GateHouse — Never rent a carpet cleaner.
Never rent a carpet cleaner.
Just don’t. Realize that carpets, by their filthy fibrous natures, will always contain some considerable amount of playground dirt and cosmic dust and standard-issue housefunk and dog hair and old food and and that’s just how it is, and you should be OK with it. Maybe it, you know, boosts immunity or something.
We rented a carpet cleaner this weekend. Related: We live like farm animals. Related: That’s not true. Farm animals would not let their living spaces get like this; at some point a rooster or something would be like, “Guys, seriously. Also, cock-a-doodle-doo!”
Oh sure, there is a hygiene upgrade and general peace of mind that comes with the post-clean knowledge that your carpets are so sterling you could eat off them (so long as you didn’t mind fibers in your steak or the occasional ball of fuzz in your soup). Sure, it’s nice to have a clean house. We have two kids in ours, so this last part has gone from being an occasional delight to something we remember from a time we’ve come to know as “The Restaurant Years.”
But when you rent a carpet cleaner, what begins as the Saturday afternoon rental of an appliance from some 17-year-old dude at Lowe’s ends 24 hours later in a Zen-level re-evaluation of your entire lifestyle, a questioning of the things that make you human, all of which are captured in that tank with the water you’re supposed to pour out because it contains all the stuff that used to be on your floor. And that water is usually black. That water has less the consistency of water and more the consistency of sauce. That water indicates that your carpets have spent a considerable amount of time beneath a carnival.
I mean, sure, it’s a little bit our fault. Apparently you’re not supposed to wait four years in between doing this sort of thing. I feel like that should have been mentioned at our house closing.
We should also have realized that one of the few rooms in our house with carpets is occupied by my son, who is 9, an age at which attention to domestic-related hygiene is at the approximate level of a goat. Actually, I take that back, goats would probably, after a few days, pick up their Legos, because goats would get tired of stepping on Legos in the middle of the night, and listening to their goat-parents curse at them for leaving their goat-Legos out, and paying attention to their goat-parents when the goat-parents yell, “GOAT! PICK UP THESE GOAT-RAILROAD TRACKS RIGHT NOW!” Kids, am I right? (<- STUPID GOAT PUN)
But 9-year-old are, as a rule gross, and as such it stands to reason that their floors are a reflection of that inveterate grossness. I’ll spare you what happened in that room, but basically we went in, moved out all the furniture, brought up the carpet cleaner and turned on the carpet cleaner, which immediately burst into a blue flame and released hundreds of spirits of the undead.
Related, sort of
Naturally, it was left up to me to return the carpet cleaner to the nice people at Lowe’s who, inexplicably, gave me back a “clean machine deposit” that I had apparently paid before I realized that I realized I was basically hosing out a panda enclosure. Excepting the time we got like $40 of our deposit back from our college apartment, which I’m convinced was meant for somebody else, because frankly what we did to the garbage disposal alone would have been cause for cancellation, I’ve never been more surprised to get a security deposit back in my life (I wonder if the clerk noticed my whooping and the way I sprinted out of the store at full clip.)