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- Pressure: 65 psi
- Temp: 324 °F
- Boiler Vol: .8 L
- Power: 1000 - 1800 watts
- Steamer and Vacuum
Steam Cleaners for Carpets
This is a tricky subject and often people buy steam cleaners for cleaning carpets and are disappointed. So far there is only one steam vacuum combination unit by Reliable that we think is up to the task, and even with that machine it takes time. However, let us explain.
Let’s compare traditional hot water extraction machines to vapor steam cleaners. The "steam cleaners", you may be familiar with or seen used by a rug cleaning service are all based on water extraction. The ones that are truck mounted can cost up to $30,000! Home based systems are only a few hundred dollars and their performance is more often than not congruent with their price. Low price equals low performance. The extraction units that are truck mounted can indeed do a good job on cleaning large areas of carpet although you still have the chemical residue problem. These hot water extraction units do not use steam, they pump large amounts of water through jets accompanied by chemical containing cleaning fluids onto your carpet. These machines agitate with some brushing action and then "extract" most of the water and chemicals out of your carpet. The disadvantages of lower end water extraction systems, and indeed some of the more expensive ones, is that the soap and chemical residue is both harmful to the carpet and your health. Really damp carpet is a breeding ground for mold and dust mites. However, extraction units have been traditionally, the most efficient way to clean a large area of dirty carpeting. Results produced by lower end steam cleaners or cheap services are often indifferent, producing streaking and a great deal of dirt left behind which has only been redistributed, instead of cleaned. This is why your carpet seems to get dirty again so quickly.
In comparison, our testing of vapor steam cleaners on carpets has seemed to be rather a laborious process but it provides some advantages. In using a vapor steam cleaner to CLEAN your heavily soiled carpet (as opposed to killing dust mites in your carpets for which it is superbly well qualified), you should first vacuum up all loose dirt. You then should pre-treat the area, by spraying on some natural ecologically friendly surfactant. Vapor steam cleaning alone will often not take out all the stains. Then use a good quality vapor steam cleaner over the carpeted area and gently rub with the toweling applicator to absorb dirt. The last part of the process is to vacuum over the carpeted area, which will now have the carpet fibers opened up by the heat and more accessible for vacuuming. You should leave it to dry for a few minutes (15 to 20) before using a hepa vacuum cleaner to collect dead dust mites and extra loosened dirt. If you use your vacuum cleaner while the carpet is still damp, you will rust it out - JUST DON'T DO THIS. This method while tedious will give you the best results. You will probably end up only cleaning small areas of carpet at a time with this method. If you have an excessive amount of over-soiled carpet, you may need to use a professional service first then upkeep it with a high end vapor steam cleaner.
However, more recently, we have found that Reliable has actually has produced a really good combination steam cleaner and vacuum. Granted you would buy a regular vacuum for normal vacuuming tasks since a vacuum cleaner would be lighter and more effective. However if you want to the cleaning power and sanitization of steam cleaning and the convenience instant post vacuuming, the Reliable TANDEM EV1 combination unit is a wonderful breakthrough product for carpet cleaning.
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