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steam cleaner problems?

i have a bissel steam cleaner. we live in apartment with nasty carpets. we steam clean like once a month or so. we just potty trained my son and there is pee in the carpet. steam cleaning doesnt remove the smell. i dont know which part of the carpet stinks so i have to treat the whole carpet. what can i do to clean the smell cuz the steam cleaner isnt enough. its not a spot i have to clean its the whole room. actually two rooms. ived tried bissel steam cleaner stuff ive tried laundry soap. i have white carpets can i just do bleach? what can i do?

4 Answers

  • John W
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I have a Hoover steam vac and with the Hoover, there's a plastic piece connecting the vacuum to the reservoir which you pivot out of the way to attach the upholstery handheld attachment. If I pivot this away and not attach the handheld attachment, the machine will spray out the cleaning solution but not suck it up allowing me to allow the cleaning solution to soak in before sucking it up. Remember the urine has had a chance to soak in so just spraying out a cleaning solution and immediately sucking it up isn't going to get all of it.

    Another trick I have is to load the machine up with hydrogen peroxide, basically cleaning the carpet with oxygen as hydrogen peroxide reacts with organic compounds. You need to test a small section as hydrogen peroxide has a bleaching effect.

    Also I would do multiple passes, each with at least twenty minutes for the solution to soak in with each pass. With pet urine, I would do a hydrogen peroxide pass, a soap solution pass, a water rinse pass and a petenzyme solution pass. Note some of the petenzyme will still be in the carpet after you've sucked it up and will continue neutralizing the urine over time.

    I have used bleach on certain occasions but I find that Resolve carpet stain remover is more effective but more troublesome as it foams. I would suggest hydrogen peroxide would be better than bleach. You can get some really concentrated hydrogen peroxide at the pharmacy (35%) if you want a very strong bleaching action but I would stay with the 3% or dilute the 35% down a bit.

    Often I would use some high efficiency washing machine detergent instead of the carpet shampoo solution. The high efficiency washing machine detergent differs from regular washing machine detergent in that it's more dilute and is formulated not to foam so much, for the deep cleaners, you don't want foam or you'll be constantly rinsing out the waste water reservoir.

    Note, these "steam cleaners" are in fact just deep cleaners and do not use steam. The water is usually only hot tap water. The Hoover has a heater but it does not heat the water, it heats the air that it blows down onto the carpet to help dry the carpet. Real steam cleaners (dry vapour cleaners) cost about $3,000 plus and with those you throw down terry cloths to wick up the moisture and the dirt rather than suck it up with a vacuum. You can get cheap versions but they don't last long and you often have to let them cool down before refilling the boiler.

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  • 1 decade ago

    most times in this kind of situation it is not the carpet that smells but the underlay material that has become saturated with urine and what ever else has gotten into the carpets from the time they were installed. A commercial style carpet steam cleaner will have the power necessary to remove the moisture ( steam) used to clean the carpets, home models just don't have the power to do this. If after using a commercial style unit you find you still have this smell, then it may be time for the underlay to be replaced. I have seen stains not only under the carpet and under the underlay, but also into the wood sub floor. Only by removing the carpet can one determine the depth of damage done by pets,children and adults.

    Source(s): floor installer for 5 yrs
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  • 1 decade ago

    Hey Heath,

    Make sure you read all of my response please.

    Sometimes carpeting just is so nasty on the underside that you'll never get odors out and need new carpeting. But is it worth replacing carpeting in a rental? So try buying a large spray bottle of Febreze and a large refill bottle as well. Saturate the carpeting every time you clean doing so after you run the vacuum. Just make sure pets & kids are not in the room when doing this because I am positive the mist can not be all that safe when breathed into little lungs. Febreze also sells plug in air fresheners and the DO work in eliminating odors. I am addicted to Febreze products and if you find after using them, that you are too, you can buy them cheaper and in quantity on eBay. Good luck getting the smells gone.

    I responded to your response about Linda, did you get it? I'd like to talk to you off of here, email me your number please. I'd like to find out what happened. By the way, how did you find my post 3 years later on here?


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  • Huge
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Have you rolled back the carpet to check whats underneath often there is a foam underlay of some kind and if this gets soaked then it will smell. You need to clean a dry the underlay then put all back

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