, the cost could be over $75.  Our standard charge for cleaning three rooms and a hallway is $110 so the actual difference is not as much as it seems.

2)  The equipment specs are on average 10x more powerful with our equipment when compared to a Rug Doctor.  PSI, or the pressure the water/cleaning products are applied to your carpet is 28 vs 450.  The temperature of the water, which is one of the most important when it comes to cleaning/sanitizing, is whatever comes out of your kitchen faucet (usually 125°) vs a consistent 235°.  There are a lot of other important technical advantages that I will not bore you with.

3)  A carpet that stays clean longer is obviously important.  Rug Doctors do not have a way to rinse out the cleaning products that are applied to the carpet other than the vacuum.  This leaves detergent residue in the carpet and these detergents are dirt magnets by design.  Another, often overlooked problem, is the cleaning products sold by Rug Doctor have a pH of over 10.  Leaving your carpet in this high-alkaline state is not only bad for the fibers but also aids in the re-soiling problem.  Our cleaning products are usually also in the range of 10 pH, but the final step in our process is to flush 235° degree water through the carpet with an additive that reduces the pH back down to 7, or neutral.

4)  Your time is another consideration.  Not only do have to go to a store to pick up and drop off your Rug Doctor, but more often than not, you have to clean the unit before AND after you use it.  These are all in addition to the actual cleaning process.  For most people, the entire rental and cleaning process takes 6-8 hours.  

5)  While using a Rug Doctor does not usually void your manufacturer's carpet warranty, it does nothing to maintain it.  The following statement is directly from Stainmaster's web site.  Frequency of cleaning should be determined based on household conditions. We recommend a professional cleaning at least every 12 months. (Professional steam cleaning/ hot water extraction at least every 18 months is required to maintain your warranty).  Similar statements are in almost every manufacturer's warranty.

6)  Carpet cleaning as a business has low barriers to entry - you can rent a machine for $25 and technically be in the industry.  However, just like every other industry, the end result can vary significantly.  Maximum Carpet & Restoration has made signficant investments in both time and money for equipment and training.  We sincerely believe there is a difference and encourage you to contact us today to discuss your particular needs.

Here is some additional information from Shaw, one of the largest carpet manufacturers in the world


Thanks for reading and hopefully you learned a few things.