Home Steam Carpet Cleaners - A Hoover Steam Vac
For deep cleaning, many carpet manufacturers recommend using carpet steam cleaners, also called "hot water extractors."
Cleaning machines of this type apply a detergent solution to the carpet pile, work it into a lather with rotating brushes, eject more hot water to rinse and lift the dirt, and ultimately pull the dirt and rinse water back into an attached tank.
Carpet steam cleaners actually produce little or no steam, but they do use steaming hot water to assist the detergent solution in deep cleaning your carpet. Separate tanks are affixed to each machine, one to hold clean water, one to hold the dirty water. New models of steam cleaners have a built-in water to insure the a high temperature for cleaning effectiveness. For added convenience, select a cleaner that has self-contained water tanks, so you don't have to worry about hooking it up to kitchen faucet.
Residential-quality carpet steam cleaners or hot water extractors are sold by the Hoover Company through its SteamVac series of deep cleaners. Bissell, Eureka , Dirt Devil, Kirby are also prominent manufacturers of consumer-quality carpet deep cleaners. Large, industrial-strength carpet steam cleaners are usually only available to professional cleaners.
Commercial-grade, heavy duty carpet steam cleaners can also be rented through your local grocery store, or large hardware home stores, such as Home Depot or Lowe's, but nothing beats the convenience of owning your own deep cleaner to quickly, effectively deal with those unexpected stains and spills.
In addition to reading published reviews of carpet steam cleaners, which will compare the features of each and offer ratings on how effectively they work, visit a retail store to do some "hands-on" exploration before investing in your own equipment. Whether you make your purchase online or in a store, consider the following features before finalizing your selection:
Rotating brushes will help raise dirt particles from the carpet - a definite plus when purchasing a steam cleaner. The number of brushes on the machine, usually running from 4 to 6, will affect the price of the machine.
Style: Upright or Canister?
Uprights are easier to use when cleaning large areas since they can hold water receptacles. A drawback is that they can be very heavy, difficult to push around. Ask the store to let you "test drive" the machine to determine how easily you will be able to move it around. Canisters-style cleaners are better suited for smaller areas such as car carpets or upholstered furniture.
Tools and Accessories
Considering your needs and price range, you may want to choose a model that has an car-cleaning tool pack, upholstery attachments, stair cleaner, or even a bare floor attachment. An especially handy accessory is one designed for stairway cleaning.
Add Hot Water?
Newer carpet steam cleaners heat the water before spraying it. Older models require that the water be hot before adding, which sometimes results in the water cooling down before the project is finished, possibly lessening the effectiveness of the cleaning or rinsing process.
Schedule your carpet for a deep cleaning every 12 to 18 months. And even if you choose to rent a commercial steam cleaner or hire professionals, having your own machine will take you take care of immediate clean-up jobs in the interim, and prevent stains from setting in.