When–And How–To Use A Carpet Steamer

If you have carpeting in your home, you’re probably no stranger to spot treating when faced with unexpected spills and messes. At least once a year, however, it’s a good idea to steam clean your carpets, which will help remove dirt and debris, as well as prolong the life of your carpet. Plus, a deep cleaning will remove mold, mildew and other allergens, which can improve the air quality within your home.
What is steam cleaning?
A steam cleaner uses a jet of hot water to deep clean the carpet, then vacuums the carpet, removing the bulk of the dirty water. Your steam cleaner may call for the addition of a cleaning solution to the water–consult the instruction manual for details.
Rent or buy?
You can buy a steam cleaner, but if it’s something you think you’ll use on an annual basis or less, you may want to consider renting one. For high traffic areas, you can steam clean every three to six months.

How to use a steamer
Although somewhat bulky, carpet steamers are relatively easy to use. Whether you rent or buy one, be sure the filter is clean before you begin. Fill the steamer’s water tank with hot water and, if specified, a cleaning agent or solvent.
Before you steam, move any furniture out of the room to ensure you can easily reach all of the carpeting. Start in one corner and work your way out, changing the water and adding more cleaner when necessary. The carpet will need additional time to dry, so make sure you allow plenty of time before replacing the furniture.
Sure, carpet steaming isn’t the most entertaining way to spend an afternoon, but this is a cheaper option than calling a professional carpet cleaner. Plus, if you or a family member are sensitive to chemicals, you can use a steamer that doesn’t require any solvent.
Have you steam cleaned your carpets? And if so, do you have a particular steamer recommendation?
Photo: Flickr.com/photos/alikwilliams/2462900764/

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