Rug Doctor: Is It Worth The Hire Fee?

A couple of friends were raving on about the amazing results they achieved when using a Rug Doctor Carpet washer. Telling me how they were disgusted by the black water they emptied from the tank then giddy by the super clean carpets they were left with, I wanted a piece of that action!

rug doctor reviewMy 2 year old is like any other, a bit messy with his food, has the occasional toilet accident and always runs around in his dirty shoes. This makes for a filthy carpet despite lots of vacuum hours .

My thoughts:

- I decided to hire my Rug Doctor from my local Homebase but there were lots of other nearby options which was a nice surprise. Good to know they are easy to track down!

- It cost me £22.99 to hire the machine, plus £15.49 for the cleaning solution. They state you cant use your own solution in the machines so you are kinda stuffed there.  Total of £38.48.   You can also hire a bigger machine but this ‘small’ one was all I needed.

- The manual has the words ‘It’s So Easy’ plastered all over, which always annoys me as I’d prefer to be the judge.  I’ll let them off though as they are right, it’s super easy to set up and get going!

- As my machine was given to me with a totally random attachment, I was immediately SOAKED as it spat water and cleaning solution all over me and my walls!  Great start. Once I’d removed this and secured it, I was flying.

- I targeted specific stains and it didn’t fully remove any of them completely despite me going over them repeatedly and giving them a good scrub with the upholstery attachment.  They were faded though. (I know there are stain removing treatments also available to buy but I chose not to purchase these in the hope the cleaning solution would work).

-  My carpet took a good few hours to dry out. I started cleaning it in the afternoon and the following morning it was fully dry.

- As it was drying out, it didn’t have the most pleasant smell (think wet dog) but this vanished as it became dry.

- It really did refresh my carpet and it does look brighter and cleaner with the pile looking fuller, which makes me happy.


 Depending on the size of the rooms you are cleaning, this machine can work out to be good value for money. Bear in mind the cost of cleaning solution when factoring this in though. It does what it claims and cleans and refreshes your carpets but I found it let me down on targeting stains.

Have you used a Rug Doctor before? What was your experience?



  1. We used rug doctor when I moved into my new flat as the previous tenant left the carpets in a disgusting way. We hired it from Morrisons and they had a weekend offer on and it was only 40 pounds from Friday night to Monday morning.

    So I think that was a really good offer. It made my carpets really clean except for one where there is a massive stain in the middle but I don’t think even bleach would get it out!

    I think it is well worth the money if you just want to refresh the carpets and not for complete stain removal. Also look out for offers like I did!

  2. Hey Kathryn, sounds like you managed to get a great offer. Shame I needed to book mine at the time I did or I would have held off! X

  3. I used them regularly as we had a flat we let, plus a large family home, plus an aged stepmother in a 2 bedroom flat to clean for. For stains you do need to apply something extra – maybe just a spray on spot cleaner like 2001 that you ahve anyway. That way you’re notputting anything they don’t supply into their machine!
    I used to try and get it on special 2 day deals, but would end up totally shattered – as muchthrough all the furniture moving that had to be done as the cleaning. The economics of longer hirings didn’t appeal too much, although you may find that your local hardware or tool hire shop altho more expensive initially, are open to deals for longer hirings – because normally no-one asks them. I kept trying to find a friend with a domestic carpet cleaner I could try. Eventually my sister in law had one and I tried it – a Bissell entry level spec. Did the job but didn’t suck as dry as the Rug Doctor. However on the plus side, I could pace myself – I didn’t have to clean 3 properties to make it ‘worth it’. Decided to get my own, but went for mid spec one, trusting that it would dry better. Have had a Vax midlevel one for 4 years or so and am very pleased. I didn’t go ‘top of the range’ becaus ethey are heavier as wll as more expensive (and I’m in my 70′s so things now have to be ‘easy’. ). There are ALAWYS deals for these things, and even if there isn’t a promotion near you look online. Also check the Vax site – they may have returns, refurbs, etc available. If you can wait a while whilst looking for cheapest look at Ebay etc. If you can find one locally you’ll be able to pick it up and there will be fewer bidders. Also familiarise yourself with espares and manufacturers site so that if you see one that is new (ish) but has something missing, you can find out what that opart costs and so you know if it is worth getting it. (I did that with my vac – got an ex John Lewis display model, minus its hose – bought hose and machine separately and saved myself £200). If you buy a mid level one you may have a 6 year guarantee. That’s invalidated by not using manufacturer’s cleaning fluid. Buy it online form cheapest source! My family and their friends use my machine, so I always make sure it goes out with the fluid. I tell them it costs £15 or so and suggest buy me a bottle of something when they bring it back. That way I hope I’m not invalidating the guarantee and I get something to offer guests/ have for Christmas/ use as raffle prize, etc. In summary – if you want flexibility, can manage with it drying more slowly, have the storage space, a domestic one can be good – but it took me nearly 30 years to get around to changing!

  4. Hmm, I wonder how it compares to a Vax, for example – where you buy the cleaner outright rather than hire it for a weekend… assuming the Vax does as good a job of washing the carpet, then it would probably work out as better value long-term, depending on how frequently you would want or need to wash your carpets…

  5. Hi Ruth, it all depends how often you would use it I guess. I’m tempted to purchase a Vax or similar as my son is making for a messy carpet situation! :)

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