We bought a carpet shampooer, and we're not sharing.
One item high on our list when we bought a house was a carpet shampooer. I researched these devices at length before we moved, and I settled on a very popular model that was not too expensive. We ordered it online and received it last week. With the dust from moving all settled and painting complete downstairs, I set out this weekend to rid our carpet of the previous inhabitants' bad juju. Or kool-aid. Or whatever that orange stain is.
I used the shampoo that came with the unit this first time, but I used the majority of the bottle to clean the entire house. I purchased another type of carpet shampoo (Biokleen) for my next round with the unit, but that may not be for a few months. The free stuff has a slight smell, not offensive, but not my favorite. I used it according to the directions. After a whole house of that stuff, I can say I'm not impressed with its stain removing power. The carpets seem cleaner, and the water I dumped out was nasty looking, so I know the unit worked. Stains are all still there, though. I had some difficulty at first getting the shampooer to dispense cleaning solution, but I missed a critical step in the initial assembly. Thankfully it was a quick fix. I didn't oversaturate the carpets, and I had to empty the dirty water just as often as I had to refill the clean water, so I feel like I pulled up the majority of the cleaning solution that got dispensed. I did two very slow drying passes over the wet carpet, and my entire house was totally dry within six hours (the stairs only took two hours, but I dried them very well). I think I'll see a bigger improvement with the next go-around.
The Man and I have decided that sometimes it pays to be selfish. We thought about borrowing a carpet cleaner from family members that have one, but then we got into issues with pick-ups and drop-offs, who pays for the cleaner, and general wear and tear costs. We were going to rent one, but it was almost $40 anywhere we saw to rent one, plus they make you buy a whole gallon of cleaner (I only used about a pint on my 2,000 sq ft). I didn't like either option. Knowing we'll use the one we bought more often since we own it and the fact that it will pay for itself within three cleanings, we went all in. Though we're sure people will ask to borrow our shampooer, we've decided that we aren't going to lend it out. With the experience of lending functioning items out only to receive them in worse condition later, we're positive our unit is going to last longer and function better if we don't lend it out.
Think of a carpet shampooer like a big toothbrush. It cleans carpet, the largest expansive home of dust mites, allergens, and mold in your house. Carpet is a lot like a tongue with regard to the texture and nasties-trapping ability. Would you share a toothbrush with someone after they dragged it across their tongue and scraped out all the nasties? The Man and I have a hard enough time not wheezing on the dust and mold in our house (and we have relatively clean air). We aren't going to lend out our carpet shampooer, have someone gunk it up with their nasties, and bring it home and introduce those nasties into our living space.
We don't share toothbrushes. That's just wrong.