After consulting with my husband, we decided that getting a smallish home carpet cleaner could be a good idea, but that since I needed to clean all the carpets right now, I'd rent a rug doctor. The downside to renting a carpet cleaner is that they aren't always all that clean. People return them all dirty and gross. The one I rented was absolutely covered with white fur on the bottom. I had to clean the cleaner before I could get started. It ended up being about $40 to rent the cleaner for 24hrs and to buy a medium sized bottle of cleaning solution. After moving almost all of the furniture out and vacuuming (I think a lot of people forget that step, thus the super dirty carpet cleaners) I cleaned the carpet. I had to refill the tank many, many times. I also went back over the whole carpet with just hot water.
I learned from having a little carpet cleaner in the past that the solution left over in the carpet quickly attracts dirt. The carpet looks a lot better, but you can still tell where the previous owners' sectional used to be. Perhaps the pros could have done a better job getting those old traffic stains out (I didn't use a pre-treatment either) but at least it is not totally gross any more. It was tiring work and took quite a while. I also vacuumed and cleaned the upstairs hallway. That required far less furniture moving! The carpet is still navy blue, but at least it no longer looks brown in spots, nor does it smell like dog any more. My sweet husband, determined to get the max value out of our rental, took up the effort after I tired out.
The family room before, complete with dancing kiddo.
He cleaned the living room carpet and the carpet in the master bedroom. In the end we got pretty much all the carpet in the house cleaned.
The family room after. I guess I didn't get any pictures of the blue carpets.