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Are Hired Rug Doctors Any Good?

Updated: Nov 21, 2023

rug doctor machine for hire

Rug doctor carpet cleaners are everywhere these days. They can be rented out in many places including supermarkets and DIY stores.

These carpet cleaners claim to be a great DIY option for cleaning your carpets at home yourself.

It seems like a great idea at first, especially if you've been quoted by a carpet cleaning company and the cost seems a lot higher than renting out a rug doctor and doing it yourself.

In this blog post, we will explore the question of whether or not rug doctors are any good and if it's worth trying out cleaning a carpet yourself with one.

Rug Doctors: Are They Worth Renting?

We really don't think so and it's not just our biased opinion. Rug doctors end up becoming a very expensive and difficult way to clean your carpets. They don't have the same features as a professional carpet cleaner and won't clean your carpets deeply.

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The cost of a rug doctor

At first, hiring a rug doctor sounds pretty cost-efficient, until you get into actually ordering it that is. The machine itself will cost you £29.99 to rent. Not bad at all, until you start adding up everything else you need to go along with it.

Rug doctor specify that you should only use their own cleaning chemicals which aren't as good as a professionals but are just as expensive. a 2 liter carpet detergent will cost £17, if you need an enzyme cleaner for odors this will set you back £14 just for 1 liter.

rug doctor detergent mandatory

Unless you want your carpets to stay wet for over 24 hours, rug doctor also hire out a floor drier which will set you back another £24.99

If you want the machine delivered to you, this will cost an extra £15. The alternative is going to a local supermarket or diy store which may or may not have the machine in stock and then bring it to your home yourself.

Once you add all of these extras together, you're looking at spending at least £90. By contrast, we charge £130 for a full 3 bed home, and we do the job with far superior equipment.

Can You Clean Properly With A Rug Doctor?

Rug doctors are too weak to clean your carpets deeply. At best, it will give your fibers a superficial surface clean. All you need to do is look at the independent reviews of the rug doctor to see how many customers ended up paying and were unhappy with the results.

bad reputation rug doctor

As we can see here, the reviews are very hit and miss. Considering Rug doctor are almost as expensive as hiring a professional to come and clean your carpets, you would expect them at least to be hiring out some pretty awesome equipment.

Rug Doctor Specifications Compared To Professional Carpet Cleaner

As a simple test of the rug doctor, let's compare it's specifications to a jaguar cub carpet cleaner which is a pretty low cost cleaning machine at 2000 pounds:

  1. Rental Rug Doctor PSI 40 / Jaguar Cub PSI 300

  2. Rental Rug Doctor 1200 watt vacuum / Jaguar cub 10.2Hg Lift & over 180CFM

  3. Rental Rug Doctor Water Tank 11 liters / Jaguar Cub 30 liters

  4. Rental Rug Doctor No heated extraction / Jaguar Cub Optional Heated Extraction

As we can see, there is a night and day difference in cleaning capability between a rug doctor and even one of the cheaper commercial cleaning options.

It's really no wonder why people prefer to hire a professional carpet cleaner over hiring a rug doctor. The numbers just don't add up and unfortunately, the quality isn't either.

How Easy Are They To Get?

Getting hold of a rug doctor is no easy task either, many of them are out of stock when you make your way to the supermarket. Even home deliveries have a huge back log much of the time up to a few weeks.

For busy homeowners, the last thing you want to do is book a day off just to clean your carpets...Just wait until those carpets didn't come out as expected too!

Even when you do receive your rug doctor, there is no guarantee it will work once you have it.

faulty rug doctor review

The reviews on trust pilot are inundated with people complaining that their machine didn't work or was faulty when they turned it on.

Alternatives to rug doctor?

You would be much better off buying a mid-range carpet cleaner yourself than hiring a rug doctor. There are some great options out there that do a much better job than the rug doctor, and while they aren't as good as hiring a professional, they will do a decent job of maintaining your carpets and upholstery.

The best carpet cleaner you can buy for a reasonable price:

At a very reasonable cost of £150 (Monthly payment plans available) this carpet cleaner will do a great job of cleaning your carpets if you use it regularly.

Unlike the rug doctor, this won't leave your carpets wet and does a great job of pulling out all of that nasty dirty water.

You can also use whatever cleaning solution you like, although they do have their own cleaning solution which is a decent option.

You Can Buy Better For Cheaper!

Did you know that there are much better options for cleaning your carpets and at a very reasonable price?

The Bissell Pro heat is an excellent alternative to the rug doctor. It can tackle heavy traffic areas thanks to its heating capabilities which means that you can keep on top of your home carpet and upholstery properly and without over-wetting them.

We highly recommend using this machine as a way of keeping on top of your carpets after a professional deep clean.


The weight of evidence points towards professional carpet cleaners being more reliable, better quality and in many cases cheaper too since most customers end up having to call in a professional after they tried cleaning with a rug doctor.

We don't like to call out a company unnecessarily and we do not feel threatened by competition. If rug doctor hired out on of their better machines instead then we would be singing their praises.

However, the reason they won't hire out a better machine is because they know how costly the repairs would end up being and the price of rental would be too much for a customer.

There may be a time when rug doctor, or another company manages to create a carpet cleaning machine cheap enough and good enough to clean carpets effectively, but until then calling a professional is the best option, even for do it yourself heros.

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