Bruce – Good article today…
I have a Hoover Steam Vac… I do our own carpets because I don’t want just a steam truck mount to go over the carpets once and leave. I want the bristle action of the rotating brushes. Since we were in the business, I know how to clean the carpet better than the steam truck man.
Here’s the BIG deal… After you clean the carpet, rinse the carpet with clean water. I rinse it at least twice, and the traffic areas I clean heavier and rinse more. That gets the shampoo out of the carpet, plus the remaining/residual dirt. Rinsing is SO IMPORTANT so the carpet doesn’t re-soil from shampoo – even the new shampoos that say they won’t re-soil, will… Even the best shampoos are chemical compounds, and if you don’t rinse them, you are leaving them in the carpet… And the truck mount man doesn’t rinse.
I only shampoo our carpets twice – maybe three times a year, but then we don’t have heavy traffic through the house and the main walkway is hardwood. The grandkids who live here in ATL are grown to where they don’t track much in, and I am always barefoot in the house. Dave is my only culprit – and he does know how to make a mess.
Today was going to be the day (funny, you chose today to post this!)… but the weather is iffy and the humidity high, so that’s another reason to own your own carpet cleaner… If the weather doesn’t work, you’re not tied to a rental or a scheduled appointment… You can clean when the weather suits you!
I can do without a lot of things, but not my carpet machine… Like I said, I KNOW I do a better job than a service, especially now that truck mounts are all the rage… I like my shampoo and rotating bristle brush action…
My carpets are now 11 years old, and other than doorways – which still look pretty good – the rest of the carpet looks brand new, especially when freshly shampooed.
P.S. I clean traffic areas by first lightly spraying with a butyl cleaner, like Fantastic or 409, then I take a plastic-bristled scrub brush and brush the cleaner in. Then I shampoo with the machine and rinse, rinse, rinse – yes, it foams and I have to empty the waste – but it does a great job on heavily soiled traffic areas and spots. For oily spots, try Spot Shot solvent cleaner (spray can). I also spray stubborn spots with Oxy-Clean spray – does NOT hurt the carpet.
BLOOD: Saturate the spot with cold water and blot with a clean bath towel… Repeat, repeat, repeat. For any blood stain remaining, first try Oxy-Clean, and if that doesn’t work try S-32 (in a yellow bottle, not a spray—contains tri-sodium phosphate and sodium tri-poly phosphate). It’s kind of my last resort, but it sometimes – only sometimes – will work on stubborn stains when nothing else does. Oh yeah, rinse in between all those chemicals.
If you have Stainmaster bullet-proof carpet that’s supposed to be bleach-proof, you could try a little hydrogen peroxide on blood… BUT TEST IT FIRST by pulling a few fiber strands out of the carpet and dunking it in the hydrogen peroxide… Wait a while to see if it changes color. DO NOT TRY HYDROGEN PEROXIDE on less sturdy carpet as it will definitely bleach the color…
P.P.S. My Hoover Steam Vac is at least 10 years old – could be more: 10 years x 2 cleanings/yr x $200 (minimum) = $4000 potential professional cleaning cost. Cost of Steam Vac at Sam’s, about $300… Easy to do the math.