Seems to me there was a thread on one of the "Off Topic" days about the best steam cleaners for getting carpets clean when they've been stained by pets.
I think one of the Bissell steamers was highly recommended, but I'm open to anything that you've used that's been successful. I've tried LOTS of the carpet stain removers, but none get the stains (urine and vomit...gross, I know) completely out (all the regular carpet cleaners as well as See Spot Go and Nature's Miracle).
I have the Hoover steamer...it's a few years old but works great.
Unfortunately though, once a stain is set the steamers won't do much of anything. The good thing about having one is that you can clean them up easily and fast after they happen. If left too long not much gets them out. You can reduce the looks of a vomit stain...but urine stains means the carpet pad underneath got wet and the smell will be there forever until it's replaced.
I know...it sucks. I'd think about eventually going with hard floors and the area rugs.
Have you tried a commercial carpet cleaning? many have specials where they'll come to 3 rooms/areas for $99. They do a much better job than anything you can buy...the trucks have HUGE suction motors that run the steamers and they can use hotter water and get a deeper cleaning. Might be worth a try...I've seen them remove more stains than my Hoover can. I think some home improvement stores also rent the huge models out...but that will cost about the same as having them come do it professionally.
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We, too, are ripping out the carpet room by room and replacing it with laminate or tile.
But for the sections where we still have carpet, I have a Bissel ProHeat Deluxe.
I used to have a Hoover that was ok, but this Bissel kicks a@#. I have 10 dogs, and when I bust that thing out the carpet looks brand new.
"Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin
I know you asked about steam cleaners, but have you tried something like Woolite or Resolve? I use whatever the steam cleaners are you get at Lowes. My mom turned me on the Lowes steam cleaners as a kid.
Honestly though, if you can't put something other carpet down, we went the white-trash route and put down sticky plastic like you would when you're moving. Took it up when company came over. Definitely doesn't improve the aesthetic look of the place but kept carpet clean underneath.
Slave at the insane aslyum known as Hillyard Farms....
ewww. When you finally pull up the carpet, you will understand why no cleaning product would work. Shudder. We inherited a 15 year old carpet with this house...disgusting underneath.
A really great way to buy hardwood, pergo, etc is through Craig's list. Lots of people buy stuff to start projects or have left overs and then sell the stuff cheap! Or they are contractors and have those pesky "leftovers" hanging around after a construction job.
We bought this farm in 2005 and have pulled most of the carpet up in this house. It was a lovely white Berber and it did not last long with our lifestyle and my lack of housecleaning. We are hoping to install hardwood through the house...heck I'd even take Pergo over carpet.
I have light beige carpets, 4 dogs, and a low-lying poorly drained yard (think: mud). Yuck! I also recently bought a Bissell steam cleaner with the heating option. I *heart* it!! It does a great job of cleaning the carpet and gets stains out really well. I buy the pre-treatment spray so if there's a stain, I clean it up best I can and spray with the pre-treater. That seems to help if I can't immediately get out the steam cleaner. White vinegar gets poured over urine stains afte I've soaked up the urine - helps kill the odor and keeps it from staining the carpet. Vomit stains just get cleaned up as best I can - mostly using a cup of water and a ShamWow! Pour water on the stain and reabsorb with the ShamWow - rinse and repeat until it's as clean as you can get it. Then pretreat and steamclean later.
I plan to rip out the carpets eventually and have tile or hardwoods - but won't happen anytime soon.
"Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower
We have tile or hardwood in our main areas, much easier to clean and dog nails can't damage the tile. We used to have carpet and I used the Bissel Pro heat and it worked pretty good. After seeing what the carpet/floor looked like when it was pulled up, I said no more carpet except for bedrooms.
I don't know how I'm going to afford it but my carpet is starting to look rather worn. How does the fake hardwood stuff look? Any suggestions on types? My entire house is carpet so it will be a costly project but maybe if I go the fake hardwood route I can do it a room or two at a time. Thanks!
