All your carpet cleaning questions answered

If you have question about how to rent a Rug Doctor or how to use a Rug Doctor machine, please find our FAQ section below.

What does it cost approximately to rent a Rug Doctor carpet cleaner?


You can rent the standard Rug Doctor machine for around £22.99 and the Rug Doctor Wide Track for around £28.99 on a 24 hour rental. (48 hour rentals are also available). Rug Doctor Carpet Detergent costs from around £10.00 (1 litre bottle) which is enough to clean up to two rooms. With a 24 hour machine rental and the Rug Doctor 4 litre bottle of Carpet Detergent you can clean your whole house - up to 8 rooms for around £40.00!

What sort of ID do I need to take to the store to rent a Rug Doctor carpet cleaner?
Do I have to leave a deposit?



NEW FAST TRACK ID CURRENTLY BEING INTRODUCED (NOT IN ALL STORES YET, PLEASE CHECK WITH YOUR NEAREST STORE) FULL DETAILS AT END OF THIS Q&A:

Our machines are worth almost £500 each, so you will understand that in order to rent one you need to take to the rental outlet at least 2 forms of ID.

To confirm your current address - one of these:



To confirm your signature - one of these:


Please note that a credit card can only be used as ID if it is also used to pay for the rental. Deposits are not required at every store. If the store does require a deposit, the deposits may vary.

NEW FAST TRACK ID REQUIREMENT FOR RENTING A RUG DOCTOR - IN PROCESS OF BEING INTRODUCED  


Do I have to leave a deposit?


Some rental outlets do require a deposit to be left, this is mainly required in order to ensure that the Rug Doctor is returned in a clean condition ready for the next renter.


Is the hand tool included as part of the rental of the Rug Doctor?


Yes, the hand tool comes free of charge with the rental of the Rug Doctor machine. You do not need to take it if you are only going to clean your carpets. If you do use the hand tool kit please remember to bring it back to the store with the machine. Please take care when cleaning stairs.


Where can I rent a Rug Doctor?


Please use the Store Locator (below) to find your nearest store location, its proximity to you and directions how to get there from your home. 90% of households in the UK are no more than a 10 minute drive away from their nearest rental outlet. (Post Office proximity survey)

Can I use products other than Rug Doctor in the machine?


Rug Doctor Detergents and Cleaners have been specially formulated for use with the Rug Doctor machine. Products that are not made specifically for a water extraction method of carpet cleaning should NEVER be used as damage to the carpet can occur. Carpets need a specific pH range of cleaning solutions that are both effective in loosening dirt yet they won't damage the carpet fibres.

Products that are not made for the kind of rinsing, brushing and extraction provided by the machine will leave residues once they dry that attract dirt. We do not recommend the use of any other brand of detergents and cleaners in Rug Doctor machines other than Rug Doctor solutions . Through extensive testing we have found that no other products compare to Rug Doctor in terms of the 3 critical elements carpet cleaning: effective deep-cleaning, pH balanced for safe cleaning and clean rinsing ability. Using cheap cleaning solutions can be a false economy.

Can Rug Doctor carpet detergent and cleaning solutions be mixed together?


Some Rug Doctor solutions are pre-treatments only and are not intended for use in the machine, although no harm will come to your carpets if you do use them mixed together with Rug Doctor Carpet Detergent.

Rug Doctor Spot and Stain Remover, Rug Doctor Urine Eliminator, Rug Doctor Odour Remover and Rug Doctor Red Stain Remover can all be used with or without a machine clean and can be applied directly to the stain and/or odour. Rug Doctor Traffic Lane Cleaner is a pre-treatment only and should be applied to the high traffic part of the carpet prior to machine cleaning.

Rug Doctor Odour Remover can also be used as an excellent booster agent in the machine when mixed with Rug Doctor Carpet Detergent to help take care of really stubborn odours in carpets. Its enzymatic formula actually attacks the source of odours and helps eliminate them permanently.

Heavy odour problems should be treated with a direct application of Odour Remover onto the affected area prior to machine cleaning.
Urine odours should be treated with Rug Doctor Urine Eliminator.

How many rooms will Rug Doctor carpet detergent clean?


1 litre bottle will clean up to approximately 2 rooms (38 sq.m).
2 litre bottle will clean up to approximately 4 rooms (75 sq.m).
4 litre bottle will clean up to approximately 8 rooms (150 sq.m)

Do I need to use a carpet shield type stain protection after I have cleaned the carpet to protect against future spills?


No. Both Rug Doctor Carpet Detergent and Rug Doctor Upholstery Cleaner both contain SpotBlok Stain Repellent which adds stain protection every time you clean - protecting your carpet from any future spills.

What happens if I don't get the machine back on time?


You are contractually obliged to return the machine back to the rental outlet before the agreed rental expiry time and rental outlets may charge a late return penalty. However genuine reasons for a delay are usually treated sympathetically by rental outlets. Please endeavour to call the store if you anticipate that you will be late returning the machine.

