Steam cleaning your carpet yourself means you need only hot water, a rented machine and detergent. Unfortunately, you'll have to wait between 12 and 24 hours to walk on your carpet again.
Ground-in stains typically reappear in the first few days after cleaning. Commercial solutions can eliminate some of these problems, but there are certain stains — pet stains or chemical stains, for example — that require multiple treatments or cannot be removed.
Dry cleaning, meanwhile, offers the advantage of almost no drying time and an effective cleaning through chemical agents and application solutions.
The chemicals used, however, can often be harsh, and homeowners are advised to speak with a commercial cleaning company about the products they use and any strong odors they may have.