Thursday, October 18, 2007

Carpet shampooing doesn't have to be toxic!

I'm still here! :) School got busy and then I got sick. I'm too picky to let my apartment go much, but I definitely wasn't up to trying and reviewing anything new.

So I finally saved a bit and got myself a carpet shampooer. To be precise, I got a
"Hoover F5914-900 SteamVac with Clean Surge".
My desire for one was so great because the carpeting in our apartment's bedroom has looked filthy since we moved in, and the rental shampooer I got from the grocery store actually made it worse (I think the thing was broken). I did a lot of research before choosing this model, and I have to say, I'm pretty happy with it.

Many years ago I shared an apartment with a mentally handicapped dog. Before we discovered "doggie diapers", our carpets suffered mightily. This was an apartment with carpeting throughout the unit as well. The poor little dog couldn't reason out even to use a puppy training pad, and after the stink got a certain amount lethal, we bought a Bissell. It worked... okay. Nothing like a professional job or the unit we once rented from a hardware shop.

The Hoover seems somewhere between professional and the Bissell so far, but it's very hard to tell because the carpet is a very mottled multi-colored job. I'm amazed at the filth in the water it pulls out though.

But let me get to the eco part!

So of course the thing came with a bottle of Hoover brand cleaning solution. This little bottle had no marked ingredients, which always irks me.
For the sake of science (you hear that, readers? I sacrificed my sense of smell for you! ;) ) I used it on part of my bedroom carpet. It worked quite well, but it smelled absolutely horrid and caustic. I wanted to crick a window, but it was a bit late and cool out.

Thankfully, I have an alternative- Earth Friendly Products' Carpet Shampoo! It smells like bergamot and sage (yum!), and it works just as well as the Hoover brand. I saved half of my bedroom carpet to do a comparison on, and the two products are functionally interchangeable. The Hoover machine comes with a bunch of caveats about only using Hoover liquid (they all do that), because other products may foam too much or somehow ruin the machine. I love the carpet shampooer, but I definitely am not buying the cross-branding hype. Just for "assault on my nose" reasons alone, I'd rather use the EFP. My dogs, my husband and I have to walk on this carpet too!


Laura said...

What do you know about the AFM trio of products, SafeChoice Carpet Shampoo, SafeChoice Carpet Seal ("to help prevent the outgassing of harmful chemicals found in carpet backing and adhesives"), and SafeChoice Lock-Out ("seals and reduces the outgassing of harmful chemicals")? Are they as safe as their company states? How can I find out?

lisbet said...

Interesting! I'd never heard of those products. I'd see if you can find the ingredients listed somewhere (either the company website or search around) and if anything sounds fishy, do a search on that ingredient. Sometimes I guage by the type of website that sells a product too. If it's sold by sites I trust, I tend to feel better about it :) You'll have to let me know how they are if you try them.

Rudy said...

Lisbet, sounds like a wonderful product!

Pet stains are indeed tough to remove. I'm glad that you've found a product that would do the trick for your carpet. We actually have 4 dogs in the house. They are very adorable but they caused major damages to our carpet. That's why my mother decided to try carpet cleaners, Portsmouth based to resolve the problem. The professionals effectively resolved our problem with carpet cleaning. In Virginia Beach where we live in, there are a lot of experts offering such services.

I'd want to try the product that you mentioned though for minor cleaning. Thanks!

Shirlene said...

My dog, Max also has a toilet training problem. He seems to see our whole carpet as his toilet. I've tried various carpet shampoos, yet the smell still remains. The carpet colors are changing every time I try to clean it. Good thing a carpet cleaning (Indianapolis, Indiana-based) we're able to restore it.

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