Carpet Cleaning Machines

When it's time to clean your carpet (manufacturers recommend at two or three year intervals for carpets that undergo normal use), you can either call in a carpet cleaning organization, rent a carpet cleaning machine, or make the decision to invest in purchasing a carpet cleaner.

Truck Mounted Equipment

Professional carpet cleaning organizations use commercial grade carpet cleaning machines to steam clean carpets, upholstery and other household surfaces. Though some service providers use portable equipment, truck mounted equipment delivers much better results, and are much less intrusive than their portable counterparts. The steam cleaning process (also called water extraction, or extraction) entails applying pressurized jets of steam onto the surface to flush out all debris, and simultaneously removing as much water, moisture and waste as possible. With truck mounted units, the heavy machinery and the waste depository stay on a truck or van parked outside the premises. Cleaning technicians enter the house carrying hoses and wands that are attached to the unit to carry steam in and residue out.

Consumer steam cleaning machines are no match for their powerful truck mounted cousins, but they can be handy to have around the home. Carpet owners who are also indoor pet owners might want to consider investing in a good steam cleaning machine to help deal with pet odors and stains.

Steam Cleaning Machine

When choosing a home steam cleaner, important factors are:

  • Water Heating Mechanism
  • The Size of the Tank(s) or Reservoirs
  • Number of Reservoirs (clean water and dirty water)
  • Whether the Machine is Upright or Canister
  • Portability
  • Brushes
  • Attachments

Two smaller versions of the steam cleaner are steam mops and handheld steam cleaners. A steam mop is basically an upgraded version of a regular rag mop, and thus, most suitable for use on hard surfaces such as wood floors or surfaces covered with tile or linoleum. A handheld steam cleaner is the least expensive of the three types of steam cleaning machines, but is not particularly suitable for carpet cleaning. This handy tool is good for cleaning grout, removing wrinkles from window coverings, and removing wallpaper.


Carpet shampooers are an archaic type of carpet cleaning machine. The carpet shampooing process requires that a carpet shampoo (chemical or detergent based) be applied to the carpet, allowed to dry and then vacuumed away. This method, however, tends to deliver temporary results, and old-fashioned carpet shampoos left a residue on carpet fibers that actually attracted dirt and promoted staining. Newer types of encapsulated carpet shampoos are currently being developed to deal with this problem.

Call UCM Services Chicago at 773-649-9591 for more information.

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