A steam cleaner has the power to refresh your carpet when it is used in the right way. Steam cleaners cannot be used like brooms or vacuums. They require some care and planning in order to clean a carpet properly. Several tips will help anyone to get the best results when using a carpet steam cleaner.
Test Before Starting
It is important to test the steam cleaner on a small area of the carpet before starting. This is especially important for unique or older rugs. The heat from the water could cause adhesives or dyes to dissolve. This can ruin the carpet. It is best to read any special instruction from the equipment rental service providing the steam cleaner as well as any warnings on the carpet before starting.
Pre-Clean the Carpet
Steam cleaners work best when the carpet has been cleared of loose debris and dirt beforehand. Homeowners will want to vacuum the carpet thoroughly first. Some attempt should be made to remove any visible stains. Pre-cleaning is important because steam cleaners can cause debris to change and merge with carpet fibers.
Steam cleaning requires patience in order to work correctly. Each small area of a carpet should be passed over slowly. It can take up to 30 seconds for the hot water to kill all bacteria and loosen any allergens or other particles. Moving slowly ensures the power of steam has the time necessary to deep clean the carpet.
Avoid Pet Stains
Steam cleaners should never be used on stains caused by pet urine. Pet urine contains acidic crystals that will dissolve when exposed to heat. The steam cleaner will actually fuse the crystals to the carpet causing the stain and some of the odor to become permanent.
Use Neutral Cleaning Solutions
Cleaning solutions that are highly alkaline with a pH above 10 should not be used when steam cleaning carpets. High alkalinity could damage dyes and fibers. Most steam cleaners will work well with just normal water or water and baking soda for carpets that have odor issues.
Allow Carpets to Dry
Carpets should be allowed to dry completely after steam cleaning. The carpet should not be touched or walked on while it is drying since the fibers are vulnerable to staining. The carpet should remain untouched until every area has dried.
Call a Professional for Tough Jobs
If there is any doubt about equipment rental or the condition of a carpet, then homeowners should call a professional steam cleaning service to do the job. A steam cleaning service can use experience and the right tools to clean a carpet safely. Professional services can usually also complete the cleaning much quicker.