Gotta clean my carpets . . . what's best to do it?
We're getting ready to sell our home, and our carpets need some help. We've taken the yard from bare dirt to landscaped, and despite my best efforts, there has been a LOT of dirt tracked into the house. Add to that the messes that four small children can make (a couple spit-up and some apple juice spots), and it's looking pretty sad. It's a cheap, synthetic berber, and so vacuuming is marginally helpful. Before we bought this place, I liked berber . . . but anyway. When we moved in, we paid several hundred dollars to have the carpet cleaned, and now we're thinking that it would be more economical to just buy a carpet cleaner and do it ourselves. I'm also highly sensitive to chemicals, and after the carpets were cleaned last time, I could hardly breathe for days. I'm rambling, so I'll cut to the chase:
We want to buy a carpet cleaner. Which ones do you own and like? What should I look for in a cleaning machine?
Is there any way to really clean well without harsh chemicals? I've read reviews about steam cleaners that say they're less than great on carpet, so I'm not interested in one of those.
We're looking at spending around (or preferrably less than) $300.
Thanks so much!