When I first moved into my apartment a year ago, my carpets looked brand new. Even though I vacuum regularly, months of shoe and sneaker traffic, feline hairballs, and who knows what else has diminished the look of the most lived-in portion of the dwelling. In my old apartment, I didn’t care much for the state of the carpets, but here, I’d like the place to be more presentable to guests.
My first attempt was with Carbona 2 in 1 Oxy-Powered Carpet Cleaner, a bottle of cleaner with a brush for treating and cleaning soiled areas. With the hairballs (and accompanying regurgitated dry cat food) being my primary concern, this product performed adequately at best. I was considering hiring professionals, but this would be an expensive proposition.
Somehow, I found myself chatting with a co-worker the other day. She has a large and messy dog, a black Labrador I believe. This co-worker — let’s call her Mary — is a former single homeowner who has downsized to an apartment for the past year and is planning to begin looking for a new house, but in no rush. Mary swears that the Hoover SteamVac will perform just as good as any professional service and will cost much less.
I’ve decided to put that claim to the test. Amazon.com is selling the Hoover F5912900 TurboPower 5200 SteamVac Carpet Cleaner for about $150 but I was able to beat that price in person at the local Bed Bath & Beyond. The product has great reviews online and this may be the first time I’m looking forward to cleaning.
My girlfriend and I assembled the device on Sunday, but I’m waiting for the next opportunity for its first use. I will need to set aside time for the cleaning plus six hours for the carpets to dry. This is apparently a short period of time compared to the time required by other cleaners.
Updated June 24, 2008 and originally published June 23, 2008. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.