Carpet cleaning is really hard. Speaking as someone in charge of making 3K sf of carpet look like new, with a seriously small budget, rented several high dollar machines, been disappointed in several cases. Luckily I installed carpet squares and bought several extras, we just replace anything with spills. Lots of stuff just doesn't come out, there's no magic here. You can definitely fade it, and make the rest of the floor cleaner, but that soda and wine is generally there to stay.
At best you can use some crazy spot treatment that lightens the area so much it doesn't match anymore, which still looks like a stain against the rest of the carpet.
I pity the carpet cleaners, I'd be extremely hesitant to get into an industry where you have to disappoint customers on a routine basis, and that's the industry norm.
If anyone has any serious arguments or methods I should try, we can easily put it to the test and I'd really be thrilled to be proven wrong. But I clean my carpets low-end and they look totally high-end!
I use HE laundry detergent to clean my rugs. Carpet is very similar to clothing. The HE detergent doesn't foam, you have a ton of smells to choose from, and it typically doesn't leave a soapy residue afterwards. If you feel the need, you can also always go back over with plain water to remove any residue, but I have never had that problem, unlike off brand carpet cleaners.
I have a large amount of carpet in my house (about 3000 sq ft), so if I were to rent one, it would take me DAYS to move everything and shampoo the carpets.
So I bought a Rug Doctor. 5 yr warranty. Then I rent it out to friends/family/neighbors to use (cheaper than stores). I've almost made my money back on it, and my carpets get cleaned for the cost of the shampoo (which I don't use, I use HE laundry detergent).
The Rug Doctor's are low-end commercial grade carpet cleaner and can be had for $400.
Owning one allows me to do it at my leisure. Also, bonus, my children are little. So, when they inevitably spill something, I can whip it out real quick to not only pick up the liquid, but clean up the spot.
I think what you are really asking is how do you start collecting good deals consistently. The answer is, "you can't".
You may have friends that collect and so you will surely hear about a decent scores occasionally. What you don't see if the 99.9% of the times where those same people find nothing for months or years after going to Goodwills, Pawn Shops, Craigslist, Ebay, Garage Sales, or estate sales.
There are two ways to succeed in collecting if you are not looking to pay full price for things.
- Put in more time than other people who you are competing against.
- Be smarter than other people you are competing against.
There isn't a magic template you can follow to pull the scores you see in this sub daily, weekly, or even monthly. You just need to get in there and grind, or pay full price for things.
I would love to have better advice for you, but it's super competitive now and I don't see that going away any time soon.
The only real advice I have is to remember your time is valuable, and to only do this as long as you are having fun.
I ended up spending so much time looking for things at Garage Sales and Goodwills only to find a jem after 2 months or something like that, that I ended up just skipping those avenues altogether and started working into other avenues that produce less but require way less time. It's all about balance if you are actually looking to collect.
Here is the other half of the truth. Unless you are going for a conplete collection or trying to fill your shelf with figurines that everyone else says you should have, you can get what you want.
You probably have a shelf of figurines now with a few on there you just wont play again or dont hold much reason to own. We all have them, but can justify having them.
There's deals to be found everywhere, but you're going to loathe the time it takes you to find good scores consistently.