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How Well Does the Rug Doctor Carpet Steam Cleaner Clean?

Updated on July 31, 2018
MatthewLeo1701 profile image

Matt has been writing for over 30 years. He is a published independent author of zombie apocalypse fiction and has written over 200 poems.

A Rug Doctor Wide Track Steam Cleaner
A Rug Doctor Wide Track Steam Cleaner | Source

The Rug Doctor Meets Its Most Desperate Patient

They are hard to miss, those big, bulky red boxes with handles and wheels. I found the one that I hired from my local Food Lion for $26.00 to rent. I opted for the broader, more massive machine as it boasted of faster cleaning time. Was my money well spent? Well, for the rental of the device I suppose that $26.00 is not too bad. However, it is in the chemicals that reach deep down into your pocket. Since I own two large puppies, I choose to use the Pet Formula Carpet Cleaner, the Urine Remover, and Carpet Pre-treater. All together my bill for the rental and chemicals came out to be $71. Well since, I only have twenty-four hours before I had to return it; I had best get to work.

Preparing to Use the Machine

First, I did a quick vacuum to remove all of the bits of paper my puppies had strewn across the floor and then began the tedious tasks of moving all of my furniture out of the way. I went through the whole bottle of pre-treater in a matter of minutes, my wrist finally giving out just as the nozzle spat its last bit out onto the floor. That bottle, folks, was $10.00. I made my first batch of hot water and mixed roughly three to four capfuls of the cleaner. Indeed, a little goes a long way; the bottle was 2X concentrated.


How Bad My Carpet Was

At first glance, my carpet was unsalvageable. It had not been cleaned in so long, that even the stains had stains. The discolored areas see to be each screaming at one another, a visual war for the eyes. Their mottled colors demanded something to be done to un-stain the layers so that they could go on about their business being stains. Yes, it was that bad. I assure you that my carpet was in the worst possible shape for testing this equipment. I was hopeful, yet skeptical that my blue carpet would see any of its original untainted beauty ever again. Short of dumping in a truckload of dirt and planted a garden in my living room, there was not much more I could have done to this poor abused section of textile. It indeed was abused, and thankfully there is not some department of our government investigating such abuses. I would have been locked up faster than the "Man in the Iron Mask."

First Passes

I switch the machine on and started to make my first passes. Mind you there were spots, well, whole areas of the carpet that had all kinds of nonsense mucking it up. Tea spills, wine spills, doggy business, ground up crackers, spilled soup, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a vast area of things that just shouldn’t be fed to a carpet. There was no nap popped up at all in the various parts of the floor. For those who do not know, a "nap" is the part of the carpet that you can see on top, the happy little threads that stick out, that should, for the most part, stick straight up. Well, most of my naps were smashed flat, caught in place by the various dropsies of my dogs and children. Yes, it was a nap graveyard.

Spot Cleaning was a Challenge

After concentrating on one spot, I realized that the instructions for the machine were a bit off, at least to see any good results for my carpet cleaning adventure. It stated that I needed to pull the device backward at a speed of roughly one foot-per-second. Neh-eh. I dragged that machine back very slowly, allowing the engine to get a chance to soak the nap and let its brushes scrub it and break it loose. I had to spend roughly 5 hours on my carpet to get it back up to par. That is including breaks, dear readers. I don’t think I have the stamina to run The Rug Doctor for that long straight. I am sure it was the combination of the Pretreater, the Pet Formula, and the patience I employed that led to the success that I enjoyed today. I have not seen this carpet look this great in years. However, it does not do an excellent job of removing gum at all; you will have to either cut it out or use a fork to break it loose from the carpet.


Using it is a Real Workout

Take time to take some breaks while cleaning with this machine. Do not let it fool you. It is a heavy machine, especially when loaded with water and chemical. It will do a number on your wrists, arms and back if you are at it for too long. I took my time with it trying to conserve and concentrate my efforts, and I still ended up very sore afterward.

I recommend dumping the dirty water into your bathtub instead of your kitchen sink. My water had the consistency of thick mud the first few hours I was at it, and you do not want it over-spilling over on to your counters.

In Conclusion

All and all, it was an incredible machine. I used it unforgivingly for five hours, and it kept humming along like a champ. It has a beast load of suction power and lends well to floors that have heavy traffic. Believe me when I say that you can do worse by choosing this machine to do your dirty work. You can get it as a rental, or even purchase one from The Rug Doctor Company. If I am not mistaken, they price them somewhere around $700. If you choose this route, I recommend taking frequent breaks and plan for cleaning for a couple of days off from your regular job in a row. this method is quite the workout.


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      8 years ago

      I know the feeling love the way you tell the events that took place. Best of luck in keeping it clean at least no holidays are in the forcast. Oops sorry the Easter bunny is coming .Well you can keep him out side. lol


    • profile image

      Shelle (Matt's wife) 

      8 years ago

      The Hoover that we had been using just lost its ability to really clean the carpet. We cleaned the carpet with the Hoover before Christmas, yet it did look horrible. Down right disgusting! The lack of nap could be because this carpet is 15 years old and only made to last 10 years. It isn't the best in the world.

      I think maybe you should have also given a little background info on just how many people track through here on a daily basis. Our oldest son has a lot of friends and he along with them are constantly in and out. Our nephew is here a great deal as well. The carpet looks a million times better. Many of you know that carpet cleaning every room the correct way is a time consuming process, but the Rug Doctor makes the work go so much faster and cuts the drying time too.


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