Vaporize stains with a steam cleaner
If your carpet needs cleaning and your regular equipment won't do, then you're likely thinking about calling some professional cleaning companies to do it for you. However, with today's economy, you might also be trying to save a few bucks anywhere you can. One way save those hard-earned dollars is by renting a carpet cleaning machine or vacuums and shampooing your carpets yourself.
You can rent portable steam cleaners at most supermarkets or hardware stores, which usually also sell the matching brand of rug shampoo. Generally, steam cleaner rentals are much like movie rentals – the machine is due back at a certain date and time, and penalties are charged for late return.
How to Choose Your Carpet Cleaning Equipment
Steam cleaners come in various sizes, so you'll want to be sure you get the right size to make the job quick and efficient. First, estimate the area you will need to clean. Multiply length by width for an approximate square footage. Then, look over the shape of the area. If you have wide open spaces, you may want a carpet machine that has a wider track to cover more floor in a shorter period of time. However, these can be hard on the shoulders, so make sure you can handle the extra width and weight.
Next, decide if you are doing stairs. There is often a separate attachment for stairs and other hard-to-clean places. Also consider getting the extra attachments for upholstery. These make cleaning your couches and chairs much easier than trying to spot clean with products off the supermarket shelf.
Finally, remember that portable steam cleaners can be heavy. Make sure you are physically able to handle the equipment before you sign the rental agreement.
Chemicals for Your Carpet Cleaner
Steam cleaner rentals often do not include cleaning chemicals. Most often, you will need to purchase carpet cleaning products in addition to your rental. These include shampoo, a foam reducer (which prevents foam from backing up into the carpet cleaner's mechanisms) and perhaps spot removers or enzymes. Many companies offer environmentally friendly options, as well as pet-friendly and cruelty-free products for steam floor cleaners.
If you prefer a natural alternative, some people have found that carpets respond well to vinegar-and-water mixes. (Note: Always check to see if the portable steam cleaners you are interested in can handle vinegar before you try this on your carpets.) You might also consider an after-shampoo rinse with just water to remove any chemical residue.
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