Carpet Steamer Comparison
|Rotating|| Dual |
Carpet Steamer Buying Guide
What is a Carpet Steamer?
A carpet steamer is a product that will deep clean your carpets. Instead of hiring a professional or renting a unit, owning a carpet steamer will allow you to maintain cleaner carpets. By deep cleaning carpets on a regular basis you are able to keep the carpets cleaner, which extends the life of your carpets. Most carpet cleaners come with attachments that will also clean stairs, crevices and even fabric furniture. Newer machines might have options which will extend to cleaning other floor types like hardwoods, laminate and tile flooring.
How Do They Work?
Traditional carpet cleaners use the same steaming method for cleaning carpets. It generally includes hot water, high pressure and cleaning solution. Most carpet cleaners work in a similar fashion. They have a motor which must be powerful enough to loosen and pull up the dirt. To start with, detergents and cleaners are mixed in with a hot water solution to break up any dirt and soil within the carpet. The very hot water and cleaning solution is forced deep into the carpet using a high pressure system. As the machine runs over the carpet it loosens the soil and residue within the carpet, and cleans the carpet fibers that are deeply soiled. The machine then rinses away the soapy solution. The soil that has been extracted from the carpet is then sucked up with a high powered vacuum before it can reach the carpet pad beneath it. The carpet is then left to dry.
Own, Rent or Have Carpets Professionally Cleaned
Having carpet professionally cleaned is the most expensive option, but does not require any work on your part. If you only clean your carpets occasionally then a professional cleaning here and there may be easier than storing and maintaining a home carpet steamer.
Renting a unit is not expensive, but costs can add up if you clean your carpets a few times a year. The other issue with renting is that you do not know the condition of the machine. It might also take longer to use since you will be unfamiliar with its operation procedures. Rental machines are generally bulkier and heavier than owning one.
Owning a carpet steamer is especially useful if you have children, pets or allergies. However, in order to have clean carpets, deep cleaning is essential. When you own a machine you can use it for sudden spills, spring and/or fall cleaning and other times during the year, when the carpet has seen spills or accidents.
How Large of A unit Do You Need?
The unit size and weight are generally based on two key features. This is the size of the motor and the size of the water tank. Since you want a strong motor and water is heavy, most machines are heavy. Looking for a carpet steamer that can be moved around easily is important. Does it have wheels which make it easy to move from room to room? What is more important to you a larger water tank that does not need to be refilled as often or a lighter machine? Answering these questions will help you to choose the best machine for your circumstances.
Carpet steamers come in full size, compact and even hand held units. The full size machines will have the most powerful motors and the largest water reservoirs. The compact units will be lighter in weight and will not take up as much space to store. Hand held units are meant for stairs, furniture and area rugs, rather than wall to wall carpet. These units will have very small water reservoirs and limited motor power.
Features That Affect performance
Water Tanks are an essential part of a carpet cleaner. Some units have separate tanks for clean and dirty water. Other only have one water reservoir and then perhaps a bag that captures the dirty water. The larger the tank the less often the water must be emptied, but the heavier the machine will be.
Cleaning Solutions are the ingredients that will loosen the dirt. It is important to read the warranty information as some manufacturer’s state that if you do not use their cleaning solutions it could void the warranty. As a result you want to check on the types of solutions available along with their prices as this will be an ongoing cost of carpet cleaning. The good news as that manufacturer cleaning solutions do an excellent job of loosening dirt. Some cleaners have additional ingredients that will tackle odors, especially with pets.
Heaters are found in many, but not all machines. The heater will heat the water and keep the water hot during the cleaning process. Hot water is an important element when it comes to loosening dirt. Having the water remain hot through a heater, while you are cleaning will provide more consistency with temperatures and allow you to remove more dirt and stains from the carpet.
Brushes are an important element to carpet cleaning. There should be a lot of brushes on the rollers so that the carpet fibers are all moved around to loosen and release the dirt. Some cleaners have brushes along the bottom and also along the sides of the roller. This will ensure that the carpet is cleaned from edge to edge allowing you to cover a room faster without having to go over an area two or three times to ensure coverage. The brushes while you run the machine and agitate the carpet to help release dirt and grime and also pick up things like dog hair and remove stains.
Motor and the pressure it provides will determine the level of cleaning that is achieved. Stronger motors can get into deep or plush carpets and loosen dirt at the root of the carpet. Weaker motors will only clean the dirt near the surface leaving stains when it dries.
Attachments add to the convenience of using a machine. They allow you to get to hard to reach places, clean stairs and fabric furniture. The attachments generally do not come with brushes but rely on the hot water, cleaning solution and power of the motor to clean those hard to reach surfaces.
Length of Hose. The longer the hose the further the unit can reach for cleaning edges, stairs and other places. When the machine is heavy a longer hose adds to the convenience of use.
Length of Cord is also a factor and will help you be able to clean an entire room without having to unplug and re plug in the unit. When working with water and electricity it is best if you can plug the cord in a location that is not being cleaned. This will reduce the chances or the cord getting wet.
Indicator Lights are convenient in that they let you know when the water needs to be changed or the cleaning solution is running low.
Tips for Using the Carpet Steamer
- Clear the room. If you can move furniture and clear the area as much as possible.
- Vacuum the floors thoroughly before using the steam cleaner
- Add very hot water and cleaning solution to match your needs. The hotter the water is the better the machine will clean.
- Systematically cover the room starting from one corner and methodically moving over each section. Be sure to thoroughly cover the area. Going slow will give the brushes a chance to beat the carpet fibers and loosen the dirt.
- Let the floor completely dry before walking on the carpet or returning any furniture.
- If you are using a cleaning solution that is not all natural it is best to open the windows to prevent fumes from lingering in the room. If you are very sensitive to cleaning solutions wearing a mask might be a good idea.
When you have cleaned your carpets for the first time you will be amazed at how soft the carpet feels to the touch. Carpet cleaners can also take areas near doors and entranceways that can become discolored from wear and return them to the original color and feel. If you have carpets in your home, deep cleaning them to remove built up dirt and grime will give the room a fresh feel. You will have confidence to let your children play on the carpet without wondering what they are playing in.
Carpet steamers have had many advancements over the last several years providing you with a better clean and faster drying times. Newly added features have made carpet cleaners easy to use and very effective.
- Bissell Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine Professional Grade Carpet Cleaner Image: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/
- Bissell Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine Professional Grade Carpet Cleaner: http://www.bissell.com/
- Bissell Deep Clean Premier Pet Full Sized Carpet Cleaner Image:http://ecx.images-amazon.com/
- Bissell Deep Clean Premier Pet Full Sized Carpet Cleaner:http://www.bissell.com/
- Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Washer Image:http://ecx.images-amazon.com/
- Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Washer:http://hoover.com/