If you have carpeting in your home, there’s no getting around the face that it will become dirty over time. This is especially true in homes with children or pets. No matter how hard you try to avoid it, dirt, mud, pollen, and other outdoor elements will be drug into the home. Many of these things will stain carpeting. Hiring a professional to come in and clean the carpets is expensive. A more affordable option is to rent a steam cleaner and do the job yourself. Here’s how to get the most out of a steam cleaner rental, and enjoy a cleaner carpet longer.
Steam cleaners are available for rent at most home improvement and grocery stores. They will cost somewhere between $ 20 – $ 40 per day, plus the cost of chemicals, which is an additional $ 10 – $ 15. To get the most out of a steam cleaner rental, be at the store first thing in the morning so that you’ll be able to keep the unit for the entire day.
Before you rent a steam cleaner, have these duties completed to save time:
Empty the room(s) – Remove furniture, area rugs, floor lamps, and everything else from all the rooms that will be steam cleaned.
Vacuum – Vacuum thoroughly to remove dirt, hair, and other loose particles from the carpet. You will want to vacuum again once you are finished steam cleaning.
Pretreat stains – Pretreat stains with an effective stain remover.
Before renting a steam cleaner, be sure to inspect the machine thoroughly. Look at the bristles, located beneath the unit. Ensure that they are clean and free of hair or dirt. Remember, these bristles will be scrubbing your floor, so you don’t want to deposit dirt and grime from someone else’s home onto yours. Also, make sure you understand the operating instructions before leaving the store. If you have a bad back, ask for assistance loading the machine into your vehicle. It is a heavy piece of machinery!
Get the most out of steam cleaner rental:
Use less soap than required – For best results use one less tablespoon of detergent for every gallon of water than directed. The detergent leaves a lot of foam and residue behind, which can be difficult to remove. It also attracts a lot of dirt, so by reducing the amount of detergent, you’ll make it easier to clean the carpets effectively.
Start in a corner – To avoid leaving dirt behind, start cleaning at the corner of the room and work in straight lines. Clean from the front of the room to the back, so that it is easy to transfer to the next room to continue cleaning.
Don’t soak the carpet – These heavy-duty steam cleaners put out a lot of moisture, so take care not to soak the carpet. Avoid passing over the same spot several times with detergent. Instead, make one pass to release, and two or three to suck the liquid back into the machine.
Allow the carpet to dry – It can take several hours for the carpet to dry completely. Stay off the carpet during the process, and be patient. Don’t rush returning furniture and carpeting to its original place. Speed up the drying process by opening windows, or running fans.
More from Jennifer Wagner:
How to clean carpets effectively
Best stain removers for carpet, clothing and more!
Simple carpet care and maintenance
Source: Personal experience