When it comes to overall hygiene and the need to prevent bacteria buildup, steam cleaning is the way to go. With various options to choose from, steam cleaners are available in the market today. Steam cleaners provide a fast and efficient way of cleaning the carpet, arguably one of the most challenging items in a household to clean. The use of steam is completely safe to use in the home environment and collects all the grime and dirt present on the carpet without affecting the carpet’s fibers. This ultimately leaves the carpet fresh and clean.
Steam cleaning can be done comfortably from your home’s comfort and does not require any professional expertise or technique. Whether renting out or purchasing a steam cleaner, carpet cleaning is easy and fast to do after following the manual’s instructions.
How it works
Steam cleaning is water-based and uses superheated steam to activate detergent, enabling proper cleaning. Tiny vapors are then expelled through the cleaner’s hose and penetrate the carpet’s fibers’ surface to clean out the stains, dirt, and grime. The extreme heat acts fast on extra debris, mold, and dust, collecting it instantly. The bonnet on the cleaner’s hose is used to capture dirt from the carpet. Steam cleaning uses plain water in the vaporized form to clean; therefore, the carpet will be damp afterward. It is best to vacuum the carpet before using a steam cleaner to enable the steam to dig in and extract the lodged grime in the carpet. It is advisable to vacuum in different directions to ensure the fibers are reached properly.
After vacuuming, protecting the furniture by covering the feet or edges on the floor will prevent them from absorbing moisture. Steam cleaning requires a two-step process for the best results. Most steam cleaners do not require detergent as the steam will emulsify the dirt once in contact with the carpet. However, using an oil-based soap is ideal for removing the tough stains commonly found through dark spots. The first step involves passing the hose over the carpet to capture the exterior debris. After filling the water tank to the recommended height and ensuring the steam light is on. The second step involves using extremely hot water to lift off the carpet base’s dirt. You can incorporate adding vinegar to deodorize the carpet, leaving a clean, fresh scent. Be sure to move the cleaner slowly during the second step to remove as much water as possible to prevent mildew.
Types of steam cleaners
There are several types of steam cleaners found in the market today, which are ideal for carpet washing:
- Steam Mops
These are lightweight steam cleaners built in water canisters that heat up instantly. They are compact and handy, working like regular mops to clean the carpet. The built-in water canister will need refilling due to its small size once the water reaches below the recommended limit. Although they work best on hard floors, steam mops are used to clean carpets by attaching a carpet glider. Modern steam mops have two-in-one features that enable handheld options for cleaning tighter spots.
- Cylinder steam cleaners
These are bigger steam cleaners that require wheel rollers for movement. These have a higher capacity water tank which lessens the need for refilling and powerful steam output. They come with different accessories and attachments which ensure adequate cleaning of the carpet.
Why use a steam cleaner?
With the above functionality options, it is evident to see the benefits of steam cleaners in the home. Some additional benefits include:
- Cost-effective method
Steam cleaners rarely use detergents unless preferred by the user. Therefore, they save a lot on detergent and cleaning supply costs, as all that is needed is water. There is also no need for protective gear as there is no contact with the skin.
- Environment friendly
Steam cleaning is an environment-friendly option, especially for individuals prone to allergies and sensitivity. Steam cleaning is the safest and healthy for children and pets, offering no side effects from chemical substances and the best option for sterile carpets.
- Thoroughly effective
Steam cleaning is one of the most effective means of getting rid of stubborn and toughest debris. The hot water molecules target even the toughest of stains and pathogens, eliminating them from the carpet pad’s interior.
What to look out for in a steam cleaner
With the above benefits, there are several factors to look out for when purchasing or renting a steam cleaner:
- Steam temperature
An ideal steam cleaner requires a temperature of about 200 degrees and above. There are available steam settings on most cleaners which are adjustable to suit different tasks.
- Water heat uptime
The water tank’s size determines the time taken to heat the water. However, most steam cleaners heat water in not more than twenty seconds.
- Water tank capacity
Cylinder steam cleaners are bigger, therefore, have larger water tanks. The larger the tank, the less time you will need to refill it. Therefore, it is important to choose a cleaner that suits your carpet needs.
- Cleaner accessories
Most steam cleaners come with detachable accessories designed to clean various surfaces. Others may come with additional cleaning pads, brushes, and detergent.
What to consider
It is important to treat stains before steam cleaning to prevent them from resurfacing days later. Steam cleaning forces the dirt and stains into the pad of the carpet, and when not properly addressed, can resurface days later to visible markings. Therefore, for best results, treat stains before steam cleaning. Before using any detergent or cleaning agent, be sure to test in a small spot on your carpet. This prevents using damaging products on the carpet, which will eventually risk fading or discoloration.
Check the machine’s warranty before purchase to ensure the cleaner serves in its best capacity. Researching credible sites will enable you to identify the best steam cleaner for the home. Steam cleaners are ideal for use after every three to six months. It is best to target steam cleaning during humid days to ensure your carpet dries faster.