Other than the fact that I have wet carpets on a 40 degree rainy day, (brr) I would have to say that the Chem Dry method of cleaning (bonnet cleaning) appears to have spiffed up the place well enough to at least consider delaying replacing the carpet for the time being.
Which was the point of this exercise anyway.
The stains that were driving me crazy appear to be gone.
One stain was a black, greasy spot the size of my hand left from SM's weight machine that we'd moved into the garage last year. Seriously, it's gone. Pretty impressive, I must say.
But ultimately, time will tell.
If the stains come creeping back in a few days then replacing the carpet will move back up to the top of the list. If not, then I plan on managing the carpets as I always have and include Chem Dry as a periodic deep clean.
I really don't think that there's any good way to keep up carpets. Lots of opinions out there on the best way to do it. You can drive yourself crazy researching it. Guess what? Carpets are dirt traps plain and simple. It's likely best just to have hardwoods, if you can afford them.
I will say that I was very suspicious about the bonnet cleaning method. It's basically a huge buffing machine rubbing the dirt "out" of the carpet. (Or spreading it around so it's not as noticeable @;)
SM and I were both a bit concerned when we saw this system in action. We've always used hot water extraction (steam cleaning). If you're like us and you've never heard of the bonnet method of carpet cleaning, here's a good explanation on how it works.
I plan on vacuuming everything once the carpet's dry as this article suggests. The Chem Dry guy said that overall our carpeting is in pretty good shape for it's age, which made me feel a lot better.