Are the Most Popular Carpet Cleaners Green Enough for Your Home?
Vacuuming your carpet on a regular basis helps to keep it free of debris and looking good. The importance of removing debris goes beyond appearance, though: It helps to keep dirt from working its way deeper into the carpet and causing abrasion, which destroys the fibers. To prevent this, your carpet needs a truly deep cleaning periodically. For a cleaner carpet go beyond mere vacuuming and invest in a home carpet cleaner.
Steam extraction carpet cleaners inject hot water and detergent into carpet and brush them into the fibers. It then extracts the mixture. Some cleaning machines are better at leaving carpet drier than other machines, but all leave some moisture. Although this is called steam cleaning, it is more like giving your carpet and rugs a hot water bath.
Should You Buy, Rent or Hire a Steam Carpet Cleaner?
Consumers typically use three methods to get the carpet clean: rent a machine, buy a machine, or hire someone to do it for them. If you have more money than time, a carpet cleaning company may be ideal. You can find economical deals such as one that offers an introductory price with a small fee for return visits. Be sure to choose eco-friendly green cleaners: More about that later. Renting can be good if you are moving and want to leave a clean carpet; however, if you clean the carpet frequently, buying might be better.
Which Home Carpet Cleaner Should You Buy?
Cheaper is not always better. Less expensive models may have less powerful motors that do not clean as well or that burn out sooner due to strain on the motor. The least expensive may not even have a motor, and they may depend on the strength of the operator to power the brushes.
Consider a unit that is lightweight enough for you. It should have the attachments you need, such as those required for cleaning narrow spaces. If you have a large area, consider a unit with a large water reservoir for less frequent filling/emptying, and it should have a long electrical cord to enhance maneuverability. Costlier units have electronics that will mix and dispense the cleaner for you and indicate when the water needs to be changed.
A couple of popular brands of carpet cleaners are Bissell QuickSteamer and the Hoover SteamVac. While some cleaners sell for over $400.00, these are about 1/4 of that price. Additionally, they are power and dependable enough to satisfy most users.
The best features of the upright Bissell include the low price, the lightweight and maneuverability, and the good job it does in small areas. One of its downfalls is the small water tank, which doesn’t allow for cleaning large areas. There are occasional problems with the dependability of the sprayer apparatus, and it is not high-powered enough to clean large high-traffic areas well; however, for the money and for light use, Bissell QuickSteamer is a good value.
In the price range, the Hoover SteamVac with Clean Surge F5914-900 is one of the favorites. The Clean Surge is a feature that allows the user to squirt extra cleaner on dirtier stains. It dries carpet better than similar models do. It has five spinning brushes that remove more dirt than a single-brush model would. The cons are the small dirty-water tank and the durability. It is should be fine for moderate duty, but heavier use will require a more expensive, sturdier unit. This lower-priced unit gets better ratings than many of Hoover’s higher-end carpet cleaners do.
How to Make Your Carpet Cleaner Eco-friendly
There is good news for you: You can make your cleaner as eco-friendly as you like. The difference is what you use to clean the carpet. Many cleaners contain synthetic solvents that may harm you, your pets and the environment. One example is perchloroethylene, which can cause dizziness and nausea, as well as kidney and liver disease. Another is naphthalene, which is a possible carcinogen, and it can damage the central nervous system. These toxins can also enter the environment if not disposed of properly.
So what should you use as a green cleaner?
For cleaning the whole carpet, the environmentally safe way to clean is with plant products. These products are biodegradable and chemical free, and many of them include citrus and extracts from other plants. There are many green cleaning product companies around these days, as well as new “green” lines of cleaning products being offered by conventional companies. Just make sure you read the labels to find out details of what the claims are for each product. If necessary visit a website to find out the ingredients of the supposed “all natural” or “green” or “natural” or biodegradable” product before you buy it or use. Just a little skeptical advise!