Steam-Clean Your Carpet

by Lynn

As a gift to my parent’s (more so an early Father’s day gift), I decided to steam-clean my entire upstairs childhood home, 5 bedrooms, the hall, and stairs.  With the weekend home, I spent at least 6 hours of preparation work i.e. moving around furniture and vacuuming.  I was being a bit ambitious (and limiting my physical work) and went for the 4-hour rental from Home Depot.

In case you haven’t seen these steam-cleaners, you should be warned that they are upright (slightly heavy) bulky and square vacuums with wheels.  Filling the machine with the appropriately mixed solution only made it heavier.  While it wasn’t difficult to use (be sure to follow instructions properly if it’s your first time) or maneuver the cleaner, it was more of a workout than your average vacuuming.

Even though I wouldn’t want to do it, you should probably do it at least once a year as maintenance.  Trust me that water was disgusting!  Also, it’s more affordable than hiring someone.


  • Wear a clean pair of flip-flops or be prepared to have wet feet with chemicals seeping through your skin
  • Monitor the tube that places the dirty water back into the container to ensure that the machine is working
  • It will take about 24 hours for 90% of your carpet to dry

$18 for the pre-treatment spry and solution
$20 for the 4-hour ($25 for 24-hour; price compared to $26 from the local Safeway with only the 24-hour option)
+$51 for my manual labor
Clean carpet = Priceless