Today, the term generally means any appliance that is used to clean a carpet and carpet cleaners have changed considerably in the last few years.
Today, most carpet cleaners are in fact steamers. Along with a liquid cleaning solution, hot water or steam is applied to the carpet. Brushes rotate to help lift the rug fibres and the water and solution is then extracted into a waste water reservoir that must be emptied. This allows carpets to be deep-cleaned and the water is then vacuumed by the same machine, allowing it to dry rather quickly.
Before steaming your carpet, always do a thorough cleaning with a vacuum to ensure pieces of debris are removed. After the steaming process and once the carpet has dried completely, it's a good idea to re-vacuum the area to lift fibres and remove detergent residue.
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