When I was a kid, I remember that once or twice a year, my mother would go to the hardware store and rent a big, bulky carpet cleaner that steamed and shampooed all our rugs. It was a major ordeal, and we kids had to help move all the furniture out of the way, stay out of each room until the carpets dried completely, and then help put the couch, tables, and chairs back again. No one liked doing this, but it was the only way to get the deep clean that was needed in a house full of kids and dogs.
Fortunately, things have changed significantly over the past 30 years. Now there are many affordable steam vacuum cleaners on the market that provide the same kind of deep clean that my mom had to go through so much trouble to get before. These steam vacuum cleaners are portable enough to use all over the house (upstairs and downstairs), and are durable enough for heavy usage.
The biggest advantage of having one of these steam vacuum cleaners at home is that you'll be able to spot clean your carpeting or upholstery as soon as a spill or accident happens. Everyone knows you shouldn't allow these spills any time to sink in, so this is where residential sized steam vacuum cleaners come in handy. As soon as your toddler knocks over his sippy cup or your family pet has an accident, you can pull out the steamer, work on the spot, and get your carpet looking like new again.
As I said before, there is a wide selection of steam vacuum cleaners to choose from these days. Manufacturers such as Hoover, Dirt Devil, Bissell, and Kenmore all make several different models that are designed for heavy-duty cleaning at home. These steam vacuum cleaners usually come with a variety of attachments that allow you to clean furniture, drapes, and stairs too. Some even work on clothing, giving you a terrific way to get rid of unsightly stains on your favorite shirt or jacket before the mess sets in for good.
Some problems with steam vacuum cleaners that you should beware of before you buy include power cords being too short, high shampoo or solution costs, and excessive noise. It would help to read unbiased consumer reviews of any product you're thinking of purchasing so you can get a better idea of what to expect once you open the box.
All I can say is that I'm very happy I no longer have to rent steam vacuum cleaners whenever I want to give my house a thorough cleaning. It's great to have a machine right here at home that I can use any time it's needed!