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Carpet Steam Cleaning

Updated on February 25, 2011

The carpets can be one of the dirtiest surfaces in your home.  Vacuums can get rid of surface dirt and contamination, but dirt has a way of working itself down into the carpet fibers.  Dirt gets caught in the fiber loops along with other things like bacteria and allergens.  One way to get rid of some of the carpet grime is carpet steam cleaning.  Steam carpet cleaning is better than regular carpet cleaning for many reasons and this page will explore some of those reasons.  In addition, if you decide to rent or purchase carpet steam cleaning machines then there are several things to look for.  I hope to give you some insight on choosing your carpet steam cleaning equipment.

Why Should You Steam Clean Carpet

In order to understand why carpet steam cleaning services are better than a regular carpet shampooer, you need to understand how a steam cleaner works.  Steam cleaners have a boiler system in them that heats water up past its boiling point to generate steam.  Some carpet steam cleaners are more powerful than others so the temperature of the steam can vary.  These carpet steam machines product what is called a dry steam.  That means that the steam sprayed out of the machine and into your carpet is less than five percent liquid water.  The steam is sprayed out under high pressure and the pressure combined with the heat melts and dislodges dirt from whatever surface you are trying to clean.  The steam cleaner then vacuums away the dirty condensed water.

The ways that these machines are different from other carpet cleaning machines are many.  First, you can use a steam cleaner to clean any number of surfaces including hardwood floors, tile floors, laminate floors, countertops, curtains, furniture, mattresses, and carpet.  It certainly is better to have a machine that can multitask rather than a carpet shampooer that is only good for cleaning one type of surface in your home.  The versatility of these machines is one reason why you should prefer carpet steam cleaning solutions to other carpet cleaning solutions.

Another benefit of steam cleaning your carpet is that you do not have to introduce any chemicals into your home and you will kill 99 percent of the harmful bacteria lodged in your carpet.  The hot steam is the sole source of cleaning with these carpet steam cleaning machines for sale.  Unlike other carpet cleaning machines, you do not use detergents or harsh chemicals to treat your carpet.  The steam melts, dissolves, or dislodges the dirt without the aid of chemicals.  A carpet steam cleaner is a very green solution to carpet cleaning.  In addition, the hot steam will kill bacteria.  Shampoos might move the bacteria around or even take some away from the carpet, but they do not necessarily kill the bacteria.  A living organism like bacteria cannot live in the hot conditions introduced by a steam cleaner.

The one down side to a steam cleaner is that sometimes the steam might be too hot.  It is possible that the temperature of the steam could be hot enough to melt the glue that was used to adhere your carpet to the subfloor or carpet pad.  This of course does not happen every time, but if you have a particularly powerful steam cleaner then it is a possibility.  Make sure that you read the instructions that come with the steam cleaner to make sure that it is safe to use it on carpet.

What to Look For When Buying a Carpet Steam Cleaner

Of all the carpet steam cleaning tips you could get, some of the best ones are the things to look for when you are in the market for a machine.  Some of the more basic things to look for are the fact that the machine has wheels that will make it easy to move it around on carpeted surfaces.  Plus, it is important that the machine not be too heavy.  If it is very bulky or hard to move around, you will not be able to successfully move it around a room to clean the carpet.  Another nice feature that is good to have so that you can easily move the machine around is a long power cord.  You do not want to be hampered by a short cord that is not long enough for you to take the machine across the room.  You should be able to clean an entire room without having to move the power cord to another outlet.

Some of the more sophisticated feature to look for are a rotating brush system, temperature control, and an adjustable nozzle or steam outlet.  Although the steam will dislodge almost everything, a good rotating brush system will help to move the dirt out of the carpet and into the exiting vacuum stream.  Since you will be using your carpet steam cleaner on multiple surfaces, you want to be able to control both the temperature of the steam and the amount of steam that comes out.  Carpet does not need as hot a steam stream as grout cleaning does for example.  You also want to be able to control the amount of steam because it is very important that you not get your carpet wet.  If too much steam comes out and condenses, the vacuum function might not be able to keep up.  The result would be water settling into the carpet and carpet pad.  Ultimately, this could lead to mold or mildew problems.

Another thing to consider when choosing your carpet steam cleaner is how you are going to service it.  Check to make sure that the machine has some kind of warranty and make sure you understand exactly what is covered.  The most common part to break or need replacing is the heating element in the boiler.  You want to make sure that your carpet steam machine has a heating element that can be removed on its own.  Some steamers have the heating element welded to the boiler and the entire boiler assembly needs to be replaced if the heating element goes.  That could lead to a lot of unnecessary repairs.  Even if you do have a warranty, you want to make sure that there is a local service station or technician that will be able to help you if you need parts or service.  It doesn’t matter if you have a five year warranty if you have to drive your machine 300 miles to get repairs.

Professional Carpet Steam Cleaning Services

If you do not want to invest in a carpet steam cleaner or if you do not have the time to do your own carpet steam cleaning, then you might want to look into local carpet steam cleaning companies.  While the carpet steam cleaning cost might be more than if you rent or buy a machine of your own; you will have a quality guarantee and you are sure to get clean carpets when you are done.  There are lots of companies that specialize in these types of services.  Perhaps one of the most famous is Stanley Steamer.


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    • profile image

      Ichal 4 years ago

      Poor thing, I heard she has been sick. She looks as stunning as her man. So nice to see her and Tom walk the red caeprt, but she looked like if she could not hold onto Tom she would have fallen, I hope she feels better. I want to know if people in the audience responded well to the film, I hope this is not Robert being depressed by the reaction to the film or possibly she is telling him good job or I am not going to the After party, too sick. I hope she and the audience liked the film.

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      Anytka 4 years ago

      You can always ask for a diucosnt. The can only say no. But if home depot is negligent on their side. Like if they promised something that they couldn't deliver which would cause you to go without something valueble then you SHOULD ask for a diucosnt or some compensation. Examples:They tell you to go ahead and pull out the old carpet because your carpet came in but in actuality it didn't. Now you are forced to wait.

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      charlie 7 years ago

      Interesting article, but true steam cleaning with only 5% or even more actual water is very ineffective for removing soil and particles. The large volume of water used with powerful truckmount (steam cleaning equipment) is very important for proper deep cleaning and soil removal.

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      Cleaners in Sale 7 years ago

      I would definitely recommend steam cleaning carpets over off the shelf products which involve wetting and shampooing carpets. If you overwet many carpets you can ruin them as it can take the backing off them and it can lead to mildew which will cause black marks and start to smell. Believe me I have seen this in people's homes far too often when I have been called in to try and clean such carpets.


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