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How Can I Steam Clean My Carpets?

A person steam cleaning a carpet.
Sprays and steam cleaning carpets may help reduce pet odors.
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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 08 September 2014
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With time, carpets begin to collect dirt deep within the carpet fibers. This can lead to dust accumulation, mold, and mildew that can aggravate allergies, as well as causing the carpet to look and smell unpleasant. You can have your carpet steam cleaned by a professional cleaning service, or you can clean it yourself with a rental cleaner. If you have particularly high traffic areas of carpet, you may want to buy your own steam cleaner for regular cleanings.

Many professional carpeting and cleaning associations agree that steam cleaning is the best way to get filth out of a carpet. A cleaning machine blasts the carpet with a jet of hot water and then vacuums the water and dirt up. This process will loosen dirt that has been ground into the carpet and also will remove mold and mildew spores. If you use a steamer frequently, it will keep your carpets smelling fresh and in good shape. For low traffic households, using a steam cleaner once every year to two years is recommended; for high traffic households, you may need to clean as often as every three months.

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If you have children and animals, you may want to consider purchasing a carpet steamer for cleaning your carpets. Steamers range in price, but it is possible to get a reasonably cheap model, especially if you buy a used one. Most use a solvent in addition to the steam, and if you are concerned about heavy chemicals on your carpeting, you may want to find a model that is compatible with biodegradable and kid-friendly cleaners.

If you steam clean less frequently, it is far more cost effective to rent a machine. Most areas have rental services, and you can usually get a day's rental at low cost. In some cases, the specialized steam cleaning soap will be included in the rental price.

To do a good job cleaning your carpets, start by removing as much furniture from the room as possible — ideally, you want to empty out the room. Then, vacuum and spot clean the carpet, removing obvious stains. After that, you can bring out the carpet steamer, following the manufacturer's directions for mixing the water and cleaning solution. It is recommended that only one pass be made while dispensing steam, because you do not want to get the carpet too wet. Allow the carpet to completely dry before replacing the furniture. It is best to steam clean in the summer when you can leave windows open for ventilation.

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bestcleanaz
Post 11

For a surface 'quick' clean for high traffic areas, it could be financially feasible to rent a machine. A rented machine will only extract at about 60 PSI, but if you have a professional with a truck-mounted steam cleaning unit, you will see over 200 PSI extraction and temperatures that reach over 200 degrees. The high temperature will sanitize your carpets as well.

anon285676
Post 10

Wall to wall carpeting should be professionally cleaned approximately once a year, perhaps more often if pet traffic is obvious. The mills that manufacture the carpeting recommend hot water extraction.

anon271662
Post 9

Can anyone point me in the right direction to rent a steam cleaning machine in Dubai?

anon217624
Post 8

Most of the time it's a total waste to rent a steam cleaner. Professional machines are much better, and they know what they are doing. It's true that many people have horror stories about bad cleaners, so just find one you trust. Just find someone you like, if they are doing it right then you won't need to do it often enough that it pays to have your own machine.

anon135781
Post 7

I took a certified course for carpet cleaning and renting a machine and doing it yourself is a waste of money. True steam cleaning requires a a machine that has no brushes and a psi of 100 or more. Also the machine should have a heater to keep the water hot and a suction(lift) of 150 inches. The carpet should be pretreated and agitated and let the pretreatment set for 10-15 minutes.

Any pro should be Institute of Inspection and Cleaning and Restoration(IICRC) certified. I hope this helps.

anon122702
Post 5

I bought a condo. The carpets where getting cleaned by a "professional" carpet cleaning company. I drove by and seen the truck and sure enough was in my condo. A few days later i took ownership of it.

I moved in. After unpacking for hours, i had a drink of water and accidentally spilled it on the carpet. I dried it up as best as i could. (after all it's just water) The next day i saw a dark spot where the water spilled. It was a stain!

How can water stain newly cleaned carpet? Goes to show how good of a job they did. I immediately found my Bissell carpet cleaner and did the whole place. The water was black and disgusting! I would never hire these so called "professionals".

I'll do it myself from now on with my Bissell. At least i know my carpets will be clean.

spreadsheet
Post 4

I have been through the store rental routine, purchasing a home appliance and paying for a professional to steam clean my carpets. While all three seem to provide immediately satisfying results, only professional services have had an effect on the stains that lasted longer then two weeks.

I recommend spending the money on a professional to steam clean your carpets.

techgeek1
Post 3

@dodecahedron - I thought of this too, but after having heard horror stories from friends, I don't think it's such a great idea. The steam cleaning machines that you can rent from a reputable dealer are much higher quality than any of the foreign-made steam cleaning machines that you find at Wal-Mart. Most of the cheaper machines are poorly built and will not last through the years, which takes away any financial incentive that might be gained from them.

dodecahedron
Post 2

@calabama71 - I rent my steam cleaning machines as well, but I'm beginning to think that it would pay off in the end to just to buy a steam cleaning machine. I've seen machines at Wal-Mart that would do the job quite well and I'm tired of chalking out hard earned cash every year for a rental. Any thoughts on this?

calabama71
Post 1

I used to have my carpet steam-cleamed about twice a year. Three kids later, I now go to Winn Dixie and rent a machine and do it myself. As often as I have to do it, it is much more financially feasible to do it that way.

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