Having been a professional carpet cleaner every summer throughout college, I have experience cleaning carpets. The machines I used back then were all truck mounted and ran off of the transmission of the truck. They created high pressure, high temperature solution introduction with near complete extraction that left the carpet virtually dry. So, I had read all the reviews of this product, and figured the product would be good, but it has greatly exceeded my expectations. Knowing that the extraction process is the most important aspect of cleaning, I didn't use any carpet solution in the machine. I loaded the machine with scorching hot tap water only. However, I pretreated the carpets with a solution from a pump sprayer that consisted of 2 Gallons of warm water, mixed with 1 cup of simple green and 1/4 cup of oxy clean. After moistening the carpet with this solution, I brushed it with a medium bristly deck brush. I let the solution sit for about 10 minutes, and then began using the machine. The goal is to get all of the cleaning solution out of the carpet to avoid any residues. The result was pretty amazing. As good as a truck mounted cleaning? No, but pretty darn close. The amount of dirt that came out of the carpets was alarming, and the carpets look considerably better. The carpets were definitely more moist using this machine than when I used the professional machines, but I put my Shop Vac Mighty Mini on the areas as I finished them to assist in drying. I also turned on ceiling fans in rooms where I had them. I paid about $400 for this unit after getting a $350 quote to have my carpets professionally cleaned using a truck mounted cleaner. My solution cost is minimal, but the time commitment was clearly more than having it done by a professional. But being able to use this machine over and over again, and clean furniture and automotive upholstery...this is a no brainer in the money saving arena. The machine was easy to use. It was easy to empty and refill, and it is pretty light given its size. The only issue that I can speak to is the inability to get in close to the baseboards of the walls. In this area I used the hand held tool and actually used my shop vac with a crevice tool to ensure a better cleaning.
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