This is a loaded question. The answer every carpet cleaner would say is... call a professional. But the problem with that is that half the professionals do a worse job than the cheap useless thing from Wal Mart.
As for the personal steam cleaner.... if you decide to buy one... NEVER... I'll repeat... NEVER use anything except WATER with it. It does not have the suction to do much at all so the last thing you want to do is fill your carpet with soapy water and not be able to suck it back up. You might think it is sucking it up but you are wrong... very wrong.
Which brings me to the professional cleaning...
You will need to find someone that actually cares about what they are doing. Some are cheap and some are high priced but forget about the price... make sure they love their profession. And again... have them only use WATER. You do not need any type of soap in your carpet. I doubt you can find one but if you can find a carpet cleaner that uses Procyon as a cleaner you can have them spray that on. It is the only carpet cleaner in the world that does not have a suffectant.
If you spill something or get a spot on your carpet take a white cloth dripping with water and dab at the spot. Spread the carpet and make sure you get the bottom of the spot. Then take a dry white towel and dab at the spot. The faster it dries the better chance you have at it not coming back.
So the moral of the story is.... you should be safe with only water with either one of them. A 'professional' is only as good as he/she wants to be on any given day.
Last edited by sprintcar93; 03-28-2011 at 12:26 PM.