This post was sponsored by Stanley Steemer. The thoughts and opinions below are my own.
I am embarrassed enough about what I am about to tell you that I almost didn’t agree to partner up and write this post. It’s a mom confession but not one of those safe ones where you know that everyone has been there at least once (yoga pants at Target, kids’ sandwich crusts for lunch because it’s not worth cooking something extra for yourself). This is one of those confessions that deserves major judgment. That being said, I’m writing this post because I put off this task forever thinking it would be too hard, too expensive, and not worth it because my kids are too messy and it turns out I was wrong.
Guys, we got our carpets cleaned.
I am in my thirties and I have never ever hired carpet cleaners before. I’ve only lived in rentals and, outside of flood-type emergencies, I’ve never lived anywhere long enough to warrant cleaning the carpet. Most places clean the carpets between tenants and I’ve only ever lived in apartments for two years or less, but we’ve been renting our little house for more than five years now and this is the first time we’ve arranged to get the carpets cleaned.
I know. Cone of shame.
Being honest, the thought of getting the carpets cleaned was always balanced against the fact that our kids are mess monsters and ultimately it never felt like it would be worth it. They spill EVERYTHING. It’s not even worth buying juice and keeping it in the fridge because it all ends up on the carpet anyway. Why would we bother to clean the carpet in our rental when our kids are little and disgusting and will just mess it up? Plus, the house is small and Eva has asthma and the thought of her breathing in a bunch of chemicals made me nervous. And it’s a rental…it’s not even our carpet!
All fine and logical until you factor in 5+ years of dirt and the fact that I had taken to either apologizing profusely when someone came over for a playdate or simply skipping playdates in general with new friends because our carpet was awful. Our dining room in particular was beyond embarrassing because it’s the central hub of the house, connecting all the other rooms, and there was this horrible black-ish worn out intersection of dirt thanks to all the foot traffic.
So, when Stanley Steemer offered to partner up and clean our carpets in exchange for working on this post, I decided it was a sign what with the new baby and all of the nesting, etc. What really won me over was the fact that Stanley Steemer is certified asthma & allergy friendlyTM, which means that they’ve been proven to remove 94% of carpet dust, pollen, and dander that can cause asthma flare ups. I had been worried that the cleaning process itself would actually worsen Eva’s asthma temporarily so we didn’t get the carpets cleaned even after we got rid of the cats, but it turns out that the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America recommends that carpets be cleaned professionally 3 to 4 times a year. With all the pollen changes that happen in Autumn, this is always Eva’s toughest season so it feels good to have a head start on it.
I was still stressed about the cleaning process, particularly because we have a small and crowded house and I’m too pregnant to move stuff around too much, so I wasn’t sure how all of that would work. It ultimately was much easier than I thought because they moved the furniture that they could and, once the carpet was clean, they put the furniture back with protective pads and sheets of plastic under it so I didn’t have to have a bunch of furniture stacked in the kitchen waiting to go out on the clean carpet.
It was also faster than I thought it would be – fast enough that I had them do our loveseat and a large area rug that I got a few years back. Funny story about the rug: a friend of mine gave it to me after she used it as the base of her photo booth during a blog conferences and she told me I probably needed to have it cleaned because it had three days of foot traffic on it. I told her I would but of course that never happened, especially after the kids started to spill all over it, so this lovely rug has just been so sad living with us. It felt good to finally get that taken care of and see the difference once it was clean!
I was impressed by the little details that I hadn’t thought about, including safety bumpers on the doors and furniture and little signs reminding us to step carefully onto our tiled surfaces while the carpet was still damp because it was a slipping hazard.
The carpet also dried faster than I thought it would and we were fine walking around on it by the evening. We kept the windows open to dry it but we don’t really have any fans to set out so I wondered if all that humidity would stay trapped but it wasn’t an issue.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect because we don’t do carpet cleaning but I was impressed by how much they were able to get out and the difference it made right away. I thought the dining room in particular might be a lost cause because the combination of food staining and foot traffic had made such a mess but it all came out nicely. You can still see a pattern of wear in the areas where we walk all the time but it’s a huge improvement.
So maybe this is a grown-up responsibility that everyone mastered by the time they turned twenty but if you’re putting off getting your carpets cleaned because you rent or because you have small children or because it’s all just too much, it was really not the ordeal I thought it was going to be and I’m so much happier with the house in general now that it’s done. It’s also inspired us (including the kids!) to keep the house a little cleaner and it made us get started on the baby’s part of our bedroom because the carpet is now so fresh and clean. Plus, Stanley Steemer has a bunch of tips and how-to videos about care and cleaning up carpet stains in between professional cleanings.
The biggest perk, though, is the asthma thing. Eva had absolutely no reaction to anything that happened during the cleaning and if it turns out that she has an easier fall/winter season because all of that gunk came out of our carpets, I am going to be absolutely thrilled. Those invisible triggers are the worst!
If you’re interested, you can schedule a cleaning online complete with an estimate for how much it will cost so you don’t end up being surprised once your house is all clean. There’s also a call center that’s open 24/7 if you have any questions.