Last edited by Holly Jeanne; Mar. 19, 2009 at 01:35 PM.
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I second SkipHi's suggestion of using vinegar on urine stains. Removes a lot of the stink.
Pergo isn't that expensive and I have it in my highest traffic areas like hallways and foyer. Have to say I'm impressed with it's durability...my late 164 lb dog who hated having his nails clipped never made a scratch in it and my current 100 lb dog tears up and down that hallway all day long and doesn't mark it one bit. Cleans easy as heck too...warm damp mop and it shines. Our first house was all hardwood through out and while I love hardwood it does mark up with lots of dog traffic. And that was oak wood floors too.
If you do a room or two at a time it's not that scary an expense.
Another VERY easy and cheap redo is to yank the carpet in the worst areas and replace with tile looking vinyl squares that stick down one at a time. Peel and stick floors...they have some really nice looking patterns now and they cost only a few cents per square foot. They come in marble looks, tile, even hardwood. And it's not cheesy plastic looking hardwood either. I think Home Depot sells them in boxes of 20 tiles for about $12-$15 per box.
You jump in the saddle,
Hold onto the bridle!
Jump in the line!
The only 1st floor room that has carpet is the living room: an addition with carpet over concrete floor. The main traffic areas have Pergo and the bedrooms are hardwood with area rugs. A thought on Pergo I found out the hard way: IT IS VERY SLIPPERY WHEN WET! I am talking ice skating rink if there is a spill, the dog melts snow on it or tracks in very wet feet! It wears like iron but I have landed or nearly landed on my butt on the kitchen floor more than a few times! The BEST stain remover I had was the Bissell Green Machine. When that died I wanted another but the local stores only have the mini version now of the Little Green Machine. The one I have now is a Hoover. It does OK but the Bissell was better. We recently had a very old dog put down that had pee incontinence issues at the end so it got used daily........
I'd call a restoration company. They will come, strip out your wall to wall, clean it in their factory and re-install it. Much cheaper than replacing either carpet or flooring. I'd probably replace the underlay, although they can clean that too. IME its the only way to get rid of the stale urine smell.
We had a lady with a dog and 2 cats owned our house before us. We had the professional steam cleaners in three times in 2 weeks to try and get rid of the smell but it kept coming back. Their work was guaranteed so the returns were free, but still.
If you are the do-it yourself type and your carpets are synthetic, you can do what we just did. After 9 months of giant puppy accidents ( 2 -100 lb rottie crosses who are now house trained thank COD!) we hung our synthetic carpets over the pipe corral fence, attacked them with our pressure washer, let them dry in the sun for a day and put them back while still slightly moist so we could stretch them back square. We did replace the underlay though, as it was squashed anyway. The carpets looked as good as new and they were already 15 years old.
We tried using vinegar, rinsing and then rinsing with baking soda solution, but then the place smelled of vinegar and dog doo....
"The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF
Love the Pergo. When we moved in the house had 70's yellow colored shag wall-to-wall. It was infested with fleas. Three weeks and many bites into our move, I hauled out the crow-bar, and all but the living room carpet went. We did the Pergo ourselves, and we are still married. Seven years later, and it looks great. Dog slips if he runs too fast, but he is ok with it.
Before spending money on trying to live with carpet, get bids on putting down tile, it is not as expensive as you may think, unless you go pure marble or something like it.
The cost to get plain ceramic tile was almost the same than carpet or wood or laminates would have been, so the whole house is now tile and we don't need all those carpet cleaners and to live with the dirt carpets accumulate, that you can't clean out of.
All I can recommend is to give up now. You will save yourself a lot of stress and many hours of pointless labor. Replace your carpet with hardwood, tile, laminate, or if you must have carpet select a low pile dark brown variety. A carpet cleaner that will remove dog-processed green horse manure from carpet simply does not exist.