What size vehicle do I need to transport the machine?


The standard Rug Doctor folds down to 25" (63 cms) high x 21"(53 cms) x 11" (28 cms). The Wide Track Rug Doctor folds down to 28" (71 cms) high x 20" (51 cms) x 13" (33 cms). Both machines can fit inside small hatchbacks and medium sized cars. If placing the machine in the rear seats of a vehicle always place a waterproof cover over the seats.

Can I use the Rug Doctor outdoors for cleaning car interiors or caravans?


Rug Doctor machines are IPX4 splash proof rated against water ingress and can be safely used outside for cleaning car and caravans interiors. Do not use it on leather interiors - fabric ones only. We call the Rug Doctor "the Value Valet" as, after cleaning the carpets in your home you can do the car too - all included in the rental price. (Subject to interior carpet type).

Can I use Rug Doctor cleaning solutions in other branded carpet cleaning machines?


YES! In fact, the superior formulation of Rug Doctor detergents and cleaning products could improve the results you would normally achieve using other brands. When using Rug Doctor Carpet Detergent especially, you will notice that the carpets will stay clean longer. That's because other brands of carpet cleaners leave sticky residues behind on the carpet pile that attract dirt. Rug Doctor rinses everything away, leaving only fresh, clean carpets. Please adhere to quantity requirements of other products.

Are Rug Doctor cleaning solutions safe for pets and small children?


All of Rug Doctor Carpet Detergent and Cleaner solutions are water based and non-toxic, however, we always recommend that small children and pets are kept out of the areas being cleaned until the carpet dries completely. When cleaning your carpet you will be extracting dust and dirt from the backing of your carpet into the machine, should any of those micro-particles become airborne they could be irritating to those with very sensitive skin and immune systems.

Which solutions can be used in the Rug Doctor carpet cleaner? Which ones are spot and stain cleaners? How can each one best be used?


Not all of Rug Doctor's cleaning solutions can be used in the machine. Rug Doctor Carpet Detergent, Rug Doctor Upholstery Cleaner and Rug Doctor Odour Remover can be used in the machine when mixed with warm water in the lower tank. You cannot use Rug Doctor Carpet Detergent or Upholstery Cleaner directly onto carpet or upholstery as a spot cleaner as it is a concentrated formula. Rug Doctor Anti-Foam product is a de-foaming agent - and not a cleaner - and is only used in small quantities (50ml) in the upper, white recovery tank (prior to machine cleaning) to prevent foaming while cleaning fabric upholstery, carpeted staircases, around skirting boards, inside car Interiors etc with Rug Doctor Upholstery Cleaner.

Rug Doctor Anti-Foam is used exclusively to eliminate foam build up in the machine and is added to the upper (white) recovery tank by itself. Odour Remover, however, can be used in the red solution tank of the machine, directly on a spot or even in a spray bottle as a room freshener. Rug Doctor Traffic Lane Cleaner is a Pre-Treatment and can only be used prior to cleaning your carpet, it cannot be used in the machine nor can it be used by itself without being machine extracted later.

Rug Doctor Spot and Stain Remover can be applied directly onto carpets or fabric upholstery; it does not go in the machine. It's convenient to keep a product like Rug Doctor Spot and Stain Remover and even Rug Doctor Odour Remover and Rug Doctor Red Stain Remover on-hand in a kitchen cupboard since they don't require machine application and are excellent products to use in between machine cleanings to keep your carpets and upholstery spot and stain free.

Does Rug Doctor have a product for killing fleas in carpets?


Rug Doctor does not currently produce a product that will kill fleas in carpet.

Do the Rug Doctor products work well for people with allergies? Are the solutions hypoallergenic?


Cleaning of any kind will help people with allergies. Deep cleaning your carpet helps remove the dirt and allergens deeply embedded in your carpet. We have not tested our solutions to be hypoallergenic.

Can the Rug Doctor carpet cleaner be used to extract water - from a flood for instance?


The Rug Doctor machine not only deep cleans your carpet, but can also be used to extract water from carpets left wet from a flood. Many people have used the machine to extract water from their carpet after a terrible flood. The machine is an electrical appliance though, and is only rated to IPX4 - which means it is "splash proof "- so good judgement must be exercised when extracting water from overly wet conditions as there could be a risk of electric shock. You may need to use a dehumidifier as a Rug Doctor machine will only extract so much water.

The machine should NEVER be used anywhere where standing water remains. Only carpets and upholstery that are damp, not water laden or soggy are safe for extraction

Can you use the Rug Doctor carpet cleaner on tile, cement or any other hard surface?


No. You cannot use the Rug Doctor machine on tile, cement or any other hard surface. Why not? Because (1) At the front of the machine is a hard metal surface that may scratch the tile or hard surface flooring. (2) There is nothing on the machine to capture the water from moving about when sprayed on the floor surface, the machine does not contain a squeegee.

