The Best Tips for Steam Cleaning a Carpet Yourself
If there is one part of the home that is a true workhorse, it is the carpets. Pets and children and the daily traffic of everyone else who lives in a house can take its toll on carpets pretty quickly. Carpet is an expensive investment, and proper care and cleaning can keep its appearance fresh and presentable for many years. Most people who have carpets in their home have a vacuum cleaner, but when it comes to deep cleaning, many of us will opt for professionals to come in and do it for us. This is an expensive service. Conversely, many supermarkets offer steam cleaner rentals, but because they are used by the general public, the machines can be iffy and not clean as well as they should. With the investment of a personally owned steam cleaner, one can keep carpet cleaned much better and far more conveniently. It is not difficult to do, but there are some things to keep in mind.
Steam cleaners are rated for three factors. They are rated for their soil removal and their water removal. However, most importantly they are also rated for their ability to not damage the fibers on the surface of the carpet. If the wrong equipment is used or used improperly, permanent damage to a carpet can be the result. It is also important that a steam cleaner be able to remove as much water from a carpet as possible, since any water that is left in a carpet is going to make the carpet more prone to becoming dirty right after it is steam cleaned.
The best time to steam clean a carpet is when it is dry. Humidity can impact the drying time of a carpet, and ideally the carpet needs to dry as quickly as practically possible. No wants all the living room furniture to be piled into the kitchen for three days. Fans placed around the house can make this part of the process proceed much more quickly, as can the heating and air conditioning system in a house.
It is crucial that the cleaning solution be used in small quantities. People wrongly assume that more cleaning solution will clean a carpet better. However, it is the interaction of the detergent and the water that makes the cleaning possible. Too much cleaning solution can be left directly on the carpet, which will attract more dirt to areas that it is embedded in, thus making the carpet become dirtier more quickly after being steam cleaned. There are many cleaning solutions that are available on the market, and any one that is used for cleaning should have a pH less than 10 to ensure that the dyes in the carpet do not react with the solution.
Hot water should be used in the steam cleaner and only the factory recommended amount of the cleaning solution should be used in the steam cleaner. Also, it is important to check to ensure that the use of a detergent does not void the warranty for a carpet that has had a stain resister applied to it. Any furniture that has stained wood should be kept off the carpet until it dries because the wood stain can cause stains on the carpet. Steam cleaning a carpet can be something of a chore, but with a personal steam cleaner, the consumer puts some of that deep cleaning convenience in their own hands.
Trisha Tate writes for several eco conscience sites and recommends the Miele vacuum or the Ladybug steamer for toxic free cleaning.