If you have pets or children, or even both at once, you’re probably aware of just how quickly your carpet starts to look dingy and stained. Juice here, a hairball here, and before you know it, you’re calling the carpet cleaners.
Before you spend hundreds of dollars on a steam cleaning job, think about a cheaper and easier alternative: steam-cleaning your own rugs and carpets. The best option for the DIY steam-cleaner is to rent or buy a machine and set aside a weekend day to tackle it head-first.
Getting the Machine
You can either rent or buy a machine; there are pros and cons to each decision. If you choose to rent a machine, you have the freedom to test out different machines before later buying one for home use. You’re spending less money upfront, and you don’t have to waste storage space on something you might use every few months. On the other hand, for those who find they need frequent steam cleaning, having a machine on hand is a great convenience and will save you money in the long run.
Either way, be careful to read the instructions thoroughly before using your steam cleaner, even if you have used this type of machine before. Small details matter a lot when steam cleaning your own carpets, because if you damage them, it will cost yourself a lot of money.
Set Everything Up
A hot, dry day is the best time to steam-clean your carpets. If it’s humid, it will take longer to dry out and you run the risk of mold. Make sure you know how much cleaning solution to use, and move all the furniture off your carpeted areas so you can work quickly (especially if you’re renting by the hour).
You’ll need to add hot water to your steam cleaner first, so make sure you don’t block off the route to the bathroom. Once that’s done, pour the solution into your steam cleaner according to the instructions and start to clean.
Cleaning the Carpet
Remember to work from the furthest corners of your home so you have a path to walk on without stepping on the wet, clean carpet. You’ll need to extract as much cleaning solution as possible so you don’t leave chemicals in the carpet. After a few extractions, try a fabric softener rinse so your carpets are soft and plush, then rinse with plain water a few times.
Once you’re done, turn on the fans, air conditioning, and dehumidifier if you have one. Let it air out as fast as possible, and make sure nothing is sitting on the wet carpet (including furniture) that might discolor it or prevent it from drying quickly.
Steam-cleaning your own carpets is an easy enough process, so if you’re finding yourself wasting money on carpet cleanings frequently, consider doing it yourself to save yourself the time and money.
Victoria contributed this guest post on behalf of Empire Carpet. Victoria is a freelance writer and interior designer. She deals with all aspects of interior design and likes DIY challenges.