How do I clean stairs with the Rug Doctor carpet cleaner?


To clean the stairs you use the Hand Tool attachment. It has 12' long hose which is normally sufficient to get up a standard flight of stairs. Set the machine to "ON" for Upholstery/Hand Tool cleaning and use Rug Doctor carpet detergent solution in the tank.

Can I use the Rug Doctor tool and your solutions to clean a mattress?


Yes. You can clean your mattress using the Rug Doctor Hand Tool and Rug Doctor Upholstery Cleaner plus also use Rug Doctor Anti-Foam in the white top recovery tank. It is very important when cleaning mattresses not to over-wet them and allow plenty of dry time. We recommend you first set your mattress up on its side. Then clean one side of the mattress, making sure you go over your cleaning paths a second time on vacuum only - ie without squeezing the Hand Tool lever so that the second pass is vacuum only. Once you have finished one side of the mattress, leave the mattress on its side and let it dry completely in a well ventilated bedroom before continuing to the next side. Please note that you should not use our products on any type of memory foam mattress.

Is the Rug Doctor carpet cleaning machine heavy?


Depending on which machine you rent, an empty standard size Rug Doctor Machine (smaller one) weighs 15.9kg and the Wide Track (bigger one) weighs 19.5kg. Health and Safety permit up to 25kg can be carried by one person - so the Rug Doctor machines are well under this. The white recovery tanks can be removed before taking the machine upstairs, for instance, to lighten the overall weight.

What is the average drying time?


The drying time is approximately 2 to 4 hours. However, this may be longer depending on ventilation to the room, whether the room is unheated and the outside temperature. Carpets dry faster in the summer when the windows can stay open and the outside temperature is high but may take longer in the winter due to the colder weather. Always ensure that the room is well ventilated.

Do I need to visually check the plug and cable for any damage that may have occurred in transit before I use the machine?


As damage may occur in transit, please fully unwind the cable and visually inspect it for and splits, gouges or tears. Please also inspect the plug. If any damage to either is seen DO NOT USE THE MACHINE. Return it to the rental outlet and advise them of the damage so we can arrange repair.

Do I need to clean the machine before I return it?


Yes, this is really important as you may be charged for returning a dirty machine, so you need to return the machine for the next renter in the same condition as you would like to find it. Using rubber gloves, turn the machine over and remove any lint that may have collected on the brush and/or under the machine and around the wheels. Then empty and rinse out the white recovery tank and empty the red solution tank to avoid spills in the car on returning the machine.

Can I share the Rug Doctor with friends and family while I have it out on rent?


You can share the machine with friends and family but please remember that you are contractually responsible at all times for both any damage that may occur and for the return of the machine at the agreed time. The person who rents the Rug Doctor is classed as the user of the machine, as agreed when signing the rental contract at the time of hire.

When should I rent a Rug Doctor Wide Track?


You should consider renting a Wide Track if you have a larger home or premises. The Wide Track is estimated to clean twice as fast as the standard Rug Doctor as it has a wider brush and vacuum path and larger cleaning solution and recovery tanks. This means there is more time between refills and that the machine will cover twice the area of carpet in the same time.

Can I use the Rug Doctor to dye my carpets?


Definitely NOT! The full cost of any damage to the next renter's carpets through any residual dye left in the machine will be recovered from any renter who puts dye in the Rug Doctor.

What do I do if I accidentally damage the machine?


If any damage occurs during the rental please advise our Customer Service Team on 01903 235558 (Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm, Saturday 09.00am to 5.00pm, Sunday 10.00am to 4.00pm (excluding: New Years Day, Easter Sunday and Christmas Day)) so we can arrange for its speedy repair. Then return the machine to your rental outlet - advising them of the actual damage - so they can isolate it from the other rental machines.

What do I do if the machine is stolen while I have it out on rent?


Unfortunately, you are contractually still responsible for the loss of the machine. Please immediately inform the rental outlet, the Police and your insurance company. You will need a Police Crime Number for any insurance claim. Please then call our Asset Loss Prevention Controller to report the theft on 01903 222661 (Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm, Saturday 09.00am to 5.00pm, Sunday 10.00am to 4.00pm (excluding: New Years Day, Easter Sunday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day).

Can I buy a Rug Doctor rather than just rent it?


Yes, many frequent renters and pet owners buy their own Rug Doctor. These are blue machines called Rug Doctor Mighty Pros and they can be purchased on this site or through one of our distributors. Visit our shop page for more details.

What happens if I need advice on how to use the machine?


This website contains comprehensive videos on how to use the machine, spot and stain removal and the most common Troubleshooting FAQs. Over 90% of renters find answers to their queries on this site. If you need any further information, please call our Customer Service Team on 01903 235558 (Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm, Saturday 09.00am to 5.00pm and Sunday 10.00am to 4.00pm (excluding: New Year's Day, Easter Sunday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day).





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