Although most modern carpets are treated by the manufacturer to be somewhat stain resistant, this doesn't mean that the carpets are stainproof. And, as accidents will always happen, stain and spillages on the carpet leads many people to invest in a steam cleaner. Steam cleaners are excellent for restoring a carpet to that 'new look' standard. There are a couple of things to note before using your steam cleaner for the first time; adhering to these will enable you to steam clean a carpet properly.
Use Only Approved Cleaners
You may be tempted to use homemade cleaning products with the cleaner, as they are more 'green' and kinder to the environment than the recommended cleaning fluid. Or you may consider buying a different or cheaper brand of cleaning fluid for the cleaner. Never do this, as it can actually void your warranty for the cleaner. Many manufacturers clearly state this in the handbook that comes with the cleaner. Before you buy the steam cleaner, make sure to compare prices for fluids and additives, and get one within your price range.
Always Vacuum First
Some people believe that when they steam clean, the cleaner will remove all of the dirt on the carpet, so there is no need to vacuum first. This is wrong. The importance of vacuuming before steam cleaning should not be underestimated. As the steam cleaner works, it pushes the dirt and stains through the carpet during the process. If you don't vacuum prior to steam cleaning, all the dirt that the vacuum would have removed is forced into the cleaning process of the steam machine. When vacuuming, go slowly, and vacuum repeatedly over dirty or stained areas to remove as much dirt as you can.
Embrace the Power of Water
Once you have the carpet vacuumed, you can deal with any stubborn stains before going over the carpet with the steam cleaner. A good trick to try is adding some baking soda to warm water; this is then poured over the stain before steam cleaning it. The steam from the machine kills off all (or most) of the bacteria in the carpet, allowing the baking soda to remove any unpleasant odors.
Some people add chemicals and cleaners to stains before steam cleaning, but you will be pleasantly surprised to see that water and baking soda, in many cases, work just as well as expensive stain removers.
Try to steam clean on warm, sunny days rather than humid or wintery days; you can dry the carpet quickly, as well as avoid a steamed up home. For other tips or for more assistance, consult services like Hercules Carpet Cleaning.